Abuse of power is a common complaint concerning our judiciary system. Sometimes, these grievances are frivolous, but in some cases, these criticisms are unequivocally accurate. Just recently, the latter has proven to be true.
Last week, a "child support magistrate" in Tennessee ordered that the birth certificate of an infant be altered. The child's parents raised the case to the magistrate's attention because of their inability to decide which last name the child should receive. Rightfully, the judge came to a decision regarding the surname, but in the midst, decided the child's first name was inappropriate given her own (and the county's) strong religious beliefs. Young Messiah DeShawn McCullough was renamed Martin because the judge believed the child would have unfair expectations brought upon him with such a religious first name.
While I certainly don't think Messiah makes for a great first name, the parents should be the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to their own child. Apparently the magistrate didn't realize that "Messiah" is an up and comer in the baby naming department1 when she gave her seemingly illegal and non-secular order. Fortunately, mother knows best and has an appeal pending already.