Tennessee Judge Orders Infant’s Name Be Changed From 'Messiah' To ‘Martin’

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A Tennessee judge legally changed a 7-month-old boy's name from Messiah to Martin in order to prevent the child from potentially having problems later in life. "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.

The boy’s parents were in court because they could not reach an agreement about the child’s last name. When Ballew heard the boy’s first name, she ordered that changed as well. The boy’s new name, Martin DeShawn McCullough, now includes the last names of both parents.

"It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is," Ballew said about the name change, Fox News reported.

The boy's mother, Jaleesa Martin, plans to appeal the boy’s decision. She liked how the name Messiah sounded alongside the names of her other two children, Micah and Mason.

"I was shocked. 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,” said Martin. "Everybody believes what they want so I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him, not someone else," Martin said.

Sources: Fox News, WBIR TV