Activist Judge Alert

I’m sorry, but if I wanted to name my kid Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli Lord Of The Dawn, I don’t see what business it is of some Tennessee judge:

(WBIR-Newport) A Newport mother is appealing a court’s decision after a judge ordered her son’s name be changed from “Messiah.”

Jaleesa Martin and the father of Messiah could not agree on a last name, which is how they ended up at a child support hearing in Cocke County Chancery Court on Thursday.

That is when the first name came into question.

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew serves the 4th Judicial District of Tenn. including the following counties: Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier.

The name change was part of Judge Ballew’s case; however, the parents did not think the first name would be changed.

Judge Ballew ordered the 7-month-old’s name be “Martin DeShawn McCullough.” It includes both parent’s last names but leaves out 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 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.”

If there’s one lesson to be learned from this story, it’s this: try to settle these things yourselves, people. Once you choose to let the court decide you’ve put yourself at the mercy of all sorts of wackadoodle.

How, Judge Ballew, can you justify this judicial overreach? She says:

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.

“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,” Judge Ballew said.

Seriously, what the hell country does Judge Ballew think this is, Sweden?

Yo Judge Ballew: Blanket and Prince Jackson, North West, Pilot Inspektor Lee and Moxie Crimefighter Jillette all called. They want you to stick to the stuff you were asked to rule on and keep your big nose out of the rest.


Meanwhile in Nashville, a 31.4-pound cat named Buddha is about to start a diet and exercise regime. Wonder if they’ll change his name after he loses his Buddha belly?


Filed under religion, Tennessee

20 responses to “Activist Judge Alert

  1. Parents who want to name their kids stupid things that may damage the kid once they reach school shouldn’t be regulated by the judicial system. Though if it was really bad, say “Iamanidiot” or “Useless” I might be able to conceive of it as child abuse needing some kind of adjudication.

    • Erm … meet Ima Hogg, the “first lady of Texas,”

      Ima Hogg (July 10, 1882 – August 19, 1975), known as “The First Lady of Texas”,[1] was an American philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts, and one of the most respected women in Texas during the 20th century.[2] Hogg was an avid art collector, and owned works by Picasso, Klee, and Matisse, among others. Hogg donated hundreds of pieces of artwork to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts and served on a committee to plan the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An enthusiastic collector of early American antiques, she also served on a committee tasked with locating historical furniture for the White House. She restored and refurbished several properties, including the Varner plantation and Bayou Bend, which she later donated to Texas arts and historical institutions who maintain the facilities and their collections today. Hogg received numerous awards and honors, including the Louise E. du Pont Crowninshield Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Santa Rita Award from the University of Texas System, and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Southwestern University.

      Hogg was the daughter of Sarah Ann “Sallie” Stinson and James Stephen “Big Jim” Hogg, later Attorney General of Texas and Governor of the state. Ima Hogg’s first name was taken from The Fate of Marvin, an epic poem written by her uncle Thomas Hogg….

      • I know, but she had money. What if it’s obviously done to be cruel to the child? How about “Thislittlepieceofshit”? I don’t have the answer in every conceivable case and I think Messiah is in poor taste and the judge’s, uh, reasoning(?) is wrong but it’s not the kind of thing that can just have a flat rule applied.

        My brother’s comment when he heard this is, “Elected judges!”.

      • I think the fact that the parents are black and the judge is white is the elephant in the room here. I think people named Jaleessa have a much different perspective on what’s an appropriate name for your kid than do people named Lu Ann.

    • GregH

      Germany has a list of names you cannot use. For example, parents aren’t allowed to name a kid “Hitler.” I guess you could see how that might be a problem, right?

      • GregH

        However, if an adult wants to change his/her name to “Captain Awesome” for example, I think that would be…..awesome! lol

      • I can definitely see how that would be a problem. Wasn’t there someone who went to court to name his kid Hitler here in the US recently?

        That said, I don’t have a strong Libertarian streak in me but I do have one, and I don’t think it’s the government’s business what parents name their kids, unless a family member asks someone (like a judge) to intervene. If they’re going to say no to Hitler then it’s just a matter of time before they say no to anything — Marx, Che, Barack or Messiah.

        In this case the judge was asked to settle a dispute over the kid’s last name. The judge took it upon herself to decide she had a problem with the child’s first name, too — even though neither parent had a problem with it.

        Wonder if this judge has an issue with all of those Hispanic kids named Jesus?

  2. democommie

    ““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.”

    And she is, no sooprize, wrong about that:

    Not that it matters to her. A KKKristianist is all about the meaning being what they WANT it to be.

    • They’re all for small government until some African American family wants to name their baby Messiah. Then they’ve gotta step in …

    • So really Messiah would be a good label for the pizza delivery guy. “Heavenly Pizza brought to your front door by the Messiah.” (Dibs on the copyright.)

  3. Wonder if they’ll change his name after he loses his Buddha belly?

    They should keep it as long as he still has the Buddha nature.

  4. Jim in Memphis

    I always think of Dick Trickle (NASCAR driver) when bad naming stories come up. It is hard to believe he doesn’t go by Richard.

    • Wow I’ve never heard of Dick Trickle. Poor fella.

      I always think of Bill Lear, of Lear Jet fame (also invented the first car radio and 8 track tape). He named his daughter Chanda.

  5. UU4077

    Just for the judge’s information, Jesus’ name wasn’t Jesus Christ. Christ is a title. More properly it was Jesus “the” Christ. Or, if you will, Christ Jesus. Of course, there are also a lot of latinos running around named Jesus. I guess they’d better not show up in front of Juge Ballew.

  6. The number 1 problem in the USA these days is that we are so regulated (by laws, as well as activist judges) that stupid no longer hurts. We need to bring back survival of the fittest.

    <— Christian who is not at all offended by the kid's name, but is offended by the judge getting this one wrong. .

    • We need to bring back survival of the fittest.

      Pretty sure that biological principle will exist regardless. Have you read my Tennessee Gun Reports each week? A veritable cornucopia of Darwin Award winners.

  7. democommie

    Southern Beale:

    One small pedantic quibble. I think that to win a Darwin you must be AT LEAST maimed for life, if not dead. So, a “soupcon” more than a cornucopia. {;>)

    • scratchtype1

      As an additional pedantic quibble, must be maimed in such a way that the person cannot reproduce and pass on their genes to offspring.

  8. C B

    Last report I saw said the ACLU was willing to help her in appeal. You go, baby sister. Judge doesn’t know the difference between appropriate and opprobrious, and gets to open her yap and change a baby’s name? I don’t think so.