Traverse City Record-Eagle


September 1, 2013

Fred Goldenberg: All in the name for some

On Alden Highway, between Alden and Bellaire, there is Messiah’s Tree Farm.

For as long as I can remember I’ve gotten a chuckle out of the name and had visions of a guy in a long white robe, flowing silver hair, radiating a glow pruning the soon to be harvested Christmas trees. I don’t know who named it, nor have I ever been offended that they used the name Messiah for commercial purposes. For all I know, people may feel that their tree has a higher spiritual content because of it.

Now comes along Tennessee judge Lu Ann Ballew who told Jallesa Martin that she could not name her 7-month old baby Messiah DeShawn McCullough and he will be renamed Martin DeShawn McCullough. Ballew stated, from the bench, that the name was a title and it has “only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.”

Not many people have named the child Messiah but I did find one other. The Rapper T.I. has a seven year old son named Messiah.

What about the millions of Hispanic men named Jesus? If I were a Hispanic mother in front of Ballew and I was asked her babies name, I’d quickly say “ahhh...his name is Jes.., ummm Joe.”

I hate to tell Judge Ballew, but according to Google there are four people in the United States right now named Jesus Christ. While the name Mohammed is ranked 430th most popular in the United States, it has shot up to the number one boys name in England.

For as long as people gave names to individuals (instead of pointing and grunting) there have been some really crazy names. Celebrities are the all-time leaders in name craziness. Detroit Tiger fans cheer a Prince; Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have a newborn named North; Penn Jillette and wife Emily Zollen named their daughter Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette; David Bowie and wife Angela named their son Zowie Bowie; and who can forget Frank Zappa’s Daughter Moon Unit Zappa. We even had the singer Prince change his name to some unpronounceable symbol, which was later, dubbed “love symbol #2” and that became too weird for even him and he changed it back.

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