As reported by AP this morning, Wednesday Sep. 18, a decision by a Tennessee judge has now ruled to allow the parents of an 8-month-old baby boy to give him the name of Messiah. The new ruling reversed a Cocke County judge's August order that the baby boy named Messiah be renamed to Martin.
The case began as a simple child support hearing set to rule on the baby's last name.
Messiah's mother, Jaleesa Martin, and father could not agree on a surname for the baby named Messiah Deshawn Martin on his birth certificate. Both of the parents agreed on the first name Messiah. The debate over what the last name should be is what brought the parents to an August child support hearing in court. Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew not only took to task ruling on the last name but also felt that she had the jurisdiction and obligation to rename the baby's first name as well stating that "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".
Martin Deshawn McCullough was the name chosen by Judge Ballew incorporating both parent's surnames and dismissing Messiah as the baby's first name. The shocked mother vowed to appeal leading to Wednesday's ruling in a higher court. On Sep. 18 Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr. made a judgment that the original ruling was unconstitutional overturning Judge Ballew's decision allowing Messiah to legally keep his given first name.
Messiah is not as uncommon a name as one might believe.
Naming babies with religious monikers is not new. Babies have been given names paying homage to religious figures consistently ranking in the top 1000 names recorded by the Social Security Administration during last past 13 years. Baby boys named Jesus was the 101st most popular name chosen in the United States in 2012 as ranked by the Social Security Administration. The name Messiah was given the 387th spot in 2012 making it much more popular than the previous year ranking of 633rd in popularity in 2011. Moses ranked 546th in 2012.
Messiah, a cute little baby who already understands his given name, can now enjoy his childhood along with his older siblings, Micah and Mason. Jaleesa Martin felt vindicated and relieved saying that Judge Ballew's ruling was "ridiculous". It is interesting how some Judges deem themselves as if they are doing work for a godly entity when ruling on life changing decisions. Perhaps Judge Ballew should rethink her calling and instead of law go on to a new career as a leader in a church that shares her beliefs.
Parents are the guiders of the next generation teaching their young followers to own their life's decisions, good and bad, and to never be afraid to dance!
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