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Seven-month-old Martin DeShawn McCullough with his mother. NY Daily News
tennessee

Judge orders baby Messiah's name to be changed as 'there's only one Jesus'

The baby boy’s mother is appealing the judge’s order.

A JUDGE IN the US has ordered parents who named their son Messiah to change it.

The parents of the boy have now changed his name to Martin following the order from the judge in Tennessee.

“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 Lu Ann Ballew said in the ruling last week, according to the newspaper The Tennessean.

However, Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee also told The Tennessean the judge had no right to do that.

Weinberg said the judge is free to hold religious beliefs, but that faith should remain private.

The parents of the seven month old boy had gone to court because they could not decide what the child’s last name would be, the father’s or the mother’s.

The judge ordered that the child go by the last names of both, and along the way surprised everyone by ordering the first name be changed as well – to Martin.

The mother, Jaleesa Martin, is appealing. She said she and the father had not named the baby Messiah for religious reasons but rather because they liked the way it sounded.

- Additional reporting AFP

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