When you hear that a Tennessee judge decided to unilaterally change a baby's name from Messiah to Martin — without being prompted by anyone, including the parents — it seems to make no sense at all. How could she do this? Why does she care?
But it all starts to come together as you watch this local news report. The judge, Lu Ann Ballew, has a little Jesus figurine on her desk. The Ten Commandments are hung up on the wall of her office. The earrings she wore the day of the interview — and probably every day? — are crosses. She explains her decision by insisting, completely straight-faced, that Messiah is "a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ."
When asked if they were concerned about personal religious beliefs undermining their secular laws, Tennesseans responded, "Oh, don't worry, we're super vigilant about Sharia around here."