Jesus-Worshiping Judge in Tennessee To Be Disciplined in ‘Baby Messiah’ Case

A judge in Tennessee is set to receive a well-deserved rap on the knuckles for mixing her religious views with the affairs of the state. Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew undid a couple’s decision to name its baby Messiah, on the grounds that

“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.”

She has now received a double smackdown in the bizarre case. Last month, a higher judge held that Ballew’s ruling was unconstitutional. Then, a few days ago,

A three-member investigative panel of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct concluded … there was “reasonable cause to believe (Ballew) has committed judicial offenses,” and directed the state board’s disciplinary counsel to file the charges. … The judicial code the panel cited centers on a clause that says religion and other personal biases must not play roles when judges are performing their duties. …

Ballew has 30 days to file an answer with the court, at which time a hearing will be scheduled “to impose just and proper sanctions as provided by law.”

Naming a baby ‘Messiah’ may become just as common among American Christians as naming a child ‘Jesus’ among Latinos. According to this Reuters report,

Messiah was the 387th most popular name for boys born in the United States in 2012, based on applications for Social Security cards filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder of Moral Compass, a now dormant site that poked fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards. He joined Friendly Atheist in 2013.


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