This is most of a thread off Larry Fox’s Facebook page of this date. I found it interesting for several reasons that I made in the text in light of recent news where a Tennessee judge felt it was her business to deny a couple naming rights of their own child. They had named the child Messiah.
A Newport mother is appealing a court’s decision after a judge ordered her son’s name be changed from “Messiah.” Jaleesa Martin and the father of Messiah could not agree on a last name, which is how they ended up at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court on Thursday. That is when the first name came into question.
Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew serves the 4th Judicial District of Tenn. including the following counties: Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier. The name change was part of Judge Ballew’s case; however, the parents did not think the first name would be changed.
Judge Ballew ordered the 7-month-old’s name be “Martin DeShawn McCullough.” It includes both parent’s last names but leaves out Messiah.
“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.
What follows is our response to this rather egregious judge:
Larry Fox: Now the courts are telling people what to name their children. Neither parent wanted the name changed, but the judge did it anyway because SHE was offended by it. “Only one person can be called Messiah”, she said, “and that is Jesus Christ.” If it had been a Jewish judge or a moderate Christian judge, this would not have happened. This judge needs to be fired. Next they will have a million Spanish men called Jesus change their name to Joe.
Gabriel Thy: She is a real dope.
Joanna Pietruszewski: I think these parents should be jailed for child abuse. Naming a child Messiah equals to naming someone Adolf Hitler Napoleon Bonaparte or Prophet Muhammad. I was deeply shocked when I first encounter a guy named Jesus. To this day it makes me cringe even though I am not religious.
Larry Fox: If you cringe at someone’s name, whose problem is that?
Diane Campbell-Floyd: It is stupid to name your kid that…but….it is their choice..Ever notice kids seem to live up to their names? Like the geeky named kids always turned out to be geeks…
Sandy Graham Ball: As a born again Christian I don’t approve of them naming their child Messiah, BUT as an American, I would’ve left them alone to do as they saw fit. I don’t like it simply because Messiah and Jesus are names I use to praise the God I love and serve, but I don’t think even He would’ve approved of the judge making them change the name simply because her sensibilities were offended. Besides that, if you really want to get technical, then according to this judge everyone named Emmanuel has to change their name as well since that is another name Jesus was called by. In my opinion, this judge crossed the line. She should’ve put her religious beliefs aside AS A JUDGE and just ruled on the last name like she was supposed to do. As bad as the parents’ decision on the first name was, it was still THEIR right to name their child what they wanted. Plain and simple.
Esther Lerch: Or a million Greek men will be forced to change their name from Christos to Ken.
Esther Lerch: You know where they have a lot of rules like this? In Germany. God forbid that anyone would give their son a name that reminds them of the evil dictator who ruled them not so very long ago.
Gabriel Thy: Jesus is a false transliteration of Joshua, or more aptly, Yahoshua, a rather common Jewish name.
Lisa Schiffren: Many states (not to mention most European countries) have laws on the books limiting baby names to traditional Judeo-CHristian (and now Muslim) first names. It seems a good deal less harmful to me than the laws and regulations that impede commerce and significant freedoms.
Rici Faulkner: Isn’t that SOMETHING! I used to work with a guy named Messiah….and I’m sure there a lot more people named that. That judge is going to have a hell of a time trying to fight THAT battle. Hopefully they can get that nonsense overturned.
Gabriel Thy: I also heard something about Messiah being the fourth most common name given to American kids today…
Larry Fox: The Nazi’s had a list of approved names for Jews. I hope these poor people have the money to appeal because they can’t lose.
Larry Fox: Talk about a slippery slope. Today Messiah, tomorrow Moses, Jesus, Emanuel, Mohammad, and on and on until everyone is named Jane and John Doe.
Lisa Schiffren: Today Messiah—yesterday Hitler—something that gets stopped periodically. No one ever stops anyone from naming babies after saints or prophets. Maybe someone should stop peope from naming their offspring ‘NorthWest” or Apple or those long string of syllables with no meaning names that African Americans adopted.
Gabriel Thy: Also, there is a Judeo-Christian movement afoot that takes the whole “Jesus” name as pure pagan sun god worship, and insists upon the “holy” and “familiar” Hebrew names to identify Yahowah and Yahoshua…and several Rabbi scholars have come forth to suggest that “Messiah” is merely a title, such as king, prince, prophet, and thus is of little holy nature in and of itself.
Larry Fox: Correct Lisa, once you start with this there is no end.
Rici Faulkner: So there was this one time that I needed a cab desperately. I am not going to go into what was going on, but suffice it to say, I had to get someone somewhere and was not sure of their capabilities of protecting themselves. I said a quick prayer and called the closest cab company. When the cab pulled up it had a bumper sticker that said “Don’t worry…God is my co-pilot” Then I prepaid the fare and asked the driver his name. Jesus. (Spanish guy). I just smiled and went back inside knowing that the passenger was going to be ok. Guess it’s just ALL in the name, huh?
Larry Fox: Halleluiah say Amen!
Rici Faulkner: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Adrienne Tippy: Love the lively discussions on your wall.
Adrienne Tippy: I tend to think it ridiculous, then I realize the name Adolph Hitler offends me. Tough sh**t for me, sometimes MTV offends me too.
Gabriel Thy: And there is that controversy about the letter J in the English alphabet. My point? Feelings brought on by one’s own tradition are no match for the full deployment of historical truth in these wars for heart and soul…but in the end, let’s one’s own conscience be one’s guide. That’s what everybody else is doing…
Rici Faulkner: Well…see…when I see people with these pompous names it always makes me wonder WTH drugs Momma was on when she named her baby. But when I stop to think about it….about 60% of the population is walking around with Biblical names. John, Jacob, Matthew, Sarah, Mary….I mean…does anyone ever raise an eyebrow when they meet a Mary? She was the the MOTHER OF GOD, for Christ sake. It says RIGHT THERE in that prayer they used to make me say….”Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners…blah blah blah. And I happen to be very much a part of the West Indian population who are NOTORIOUS for naming their kids LARGE. I know more people named Queenie, Empress, Princesses, and King than I care to admit to. So let’s see….I can go to the store and buy a sandwich from Empress, drop my dry cleaning off with Queenie, get some change from the bank teller Matthew, and let Jesus drive me home. I’m in EXCELLENT company.
Larry Fox: Joanna, you can’t project your own feelings onto other people. While I am sure there are people who agree with you, there are many who don’t. You read Rici’s comment above about a person with that exact same name. So who knows? To each their own. What you call child abuse may be a blessing to other people who have different cultural mores than you do.