Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Anne Ballew has overruled a couple’s choice of name for their newborn son. Jaleesa Martin and the unnamed father appeared in court because they could not decide on a last name for their child. Upon hearing that they have chosen to name their kid “Messiah,” the judge decided to make them change that, too.
“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,” Judge Ballew said, according to USA Today.
Martin chose the name because it sounded good alongside her two other sons, Micah and Mason. In fact, according to the NY Post, Messiah was #4 among rising baby names in 2012.
Judge Ballew ordered the 7-month-old to be named “Martin DeShawn McCullough,” which includes names from both parents’ surnames.
“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,” Ballew said. She added that it could cause problems for the child later in life if he decided to grow up in his home of Cocke County, which has a large Christian population.
According to Daily News, Martin plans to appeal the ruling.
“Everybody believes what they want so I think I should be able to name my child what I want to name him, not someone else,” Martin said.