Monday, August 12, 2013

A Boy Named Messiah

Newly minted 'Martin'  - Heidi Wigdahl / WBIR-TV via AP

Reuters reported today that

Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew has ruled on the name of a child. 

 The parents of Messiah DeShawn Martin had gone to court because they could not agree on the last name of the baby. Lu Ann decided the proposed first name, "Messiah" was inappropriate although it was the name the mother and father actually agreed upon. Lu Ann justified her ruling thusly: "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." 

Lu Ann seems to not have noticed names like 'King' and 'Prince' and 'Duke' and 'Baron.'  These are also "titles." 

Lu Ann also seems unaware that the name 'Martin' is derived from the Roman god Mars, the god of war.  How much more appropriate is this name for an American child! He shall bring War, not Deliverence.

Mars, 1st century, found in the Forum of Nerva (Capitoline Museums, Rome)

So Lu Ann decided to pull a new first name out of her ass and changed 'Messiah' to 'Martin." The baby's new name is: Martin DeShawn McCullough, using components of the feuding parents' names. She based her ruling on religious (and perhaps racial) prejudice and profound ignorance.  It has not been revealed if little Messiah/Martin has been circumcised. It is an object lesson for people to avoid going to court lest such unanticipated consequences arise.

Circumcision of Christ, detail from Twelve Apostles Altar (Zwölf-Boten-Altar). Painting by Friedrich Herlin of Nördlingen, 1466.

Just what does the word 'messiah' really mean?
It just means anointed. Babies get anointed with Johnson & Johnson's© baby oil every day. 
Big deal. And people wonder why I believe Christians are crazy. 

From the Online Etymological Dictionary we learn the etymology of the word messiah: c.1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic meshiha and Hebrew mashiah "the anointed" (of the Lord), from mashah "anoint." This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ). In Old Testament prophetic writing, it was used of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation. The modern English form represents an attempt to make the word look more Hebrew, and dates from the Geneva Bible (1560). Transferred sense of "an expected liberator or savior of a captive people" is attested from 1660s.

The term is not exclusively religious. It is not exclusively Christian. 
There is no registered trademark "Messiah." (I don't think.) 
Even the Jewish mashiach is not supposed to be God or a spiritual savior. 
His role will be mostly political. 

OK. I just looked up "Messiah" as a trademark and the word is used in many trademarks. 
Lookie Here! found at

Right Click to Expand

 I don't know the legal status of naming your kid after a trademarked word. It must be OK. 
Isn't it?
Doing a little research at the social security administration's website I found that the top year for naming babies Messiah was in 2006 when 800 incarnated spirits arriving in America were so named. Many of them were females. 

No comments: