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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. Your friendly neighborhood garbage man and undergarment connoisseur

    I heard about this on reddit the other day. Unbelievably stupid.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
  2. Darkness

    I think we can all agree that the original name for this kid would have brought nothing but hardship to this kids life. I also understand people can be stupid and tend to use their kids to prove their point.

    Personally, I believe the judge acted in the best interest of the child. Imagine if she wanted to name her kid "satan" or "demon" or better yet "N**er" would you not disagree with her judgment? Would the child not face criticism of the name from class mates?

    August 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Yes I would disagree completely and I find this judge to be abhorrent.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:04 pm |
    • midwest rail

      It is not this judge's place to decide whether or not the name was in the child's best interest. Having cited her personal religious convictions as the basis for her ruling, she clearly overstepped her bounds, and should be overturned.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Churlish

      Too bad the "judge" has piss poor jusgement and should be recalled. It's the right of the parent to name her kid. If you don't like it, tough shit.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm |
    • Studypeople

      This Judge is wrong. The parent, or parents should have the freedom to name their child whatever they want to name the child. Freedom means You have the choice to make good decisions...of bad ones. Take your pick on whether this decision is good or not. And Liberty means You, and this Judge can have an opinion. But that is as far as it should go. Living near the American/Mexico Border.... I can't tell you just how many "Jesus" I've met in my life time. Or if you want..... Listen to Johnny Cash's song... "A Boy named Sue." Sue was named to make "Sue" tough.... LoL

      August 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • scubadoo33

      Here in NJ we have a case involving a child that was named "adolf hitler". His sisters had "aryan nation" and "honslynn himler" in their names. The last name is Campbell. check it out.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
  3. Imaanun

    What about Jesús [hay-soos’], the Spanish equivalent of Jesus?

    August 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
    • Frank

      That's not black enough for her.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • Churlish

      That was brought up to her, and she said that had no bearing on her decision.
      She is, of course, a moron who doesn't deserve to sit in judgment of anything or anyone.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
      • Imaanun

        The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is not the first or the only one called Messiah (Anointed, aka Christ) in the Bible.

        In the Old Testament, Isaiah 45:1, it is written that Cyrus, the Persian king is addressed by ALLAH (GOD Almighty, the LORD, etc.,) as "My Anointed" or literally "My Messiah."

        August 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
  4. Howard

    Scary to think this person is a judge with judicial powers.

    August 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  5. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    It should be automatic. Judges should be dismissed for bringing any of their religious baggage into their decisions. Let them become preachers instead if they want to live their delusions and inflict them on others. Messiah is a terrible name to saddle a child with, though.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      See my comment to KeepFreedom below.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  6. HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

    HITLER GOT HIS ZOMBIE POWERS FROM DRINKING THE BLOOD OF JESUS AT CHURCH AND THIS IS FACT LOOSELY PORTRAYED BY THE INDIANA JONES FRANCHISE.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Just because you keep saying Hitler was a Christian doesn't make it so. There's too much conflicting evidence to make a definite conclusion.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
      • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

        I CAN'T AGREE WITH A HOLOCAUST DENIER. WAKE UP AND GET A GRIP.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Seriously, you either have mental health issues or you're a troll I'm aiming towards the latter.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm |
        • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

          SERIOUSLY. I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR OPINION IS. ON ANY MATTER. BUT, LIKE ANY OBTUSE, SELF IMPORTANT RAMROD YOU DON'T SEEM TO MIND IMPOSING YOUR OPINIONS ON EVERYONE ELSE. I GUESS YOU'RE EITHER REALLY, REALLY FULL OF YOURSELF, OR YOU'RE A TROLL. I'D SAY YOU'RE BOTH. GO FUCK YOURSELF.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          You are a cretinous moron.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
        • HITLER WAS A CHRISTIAN

          WHAT A TRULY COMPELLING RETORT. I'LL KEEP YOUR PULITZER WORTHY WORDS DEEP IN THE BOWELS OF MY HEART FOR DEEP CONSIDERATION WHEN I TAKE A DUMP LATER.

          YOU CAN STILL STUFF YOURSELF WITH A BIG JELLY DONG. YOU SELF ABSORBED SHITBAG.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Oh yes, because your post rose to the levels of Joycean prose and Wildean wit. Enjoy your trolling.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  7. michelle

    That judge has no say in that kids name.....this is over stepping the line of any form of government. Although there are countries with registers of acceptable baby names, this is not one of them., Name him martin?? and since moms last name is martin they want him called martin martin? jeeez...

    August 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Churlish

      The kid's name was changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
  8. KeepFreedom

    Stupid is as stupid does. You can't legislate sense. Yes, there are parent's who name their children worse, and the children with the stupid names will be teased/bullied. Perhaps it would be good for a family member to try to talk some sense into the mother, but the judge shouldn't be "ordering" the mother. What is the penalty for not complying with the order, taking the child from the mother, that would be extreme!

    August 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      What's in a name? As Frank Zappa said "Consider the beauty of the name Ralph"

      August 12, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
    • Dippy

      Parents, not parent's.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Some people see an 's' at the end of a word and panic. It's understandable.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
      • KeepFreedom

        Dip Shiite, not Dippy! Thank's alot for the English lesson, I didnt no this was going to be greyded.

        August 12, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
  9. Garth Bock

    Well it is better than the lady down south when asked what she wanted to name her new daughter and she said "FeeeMallee"....the nurse said that is was an unusual name and asked where she got it from ....and she replied "it's on the band on her wrist".....uh the wrist had on it...female.......if she does get away with it. I hope she raises him right....it would be the biggest shame in the universe should a headline in a newspaper reads....Messiah arrested for selling crack....or something just as bad.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm |
    • Churlish

      Oh, do give is a link to the southern lady that did that...I'm calling BS on this one. That was a stupid blonde joke we told in the 80's.

      August 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
  10. David

    This judge is ignorant of the law.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
    • Observer

      David,

      The first 4 words of your comment were enough.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  11. Big_d

    Dumb judge, she does not deserve the job.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Should change the name to YHVH, pronounced jehovah

      August 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        It can be pronounced Yahweh also.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  12. Mickey1313

    What do the right wing bible thumpers not understand about freedom of speech.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
    • Darkness

      It's not so much about freedom of speech, but giving your kids ridiculous names that will follow them for the rest of their lives. That name is on par with naming your kid L-A rather than Ladasha, or spelling your kid's name Trashcan and calling them Trashon. It is better for the kid that they will not have this name to handicap them throughout their lives.

      Not to mention the bullying that he would incur during school...

      August 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
      • Datablue

        We mostly agree that Messiah is a recipe for future social disaster, not to mention the inevitable disappointment of his future lovers. The issue isn't that the judge was denying his name because of the lack of foresight given, but because of the judge's personal belief that their messiah is the only true messiah. This is simply unacceptable in the court of law.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I don't agree one bit.

          August 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        If I name my child Cargo Bay or Hot Chocolate or Pabst Blue Ribbon, what is in these names that's inferior to John or Keith or Sarah?

        August 12, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
      • Guest

        But 'Apple' and 'North West' won't have problems with their names because their parents have money? No one should decide what you name your child except you.

        August 12, 2013 at 9:16 pm |
  13. dagger

    You can name him Superman, but that won't mean he can fly. Have some consideration for his feelings as he grows up. Why should that precious child have to endure being called Mess or Messy just because you think you came up with a clever name.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Messi is the name of the greatest soccer player in history. It's a proud name.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:43 pm |
      • Mickey1313

        Soccer, oh ya that game the the brits fight over, couldn't name a single player.

        August 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Well, I enjoy soccer.

          August 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
        • Johnny

          I'm not sure what the Brits have to do with it since Messi is from Argentina and plays in Spain.

          August 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Churlish

      What about Siah? Nottah bad thing.

      August 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
  14. matt

    Religion is a curse on earth. name your kid what you want. God isnt real so it doesnt matter

    August 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
  15. Mom

    Messiah is okay.

    I have heard worse:
    Demon (pronounced "Damon" – well, why not spell it that way??)
    Yourheiness

    Now someone should have fought these in court, for the sake of the poor little children!

    August 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  16. ME

    This young mother can name her child anything and everything if she wants.

    It is called Freedom....Where did Tennessee find such a judge?

    August 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  17. georgieboy

    Ecstasy...was the name of one of my students several years ago. She was teased by all of the kids (even though we tried to stop it). We cringed when she was called to the office, "Ecstasy, you are wanted in the office." And she lived up to this name given to her by a very ignorant parent. Parents, try to give your children names that don't mark them for life. Try (I know it's hard in this 'me' society) to think of your child and put them first.

    August 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  18. messianicafrikannation

    Fear of a Black Messiah
    http://nowarningshotsfired.blogspot.com/2013/08/fear-of-black-messiah.html?m=0

    August 12, 2013 at 8:33 pm |
  19. Lori

    What if the baby is the messiah? What right does the judge have to declare someone "not" the messiah? Did God already tell him who the messiah is?

    August 12, 2013 at 8:30 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.