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Judge Kills ‘Messiah’

August 12, 2013

It’s old news by now.

A privileged judge in Tennessee orders a child’s name to be changed from Messiah Deshawn Martin to Martin DeShawn McCullough. Yesha Callahan (and /or her editor) puts that this way:  “Judge Orders Black Mom to Change Baby’s Name From ‘Messiah’.” And Tommy Christopher goes beyond the obvious by adding, “Aside from the obvious imposition of her own religion (‘Messiah’ is not a term exclusively reserved for Jesus), the judge’s actions evoke the sick specter of slave owners enforcing name changes on their slaves, while also resting on the dubious legal theory that a proper name that’s also a title must be earned.”


The judge says:


I saw it out into the future. The word Messiah is a title, and it’s a title that’s only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ. That could put him at odds with a lot of people, and, at this point, he has had no choice in what his name is. Well, I thought about that [children are named /he suz/ Jesus] as well, um, and that’s not relevant to this case.

And Messiah’s mother responds by appealing:

I didn’t think a [state] judge could make me change my baby’s name because of her religious beliefs.


What is there to add except a few graphs showing how Americans (including some Tennesseans we presume) are naming their babies? The data are from the U.S. Social Security Administration and are charted via

Here is what we know about Messiah.

Here is what we know about Deshawn.

Here is Deshawn compared with Messiah.


Here is Jesus compared with Messiah.


Here is the name the judge’s mother gave her.

Lu Ann

Here is the name the judge’s mother gave her compared with the name that the judge took away from the baby of the other mother.


In case there’s any question, mothers in America are naming their baby boys Messiah at a rate so fast that it’s the fourth fastest growing name in terms of popularity. Lu Ann may decline in popularity, we predict.

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