Messiah was the #4 fastest rising boy’s name in 2012, according to the Social Security Administration. But, Tennessee Judge Lu Ann Ballew changed a 7-month old child’s name from Messiah to Martin, according to an article on Huffington Post.
Ballew said the name Messiah could cause problems if the child grows up in Cocke County, which has a large Christian population. “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 judge said.
“The Latest Popularity Trends” in the most recent edition of 100,000+ Baby Names refers to fast-rising boys’ names like Messiah, King, and Prince as “pompous titles.” Names like that have the potential to offend others and distort the self-image of children who bear those names. Children with pompous names may get the impression that they are superior to other people–and treat them disrespectfully.
Judge Ballew settled the issue with a common-sense ruling by changing the infant’s name from Messiah to Martin. The boy’s mother is planning to appeal the decision.