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PARALLELS:

CHRISTIANITY & RASTAFARI

Author: Ras Don Rico

 

PRELUDE: RasTafariIsHIM - History Lessons:

It is said – with some evidence for its enduring truth – that those who fail to learn the lessons of history, are doomed to make the same mistakes again…repeatedly. On the other hand, those who can See and Overstand the lessons of History – and I-Story, and particularly InI-Story – are provided with the opportunity to correct mistakes made in the ‘Past.’

Moreover, those who See and Overstand History’s lessons benefit from recognizing, not only what was done wrong in the ‘Past’ but also – and more importantly – what was done correctly and rightjustly; by the results of both that are evident in the ‘Present.”

The History (in fact, Histories) of what has become known as ‘Christianity’ (as with many “religions”) over the past two thousand years is/are increasingly available for anyone who wants to see, read, overstand, and repeat...or not. As the RasTafari Movement, which became evident in Jamaica in the 1930s, moves towards completing its first century; and as the many important similarities between “Christianity” and “RasTafarianism” become ever more apparent; and now that four generations of Jamaicans (at least) and others have experienced the impact of both “religions” on Jamaica and the world, this is clearly an appropriate time for RasTafari Thinkers to do some re-examination, re-evaluation, and re-calibration – in thinking and actions – of both of these significant realities.

InI have the benefit of two thousand years of hind-sight, and the present opportunity for foresight; to face the many challenging facts and often-difficult truths; about What InI have been doing, How, and Why…through the agency of Raspect, Clear-sight, and Far-Eye-Sight. And by so doing, resolve NOT to repeat the mistakes of the ‘Past’; towards the Good of Africa, Africans, and All Humanity.


PARALLELS:

CHRISTIANITY & RASTAFARI

Spiritual, Theological, Philosophical, Economic, Political, and Social Parallels Between the Rise and Spreading of 1st-Century Christianity and the Rise and Scattering of 20th century RasTafari Culture from Jamaica.

Recognizing clearllels between the 1st century Roman Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple,

Saul/Paul-led Genocide against Torah-Jewish Christians (Nazarenes/Nazarites, Ebionites, and Gnostics),

the Rise and Eventual Dominance of Paulian Greco-Romanized Christianity, and

the Destruction of Pinnacle, then AckeeWalk/Back-O-Wall/Dungle,

the Genocidal campaign against Black Garveyite RasTafarians in Jamaica,

and the Rise of (and potential dominance by) “Cross-over” supposedly “post-racial” Rastafarianism.

1st CENTURY PALESTINE

Roman imperialism in effect.

Palestinian-Jewish anti-colonial/anti-imperialist struggle develops, initiated by Macabees.

 

The Jerusalem Temple establishment bows to Rome.

 

Radical John the Baptist endorses the Christ/Messiah.

 

Yashua (Jesus) hailed as the “new” Divine Savior.

 

James and the Jerusalem Jewish-Christian church community established.

 

Destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.

 

Scattering of the early Christians.

 

Genocidal campaign led by Saul against early Jewish followers of Christ, for the Roman Colonial Govt.

 

“Saul” converted and changes to “Paul.”

 

Paul’s education, mobility, financial and social status, and metropolitan contacts enables Paulian expositions to dominate the new and emerging world-view,

now branded as “Christianity”

 

The Rise of Paulian Christianity.

A struggle over Christian orthodoxy develops. Cultural, social, and doctrinal differences arise.

Divergence.

 

Paul establishes himself as “cross-over’ voice of Jesus “to the Gentiles.”

 

Paulian antinomianism moves away from Jerusalem-centered, fundamental, Mosaic-focused Church.

 

 

Paul’s Roman education and citizenship, with Greek-Roman-influenced philosophy and culture, facilitates fast global spread of Paulian Christianity via global (Roman) system of communications (roads etc), ‘mass reproduction’ of books via scriptoria, and by the global spread of Jewish literature.

 

 

20th CENTURY JAMAICA

European imperialism in effect.

African-Jamaican anti-colonial/anti-imperialist  struggle develops, initiated by Maroons.

 

The Jamaican Religious establishment bows to 'Rome.'

 

Radical Marcus Garvey endorses the Negus Messiah.

 

Rastafari-Haile Selassie hailed as “new” Divine Savior.

 

Howell and the Original Jamaican Rasta fellowship  community established.

 

Destruction of the Pinnacle community.

 

Scattering of the early RasTafarians.

 

Genocidal campaign led by Jamaicans against early Rastafarians, for British-Jamaican Colonial Govt.

 

“Up-Town” youths converted and change to “Roots.”

 

Up-Town youths’ education, mobility, financial and social status, and metropolitan contacts enables TTOI* expositions to dominate the new and emerging world-view,

now branded as “Rasta.”

 

The Rise of Bourgeois Rastafarianism.

 

A struggle over Rastafari orthodoxy develops. Cultural, social, and doctrinal differences arise.

Divergence.

 

The TTOI* establishes itself as “cross-over” voice of Rastafari “to the world.”

 

TTOI-style antinomianism moves away from Jamaica-centered, Garveyite-Black-focused, RasTafarianism.

 

TTOI’s educated members, and social status, with African-American influenced reggae music and culture facilitates fast global spread of TTOI Rastafarianism via global (European) communications, recording, and reproduction technologies and by the international spread of Reggae Music.

 

 

ADDENDUM BY RAS JAHAZIEL

After being subjected to relentless terrorism, the Rastafari movement was driven to choose between the carrot and the stick just like early Christians. There were two choices on the table: Adopt a Christian stance and avoid persecution or retain your strong Garveyite mission and feel the stick.

It was observed everywhere on the plantation that Christians were no longer persecuted, for Christianity was now  considered by the Roman authorities to be

A NON-THREATENING-TO-ROME RELIGION.

It had become so from the day that Paul the persecutor became its main mouthpiece and Rome became its main guardian.

But how can a movement for African liberation be truly NON-SUBVERSIVE to the colonial order without departing  from its African liberation intent?

From the time it becomes  non-subversive it becomes

PART OF THE SYSTEM

that perpetuates oppression while encouraging non-threatenting-to-Rome religion.

After generations of such departure it would eventually be seen as normal  to be counted amongst the friends of Rome who would be quite willing and eager to DISCOVER you.

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