Sure you can name your child whatever you want, but some names are reserved strictly for the son of God, as Tennessee parents of a seven-month old were told by a court.
The Tennessee judge ordered the parents of 7-month old Messiah DeShawn Martin to change his religiously hallowed first name and name him Martin DeShawn McCullough instead.
Time Magazine reports that the parents of the baby had gone to court at first to settle on a last name for their child, but when they appeared before Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew and she heard the baby’s first name, the parents had new problems on their hands.
“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.
A local television station reports that Jaleesa Martin, the boy’s mother, was “shocked” by the outcome and believes her intent was misunderstood.
“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.”
The judge did however. Ballew ruled that the parents of the boy must change the name on his birth certificate. The parents are balking at the ruling and mother Jaleesa Martin is prepared to appeal the ruling before the Cocke County Chancellor next month.