Update: Baby Messiah

jillinnjSeptember 20, 2013

Since we discussed recently, In case anyone missed the update:

A Tennessee judge reversed a ruling Wednesday ordering a mother to change her 8-month-old's name from "Messiah."
The boy's mother, Jaleesa Martin, and father could not agree on a last name, which is how they ended up at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court last month.
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the baby's name be "Martin DeShawn McCullough." His name included both parents' last names but left out Messiah.
"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 said.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr. overturned Ballew's decision, ruling that the lower court acted unconstitutionally. He said the lower court violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, and added that the court's purpose was to determine the last name of the child, not his first name.
Jeleesa Martin's attorney said they appealed Ballew's decision for two reasons: the mother and the father agreed on the first name, and the decision was unconstitutional.
"I was shocked. I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God and I didn't think a judge could make me change my baby's name because of her religious beliefs," said Martin.
The child's name is now Messiah DeShawn McCollough. McCollough is the father's name.
Martin said she's relieved.
"I'm just happy - I really don't have nothing to say. I'm just glad it's over with," said Martin after the ruling.

IMO, the original judge should be removed from the bench for overstepping. What a complete waste of the court's resources to have to spend time and money to reverse this decision.

Here is a link that might be useful: Story

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I just hope they don't nickname him something like "Messy".

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 3:50PM
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Oh dear. What nerve of that judge to unilaterally change the kid's name. What kind of mind does this person have to think that would be an okay thing to do?

As far as names go, Messiah is not really bad. People really want unique names and that will certainly be one of them.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 6:35PM
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yeh, my squad leader was Jesus(hehsus) Gonzalez and I trained a horse for an Amish man named Christ(crist, as in crisp) miller. Some people either don't put much thought into a name or, they put way too much into it?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:33PM
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We are a secular nation, not a Christian one. It's not the right of anyone to change a baby's name because of a religious belief.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:40AM
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It's not the right of anyone to change a baby's name because of a religious belief.

True, but it goes even further...it's not the right of anyone to change someone else's baby's name for any reason. What made this judge believe she had the right to do that for any reason? I just don't understand the thought process.

A similar story on a much smaller scale...when my daughter was young and in Hebrew School, her best friend's name was Sara. The Hebrew School teacher told Sara that she was spelling her name wrong and it is 'Sarah'. Everytime the teacher would write her name she would add the 'h'. Sara would tell her there was no 'h' but the teacher would tell her she was wrong and there was. Really? Who the F did she think she was to change the spelling of a child's name that was given to her by her parents? Of course, the child's mother (my best friend) went and had a little talk wth the teacher to correct her.

But at least that was just a religous school teacher, not a judge. Not someone with the power to actually legally change the name.

The nerve of some people just amazes me!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:10PM
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No doubt, Jill... who do they think they are? The naming and spelling of those names is strictly up to the parents... not to someone with clashing religious views.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 1:55PM
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"The naming and spelling of those names is strictly up to the parents."

Agree. I think. What if the parents wish to call the child something that might be considered really offensive to a lot of people; certain 4 letter words, for example.

Like the "c" word or the "f" word, or how about a name that's generally considered derrogatory, like the "n" word. We're not talking about common sense here, but rather, the principal of the thing; the right to name your child what you wish to name him/her.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:24PM
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We're not talking in terms of lacking common sense or extremes, here, though... we're talking about the plight of one mother to giver her child what is a reasonable name... outside of religion. And since this is not a christian nation, the name chosen should stand. It's neither extreme, nor lacking in common sense. It's a name. It's the name she chose.

And in what IS a secular nation, how dare any authority inject their personal brand of religion into what is purely a legal matter?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:52AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I keep thinking of a song that was called "A Boy Named Sue".

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:25PM
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Elvis, the courts have asserted their right to intervene with the naming process on several occasions when names might, in the court's opinion, create hardship for the child. One father named his son Adolf Hitler, and it went to court. The judge said that such a name would subject the child to mental abuse or harm, and forced the parent to rename him.

But the decision was made exclusively for the benefit of the child, not to pander to the religious beliefs of the judge.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:32PM
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Point taken, Hayden.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:47PM
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