Judge Orders Child’s Name Changed From Messiah To Martin Because Religion

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A Tennessee judge went ahead and changed a 7-month-old boy’s name because she didn’t like the name his parents gave him. So, that’s a thing now? What would she think of Moses or Apple Martin?

The boy, who’s birth name is Messiah, was in court because his parents were unable to agree on a last name for him. Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew decided to strike a compromise and give the boy both of his parents last names, but found his first name to be distasteful and ordered it changed to Martin. According to Ballew, ”[t]he 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.” I know a lot of Non-Christians that would disagree with Ballew, but, whatever.

I didn’t even know that a dispute over your child’s last name is an issue that could be heard in a courtroom, but I’m not a lawyer so I won’t ask questions. But I will express confusion that a judge is legally entitled to change a child’s name because she personally doesn’t like it.

It’s not like he’s the first kid to be named Messiah—as ABC points out, “Messiah was No. 4 among the fastest-rising baby names in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration’s annual list of popular baby names.” And in a world where celebrities can name their children any number of oddities (Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale‘s Zuma Nesta Rock, Shannyn Sossamon‘s Audio Science, or Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz‘s Bronx Mowgli come to mind), it seems ludicrous that one apparently powerful woman’s personal taste could legally change a child’s name.

Messiah’s mother, Jaleesa Martin, will appeal the verdict, and hopefully get to name her child the lovely and personal name she picked out for him.

Photo: Shutterstock

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