Nation & World News

Judge: Boy In Tennessee Can Keep Name ‘Messiah’

By Scott Neuman on September 18th, 2013

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/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Video: Haboob, A Huge Dust Storm, Hits Phoenix Area

The storm is commonly referred to as a haboob, from the Arabic word for an intense summer dust storm. Today’s storm hit in time to complicate the Friday afternoon commute.


Palestinian children, one holding a poster with a picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sit next to candles forming the number 848, which they say signals the number of Palestinians killed in the ongoing war, and the word "Gaza" in Arabic at a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday.

12-Hour Cease-Fire Begins In Gaza

The truce will allow Palestinian civilians to get food and aid where it’s needed, officials say.


Speaking about India, Rep. Curt Clawson told U.S. officials from the State and Commerce departments, "I am familiar with your country. I love your country."

‘I Love Your Country,’ New House Member Tells U.S. Officials

Rep. Curt Clawson, a Republican from Florida, tells subcommittee witnesses from two U.S. agencies, “I’m familiar with your country; I love your country.”


At the White House on Friday, President Obama met with El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez Ceren (from left), Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to discuss the border crisis.

Obama: U.S., Central America Share Responsibility For Influx Of Minors

The presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador met at the White House to discuss the steep uptick in unaccompanied children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.


Bill Allowing Americans To Unlock Cellphones Passes House, Heads To Obama

The bill also directs the Librarian of Congress to review whether the exemption should also apply to tablets and other devices.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments