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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Judge who wanted baby Messiah’s name changed is cited for violations

Posted by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:37 PM
  • 39 Replies
A judge ordered that two Tennesee parents change the first name of their 7-month-old son from Messiah.

10 WBIR NBC News

A judge ordered that two Tennesee parents to change the first name of their son from Messiah to Martin.

A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby's name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been cited by a court panel for an inappropriate religious bias in violation of the state judicial code of conduct.

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew of Cocke County in eastern Tennessee ordered the boy's first name changed over the objections of both parents when they appeared before the judge seeking to settle a number of issues, including a dispute over the child's last name.

Both the mother, Jaleesa Martin, and the father, Jawaan McCullough, were insisting on their respective surnames for baby Messiah. The magistrate instead threw out the child's birth name and ordered the boy renamed Martin DeShawn McCullough.

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered a 7-month-old boy’s name be changed from Messiah, because “it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.”

10 WBIR NBC News

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered a 7-month-old boy’s name be changed from Messiah, because “it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.”

"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," the magistrate told Tennessee television station WBIR at the time.

The parents appealed, and in September another judge, Chancellor Telford Forgety Jr., held that Ballew's ruling was unconstitutional.

The parents, who have since dropped their dispute over the last name, have continued to call the boy Messiah DeShawn McCullough.

A three-member investigative panel of the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct concluded this week there was "reasonable cause to believe (Ballew) has committed judicial offenses," and directed the state board's disciplinary counsel to file the charges, according to a document obtained from a court clerk.

The judicial code the panel cited centers on a clause that says religion and other personal biases must not play roles when judges are performing their duties.

Ballew could not be reached for comment.

The parents are now calling their baby "Messiah DeShawn McCullough."

Heidi Wigdahl/AP

The parents are now calling their baby "Messiah DeShawn McCullough."

Ballew has 30 days to file an answer with the court, at which time a hearing will be scheduled "to impose just and proper sanctions as provided by law," according to the document outlining the charges against the judge.

Messiah was the 387th most popular name for boys born in the United States in 2012, based on applications for Social Security cards filed with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

In all, there were 762 applications for boys named Messiah in 2012, more than double the 368 applications made in 2011, the Social Security Administration said.


by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
katy_kay08
by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this

Good

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:47 PM
1 mom liked this
That judge was ridiculous & out of line! But, of course, she's from the state that doesn't allow atheists to hold office. Face Palm... I honestly think that is unconstitutional as well. At least the panel recognized the error of this judge's ways, as did the appellate judge. Good grief...
Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:49 PM

 Good

Mommabearbergh
by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:32 PM
She was in the wrong and its good they didn't just go with it.
AllofFive19
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Good. 

LaughCryLive
by Silver Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM
7 moms liked this
Stupid name and stupid judge.
DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:06 AM

I'm a Christian and find the name ridiculous, but that is their right. This judge was very wrong. I remember when someone first posted the story and I thought. HELLO judicial panel hearing! She was flat out wrong by our laws. 

kcangel63
by Bronze Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Parents should have the right to name their children whatever they want. I have a Moses. Would that be wrong to that judge? What about a Hispanic baby named Jesus?

Stupid judge.
FrogSalad
by Sooze on Oct. 27, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Good.  She overstepped.


Atheist Mama?  Join us!

How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.  Charles Darwin

SyllabaryBisque
by Bronze Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 8:31 AM
Good.
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