By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter
NEWPORT (WATE) – A mother who was ordered by a judge to change her baby's name from Messiah to Martin will be back in court on Wednesday. The Cocke County woman is appealing the decision. The judge said the name would offend local citizens, as it's a name held by Jesus Christ.
"He's 8 months old, he's crawling, and he has three teeth now. He got all of them in 5 days," said Jaleesa Martin, holding and telling us about her baby. A baby who actively responds to the name Messiah.
She says she wants to stick to the name she picked.
Mother of baby named Messiah back in court Wednesday. Court paperwork shows a Cocke County judge originally ruled the name Messiah was fine. But then she went back on her decision, telling the baby's mother Messiah was offensive.
"I really don't find it offensive at all. And I really don't think what I name my child should offend anyone. There's people who name their kids crazy names. I don't have a problem with it. So they should not have a problem with what I name my child," Jaleesa said.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee is backing the family's appeal.
According to Social Security Administration, "Messiah" was the fourth fastest rising name for a boy, over a one year period.
"I have high hopes it works," the mother said.
She says she wants to set aside the controversy so she can focus on caring for her 8-month-old.
The mother says she's heard from a lot of people who are Christians who have told her they disagree with the judge's decision.
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