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Should a Tennessee judge be allowed to rule that a baby cannot be named Messiah?

  • The US could take a page from the book of some other countries.

    Let's face it- we are really screwing up our kids with some of the crap parents name them now. Many nations have laws prohibiting certain types of baby names, due to how they can affect the child.

    In Sweden you can't name your kid anything that is offensive or "can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name." Rejected names under this law- Superman, Ikea, and Metallica.

    In Germany you have to be able to tell the child's gender by their name and it can't be anything that could negatively affect his or her wellbeing. You also can't use products or place names.

    New Zealand's is pretty rational: You can't name a kid anything that "might cause offence to a reasonable person; or [...] is unreasonably long; or without adequate justification, [...] is, includes, or resembles, an official title or rank." That leaves out a heck of a lot of names of American kids.

    Denmark's is a bit too restrictive, though- they have a list of 7000 pre-approved names and for anything else you need special permission.

    We could do with a bit more restraint for the sake of the kids. Your idea of "creativity" is probably going to get the child mocked. When my son was born, the baby in the room next door was named "King My'Luv". Seriously, people? That kid is going to have a complex.

  • Yes, she should.

    Names that have powerful political, cultural, or religious connotations (Adolph, Lucifer, etc) are never a good idea, but parents do have the right o name their child that. With messiah, however, it is different. "Messiah" is a title, and for that reason alone should not be allowed as a child's legal name. Parents have attempted to call their children such names as anus, 3, and even (bear with me here) Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116. Yes that's spelled correctly, and it's pronounced "Albin". Naming a child "Doctor", "Mister", or "Senator" would be no different than naming them "Messiah".

  • Powerful Names Should be Avoided

    I agree that names like Adolf, Hitler, and apparently Messiah if it offends people should be put into the hands of a judge to decide. Messiah can be an offensive name and therefore should be considered by courts. The judge is supposed to make what he believes in a decent and ethical decision and if they don't agree with his decision they can appeal the case. Americans are so intense with our freedom of speech that we feel even thing that appears to be an attack on it will lead to the doom of our liberties. Sometimes we must be kept in check because we are thinking to much about our selves.

  • Yes, he/she should

    Seeing as Messiah is a title associated with the Christian religion, a huge amount of people could logically be extremely offended. That's like naming a child President, or Emperor, or Prime Minister. It's a title, not a name, and the kid would grow up bullied and made fun of for it, if not worse.

  • I understand that this impedes on certain freedoms, but I also think that children should be protected from having stupid names.

    It's not as if the child is choosing the name himself, it's the parents. I wouldn't want to be named Messiah, I think it would cause unnecessary attention and possibly lead on to bullying. This could especially happen in a Southern State where some fundamentalist Christians could interpret the child's name as blasphemous. Try put yourselves in the child's shoes, would you want to carry this as your first name? No. So would this decision be protecting the child or would it be impeding on somebody's freedoms? To be honest, I could live without the freedom of being able to give my child a ridiculous name. Besides, nobody said anything when George Bush passed the patriot act, now during such a minor example as this one, everybody is up in arms. Face it people, your biggest loss of freedom happened when you let your government run rampant post 9/11.

  • Some people may find the name offensive.

    I'll make it short. There are many people that would find a baby named Messiah offensive, especially religious people. A Messiah is a saviour or liberator of a group of people. What if this kid turns out to be a criminal? People could take this baby, if he grows up to be a bad person, to be discriminating their religions. Since this name could be offensive, this judge has the right to change the baby's name.

  • Doctrine of Paternalism

    Naming a child is considered very important nowadays and many would consider it a momentous occasion for a parent. Yet,
    The word 'Messiah' has very powerful connotations relating to Jesus Christ, a saviour and a liberator of people.
    Although one might argue that the naming of a child should always remain with the parents of the child - the state must intervene when this gets out of hand. Aside from 'ridiculous' name-calling, this is truly serious - especially in the United States where there is a large Christian population.
    The state is simply intervening to ensure that the child does not get bullied for such a name, and we must put into consideration the fact that 'Messiah' is not really a name, but a title. Thus through the doctrine of paternalism, the state is protecting the child and his future. Imagine the bearing on his entire life - being judged by people who he has never met before who may expect great or extraordinary things from him simply based on his name. The parents still have every right to choose another name for him, yet it shouldn't be one that can cause so much controversy.

    Posted by: Shez
  • This isn't about children; this is about freedom!

    The US is gradually becoming less and less free than it used to be. Human rights: freedom of religion, opinion and expression. If a mother loves her religion as much as she loves her child, she should be allowed to express that in this way. Why should the child change his name just because OTHERS are rude and nasty. Surely the people who should change should be the ones who ARE being nasty.

  • Next Mexicans will not be able to name their sons Jesus.

    Not everyone is a Christian. I support not only freedom of religion, but freedom of belief. Freedom of belief extends rights to the nonreligious or people with beliefs that are not mainstream. Emmanuel means "God with us" and that is legal, so what is the problem? I support freedom. Word.

  • No way they should!

    Parents have a right to name their baby whatever they want, and adults have a right to change their name to anything they want. If you want to name your baby boy rhinocerous, I'm fine with that, it's just kinda weird. If you want to name your baby girl Edward, I'm also fine with that, it's still just kind of weird. And why should it matter if the poor boy's name is Messiah? It's not like people are ACTUALLY going to think that he is Jesus.

  • It could be positive; Child gets a thick skin

    The children could learn to be strong, to become emotionally indifferent to insults and criticisms and why not? There's no logical reason to get emotional over either of those things. It's better to consider such things rationally. The world would be a much better place if people's feelings didnt' get hurt over things like that, so anything that challenges a person into that direction of development is a good thing.

  • This is crazy!

    I can't believe a judge even has the right to do this? It's a parents right to name their kid whatever they want. I remember a story a while back where a family named their children Hitler and Stalin. I honestly don't remember what ever happened. In that respect I may have to agree because the kids will be tortured for the rest of their lives but the reason the judge gave for making them change this childs name is just wrong.

  • Of course not

    No legal institution should have a right to tell a parent what they cannot name their child. I don't care if it's an obscenity, offensive or even plain jibberish. Consequently, at any age a child or adult is competent enough to appeal to a court for a name change, even if they are five years old, and their name is something ostensibly silly, disreputable or provoking, a judge with any amount of common sense should grant that person the right to a different legal name of their choice.

  • I don't believe it's illegal.

    It's not illegal to name your baby whatever you want in America. So, why is the Judge getting involved, and he isn't the first baby named Messiah. In fact, since this got so much publicity I guarantee more people will name their children Messiah. Why are you trying to control someone's name, no matter how you feel about it. This is America, get over it.

  • While people may not like nor agree with the name,

    "Messiah", chosen by the child's parents, the judge had no legal basis for mandating the child's name be changed, when the case brought before the court was about the child's last name. Freedom of speech is still a protected right in America, and whether we like it or not, that protection extends to questionable names for children.

  • Since when can the government

    Say what we can and cannot name our children? This is a breach of the 1st amendment and parental rights. NOWHERE in the Constitution gives government the right to name our children.

    The idea that only Jesus is the "Messiah" is based upon religious views, not on secular views as defined in the constitution. IMPEACH THIS JUDGE

  • There is no reason to limit someone's name

    To tell you the truth I find the name a little ... Distasteful. However, my religious views are something to be discussed in anther place. My problem is that this judge stepped over a line that should never be crossed. If a parent wants to saddle their offspring with a ridiculous name that teachers can't pronounce and people will forever be saying "Uh, excuse me?" to, that is their prerogative. You can't seriously tell me that after choosing to name your child something like Quayshawn or Shaqueda, you would be okay with judge changing it (unbeknownst to you) to something like Quincy or Shanna? It seems cruel to name a child something ridiculous, but who am I (and who is that judge) to tell you not to? It's not abuse, per se, it's just mildly embarrassing and a little annoying.


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Anonymous says2013-08-14T22:23:41.720
First Amendment.
1dustpelt says2013-08-17T17:38:44.607
Muslims name their children Muhamed all the time