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Judge orders child's name changed from "Messiah"


80 replies to this topic

#1 Trebla

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:01 PM

http://www.usatoday....nessee/2641313/

Jaleesa Martin and the father of Messiah could not agree on a last name, which is how they ended up at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court on Thursday.

That is when the first name came into question.

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew serves the 4th Judicial District of Tenn. including the following counties: Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier.

The name change was part of Judge Ballew's case; however, the parents did not think the first name would be changed.

Judge Ballew ordered the 7-month-old's name be "Martin DeShawn McCullough." It includes both parent's last names but leaves 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," Judge Ballew said.

Martin responded saying, "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."

According to Judge Ballew, it is the first time she has ordered a first name change. She said the decision is best for the child, especially while growing up in a county with a large Christian population.

"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," Judge Ballew said.


There is a video interview that accompanies the story in which she is asked about children being named Jesus. That's just not relevant to this case! /bang.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':bang:' />

#2 Persicaria

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:41 PM

I think she over stepped her bounds there. Last name may have some legal groundwork, but the first name is up to the parents. There are some very stupid names out there, but we cannot change the name of every child that could face harassment (and there are some very stupid names out there). Her religious beliefs and the beliefs of her community have no place in court, and it looks like it's violation of that families civil liberties.

#3 DaarioKnowsBest

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:44 PM

Now that's some backwoods grimy hillbilly justice there yeeeehawwwew

#4 Derfel Cadarn

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:50 PM

How exactly did Jesus earn the title Messiah? It was nepotism, pure and simple!

#5 Skunkbelly

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:01 PM

It's a silly name, but I don't think the judge should have changed it.

Slightly off topic, but had my daughter been a boy, we considered (briefly) the name Cohen. It was quickly discarded because 1) we are not Jewish and 2) the child would not have been a priest. I still like the way it sounds, though.

#6 Sci-2

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:07 PM

Now that's some backwoods grimy hillbilly justice there yeeeehawwwew


I'm guessing naming a kid Allah or Yaweh in some areas would lead to a similar action.

It's not so much "hillbilly justice" as it is a confusion about the line between church and state.

And while I dislike the judicial activism, I do sort of agree that giving your kid that name isn't doing them any favors.

#7 DaarioKnowsBest

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:08 PM

I think it is indeed a rural issue. I don't think for one second this would fly in New York or a mid/major city

This is the type of crap only judges in Hooterville and Mayberry can get away with

Edited by DaarioKnowsBest, 11 August 2013 - 09:10 PM.


#8 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:22 PM

DKB,

Now that's some backwoods grimy hillbilly justice there yeeeehawwwew


Sterotype much?

It's a judge oversteping their authority pure and simple. The parents can change the name back to messiah whenever they feel like it. The Judge should be removed from the bench.

#9 thecryptile

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:34 PM

You know, many of our boarders live in countries where this is routine. In many countries, there are lists of approved baby names.

That said, by American standards, I believe the Judge has no authority to issue such a ruling. Many proper names are also titles, but the reason he singled out this one was because of his religious sentiment.

#10 sologdin

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:53 PM

that's up in the mountains, just over the line from asheville, no? magistrate is probably elected, and therefore will not be removed. we had a magistrate down my way a couple years back who refused to perform an interracial marriage. thing is, our appointed federal judges are just as troglodytic.

i guess we need robot judges?

#11 Ormond

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:00 PM

Actually the number of countries with actual lists is less than it used to be. France used to have the most notoriously limited list, but over the course of about 40 years their law was gradually whittled down by various court cases so that today the French can name their kids whatever they want with almost as much freedom as those in most English speaking countries.

New Zealand is the only English speaking country which has a law limiting what people can name their kids, and its application seems to be really dumb to me because it has mostly been used to prevent people from giving their kids names like King, Justice, President, etc. that are considered government titles in New Zealand. But it is not applied consistently because by Googling it is really easy to find men in New Zealand name Earl.

Denmark used to have a list but I believe they recently got rid of it. Most other European countries with restrictions never had lists but have laws which prevent parents from giving their kids names which do not "clearly designate the child's sex" or names which are surnames in that culture. Germany and Austria have laws which forbid people from giving children a name they cannot prove has been used as a given name somewhere in the world before -- about a decade ago I had some emails from parents in those countries who wanted to name sons Keanu and needed proof that the actor had really been given that name at birth and it wasn't just a stage name.

I don't like Messiah as a name myself but definitely think in an American context the judge went way too far here. I bet this boy is far from the only child named Messiah in the state of Tennessee. According to the Social Security website, between 2005 and 2012 inclusive there were 2,975 boys born in the USA who were named Messiah.

Edited by Ormond, 11 August 2013 - 10:02 PM.


#12 sologdin

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:09 PM

best interest of he child, too, though. what a horrible thing, to live under the shadow of that mythology, expecting to overthrow moneychangers in the temple and die heroically at age 33-37 in order to bear away the world's sin, the anticipation growing each day after 33, until finally, 38 comes around, and one is still alive. what disappointment, and relief, and loathing of one's losing-at-life parents.

#13 Trebla

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:50 PM

While reading the article, all I kept thinking about was "Mock Trial with Judge Reinhold!" http://www.youtube.c...h?v=CaK_FgrIlYY

#14 Sci-2

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:12 PM

best interest of he child, too, though. what a horrible thing, to live under the shadow of that mythology, expecting to overthrow moneychangers in the temple and die heroically at age 33-37 in order to bear away the world's sin, the anticipation growing each day after 33, until finally, 38 comes around, and one is still alive. what disappointment, and relief, and loathing of one's losing-at-life parents.


I figure people would weep for him during the summer solstice but he'd come back six months later after rescuing Inanna....

Either that or he unites the nations of men and leads humanity's armies to the North Pole which he would claim is the home of aliens and undead wizards.

#15 Galactus

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:39 AM

Honestly, the both sides got most of the facts wrong.

#16 Howdyphillip

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:11 AM

Aren't kids called Messiah supposed to be sacrificed? Just changing the name sounds a bit to PC.

#17 lionhead

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:21 AM

Did the judge say "Hes not the Massiah, hes a very naughty boy!"

Edited by lionhead, 12 August 2013 - 04:21 AM.


#18 Ran

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:23 AM

If the judge had said that, I would have allowed them the name change, just for being awesome.

But as it is, yes, they overstepped, I think.

#19 KingInTheCave

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:31 AM

Sometimes someone has to step up and protect the interests of young children from their idiot parents. Messiah is something you would call a baby if you want him to be mocked and bullied his entire life. The chances that this kid will grow up and be ok with this name are just very slim.

#20 WinterKing

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 05:09 AM

What if the parents had named the children Hitler? Would it be allowed in the US?
Because in Brazil and a lot of countries it wouldn't.



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