When the mother and father of a new born child in Tennessee could not agree on which surname the child should have, they went to court. However, when the judge heard that his first name was Messiah, she ordered that it be changed to Martin and include both surnames. The judge explained that only Jesus Christ had earned the right to that name. Many people of other religious beliefs might disagree. In other states, it is possible to call your son Messiah. The name has risen from 633 most popular in 2010 to 387 in 2012 according to the official website of the US Social Security. Arya has risen most among female names, probably due to the popularity of “A Game of Thrones”. There are laws in many countries prohibiting people from giving certain names to their children. Originally Sweden introduced the law to prevent commoners giving royal names to their offspring. Life was so much easier when you could tell a person’s rank from their name. Sweden has used that law to prevent parents calling their children Metallica and Superman. New Zealand too controls what names parents can bestow on their fortunate children. They have turned down Lucifer, Messiah, Queen Victoria, Christ, President and *. However, they did slip up a few times and allowed twins called Benson and Hedges and an unfortunate child called Number 16 Bus Shelter. Back in Tennessee, the mother of Martin, formerly known as Messiah, is appealing the case. She should get a t-shirt made stating “I have not the Messiah” on the front and “I’m a very naughty girl” on the back.
I thought all parents had an unlimited license to name their children whatever bizarre name struck their fancy like Harper Seven, but not so in New Zealand where the name Lucifer is growing in popularity. There were three requests there for babies to be given that name, but all were turned down along with Messiah and many other strange names like * and /. Previously however, they did allow Violence and Number 16 Bus Shelter, so it seems a bit inconsistent. Is there a ban on just some biblical names? Would Herod be allowed, or how about Jezebel? I presume Jesus is allowed. I really like the name Jezebel, along with the bad girl connotations but strangely it has never been very popular. They say that having a crazy name can lead to trauma in later life, so perhaps it is a way of protecting children from their crazy parents, but surely there should be clearer guidelines on what is not acceptable.