12.23.2005

Good News: Now If Jesus Actually Answers Your Prayers, You May Not Have Schizophrenia! Bad News: You Have an Intruder!

Judge Lets Man Change Name to Jesus Christ

from The Associated Press

NEW YORK - A Manhattan man's holiday spirits soared to celestial heights Friday when a judge gave him permission to change his name to Jesus Christ.

Jose Luis Espinal, 42, of Washington Heights, said he was "happy" and "grateful" that the judge approved the change, effective immediately. Espinal said he was moved to seek the name change about a year ago when it dawned on him, "I am the person that is that name."

Espinal, who acted as his own lawyer, got the change approved by Manhattan Civil Court Judge Diane Lebedeff, who said she was "satisfied that this application is neither novel, nor would granting it pose practical problems."

The judge said name change applications usually are not denied just because the change might cause practical difficulties or be thought unwise, as long as a person with the same name does not object to the proposed change.

She cited a 2001 Utah case in which a man legally changed his name to "Santa Claus" and a Washington, D.C., case earlier this year in which a name change applicant obtained a driver's license and Social Security card in the name of "Jesus Christ."

Espinal, who is unemployed and unmarried and has no children, said, "This was not done for any reason other than I am that person. You're dealing with the real deal."


Espinal leaves the courthouse.

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