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A Tennessee judge reversed a ruling Wednesday ordering a mother to change her 8-month-old’s name from “Messiah.” When Jaleesa Martin and Jawaan McCullough appeared in from of Child Support Judge Lu Ann Ballew because of a dispute over the child’s last name, the judge took the law into her own hands when she decided to change his first also. Ballew stated that the name “Messiah” was only fit for one person, and that was Jesus Christ.

This week Ballew’s ruling was overturned.

Chancellor Telford E. Forgety Jr., obviously someone with more knowledge of the law, overturned Ballew’s decision, ruling that the lower court acted unconstitutionally. He said the lower court violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution, and added that the court’s purpose was to determine the last name of the child, not his first name.

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Jeleesa Martin’s attorney said they appealed Ballew’s decision for two reasons: the mother and the father agreed on the first name, and the decision was unconstitutional.

“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.

The child’s name is now Messiah DeShawn McCollough. McCollough is the father’s name.

Martin said she’s relieved.

“I’m just happy — I really don’t have nothing to say. I’m just glad it’s over with,” said Martin after the ruling.

Why would anyone want to disrupt that happy ass baby’s life is beyond me. Look at his face, that’s the face of a happy baby. Once again, people can name their child whatever the hell they please. 

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  • Me27

    “Why would anyone want to disrupt that happy ass baby’s life is beyond me. Look at his face, that’s the face of a happy baby. Once again, people can name their child whatever the hell they please.”

    ummm…i don’t know how I should take this statement…

    But Oan, I am glad this was overturned. The judge had no right to force her religious opinion on them

  • I must say I have done thousands of baby name posters over the years. Some very unusual names but this would be the very first Messiah I’ve seen.