Jaleesa Martin was in a Tennessee court concerning her chil’d surname. It seems the parents couldn’t agree on it. Well, Judge Lu Ann Ballew decided for them in a most unsusal way. After eharing that the little bundle of joy was named Messiah DeShawn Martin, she went ahead and changed it to Martin DeShawn McCullough. Why? According to Judge Ballew, “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.”
Let’s take a moment to reflect. Messiah, first of all, is a noun. Its roots are Aramaic and Hebrew. Literally translated, it means the anointed one or anointed. When the word was first used, it was applied to kings who were thought to be divinely appointed (think King David and Alexander the Great). The most famous ‘messiah’ was, of course, Jesus of Nazareth, the leader of a Jewish sect who was crucified for his belief’s.
I, personally, wouldn’t name my child Messiah. That being said, as an American, I would never think a person couldn’t name their child Messiah. What is wrong with the name? Why would this judge impose her religious beliefs on this family? And the most troubling aspect of this incident, in my mind, is the fact that this was court ordered, by a judge appointed to uphold the law, not deliver her religious beliefs.
The mother has appealed the verdict, and will appear before the Cocke Country chancellor on September 17th. I, for one, am supporting the mother. I strongly believe that she will win, after all, this is America.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.”
Bill of Rights, 1st amendment