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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. Greg

    Nazi America. Illegal search and seizure. Illegal wire tap. Illegal road blocks. Illegal stop and frisk. on and on...

    August 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  2. Messiah_not

    I was going to name my dog, "Messiah" but I named him Damnit instead. "Get down, Damnit."

    August 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  3. Anita Brake

    Wow. You're vs. your. speleng? I'm out.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  4. Phillip

    Is the last name in dispute? or is the judge making them name their baby Martin Martin ?

    August 12, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
  5. JJ

    Many Sephardid Jews are named "Moshiah" or messiah

    August 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  6. Louise

    I agree with the judge. Parents, puhleeeeese – are you all given a drug when your child is born so that you can come up with a wacko or controversial name just for the h___ of it, regardless of what the child will go through all his/her life. And a quick read of some of the 'comments' sure speak to the need for the return of the true Messiah '..... and soon!

    August 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • Geminiladi

      You agree with the judge. So you like to put your nose in other peoples business that has nothing to do with you and hurts no one? WOW

      August 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
  7. Crusader

    Isn't this the worst example of racism...as you can name your kid Mohammed but not Messiah. I think there needs to be a backlash against this racism!!

    August 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  8. jorge washinsen

    It pains to see a judge who has fallen so low to be saddled with this.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
  9. fred

    Ordered to name the kid.. did you catch it:

    Martin Martin

    August 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Akira

      The child's name has been changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
  10. MN

    I totally agree with the Judge. There is only one Messiah and that is Jesus Christ! She is an ignorant woman!! After looking at her picture, it does not surprise me....too young , baby having babies..

    August 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Akira

      You would be wrong, as the judge is.
      This is her third child, and I believe she is 28.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Watcher

      Well you are not very nice and extremely judgmental. Let me guess you are a Christian? Anyway how about all the children named Jesus? How is that any different. People should be allowed to do and say as they please.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Jim P.

      And how old do you suppose the "Virgin" Mary was when God knocked her up? Usual age for betrothal back then was not long after a girl's first menstrual period so she was likely fifteen to eighteen. And Joesph almost certainly was in his forties based on common marriage patterns in that time and place.

      It's not the judge's call in our legal system to make a decision based on her particular religious prejudices. Just ask Jesus, or Manuel (short for Emmanuel) , the guys who sweep out her courtroom or haul away the dishes when she eats out.

      August 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
  11. Robert K

    If the Latino's can name their boys Jesus, then she should be allowed to name her kid Messiah.

    But poor kid, doesn't she know the kid will be made fun of in all childhood and maybe adulthood? Why, so she can prove a point?

    August 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Watcher

      The kids will only make fun once the adults teach them to see it as problematic. Otherwise our children are so great until the adults start corrupting their beautiful little minds.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  12. yeppie

    So much for the separation of church and state!

    August 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • jorge washinsen

      So much for the waste of time.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  13. Mike

    This situation is definitely messy...and so is the kid's future nickname.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • taylordacty1

      You are awesome sir

      August 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Anon

    That judge should be FIRED. SEPARATION of CHURCH and STATE MORON!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
  15. James Napoli

    Classic big goverment by the right wing

    August 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • JSNOW

      Left Wingers want large government more than the right...

      August 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
      • mb2010a

        Not true...

        August 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  16. spock

    Of course she has the right to name her child "Messiah." This judge however, has no right, as a government employee to talk about "Jesus." Furthermore, people name their children Jesus (Haysooss) or Mohammed or Abraham etc...etc.. Nobody is complaining about THAT. This is idiotic. That judge should be fired.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  17. Rev. J.C.

    The American version of the Taliban in action.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • Akira

      Or a judge who clearly doesn't understand the concept of separation of church and state.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
      • Ryan

        You are aware there is no law separating church and state, right? The law disallows a state-sponsored religion.

        August 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
        • Hey! You!

          What 'law' are you talking about?

          August 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • lol?? Pithiest, YES!!

      Older women are supposed to be teachin' the younger to love their children and hubbies and not be parked on a bench. Women need much more training than Marx taught the US. That's why they live longer.

      August 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  18. Duh

    what about Prince....

    August 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  19. morgan

    Hey judge, separate church and state much?

    August 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
  20. Mordecai

    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.

    –I don't agree, there are plenty of other names choices for this mother, like Moses/Malachi/Mordecai that sound better alongside Mason and Micah.

    August 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • Sean

      George Alexander Lewis sounds better

      August 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
      • Sparky

        Hey, how about calling the baby 'President Obama'?

        August 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • chelle

        It's is spelled Louis and pronounced with the French pronounciation.

        August 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Motown

      How about His Royal Highness, King of TN?

      August 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Mordecai

      More choices,
      Manasseh,
      Michael,
      Moshe

      August 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • George Downtown

      This judge is so clearly WRONG in her action that she needs to be removed NOW. I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS AMERICA. IT IS NOT THE UNITED STATES OF CHRISTIAN AMERICA!

      August 12, 2013 at 5:55 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.