OK Here’s the deal…one of my friends is considering legally changing his name to Jesus Christ. He claims that he should be able to. I however think that Jesus Christ must be somehow restricted to be used.
We surfed the web for hours and can not find any mentioning of that being a restricted/prohibited name…
So is there anybody out there who can help us figure this out?
Since laws do differ by state, I ought to mention that we will be using either MD or DC Court for the name change…
He can legally do so, but I’m sure there’d be a lot of public outcry and he may end up being forced to change it back. When in doubt, he could always have his last name as “Of Nazarath” instead of “Christ.”
It’s more like ‘hay-zeus’ but that’s besides the point. That’s the actual proper way to pronounce the name. The pronounciation of “gee-zuss” is just an Anglicised version (i.e., English-ed version), because Brits generally can’t pronounce words of other languages correctly (or at least I’ve never met a Brit who could).
The first name would be fine, but the last name would cause the ruckous.
I currently see 5 Americans listed as Jesus Christ in on-line phone books. They live in the following places CA, DC, FL, WV and ME. None of them are Jesus H. Christ. You could look them up, write them and ask them what it’s like living with that name.
In the 1990 census Christ was the 4,975th most common surname in the US. Jesus is the 129th most common male first name in the US.
Precedent seems to be on your friends side. Some states or the district may require him to show a reasonable reason for the name change. I’d say you might want to try and contact the Jesus Christ from DC and see how he did it. He might be nice and help you. I found him through Ancestry.com.
If Prince can change his name to a symbol, I do not see any legal reason that your friend couldn’t go by the name “Jesus Christ”. After all, aren’t there lots of “Mohammeds” and “Allahs”? However, I do not recommend walking in a church on a Sunday morning and announcing “Hi! I’m Jesus Christ!” That could get you a good ass-whopping in some parts of the country.
Well phone books are one of the few sources I have immediate access too. Generally people are really shy about letting indexes with personal info out there. Which is why Texas and several other states pulled all their birth indexes off line which would be useful to take.
I can say there isn’t one in the Social Security Death Index.
I remember reading some reporter’s account of asking one of Prince’s people how to pronounce that symbol. The reply was something like “any way you want to.” I wish I had been there so I could have said “Oh, I see–‘asshole’.”