Judge: Boy In Tennessee Can Keep Name 'Messiah' | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Judge: Boy In Tennessee Can Keep Name 'Messiah'

A judge has ruled that a Tennessee woman can name her 8-month-old son "Messiah" — a decision that overturns a ruling last month that drew international attention to the boy.

In a paternity hearing in August, Jaleesa Martin and Jawaan McCullough brought a dispute over their son's surname. Martin had given her son the name Messiah Deshawn Martin, but McCullough wanted the boy to have his last name.

As NPR's Bill Chappell reported at the time, Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ruled that both of the boy's names be changed on the birth certificate, telling Knoxville's WBIR TV: "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."

Ballew ordered that the child be named Martin DeShawn McCullough.

According to The Associated Press:

"That decision quickly made international news, and the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a complaint against Ballew with the state's Board of Judicial Conduct. The board has not yet made any public ruling on the complaint."

A ruling on Wednesday by county Chancellor Telford E. Forgety in Newport, Tenn., overturned Ballew's decision, allowing the name on the child's birth certificate to stand.

"Everybody's just happy," Martin was quoted by the AP as saying after the ruling. "I'm glad it's over with."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

The British mystery writer was known for her Inspector Wexford series and in her later years became active in Labour Party politics. NPR's Petra Mayer has this remembrance.
NPR

'Bourbon Empire' Reveals The Smoke And Mirrors Of American Whiskey

A new book suggests that tall tales on craft bourbon labels are the rule rather than the exception. They're just one example of a slew of "carefully cultivated myths" created by the bourbon industry.
NPR

Site Using Candidate Carly Fiorina's Name Attacks Her Record At HP

The site, carlyfiorina.org, says the Republican presidential candidate laid off 30,000 people while she ran Hewlett-Packard. Fiorina does not deny the figure but says, overall, the firm created jobs.
NPR

People's Republic Of Uber: Making Friends, Chauffeuring People In China

Uber is becoming more popular in China, but many drivers say they don't do it for the money. They say they like the human connection and the freedom.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.