A fellow Ras, has noted some very important questions that those of us seasoned in the Rastafari faith need to look at and address. This is a personal and mystic trod, we have a duty to be heartfelt and honest in what we can do for the progress of Righteousness, The Earth, Africa and Christianity, thru reasoning and planning and action. Because some of these questions are faith based they will be answered by experience and may differ from others due to experiences. I thank Gebre Medhim Samuel for his care and attention in these spiritual matters.
Topics for discussion amongst all Rastafari in light of the forthcoming 50th Anniversary celebrations of His Imperial Majesty visit to the Caribbean in April 1966:
1. Is Atse Haile Selassie descended from the union of Solomon and Sheba as presented in the Kebra Negast in light of the questions raised in many academic circles – see Chant Down Babylon” ?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Yes, His Imperial Majesty is descended in Flesh thru the union of King Solomon and Queen Mekada of Sheba. His family Tree which goes back to King Ori is clear and complete. I have that list on this cite of that linage and it is widely available.
2. How does one address the contradictions between what His Imperial Majesty says concerning himself and Christ and what main stream (Nyabinghi, Boboshanti and Twelve Tribes) says concerning the ascribed divinity credited to him.
Ras Elijah Tafari: Since each Tribe of Rastafari see’s The Christ differently we can only cite what His Imperial Majesty has shown. He worked and lived with those of many faiths, whose differences about the doctrine of Christ varied drastically, The Emperor’s focus was on the Love of the One Creator, that Our Unity is crucial. When He convened the first meeting of the Eastern Orthodox Churches since the Counsel of Nicaea, many Orthodox Churches did not attend. There was no malice, only a feast that some had missed. His Imperial Majesty Loves Christ and is a Christian. He also wanted people to know the Gospels. We know seeing Italy war on Ethiopia that Christians can vary to the point where they can kill each other without true reflection of what Christ taught. Because faith and knowledge builds thru years and choosing The Scriptures and Christ, we are never done learning as long as it is where we give attention. In my opinion, no two people believe the exact same thing, we are different in growth and by what we are Blessed to have revealed. Our views are as unique as our fingerprints and this is something that should be embraced. Argument of doctrine as thousands of years has demonstrated, will not free the people nor be the works of the King. Research and humbly sharing would be the best for education and preservation for generations to choose the Right. Through Living the Teachings we ascend theologians. We are based on African Liberation for which our faith is the fuel for the works to be fulfilled. It is International Morality which we want to see attained and then preserved.
3. Has the Ethiopian Church abandoned the Royal Family of Ethiopia or does the Synod in Exile continue to recognize HIM and his achievements in the Church?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Each Ethiopian Church ( perhaps each Ethiopian ) has its own relationship the Rastafari faith and its own views on the Emperor. Many of Us in the Rastafari Movement have met those within and outside Ethiopia, clergy in the Orthodox Church, that have a deep love for Atse Haile Selassie I. The Royal Family has watched for years a Church divided within itself, some Churches have stayed focused while others bicker and blame. Nothing new, but for Ethiopian it is. The Importance we place of The Conquering Lion of Judah as the Almighty is Capitol Moment. The ability to see the Name Haile Selassie I, Power of Trinity shouted in four corners of the Earth is tremendous. For Word Sound and Power and for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Churches would be wise to mark His Achievements as we celebrate in theirs as Ours in the longevity of the Emperor’s legacy. They would also be Blessed to help support the Royal Family, as a symbol of humility in cooperation with Ethiopian Understanding and Virtue, Knowing that it would be a Holy Service. Some of Us are closer to the Monarchy than others and for many in the faith, the concern of the Monarchy, is based on the people’s own development in multipal areas. The Monarchy is authentically concerned for the well being of Africa and Ethiopia, so they have not pushed their divine right, but encouraged us all to unite with each other on that which we agree. That now is the time to lead Ourselves. As for the Synod, only he can speak for himself.
4. Should Rastafari accept the Ethiopian Crown Council, as represented by HRH Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie, as the legitimate voice of the Royal Family and if so can he speak to Rastafari with authority and would Rastafari respect and consider his advice?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Yes. The Ethiopian Crown Council is a Mystic Revelation for Us to meditate too and listen to there counsel and guidance. The Legitimate Voice of The Royal Family, HRH Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie Haile Selassie is a Blessing to the Earth and His Clarity and careful choice of Words are Enlightened and Holy. He is someone whose authority should be heeded and we would be wise to do more than consider his advice. It is up to us as a community to share what he has already said and reason on the importance and role of the Monarchy in this time.
4. Should Haile Selassie be given his rightful place of reverence in the Ethiopian Church as was other Kings before him and should he be canonnised?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Great Question, As a Ras, right at first InI have to say, how can you canonize Jah? Here is the thing, if some want to measure divinity that is on them, InI know that He is Holy, and that making it official doesn’t validate that. On the realms of the Church and Protocol, I would go as far to say, that because there is no body of the Emperor, that The Ethiopian Orthodox Church should commence with Prayers that where offered to the Emperor and repent for turning their back on the King. That He is the embodiment of The Trinity, and that there fathers have betrayed the Trinity. That the pain of Ethiopia and the problems in the Church are 100 percent because they turned from the complete observance of the King of Kings. If they canonize HIM and dont heed His Words then it is for naught, if it is being done to make room for Rastafari to be more accepted then is it real? There is a lot of room for reasoning on this topic and it would be Blessed to one day have the wisdom of the Ethiopian Priests as well as the Rastafari Elders on the exploration of His Imperial Majesties Divine Attributes, if canonizing HIM makes this more able then it could be helpful to the general public and as a simple introduction.
5. Is it too late for the Rastafari to make use of the gifts (EWF Constitutions, Landgrant, EOTC and access to the AU) given to them by His Majesty?
Ras Elijah Tafari: No, it is not too late. What is needed is someone who can support themselves and is educated and socially capable to work internationally for the progress of Africans in the Diaspora and in the Homeland to unite and have representation. With the help of the Almighty, ones will arise and find that the time for self reliance and sustainability is at hand. Internationally, with careful partners, Rastafari can have a voice and land to build on.
6. Can and should Rastafari benefit from the legalization of Marijuana? What institutions do we have to deal effectively with it?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Another Great Question,. Yes Rastafari should benefit from the legalization of Marijuana, one of the biggest benefits will be to able to reason without fear and attack. Ganja has been what has isolated us from the public often, and from the youth. We will benefit in more ways than making money. We will benefit by being teachers and professionals that have enough social acceptance not to be ostracized from the general public. We will be able to teach from the Scriptures in the parks and streets without being chased and beaten. The faith will spread thru people calming done, and music being played more, and sick people being able to be tended to easily and in diverse ways. People will drink less, and get off other drugs, both pharmaceutical and other wise. All of this will build the Unity of People and therefore the Unity of Rastafari.
I know that the question is aimed towards institutions capitalizing on Herb sales. With thought and precision, time and change, Rastafari will find room for business and trade. What would be wise would be to look toward protection and establishment of small farms and local growing co-ops for food security in general and public awareness and health in Agriculture. Force on a new wave of perma-culture and organic farming. Herb is only the beginning, we need to create schools where holistic farming and medicine are the focus. Without a doubt an Herb Co-op as a Rastafari Initiative is crucial.
7. Should Rastafari promote Marijuana as a sacramental herbs? How will the government implement the new law? Does all Rastafari Mansions accept that it is or should be a sacramental herb?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Question 1: We already do, however it would be wise to note that Marijuana is not for everyone to smoke. Question 2: It is self evident. Question 3: As far as InI know, that every mansion does accept Ganja as a sacramental herb.
8. What measures should be taken to promote entrepreneurship, education and meaningful resettlement of those desiring to return to the Motherland?
Ras Elijah Tafari: Great Question again, There needs to be an active dialogue that is ongoing between the Caribbean/ African Americans through out North and South America, where there are local representatives of the Rastafari movement that can report to one embassy or a few. That Embassy duty is to make relations with all African Nations and share ways for development and partnerships. There are a lot of Ambassadors of African Countries, making long term relationships and sharing ideas will be the start of understanding where to be useful and needed, it would likewise would be in our interest to do the same with every University as far as exploration of potential. Our greatest weapon is the Oneness we share as Africans.
9. How can Rastafari organize and speak with one voice to African Governments in order to secure favorable immigration and other benefits for those desiring to return to the motherland.
Ras Elijah Tafari: Each country will vary, and what each one of us needs to think about is whether we want to move to somewhere that may have worse conditions than where we are from. Governments are the same all over really, so what needs to be looked at is how to reform the government we are presently in so that as a nation we can address the issues on a national and international platform. The changes that are needed all over are drastic and to migrate to areas in which proxy wars are being waged is both courageous and dangerous. Plans and alliances need to studied and ones need to see and note progressive governments in Africa and work with them. That would be the quickest and safest way.
10. How should the Government of Ethiopia be addressed on this issue considering the state of Shashamane settlement and the increasing numbers of stateless children born there?
Ras Elijah Tafari: If they are born in Ethiopia they should be given Ethiopian Citizenship. If they have parents from another country then dual citizenship. It should be easier to apply for Ethiopian Citizenship than it is and representatives need to work toward preparing for more African’s in the diaspora who wish to return to Africa as free equal beings. Shashamane should be secure for the future and all original hectors respected as gifts of the Emperor. There is no legitimate reason to take anothers gift away, especially one that is symbolic of the Redemption of the Black Nations in that there true spiritual home is Ethiopia, Mt. Zion.
* InI would like to thank all those who care about the future of the Movement and the Legacy of the Light of World, Emperor Haile Selassie I. I pray we advance in truth and rights, Love and Life. * Negus I, Jah, Rastafari. *My Lord. R. 7.*