NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has told a Staten Island pastor and his wife that they cannot take the Lord’s name in vain.
Civil Court Judge Philip Straniere has ruled that Michael and Angela Nwadiuko could not change their last name to ChristIsKing. The judge cited the separation of church and state in his ruling earlier this month.
The couple expressed disappointment in the decision.
“It is not an indecent name, it is not an offensive name to anybody, it is not insulting anybody or their culture,” Michael Nwadiuko, a pastor of Christ the Lord Evangelistic Association, told 1010 WINS. “It is simply a name.”
“We met as a family and decided that this a name we like,” he added.
Nwadiuko is upset the name was rejected because of its religious connotation and insists his family is not trying to convert anyone to Christianity.
“This is an English world and we are Christians,” Nwadiuko said. “We are not ashamed that we are Christians and we’re not trying to make everybody become Christian, because not everybody will become Christian. We love people whether they are Christians or not.”
The couple’s request six years ago to change their son Jeremy’s first name to JesusIsLord also was denied by the same judge.
Their daughter’s name is Rejoice.
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