Monday, August 12, 2013

Tennessee Child Support Magistrate orders name change citing religious reasons

The Christian Science Monitor and a number of other newspapers  around the country this morning are carrying the story of Cocke County Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordering the name change last week of a  7-month old boy's from Messiah to Martin, saying the religious name was earned by one person and "that one person is Jesus Christ."

  The boy's parents had been 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. The Monitor quoted Magistrate Ballew as saying “the name Messiah could cause problems if the child grows up in Cocke County, which has a large Christian population… it’s a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,"

  The boy's mother, Jaleesa Martin, of Newport, said she will appeal the order, saying Messiah is unique and she liked how it sounded alongside the boy's two siblings — Micah and Mason. It’s also the 4th.among the fastest-rising baby names in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration's annual list of popular baby names, according to the paper.

  The case goes before the Cocke County Chancellor on Sept. 17.

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