5.17.2005

What Would Jesus Drive?



Jesus Christ Battling for His Name in US

from AFP

WASHINGTON - Jesus Christ is having trouble convincing US courts to let him keep his name.

It's not the Messiah who is facing this problem, of course, but an American small business owner who, some 15 years ago, adopted the name of the Christian God's son.

The man, born Peter Robert Phillips Jr., started his legal battle in 2003 when authorities in West Virginia refuses to put his godly name on the property he bought in the southern state.

While his new name was on his passport, driver's license, and social security card, the local authorities asked him for official proof of his name change.

So Jesus went to a district court in Washington, where he currently lives and where he has now been fighting a two-year battle to use his Biblical name.

"The judge wrote a lengthy opinion citing scriptures, the Bible and so on, to show that taking the name of Jesus Christ is blasphemy and therefore by extrapolation will cause violent reaction," Jesus Christ's attorney, Afshin Pishewar, said Tuesday.

The US capital "permits a common law name change at will. You can change your name as long as it's not for a fraudulent purpose," Pishewar said.

An appeals court overturned the judge in late April, and a new hearing should take place in the next two months, the attorney said.

"We've been remanded for a second coming," he said. "We look forward to the hearing so we can have redemption."

Jesus Christ, described by his attorney as a "devout" Christian, adopted the name to "express his respect and love for his religion."

But the white haired man in his 50s, who drives a bus for mentally handicapped people, is a "private man" and would not speak with reporters, Pishewar said.

"Jesus is not speaking to the press at this time," he said.

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