Should This Baby's Name Be Banned?

A Tennessee judge ruled this religious name cannot be used. Good choice or wrong choice?

Is this kid primed to have a Christ complex or what? A Tennessee judge has told a baby boy’s parents that they must change his given name, Messiah, to Martin. The judge, Lu Ann Ballew, told 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.”

The irony is that the couple, who are presumably not together, only went before the child support magistrate to settle a dispute over the last name. However, the judge ordered the 7-month-old’s first name changed because she worries about how he’ll fare growing up in an area with a large Christian population. “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 told WBIR.

However, the boy’s mom, Jaleesa Martin, says she should be able to name her child whatever she wants. She is appealing the decision -- and continuing to call her son Messiah at home.

While there are no baby names banned by the federal government, New Zealand has a list of 77 names that may not be used. Iceland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden also all qualify a few names as no-nos for new parents.

What do you think of the judge’s decision?

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Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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