Baby Messiah gets to keep his name: US judge

Last Updated: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 12:16

Chicago: A Tennessee judge who changed a baby`s name because she believes "Messiah" should be reserved for Jesus Christ was overruled today, local media reported.

The eight-month-old boy`s parents had sought help from a judge last month in a dispute over whether their child should have his mother or father`s last name.

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew chastised the couple for choosing a name which "could put him at odds with a lot of people," WBIR news reported.

"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.

She ordered the baby`s name to be "Martin DeShawn McCullough" -- giving the boy his father`s family name and using his mother`s family name for his given name.

The parents were shocked -- they had both agreed to the name Messiah because they liked the way it sounded -- and appealed the decision.

Chancellor Telford Fogerty ruled today that the name change violated the constitutional separation of church and state, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

"I`m just glad it`s over," Martin told WBIR.

"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."

AFP



First Published: Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 12:16

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