I’d never heard of Tennessee Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew until yesterday. Then she committed an act that was both malakatudinous and unconstitutional, which is a tricky feat to accomplish. That’s why Ms. Ballew is malaka of the week.
A judge in Tennessee ordered that a 7-month-old baby’s name be changed from “Messiah,” prompting the mother to challenge the ruling.
Jaleesa Martin and the father of the baby were attending a child support hearing Thursday in Cocke County, Tenn. to settle a dispute over Messiah’s last name. It was there that Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew took the liberty to hand down a ruling on the boy’s first name, too.
“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, according to t.v. station WBIR. Ballew said the child could go by “Martin DeShawn McCullough,” which includes both the mother and father’s names.
The judge said that growing up with the name “Messiah” in an area with a large Christian population “could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is.”
Who knew that a judge could impose a name on parents thereby infringing their right to be stupid?The ACLU and I both think that Lu Ann Ballew it in this ruling.
Do I think Messiah is a good name for a kid? Hell no, it’s preposterous, but as the resident of a city where there are many strange names floating around-from Trellis to Formica Dinette-I think that people have the right to give their children ridiculous names. I suspect that Ms.Ballew is *against* guvmint intrustions in other areas, so she should back off on this one.
I realize that bible belt conservatives do not get the concept of the separation of church and state, but rarely are they as open in their malakatude as this. The wall between church and state is designed to *protect* religion from Kings who decide they want a divorce from a queen who hasn’t given them a male heir. That’s right, folks, Henry VIII is the godfather of the separation of church and state. (Btw, who’s your favorite screen/teevee Henry? I’m torn between handsome but historically inaccurate Jonathan Rhys Meyersand Ray Winstone who has the girth but is way too working class, mate.)
I must admit to being astonished that Messiah is actually a popular name for male babies, but if someone wants their kid to develop a messiah complex or get pansted because of their name, that’s their right. Our culture has customarily disfavored the use of Messiah-like names for our kids. I recall being amazed that Hay-soos Alou’s (the lesser of 3 brothers who came up with the San Francisco Giants in the 1960s) name was actually Jesus. In fact, some announcers called him Jay because they could. At least they didn’t call him Chico…
Finally, the other reason I picked Lu Ann Ballew as this week’s dishonoree is that I get to make a double obscure pop culture reference/riff on her name. She made me think of Luanne on King of the Hillwho would have been quite capable of naming a progeny Messiah, and cult rock icon Adrian Belewwho probably wouldn’t do so such a thing but ya never know. All I know for sure is that the Judge Ballew it in this case, which is why she’s malaka of the week.
I’ll let Adrian and his daughter have the last word: