Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

May 11, 2013

GLOBAL FAITHS: Rastafari faithful believe Ethiopian emperor is the Messiah

(Continued)

With a few possible exceptions, Rastas do not use houses of worship. They do, however, have gatherings, and these are marked by the smoking of “ganja,” marijuana, which is practically a sacrament with them.

They justify this by citing biblical texts such as Genesis 1:29, where God says, “I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth.” Or Psalm:104:14, “He [God] causeth the grass to grow for cattle, and herb for the service of man.”

As for the dreadlocks, they invoke a biblical text such as Numbers 6:5, “… There shall no razor come upon his head…. He shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow,” even though this text refers to the Nazirite vow in ancient Israel.

As for diet, Rastas avoid shellfish and pork. Some, in fact, are vegetarian because meat is associated with the death of animals. Rastas have an eloquent table prayer which I heard when hosting a Rasta for lunch in Kingston in the early 1970s.

Also characteristic of Rastas is their use of “I” instead of “me,” and “I’n I” instead of “we” or “us.” They avoid the objective case because, they say, “I’n I” are subjects, not objects.

The Rasta movement is still around in Jamaica, and followers of this movement can also be found in the United States and Canada as well as in numerous countries of Africa.

Marlin Jeschke is professor emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at Goshen College. He taught at the college for 33 years. In 1968-69, he received a fellowship in Asian Religions to study Islam and Buddhism, spending five months at the Center for the Study of Religions and Harvard Divinity School and then five months traveling in Muslim countries of the Middle East, and Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia) and Japan. He is also the author of several books.

Text Only
Local News
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow