Green Room

Tennessee judge rules family can’t name son “Messiah”

posted at 12:01 pm on August 12, 2013 by

In other words, get ready for the appeal:

A judge in Tennessee changed a 7-month-old boy’s name to Martin from Messiah, saying the religious name was earned by one person and “that one person is Jesus Christ.”

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the name change last week,according to WBIR-TV. The boy’s parents were in court because they could not agree on the child’s last name, but when the judge heard the boy’s first name, she ordered it changed, too.

“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,” Ballew said.

And here’s the oddest part of the story:

Messiah was No. 4 among the fastest-rising baby names in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration’s annual list of popular baby names.

I’d expect the ruling to get tossed just on those grounds.  It’s hard to argue that the name was so unusual or bizarre that it required judicial intervention when the SSA’s data shows that it’s becoming more and more popular.  Parents give kids stupid names on occasion, and the children either learn to embrace it or change it as soon as possible.  Unless it’s a clearly abusive name — like, say, naming your son “Adolf Hitler” to perpetuate your own Nazi sympathies — a judge really doesn’t have any say in the naming process.

Still, though, one has to wonder what parents are thinking when choosing “Messiah” as a name.  These parents just thought it sounded nice with their other children, named Micah and Mason, but, er … doesn’t that set expectations just a wee bit high for the kid?

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There’s only one word I have to say to the parents:

Sue!

Shy Guy on August 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Madonna hardest hit.

RadClown on August 12, 2013 at 12:12 PM

If they would just change the name to Obama it would be OK.

Oil Can on August 12, 2013 at 12:13 PM

“Messiah”… doesn’t that set expectations just a wee bit high for the kid?
POSTED AT 12:01 PM ON AUGUST 12, 2013 BY ED MORRISSEY

With “O” as the most powerful leader in the world, the bar is set high enough to rest one’s foot yet low enough not to tip over the spittoon.

onomo on August 12, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Judge is wrong. Parents are stupid.

There’s only one word I have to say to the parents:

Sue!

Shy Guy on August 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Anything but Sue!

davidk on August 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

These parents just thought it sounded nice with their other children, named Micah and Mason, but, er … doesn’t that set expectations just a wee bit high for the kid?

The first half of this thought negates the second half. I have doubts about whether they are aware of any kind of expectations attached to the name.

Cindy Munford on August 12, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Let the dumb parents name their kid whatever they want. After the kid is teased in school enough, they’ll feel appropriately shamed.

Othniel on August 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Talk about a kid with a complex.

John the Libertarian on August 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

These parents just thought it sounded nice with their other children, named Micah and Mason, but, er … doesn’t that set expectations just a wee bit high for the kid?

They probably have no idea what it means.

ButterflyDragon on August 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM

The boy’s parents were in court because they could not agree on the child’s last name

.
Family values!

ExpressoBold on August 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Well, when you have kids Praying TO Barack Obama what’s so bad in naming your kid Messiah.

D-fusit on August 12, 2013 at 1:08 PM

PUH-LEEEZE!! People name their kids stupid names all the time. A member of my family worked in a Bronx Hospital (Jacobi Medical Center) and some jack-ass mom named her baby boy “Hismajestee”….that’s right, the kid’s name is His Majesty….what an idiot. Kid deserves to have the crap kicked out of him until he turns 18 and can legally change his own name.

You can’t cure stoooopid, so why bother….just mock it until it crawls in a hole and goes away…

powerpickle on August 12, 2013 at 1:09 PM

For all of those who have got their knickers in a knot – did you have a problem with the judge taking the kid away from the dad who wanted to name his child Adolf Hitler?

pelajus on August 12, 2013 at 1:15 PM

So Emmanuel is allowed but Messiah is not?

MechEng5by5 on August 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

People name their sons Jesus all the time.

Judge is stupid.

Chris of Rights on August 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Let the dumb parents name their kid whatever they want. After the kid is teased in school enough, they’ll feel appropriately shamed.

Othniel on August 12, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Uh, no, they won’t. That would require 1) some intelligence, and 2) a sense of shame. These parents have neither.

Sorry, but when parents name their kids something like this, I see it as a form of negligent child abuse. The children should be removed from this home and the parents sterilized. (And for all those about to accuse me of being some form of a statist, I really don’t care if a court does it or the local community.)

MechEng5by5 on August 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM
Chris of Rights on August 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Neither Jesus nor Emmanuel have the same meaning as Messiah. Jesus and Emmanuel are names, while Messiah is a title.

GWB on August 12, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Maybe the name is because she screamed “Oh my God!” during the conception which was likely not “immaculate”. :D

camaraderie on August 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

In France, stupid names are illegal.

Abelard on August 12, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Names can doom you for life. Ask Weiner

HotAirian on August 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Okay, the judge’s ruling was illegal, unconstitutional, etc.

And if it stands she’ll be the one responsible for the fact that he actually gets interviewed for that job he applies for, instead of his resume being tossed in the trash without a thought.

Yes, that’s how the real world works.

JEM on August 12, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Unless it’s a clearly abusive name — like, say, naming your son “Adolf Hitler” to perpetuate your own Nazi sympathies —

Showing how one person evil bastard can “make a difference”- by maligning a name once borne by kings.

Notably a certain Swedish one;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustavus_Adolphus_of_Sweden

“Gustavus Adolphus” is a Latinized version of his name commonly used in the English-speaking world, notably since the 1940s. In his own time, and to his own people (not to mention his enemies, notably one Cardinal Armand Jean du Plessis, cardinal-duc de Richelieu et de Fronsac), he was known as Gustav II Adolf Vasa, the correct formulation of his name in Swedish.

Others have had the same problem. Adolph Coors and Adolphe Menjou, just to name two.

The hilarious part about Herr Schickelgruber is that they never even spelled his name correctly. His father used his wife’s family name, which was actually “Heidler”- and in some parts of Austria and Germany, “heid” is pronounced like “hit” instead of “hide”. When his father moved the family to a new parish, the local recorder took his father’s pronunciation of the name phonetically. It was thus recorded with a spelling apparently never used before- and certainly never used since.

Creating, on the spot, a name that will forever be deservedly associated with irredeemable evil.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 12, 2013 at 4:07 PM

OT: Did Erika get canned or is she finally on a fact-finding mission to China?

DarkCurrent on August 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

yes, but what do you think Jesus thought when he was 11 years old, working in the woodshop, he overheard some people outside say “Yeah, I heard the Messiah is among us. (keeps on sawing) His mother is Mary. And even though she’s married to Joseph, there’s rumors he’s not the real father. (pauses, looks around, smiles)”

/s-orry

williampeck1958 on August 12, 2013 at 4:12 PM

A judge in Tennessee changed a 7-month-old boy’s name to Martin from Messiah, saying the religious name was earned by one person and “that one person is Jesus Christ.”

The judge seems to be a poor biblical scholar. Lots of people are called “Mashiach”(the actual Hebrew word from which “messiah” is derived) in the Bible. It just means “anointed”, as in, having oil poured on one’s head. It’s a term used for kings or priests, who were traditionally anointed with oil as part of their investiture ceremonies. It’s even used for non-Jews.

The redeemer figure whom the Jews await, who will usher in a future Golden Age, is called King Messiah (melekh mashiach). Some authorities say that his given name will be Menachem, and others, that it will be Shiloh. Everyone seems to agree, however, that his pre-eminent characteristic will be humility, so he’ll be unlikely to name his own son “Messiah”!

littlemary on August 12, 2013 at 4:20 PM

So, all those boys named Mohammed?

2nd Ammendment Mother on August 12, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Unless it’s a clearly abusive name — like, say, naming your son “Adolf Hitler” to perpetuate your own Nazi sympathies — a judge really doesn’t have any say in the naming process.

Who is going to make this judgement? Does Atilla get the same treatment as your personal boogie-man?

Can someone tell me WHY Messiah is any different than Jesus in this judge’s eyes?

Freddy on August 12, 2013 at 5:42 PM

So Emmanuel is allowed but Messiah is not?

MechEng5by5 on August 12, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Bingo!

You put it up before I could get here. :)

itsspideyman on August 12, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Moon Unit Zappa was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Tu Morrow (Rob Morrow’s kid) was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Zuma Nesta Rock (Gwen Stefani’s kid) was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Moxie Crimefighter (Penn Jillette’s kid) was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Pilot Inspektor (Jason Lee’s kid) was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Bogart Che Peyote (David “Puck” Rainey’s kid) was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (Michael Hutchence’s kid) was unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Petal Blossom Rainbow, Daisy Boo, Poppy Honey & Buddy Bear (Jaime Oliver’s kids) were unavailable for comment.

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Not to mention River, Rain, Liberty, Summer, and Leaf Phoenix. Leaf later reverted to his natal name, Joaquin, and I must admit that Rain, Liberty (“Lib”, as in “Libby Long”), and Summer aren’t bad names for girls.

cheers

eon

eon on August 12, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Resist We Much on August 12, 2013 at 8:21 PM

eon on August 12, 2013 at 8:30 PM

I have nieces and nephews with names like Genesis, Unique, Sirr, Uzebe, and Crimson.
Some people just seem to want their kids to be harrassed…..

dentarthurdent on August 12, 2013 at 10:33 PM

However, the best ones I ever heard of were sisters named Orangejello and Lemonjello.
Prounounced of course with a sort of French accent, but it’s pretty clear what was intended with the spelling….

dentarthurdent on August 12, 2013 at 10:35 PM

And remember the story of the brothers in NY named Loser and Winner…where Loser (called Lou) became a career cop, and Winner was a career criminal.

ScoopPC11 on August 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM

That judge will have a stroke if she ever sees this.

Oldnuke on August 12, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Unless it’s a clearly abusive name — like, say, naming your son “Adolf Hitler” to perpetuate your own Nazi sympathies — a judge really doesn’t have any say in the naming process.

Hey Ed…think you might be opening up a wormcan here ! ;)

Expect even ‘top heavy’ with Jewish staff, ACLU, might argue with you on your opinionated statement ! Historically, The ACLU’s first commitment has been keeping the 1st Amendment “pure”. Even to the point of ‘taking cases’ in behalf of certified NAZI activities.

BigSven on August 13, 2013 at 5:43 AM

Unless it’s a clearly abusive name….

Hey Ed…back in the old days, what you were named you just dealt with it.. :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1BJfDvSITY

BigSven on August 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM