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Warning: Long Pointless Blog!

I, always having been a fan of Bob Marley's music, have only recently delved into the meanings behind some of the statements made by the man. Whether in interviews I've heard or in the very lyrics of his songs, these statements went basically unnoticed by me and many others, I am sure. In my own experience, I have realized that music tends to overshadow lyrics. What do I mean by this? What I mean is that if a song has music that appeals to me, I may very well find myself liking the song, learning the song, and singing along to the song all before I ever start to consider the very words that I am singing. Surely you have found yourself doing this. For example, driving down the road you look over at a stoplight to see a bearded man singing along to No Doubt's "I'm Just A Girl", or maybe you witness a little kid singing along to "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was a Freak like me?". My point is with music you will sing along many times over words and phrases that you wouldn't otherwise be caught speaking if they hadn't been put to a groovy beat.

Well, close to two years ago, I was listening to a local band named Jah Roots on a cd in which was given to me free of charge by the band after one of their local performances. The cd wasn't as good as the live show (which is usually the case). And, so, it brought more attention to what was being said since my living room where I was listening to it lacked the mindless ambience of the bar that the live show was held. So, finding it increasingly humorous the notion that these so-called Rastafarian Jamaican-accent carrying young men were really just a few white Parkview graduates that are about as cultured as any local cow you may find, I started to question what some of these words that they so aggressively repeated might mean. So, I start looking up these words. I basically find out that Rastafarianism is a religion. In fact, it's considered to be a religion by just about everyone but Rastafarians (they're very anti-religion). They carry many beliefs that make them stand out amongst other belief systems like the one that likens getting high on marijuana to getting closer to God. Furthermore, they believe that a past emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, is God incarnate. In other words, the messiah promised in the Bible to return. Of course, this emperor never claimed to be God. He was a member of a Christian church , in fact, that worshipped Jesus, but the Rastafarians saw the fact that he never claimed to be God as a sign that he really was. Hmmm... Now originally most Rastafarians believed that he was Jesus reincarnated. But, today, many believe that Jesus was merely a prophet and that this Haile Selassie I, was the Messiah.

Now, I have done a lot of research over the last couple years here and there reading about the subject. It turns out that Bob Marley wasn't really a Rastafarian. His wife was devout, apparently, and even claimed to have seen scars in Haile's palms the day he visited Jamaica in 1966, altough no other was able to support this. Also, it took an hour for Haile to be coaxed off the plane. He was fearful of the 100,000+ Rastafarians that had come to the airport to welcome his arrival. Doesn't sound like God incarnate to me, fearful of "his own" people. No, Selassie I was chosen to be worshipped by these people for another reason that I will touch on here in a minute.

I'm not trying to knock their belief system or anything, but it really is twisted in the biggest way. I like that they are spiritual and the music tends to be more worship-like than anything else with it's constant references to Jah, the Lord, and so forth, but there are still several songs that reveal a blatantly oblvious anti-Christian core belief. Let's take Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" for an example. In this song the following lines reveal a non-belief in any religion that claims Jesus as a Saviour or the way to heaven. It also, clearly states that God is a living man. This is a reference to Sellassie I.

"Most people think, Great God will come from the skies, Take away everything And make everybody feel high. But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth And now you see the light", "We sick an tired of-a your ism-skism game -Dyin n goin to heaven in-a jesus name, lord. We know when we understand: Almighty God is a living man. You can fool some people sometimes, But you cant fool all the people all the time. So now we see the light (what you gonna do? ), We gonna stand up for our rights!"

I was reading some articles that told about the origins of this religion, and found out that a lot of the anti-Christian views were brought on by racist mistreatment. The Roman Catholic Church was to blame for most of this. In 1936, the Pope supported and expressed his admiration to Benito Mussilini who had just "conquered" Ethiopa. Ethiopia was taken by force for no other reason than the greed for power. Mussilini wanted to create a new Roman Empire and was willing to take any land he could. Mustard gas was used and no prisoners were taken (everyone sick or captured was executed) directly violating the Geneva convention. Knowing that the Pope supprted such massacres, it is no wonder that so many rejected anything about Jesus.
Sellassie I was driven into exile for about 5 years until taking Ethiopia back after Musslini's assassination. He wound up being one of the most political influential people in history according to Time magazine and was accepted by so many as a "Black Jesus". I read a pretty good article about this online that you can check out here if you're interested: http://www.cesnur.org/testi/rasta.htm

I'm such a talker that the first sentence to my last paragraph in every blog I write seems to start this way, but I'll still say it anyway: My point to this blog is... the only thing is that this time I don't really have a point. I just find the whole subject rather interesting since I have been listening to Rasta music for a long time. Though I heard the phrase "Selassie I" thousands of times in various Rasta music, I never knew he was a man who they are basically worshipping as God, Jah, or whatever they choose to call him. The fact is that he openly said that he was not God incarnate and was no one's saviour. He even tried to lead the Jamaicans to his Christian Orthodox beliefs during his 1966 visit, but they wouldn't listen. They were and are desperate for what God has for them, but they were offended by those who claimed Christianity and could not let go of their offense to see that the ones who did the offending were not properly representing Christ.

2 comments:

Craziness. Wish everyone could see and admit the truth, they would be much happier. Love you.

I do tend to sing songs not thinking about what I'm singing...at times I may even be singing the wrong words. Anyway, this blog is interesting thatnks for the insight. If I may add I do listen to Bob Marley and my favorite song is "No Woman No Cry." Now I'm going to have to go listen to the words and see what exactly I've been singing about.

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