World US judge changes baby's name from Messiah to Martin

A judge in the US has ordered a baby's first
name to be changed from Messiah to
Martin, arguing that the only true messiah
is Jesus Christ, reports say.
The parents of seven-month old Messiah DeShawn
Martin had gone to court in Tennessee over his
last name.
But Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew
ordered the first name changed too, local
broadcaster WBIR-TV said.
Last year more than 700 babies were named
Messiah in the US, according to the Social
Security Administration.
Christianity sees Jesus as the Messiah, while
Judaism uses the term to mean an anticipated
saviour of the Jews.
Dictionary definitions say the word can mean
anyone seen as a saviour or a liberator.
'No choice'
The judge in Cocke County said the name Messiah
could cause the boy difficulties if he grew up in a
predominantly Christian area.
"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," Judge Ballew said.
She was able to make the order because the
parents were already in a child support hearing in
a dispute over what their son's last name should
Instead the judge ruled that the baby was to be
named Martin DeShawn McCullough, which
includes both parents' last name.
"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 said.
The baby's mother, Jaleesa Martin, told WBIR she
would appeal against the judge's order.
"I didn't think a judge could change my baby's
name because of her religious beliefs," she said.
She said she chose the name not because of its
religious connotations, but because she liked how
it sounded with her two other children's names,
Micah and Mason.
Messiah came in at number 387 in the list of the
most popular of baby names in the US in 2012,
up from 633 in 2011.
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