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August 12th, 2013
01:30 PM ET

Judge: Baby can't be named 'Messiah'

A Tennessee judge has ordered the parents of a 7-month-old boy to rename their son "Martin" instead of "Messiah," CNN affiliate WBIR reports.

"The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ," Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew said.

Jaleesa Martin, the child's mother, told WBIR that she intends to appeal the decision.

Do you agree with the judge's decision or do you think the parents should be able to name their son Messiah? Let us know in the comments below.

Read the full story at WBIR
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church and state • Courts • Tennessee

soundoff (1,648 Responses)
  1. Observer

    If he can't be called Messiah, then Lu Ann Ballew shouldn't be called "Judge".

    August 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  2. bubba

    Wait - why did this come before a judge to begin with? I named my kids when they were born and that was that - this article starts the story at the end for some reason. Perhaps CNN can shed some light...

    August 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • georgieboy

      Read the whole story on another site. Not this one.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  3. mary

    Well I don't understand how he can do that..?
    How many Mexicans are called Jesus??
    Or women named Mary..
    Its not a name a kid would like.. I am sure they would find a nick name .. But if other people get to name their kids anything they like.. So should these people..

    August 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  4. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    VIOLATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. END OF STORY. FIRE THAT RACIST RIGHT WING NUT.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Captain America

      You are one angry individual...not even sure if you are a human or a spamming internet bot

      August 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
      • Dippy

        And he can't use lower case. Ignore him.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
      • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

        I AM NOT ANGRY. JUST STATING FACTS. I AM A FAN OF THE AVENGERS. THE MOVIE, NOT THE COMICS. I LIKE WOMEN.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Hitler may have been a Christian is more apt.

          August 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
      • The real Captain America

        Why do you say the poster is angry? Because he wants the judge fired? Because he called her a Right Winger?
        If the she does fit .........

        August 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
  5. Research Prevents You From Looking Stupid Amongst Your Peers

    I just wanted to post this on its own for any idiots that perpetuate false rumor via invalid quotation:

    Unfortunately, you are irritatingly incorrect and stupid. You are perhaps at the furthest depths of stupid that the bottom feeder can sink to. One requires but the most bare minimum intellectual capacity to perform thirty seconds of research into the matter in order to reach the undeniable conclusion that you, at best, are dead wrong on the matter.

    http://www.evilbible.com/hitler_was_christian.htm

    August 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

      I DON'T NEED YOUR HELP FENDING OFF THE RETARDS.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
      • Research Prevents You From Looking Stupid Amongst Your Peers

        This was in reply to another idiot. You aren't excused from the matter.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
    • skarphace

      Good source. Naming your site "evilbible.com" is a sure way to prove your objectivity in the matter.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        1. I don't think it's "his site."
        2. What does the name of the site have to do with the facts and YOUR acceptance of them?

        August 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't think believing Hitler was a Christian is a matter of acceptance. There's conflicting evidence.

          August 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
      • Research Prevents You From Looking Stupid Amongst Your Peers

        "No matter the source, some random moron will always be found to whine and complain about it because it doesn't adhere to his or her strict requirement of bias."
        -Me

        I trust this is a satisfying response to your dim-witted complaint.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  6. judge doesn't have the authority

    This judges decision will most likely be overturned in an appeals court. I can't think of any RATIONAL reason why this woman can't name her child Messiah. It's like Jessiah, but with an M.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  7. Zombie God

    Is it me or does the judge have South Tardness when she speaks???????

    August 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  8. Brenda

    Yes, parents have a right to name a kid whatever they want. The judge does not have a right to change it. However, stupid names limit how far a kid can go in life. Way to curse your child from birth.

    Oh, also, apparently the parents went to court over the kid's last name? I am guessing the baby daddy and baby mama aren't married. Ya, well, perhaps this is something else that limits how far the kid can go in life. Just a thought.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  9. IamSOFAkingwetodddid

    Religion = Epic Fail

    August 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Captain America

      hahaha your name says it all

      August 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm |
  10. QS

    Apparently, in the heart of the bible belt, two wrongs DO make a right...as long as the two wrongs are both trying to impress their mythical sky-hero!

    August 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
  11. Poob

    Does this judge have a problem with all the Mexicans named Jesus?

    August 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • Rebel Belle

      She said, when asked, that has no bearing on that case. That woman is plum out of her mind, bless her heart.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

      SHE HAS A PROBLEM WITH MEXICANS IN GENERAL. BUT THAT'S A WHOLE OTHER ISSUE THAT CAN BE FIXED WITH A GIANT FENCE BUILT BY THE HANDS OF DESCENDANTS FROM THE FATHERLAND.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
  12. Gitmocalling

    Stupid is....as STUPID does.....Look at the mother and you can understand HOW STUPID she is......

    August 12, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Observer

      It's always entertaining to hear ignorant racist comments.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • skarphace

      Yes, because you can always tell somebody's intelligence by looking at a picture of them.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • guitarken

      As opposed to you, who exude (I know, big word) STUPID by the ton.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
  13. Matt

    First, What happened to the First Amendment? A ruling like this deserves not only to be overturned, but the Judge should be pulled off the bench.

    Second, there is more than one Messiah, because the one I believe in is not initialed J.C.

    Third, this is not the first child to be given that name, and far from it.

    Fourth, she wasn't asked to look at First name so she should not. What gives here the right to intrude on that.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • Captain America

      What flavor is the kool-aid you drink...there might be something funny in there

      August 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
  14. Stephen

    Messiah is from Meshiach or Anointed one in Aramaic. Many Hispanics name kids Jesus. Moses? Isaac? So what? Stupid Judge. Will be tossed.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  15. BIGBOY

    YOU CAN name your kids what you and the kids can Change his name to what he wants when he turn 16 or 18 depending on states.

    THE JUDGE HAS NO RIGHTS TO INTERFERE.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • leahcima1

      Big Boy is 100% right. Who the hell does this religious nut of a judge think she is to tell anybody what they can name their child? These evangelical christian mafia think they own the world and can order people to bend to their will. STFU judge.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
  16. mike teall

    I say if he can walk on water than let him have the name : )

    August 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Meh. As long as he can write a story about magic 200 years ago, let him have it.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  17. Stephen

    Did you hear about the guy who wanted to name his kid Col Sanders? At the last minute he got chicken.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • skarphace

      Was that a racial joke? (j/k)

      Seriously, though, that was pretty good.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
  18. Yeobabe

    Seriously? Why do so many parents name their children something they will be ashamed to put on a college entry essay? Most of Europe requires that children be named a proper name, not some stupid grouping of letters that they slide together on a Scrabble board! Give your child a name that will be strong, and enable him a chance at a successful life! Good job Judge!!!

    August 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • BIGBOY

      BULL......I am fench and we dont require anything, parents are free to name their kids whatever they want.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
      • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

        WHAT IS FENCH?

        August 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
        • BIGBOY

          french

          August 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm |
    • skarphace

      The question is not whether or not the name itself would be accepted by most Americans. The question is whether or not a judge has the right to tell a parent what she can or cannot name her child. Bad job, judge. Very bad. Hopefully bad enough to end her career.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • afroblue

      I think Messiah is a pretty strong name, besides they refered to Jesus as The Messiah. the term messiah refers to a savior or a one who is a liberator of people. Cyrus the Great (King of Prussia) was referred to as messiah as well. So she needs to get over it and anyone else who has a problem with it.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
  19. skarphace

    I have a really bad feeling that we will see a bill that passes the House soon that attempts to create a federal committee that will be in charge of coming up with a list of names that are banned from use. It won't pass the House or get a signature from the President, of course, but I see one coming nonetheless because of the message it sends. Teavangelists want our Civil laws to come more in line with their version of "God's Law", which makes this case right up their alley.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • skarphace

      "won't pass the [Senate]" I meant.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.