I’m the first to make fun of parents who, for the life of me I don’t know why, decide to give their children the dumbest names. I don’t have to name off a list, everyone knows what I’m talking about.
But mocking and ridicule are a giant leap away from ruling that someone, under penalty of law, must change their baby’s name. Cue the crazy judge from Tennessee who just crossed that line, from the local NBC station:
A Newport mother is appealing a court’s decision after a judge ordered her son’s name be changed from “Messiah.”
. . .
“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.
Martin [the father] responded saying, “I was shocked. I never intended on naming my son Messiah because it means God and I didn’t think a judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs.”
According to Judge Ballew, it is the first time she has ordered a first name change. She said the decision is best for the child, especially while growing up in a county with a large Christian population.
I agree that strange names can cause problems for children as they grow up. But as much as I hate the name, it isn’t our place to force the parents to change it. From a legal stand point this Judge doesn’t have a pulpit to stand on. I don’t know if she missed the day the First Amendment was covered in law school, but she may want to take a refresher course.
It is also worthwhile to know that, according to Slate, 700 children where named Messiah in 2012, and the world didn’t come to an end. I guess when some people speak of the freedom of religion, what they really mean is the freedom to impose their religion on you. I find this also comes with an amendment; they get to make up the rules as they go along.