Talk:Rastafari

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Nice work, thanks humanUser talk:Human 23:16, 31 October 2007 (EDT)

Was about to add this...[edit]

And realized I don't know enough to do so. Is rastafarianism horribly homophobic, or just most Reggae musicians? I've read a lot about how reggae musicians regularly pepper their music with exhortations to beat or kill "batty boys" (aka homosexuals), and I remember reading that part of Rasta is a strong emphasis on traditional gender roles, etc. But I don't know for sure. Does anyone here know? Researcher 22:10, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Hi Researcher - First off, pet peeve time - it's "Rastafari," not "rastafarianism." Language matters a lot in Rastafari and "isms," like "schisms," are a product of Babylon and most Rastas would find the term offensive.

As for the main question, I'm afraid you're right - Rastafari, for all it brought to the table in terms of providing an intellectual/religious/spiritual foundation for Black liberation/anticolonialism, did little in terms of helping gender relationships or in terms of accepting alternative sexualities. That being said, the movement is both large and evolving, and there are schools of thought that are far more woman-positive - I can't say for sure that there are more queer-positive branches of Rastafari (my work is on the political/intellectual aspects of black anticolonialism -I don't do much gender/queer history)but it wouldn't surprise me - there's a lot more diversity that's come in as the faith has expanded. . As for the reggae musicians and their homophobic rants, I'm not sure that it's fair to pin all the blame on Rastafari - I think a lot has to do with a traditional macho culture in Latin America/the Caribbean - and parts of Africa too - I've met a lot of people from the Continent who think homosexuality is a "white" thing. PFoster 23:10, 15 November 2007 (EST)

Thanks. That was why I decided *not* to post it on the main page, as I wasn't sure whether it was truly a Rastafari thing or just a cultural thing. Is there a "sacred text" of Rastafari, by the way? I like skimming through different sacred texts, to get a feel for different theologies. Researcher 23:15, 15 November 2007 (EST)

There's no real sacred text besides the Old Testament, which Rastas read in their own way - but check out Walter Rodney's Groundings With My Brothers and Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader for good introductions. Always glad to geek out about my research. PFoster 23:19, 15 November 2007 (EST)

I totally understand geeking on research. (A few of the articles I've written on here were nothing more than that...) Researcher 23:22, 15 November 2007 (EST)