News

‘Messiah:’ Judge orders baby’s name changed

‘Messiah:’ Judge orders baby’s name changed

A Tennessee judge has ordered a baby's name changed from "Messiah" to Martin, saying that the only true messiah is Jesus Christ. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – A Tennessee judge has ordered a baby’s first name changed from “Messiah” to Martin, saying that the only true messiah is Jesus Christ, a ruling the boy’s mother promises to appeal, a Tennessee television station has reported.

The parents of Messiah DeShawn Martin went before Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew because they could not agree on the 7-month-old’s last name.

Ballew instead last week ordered the baby’s name changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough, the Tennessee television station WBIR reported.

“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,” Ballew told WBIR.

Ballew, who could not be reached for comment on Sunday, said the child would likely struggle with his given first name because he lives in Cocke County, a predominantly Christian area in eastern Tennessee.

“It could put him at odds with a lot of people and, at this point, he has had no choice in what his name is,” Ballew said.

Jaleesa Martin, the baby’s mother, told WBIR she would appeal the judge’s order.

“I didn’t think a judge could change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs,” Martin said.

Christianity refers to Jesus as the Messiah, while Judaism uses the term to mean an anticipated savior of the Jews. Dictionary definitions say the word can mean one who is seen as, expected or professes to be a savior or liberator.

Messiah was the 387th most popular name for boys born in the United States in 2012, based on applications for Social Security cards filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

In all, there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, up from 368 applications in 2011, the Social Security Administration said.

Recently Played

Recent Headlines

3 hours ago in Sports

Curry and James top All-NBA Team

curry-625873685502

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is a unanimous selection to the All-NBA First Team after taking every first-place vote in the MVP balloting.

3 hours ago in Sports

Baylor removes Starr as president, will fire coach over rape cases

baylorbrilesap

Baylor University has removed Kenneth Starr as president and will fire head football coach Art Briles after an independent report found administrators mishandled sexual abuse cases involving football players, the school announced on Thursday.

3 hours ago in Sports

Warriors shoot past Thunder, extend West finals

Updated
12-overlay-14

Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes bombed in 3-pointers on consecutive possessions during an eight-point flurry that opened a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter, and the Golden State Warriors held on from there to stay alive in the Western Conference finals with a 120-111 victory over the Oklahoma Thunder on Thursday night.

3 hours ago in Sports

Rust scores 2 as Pens beat Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals

Updated
25-overlay-10

Sure, Sid and Geno still are around. Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang, too. But these Pittsburgh Penguins aren't just a team of big names, but one of guys still trying to make a name in the NHL, too.

4 hours ago in Sports

Friday’s Sports Minute

jackiebradleyjrAP

Here's a look at some of the big sports stories making headlines today.