Imagine growing up and being teased because you have the same name as the famous Reindeer who gets picked on and teased at because of his bright red-nose and his affiliation to a jolly fat man.
And who doesn’t know THAT song: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer…has a very shiny nose….
So yeah, it’s my fault I named my son Rudolph, a name he doesn’t really love mostly because he’s always compared to a Christmas pet and has to deal with kids singing that darn Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer ditty all Christmas season long. I apologize now and forever my dear son. Actually blame your dad Rudolph. And his dad Rudolph (grandfather) and HIS dad Rudolph (great-grandfather)! I named my son after the man I adore the most – my husband. It only seemed like the right thing to do.
But I knew he’d eventually have an issue with his name, which is the reason why we call him by his middle name Jonous or Jo-Jo for short. (Jonous is his other great-grandfather’s name). But here’s the problem, in school the teachers call him his name Rudolph and yesterday I overheard a funny comment by my 5-year-old when he confided in his sister and said, “I hate that my teacher calls me Rudolph.”
My heart sank. A thought even entered my head to get his name changed to Jonous Rudolph Smith so at least his first name would be officially Jo-Jo. And only I and his dad hold that right to change my son’s name. So can you imagine going to court and having a judge change your child’s name completely because he decided that your child didn’t deserve that name?
Well yes that really happened in Tennessee!
In Newport, Tennessee, Jaleesa Martin was ordered to change her 7-month-old baby boy’s name from Messiah to Martin. Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the name change, stating only one person deserved that name, “and that one person is Jesus Christ.”
Baby Messiah’s parents were in court because they could not agree on his last name. Instead of just changing the last name, Judge Ballew ordered the baby’s name to be changed to Martin DeShawn McCullough, which was an inclusion of both parents’ last names.
Well I’ll be damned.
Judges now rein over our homes, our kids and our personal beliefs? First of all I don’t care what you believe but it doesn’t mean that I believe the same thing! Who says that your belief as a Christian is the law of the land? This woman could very well be a Muslim, a Buddist or Atheist for all I care and no one has the right to say that Christ is the only one who deserves that name — not even a judge. And I can’t say law-abiding judge because all kinds of laws were broken when that mom’s right and freedom to chose a fitting child name was snatched right up from under her.
If I was this mother, they would have to contain me because it would be an all-out media outcry of epic proportions. Oh, yes I’d be right on those courthouse steps invoking my right to protest that judge until she was booted OUT of her chambers!
I hate debating religion with people because die-hard religious people will get into heated debates to influence you to think like them. But here’s the thing: we must ALL respect the fact that our BELIEFS are just that– A BELIEF! Did we forget what that means? Just because you BELIEVE it doesn’t make it TRUE! That’s why there are so many religions and denominations. People do not agree and we should all respect that and NOT impose our belief on others. And that’s just what that judge did. She believes in Jesus. But what if that mother DOES NOT? What if that mother doesn’t believe any of it and that name Messiah does not hold the same meaning that it does for the judge. And I THOUGHT a judge was supposed to be objective?
This case just burns me up. And it will be revisited on September 17th. What’s wrong with folks in the world.?
As for my son and the name he does not want to be called — He’ll have to get used to it. Because although he’s not named a religious name like Messiah, he too was name after a King 😉
BMWK contributed to this report