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Popularity of the Baby Name Hedy

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Religious Judge Orders Baby “Messiah” Renamed

Last week in Tennessee, the parents of 7-month-old Messiah DeShawn Martin went to court. They wanted to settle a dispute over their son’s surname.

While they were there, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew took it upon herself to change the child’s first name as well as his surname.


Because, in Ballew’s mind, “Messiah” is an off-limits baby name.

She told a Knoxville TV station 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.”

By Bellow’s order, the baby is now named Martin DeShawn McCullough.

And his parents are not happy about it.

Nor is Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, who said that Judge Ballew’s religious beliefs ought to remain private.

“She does not have the right to impose that faith on others,” said Weinberg. “And that is what she did.”

Not only is Ballew overstepping her authority, but she’s also clearly not keeping up with the latest baby name trends.

Thousands of U.S. babies have been named Messiah since the turn of the century, and the name became especially trendy just last year, thanks to reality TV.

The baby’s mom is appealing Ballew’s order. The ACLU has reached out to offer assistance.

What are your thoughts on the case?

Sources: ACLU says TN judge can’t ban “Messiah” baby name, Judge Orders Baby’s Name Changed From ‘Messiah’