A Tennessee judge has ordered a baby's first name changed from "Messiah" to Martin, saying that the only true messiah is Jesus Christ, a ruling the boy's mother promises to appeal, a Tennessee television station has reported.
The parents of Messiah DeShawn Martin went before Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew because they could not agree on the 7-month-old's last name.
Ballew instead last week ordered the baby's name changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough, the Tennessee television station WBIR reported.
"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," Ballew told WBIR.
Ballew, who could not be reached for comment on Sunday, said the child would likely struggle with his given first name because he lives in Cocke County, a predominantly Christian area in eastern Tennessee.
"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," Ballew said.