Jaleesa Martin and her son’s father went to court on Thursday expecting the judge to settle their 7-month-old child Messiah DeShawn Martin‘s last name.
Instead, Judge Lu Ann Ballew changed the baby’s first name, too:
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.
Ballew went on to say this was best for the baby since the family lived in such a religious area.
Actually, a reporter asked Ballew what she would do if a baby were named Jesus (in the video above). Ballew’s response?
Hmm… Well, I’ve thought about that as well… um… and that’s not relevant to this case.
She’s thought about it and her best answer is a deflection of the question.
Messiah is not an offensive name. As far as crazy unique baby names go, it could be much worse. And it wasn’t even the issue at hand! It was the most clear case you’ll ever see of a judge letting her religious beliefs override the law.
By the way, “Messiah” isn’t even that unusual of a name. The Social Security Administration puts it in the top 1,000 male baby names in the U.S. for each of the past several years.
Hemant appears somewhere far, far below that. I see how it is…
Martin will be appealing the judge’s decision in mid-September.
(Thanks to everyone for the link!)