A Tennessee judge that ordered a boy's name be changed from Messiah to Martin, despite the wishes of the child’s parents, has been removed from the bench.
Judge Lu Ann Ballew has been terminated as Child Support Magistrate for Cocke County, according to a report issued Feb. 3 by ABC.
Apparently allowing her Christian faith to distort and pervert her judicial judgement, Judge Ballew changed the 7-month-old boy's name from Messiah to Martin against the wishes of the boy’s parents last August, claiming the name “Messiah” was earned by one person and "that one person is Jesus Christ."
When the boy’s parents ended up at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court last August because they could not agree on a last name for young Messiah, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew took it upon herself to change the child’s first name.
Despite the strenuous objections of Messiah’s parents, Ballew ordered that "Messiah DeShawn Martin" be renamed "Martin DeShawn McCullough.”
Attempting to justify her decision, Judge Ballew said:
“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 went on to claim the name change was best for the baby since the family lived in Cocke County, which has a large Christian population.
The order was later reversed by another judge, who said Ballew had acted unconstitutionally.
In October, Ballew was charged with judicial code violations by a three-member investigative panel associated with Tennessee's Board of Judicial Conduct.
The formal charges said she failed to promote confidence in the judiciary or uphold the law without bias or partiality.
An order from the Fourth Judicial District states Judge Lu Ann Ballew was terminated as the Child Support Magistrate as of midnight, January 31.
For more political news, information and humor, see Left Coast Lucy on Facebook. For more news, information and humor relevant to atheists, freethinkers, and secular humanists, see Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner on Facebook.
And be sure to follow the new blog, Progressive Secular Humanist.