Naming Your Baby 'Messiah' Is Your God-Given Right

This Just In 10

Not this messiah. The other one.
OK, so turns out you can name your kid “Messiah.” That other judge was just blowing off steam about her Jesus love and whatnot. This time it’s for real. “Messiah” is a go.

In a complete up yours to the previous ruling handed down in—of all places, child support court—a higher judge in Tennessee reversed a magistrate’s decision that told Jaleesa Martin she had to change her 8-month-old son’s name from “Messiah.” 

Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew thought “Martin” had a nicer ring to it. Keeping in mind that the parents were in her court because they couldn’t agree on a last name, she apparently felt entitled to weigh in on the baby’s first name, as well. So she went on ahead and solved both problems in one fell swoop by making his mom’s last name his first name and his dad’s last name his last name. Cute.

Alas yesterday, Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr. kicked Ballew’s decision, fraught with personal opinion, to the curb and ruled that the lower court acted unconstitutionally. The ACLU had already been barking in defiance and even though the parents were at odds about the last name, everyone was on one page about “Messiah.” They both liked it. Judging by the picture, the baby seems pretty pleased with it. And now the courts are OK with it, too.

So little Messiah is going to become big Messiah. Well, not big Messiah, but a grown-up Messiah. Messiah DeShawn McCollough, to be exact.

His mama is relieved the whole debacle is over, but the case does call into question when, if ever, the government can interfere in the naming of a child without encroaching on civil liberties. Seems like a slippery, court-case-addled slope.

“Messiah” is controversial, true. But New Zealand’s department of internal affairs had to cut the parents of the potential “Lucifer,” “V8,” and just flat out “Christ” off at the pass. Also rejected were “Fish and Chips” (for twins, of course), “Keenan Got Lucy,” and “Sex Fruit.” “Violence,” however, was cleared, making “Messiah” seem almost basic.

This, too, since there’s a human being running around the world named “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116.” Yes, it looks like the characters on a very long butt dial. Nonetheless, it’s pronounced “Albin.” That ought to challenge the phonetic abilities of every teacher, boss, job interviewer, date, and roommate for the rest of his live long days. He’ll be due to the courthouse for a formal name change on his 18th birthday, for sure.

Clearly, there should be limitations on what names parents can impose on their children. At least, if they expect them to operate as average, productive citizens without the burden of a name that elicits gasps of outrage or blank stares of confusion. “Messiah” may be on the fence but that certainly invites even more controversial, crazy, and downright nonsensical creations. (Please see above.)

Do you think “Messiah” should’ve stayed banned?

Image via  E. I. Sanchez/Flickr

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truth... truthrowan

Nope. It means "anointed one" which basically a term that means someone who will serve the Lord, is blessed, or is marked for greatness. It's also a VERY Popular name in Israel, and if the people who live in the Cradle of Religion don't have a problem with it, I don't see how anyone here can. 

nonmember avatar Zachary

Unfortunately you can't fix stupid, which applies both to the woman who named her son Messiah to begin with, and to the judge that decided it's her place to change it. Idiots, all of 'em.

Angie Frazier

I used to know a man named Lord. He is from the Phillipines. 

Doris Pierce

If Messiah is to be banned then Jesus should also be banned. Personally, I don't see a problem with either name. I'm of the opinion that as long as the name makes sense and is easy to pronounce and spell (for the childs sake) then let parents name their own children. Its is our God-given right to name our own children.  Government/courts have no authority to tell us what we can and cannot name our children. Its just one more way that government is trying to control and run our lives. I hope Messiah grows up to be a wonderful person who does great things.

Melissa Davidson

separation of chuch and state...

nonmember avatar Iman

I think the name is fine. I love my daughters name which is Messiah! And we ladies have the right to name our children whatever we want. My daughter get compliments on her name all the time. Idk who is the ignorant person above that say ppl are stupid for naming their kid Messiah, how rude of u to judge when u also the right to name ur kid whatever u may like

nonmember avatar Laurie

I'm all for naming your kid what you feel is perfect, not what is going to get him or her more attention. Messiah, to me, sounds like a perfectly acceptable name. Violence or "Albin" (with the insane spelling) are absolutely ridiculous and disturbing names. I wanted my kids to have unique names but not out of the norm, off the wall, completely "WTF???" names, no. No. No. No. People are bat shit insane.

Ginger Sadler

I think it is fine...and even if the names are odd, stupid, colorful or whatever you want to call them. I don't want the government telling me what I can and can't name my children, that I carried for nine month and gave birth to..Enough with the nanny state and all already.

epuffer epuffer

i know someone whos naming her baby Queen with 3 middle names and 3 last names.. whew poor kid

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