Mom will be able to name her child Messiah.

Last month an Alabama judge ruled that a mother couldn’t name her child Messiah because “Messiah” is a title reserved for Jesus Christ.  Naturally the mom appealed and, thankfully, the ruling was overturned.

Chancellor Telford Fogerty ruled Wednesday that the name change violated the constitutional separation of church and state, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” Martin told WBIR.

“I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God and I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs.”

Wait, saying a mother can’t name her child Messiah because it runs afoul of the judge’s personal religious convictions is a violation of the separation of church and state?

That’s incredible!  To say that titles relevant to your personal faith must be sacred to everybody…a judge found that such a ruling was a church/state violation?

Seriously though, this conclusion was obvious.  That it somehow slipped past even a local judge speaks volumes about judge Lu Anne Ballew’s lack of ability to handle the responsibilities of her position.  Fire and disbar her today.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Don Gwinn

    If your name is Telford Fogerty, you realize that parents can inflict any name they want on a child, with both the justice system and simple human decency powerless to stop it. ;)

    • Katie Terwilliger

      Wrong. They could legally change their name at 18. Obviously, they didn’t want to.

      • Mands Houston

        yeah, but who wants to go through all that trouble? When i got married changing just my last name was a lengthy pain in the ass process.

  • Rain

    “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.”

    “Earned”–I think it does not mean what she thinks it means. Also I did not know babies had to “earn” their names. Legal authorities should “earn” their respect, although it ain’t a requirement for sure, lol.

    • Karen Mitchell

      I’d be happy if they earned their paychecks………….

  • JeromeGiraffe

    And the judge remains on the bench, judging others through his clouded, slanted lens.

    • Brian

      The judge is a woman

      • JeromeGiraffe

        And the judge remains on bench, judging others through her clouded, slanted lens. Better?

        • scipio1

          Facts are cool.

        • Guest

          Yes, better! Maybe I should mis-gender you and assume that you are a women. And, when corrected, become a passive aggressive, jerk. Remember Phil Plait’s words of wisdom, “Don’t be a dick”. Maybe you should re-watch the video, m’kay.

          • marxidad

            WomAn. He is a singular person, not a plural. How would you like to be mis-counted??

          • donnie sisler

            Seriously???? Is this what organized skepticism has come to? Pointing out a spelling / grammar mistake as opposed to pointing out a factual mistake. And when pointed out, have your fellow, community blog friends (whatever the proper term is for this idea) become passive-aggressive about the original mistake being pointed out? Because, grammar!

          • marxidad

            Choosing the wrong gender of pronoun is too a grammatical mistake.

          • Ender Wiggin

            frankly if i’d just made a blindingly stupid ruling like this, being misgendered in a random internet comment would hopefully be the least of my worries. can’t we come together in agreement that this judge, whatever it’s dangly bits or lack thereof, has an obvious bias which should cause a closer look to be taken at her rulings across the board? Can we agree that obvious ignorance of constitutional principals, regardless of gender, should be considered a failing worthy of some serious consequences for those charged with upholding the (ridiculously flawed) laws of the land? just seems like some petty bullshit to get uptight about in the grand scheme of things.

          • SansDeus

            *huff!* Grand scheme of things?! I exist only for this board and the content within. This is it for me! Rabble, rabble!


          • LadyAvon

            Take your own advice… “Don’t be a dick”

          • Eric Hamby

            Pretty sure Wil Wheaton said that first… You did just what he did, run your mouth without knowing what your talking about. Let see if you act good bout it.

          • Guests

            ‘passive aggressive’? or corrective statement? perhaps Brian writing the word ‘his’ instead of ‘her’ was mearly an oversight and not the foamy mouthed oppressions of a misogynist, bigot or ‘dick’
            don’t take life sop seriously, none of us are getting out alive.

          • JeromeGiraffe

            Perhaps we can all just calm down now and recognize that I made a simple mistake and attempted to correct it. Good grief, after posting that I see I’m as popular with the women as a can of ham at a Jewish picnic.

          • Lillian Abel

            I didn’t see anything “passive aggressive” in your correction and thought the exchange was polite as well as funny. Why are people so sensitive?

        • Lillian Abel

          LOL!!! love it!

        • BadExampleMan

          As long as we’re fact-checking, this story is from Tennessee, not Alabama.

  • fritzguitar

    “messiah” means “annointed” – all kings of israel/judah were annoited.

    • Марйос Христодулу

      Yeah, that’s why they call him “Jesus Christ”. “Christos” is the Greek way to say “anointed”, hence the word Christ.

  • Tillmann Puschka

    on the one hand, people like this judge run around screamin’ and hollerin’ about government interference in our lives, but then turn around and do exactly that- interfere in our personal lives- whenever it’s something they don’t like.

  • sara

    The poor kid still has to grow up with the handle Messy Martin.

  • Nathan Giles

    actually many people have claimed the name do some research excluding your bronze age Arab tribesman manual (bible)

    • paulsimon

      “Bronze Age Tribesman Manual”

      Thanks for this.

  • kk164

    Now, to recall that dumbass judge…

  • Democritus

    I wonder if the author realized they were linking a YouTube playlist and not just a 7 second clip. I’m really enjoying this instrumental Styx medley…

  • Brit

    I have a friend who named her child Messiah. He’s a perfectly well-adjusted child.

    • Brit

      And he doesn’t have super human powers

      • Mands Houston


      • Марйос Христодулу

        Neither the original Jesus had… if he ever existed.

    • ProfessorJericho

      He’s not the Messiah,, he’s a very naughty boy.

      • OrionRed

        *slow clap* I got it, I understood that reference!

  • Bradley Thomas Horton

    jesus was nothing but a fuckstain

  • Brian_Bray

    When the kid throws a tantrum, let’s see how well she “handles Messiah”. :D

    • Sean Burton

      “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”

      • JeromeGiraffe

        Quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen on a discussion board in a very, very long time. Well said sir!

    • Tuturro

      Oh Brian. OH YOU. Even Handel would be all “lolz nice”

  • Dan Goff

    Actually this happened in Tennessee, Not Alabama JT you got the Location wrong…

  • BryanHeadrick

    How do you confuse Tennessee with Alabama? Even the linked article says Tennessee. How the hell did Alabama get into this article?

  • Karen Mitchell

    “I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God….” Wait…what? The mom never intended to name her baby Messiah? Then why would a judge tell her she can’t? I’m confused on this point.

    • lmeridian

      She didn’t mean to name her son Messiah BECAUSE it means God. Meaning she chose the name for other reasons – not because she intended for her child to be compared to Jesus Christ.

      • Karen Mitchell

        Ooooooh….duh….of course. Thanks! I read it wrong the first time and the (mis)meaning stuck. It sounded to me like she was saying that she never intended to name her child messiah (in the first place), because it means ‘God’ , after all.

  • Doug McLean

    So I could call my son God then? Why was I not told this sooner??