CNN‘s L.Z. Granderson says a Tennessee judge overstepped her bounds when she ordered a mother to change her son’s name from Messiah. “Ultimately what we name our children is no one else’s business,” he writes, and it’s certainly not something in which the government should be involved.
In an egregious abuse of power, Lu Ann Ballew, a child support magistrate serving the 4th Judicial District of Tennessee, recently took it upon herself to rename Jaleesa Martin’s child because according to Ballew, the name Martin originally chose “has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ.”
Now admittedly if you’re going to name your child “Messiah,” as Martin did, you should expect some raised brows. Maybe even from the father, though reportedly the case was brought to Ballew because of a dispute over the child’s last name, not the first.
“I was shocked,” Martin said. “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.”
She can — and did — but shouldn’t have. In all likelihood, Ballew’s ruling naming the child “Martin DeShawn McCullough” will be overturned in an appeal, and the fiasco will go down as a waste of taxpayer dollars. All of which serves as an uneasy reminder that separation of church and state is an ongoing process.
Read L.Z. Granderson‘s entire piece at CNN.
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