August 2nd, 2012
08:20 AM ET
Snoop Dogg is a Rasta now, so what's Rastafari?
By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - Rapper Snoop Dogg announced Monday that he's burying his name and old career, all because of a religious experience with Rastafari, an Afrocentric religion with origins in Jamaica. Snoop Dogg wants to be called Snoop Lion and instead of rapping on his latest album now he'll be singing reggae.
"I want to bury Snoop Dogg and become Snoop Lion," he said at a Monday press conference. "I didn't know that until I went to the temple, where the high priest asked me what my name was, and I said, 'Snoop Dogg.' And he looked me in my eyes and said, 'No more. You are the light; you are the lion.'
"From that moment on," Snoop said, "it's like I had started to understand why I was there."
Snoop Lion has a new single, "La la la," and a documentary "Reincarnated," which follows his recent trip to Jamaica and chronicles his conversion experience. It debuts at the Toronto Film Festival next month.
So what exactly is Rastafari? Here are some basic questions and answers:
1. How old is Rastafarianism?
The Rastafari movement began in Jamaica in 1930 and quickly spread.
"It's an Afrocentric faith that... focuses on the return to Africa of its members," says Richard Salter, a religious studies scholar from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York who studies the movement. "Sometimes that return is a return in body, actually going back to Ethiopia, and sometimes it's more of a spiritual return."
Nathaniel Murrell, a religion professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, said the movement Rastafari grows out of the Judeo-Christian tradition and out of the colonial experience. He says Jamaicans oppressed by colonial overlords saw the new faith as a means of liberation.
A key belief for Rastas is the notion of death to all white and black oppressors; the religion embodies a theological push for equality on all levels.
Salter points to Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," as a key to understanding that point.
"The line, 'emancipate yourself from mental slavery,' - if someone can convince you that you are inferior, then they have really oppressed you," Salter said. "So you can emancipate yourself from that and recognize the divine within you, your real value."
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2. So what do Rastafaris believe?
Rastas believe in God and use the term Jah, shorthand for Jehovah, a name for God that is common in the Jewish scriptures. Many Rastas see Halie Selassie I - the longest serving emperor of Ethiopia, who died in the 1970s - as a Christ-like figure.
Experts point to a wide diversity in the faith but say there are six key groups of Rastas, called mansions, that would be similar to denominations in other faiths.
Rastas hate "isms" and "ians" because of the value they place on all individuals. As a result, Rastas prefer the term Rastafari as opposed to Rastafarian or Rastafarianism to describe the movement.
Noel Leo Erskine, a professor of theology and ethics at Emory University in Atlanta, says it's nearly impossible to gauge how many people call themselves Rastas because there are no formal churches or membership structures and no hierarchy.
Erskine said that based on Jamaican migration and the prevalence of Rastas globally - he notes the presence of groups in Israel and Tokyo - his best guess is that there are around 1 million self-professing Rastas around the world.
3. How do Rastas practice their faith?
The most common outward expressions of Rastafari are Rastas' dreadlocks, penchant for smoking marijuana and vegetarian diets.
Rastas read the Bible and several other religious texts, though because the movement is so diverse there is no single canon.
Lifestyle choices are important for Rastas. Allowing one's hair to grow into long, matted dreadlocks serves as a reminder to practitioners that they have made a covenant to live naturally, Salter said.
Marijuana smoking is seen as sacramental to Rastas, who believe it brings clarity and strength (more on that below).
Another central practice is something called "reasoning." Rastas get together and smoke and have a "reasoning" session in which they hash out important spiritual ideas.
The practice of vegetarianism comes from Rastas "ital lifestyle" short, for vital, and according to Salter is intended to promote life in all its forms.
4. What's the Bob Marley connection?
Marley brought Rastafari to the American masses in the late 1970s and early 1980s through reggae music. It was massively popular and brought a watered-down version of the movement to the popular consciousnesses.
Snoop said this week that he had no plans on recording a reggae album in Jamaica but that, "When the spirit called me and basically told me to find something that is connected toward the Bob Marley spirit, because I've always said I was Bob Marley reincarnated."
Marley, the world's most famous reggae singer and practitioner of Rasta, died in 1981.
Emory's Erskine said that as Snoop moves forward with his music, he should look to the reggae star.
"Within Rasta there are guidelines, guidelines of dignity and songs of empowerment," he said. "I think Bob Marley provides a good guide for him in terms of the way forward and way not to belittle women and belittle others."
5. Is it a religion?
"[Rastas] are insistent that they don't see Rastafari as a religion because religion exposes itself to manipulation by people in power, so they see it as a lifestyle, as a way of life practiced by Rastas," Erskine said.
That said, there are many who practice the way of life with the same devotion found in other faiths. Religious scholars classify Rastafari as a religion.
Rastafari has provided sanctimonious cover for loads of college students more interested in the sacrament of ganja then the tenants of the faith. Remember that kid who lived on your dorm floor, grew dreadlocks, hung a lion flag, and smoked a lot of weed?
"That's been something the movement has had to struggle with," Salter said. "They have to define who a Rasta is. Is it a 21-year-old sitting in a drum circle out in the woods in some Northeastern liberal college taking bong hits, or does it require something else?"
6. So do they really smoke a lot of weed?
Yes. A lot.
Sometimes called the wisdom weed, Rastas believe the marijuana plant first grew from the grave of King Solomon, who the Bible calls one of the wisest men ever to walk the planet.
Salter notes Rastas believe smoking the herb is biblically sanctioned, though he points out they believe "it is not for recreation, but a food that feeds their spirit.”
“I bet Snoop Dogg, excuse me Snoop Lion, is particularly interested in that,” he added, noting the musician's advocacy for supporting the legalization of marijuana and his frequent use of it in music videos.
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7. So is the Snoop thing a gimmick to sell records?
It's too early to tell whether Snoop will stick with his awakening as a Rasta. Rastas don't convert; rather, they "awaken" to the faith they see as always having been there.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Sounds more fun than being Mormon.
Kindness stop your evil spam spam spam spam spam spam spam already. You are pissing everyone off and not doing your cause any favors.
congratulations. Who cares?
This is my experience... Thank you.
MY personal testimony.
A thought to consider without an ego response
I Accepted Jesus christ as my lord and saviour. You never know how soon is too late. Transcend the worldly illusion of enslavement.
The world denounces truth....
Accepting Jesus Christ (for me) resulted in something like seeng a new colour. You will see it .....but will not be able to clearly explain it to anyone else..... Its meant to be that way to transend any selfism within you.
Also... much the world arranges "surrounding dark matter into something to be debated" in such a way that protects/inflates the ego.
The key is be present and transcend our own desire to physically see evidence. We don't know anyways by defending our own perception of dark matter.
Currently.... most of us are constructing our own path that suits our sin lifestyle. Were all sinners. Knowing that we are is often an issue. But both christians and non are sinners. Even once we are saved by christs merciful grace we will still experience adversity to mold us to adhering to the truth.
We will slip... But not fall of the ship ...carrying us onward to perfection in christs grace.
We don't like to Let go and let god. We want control to some degree. This is what Jesus asks us to do. "Follow me".
It's the hardest thing to do... but is done by letting the truth of scripture lead you (redemptive revelation)... as I said .
Try reading corinthians and see if it makes sense to you. Try it without a pre conceived notion of it being a fairy tale.
See the truth...
do we do what it says in todays society... is it relevant... so many have not recently read and only hinge their philosophy on what they have heard from some other person...which may have been full of arogance pride or vanity..
Look closely at the economy ponzi, look at how society idolizes Lust , greed , envy, sloth, pride of life, desire for knowledge, desire for power, desire for revencge,gluttony with food etc .
Trancsend the temporal world.
Just think if you can find any truth you can take with you ....in any of these things. When you die your riches go to someone who will spend away your life..... You will be forgotten.... history will repeat iteslf.... the greatest minds knowledge fade or are eventually plagerzed..... your good deeds will be forgotten and only give you a fleeting temporary reward . your learned teachings are forgotten or mutated..... your gold is transfered back to the rullers that rule you through deception. Your grave will grow over . This is truth .
Trancsend your egoism and free yourself from this dominion of satan. Understand you are a sinner and part of the collective problem of this worldly matrix... Repent.... Repent means knowing (to change) The Holy spirit (within) will convict you beyond what you think you can do by yourself. Grace is given to those who renounce the world. That are" in" the world but not "of " the world.
Evidence follows faith. Faith does not follow evidence..... Faith ....above reason in Jesus Christ.
Faith comes by Reading or Hearing the word of god from the bible . Ask Jesus in faith for dicernment and start reading the new testament... You will be shocked when you lay down your preconceived notions and ....see and hear truth ... see how christ sets an example ... feel the truth....
Read Ecclesiastes. Read romans or corinthians.
You cant trancend your own egoism by adapting a world philosophy to suit your needs. Seek the truth in Christ.
Sell all your cleverness and purchase true bewilderment. You don't get what you want ....you get what you are by faith above reason in christ.
I promise this has been the truth for me. In Jesus christ .
Think of what you really have to lose. ...your ego?
Break the Matrix of illusion that holds your senses captive.
once you do . you too will have the wisdom of God that comes only through the Holy Spirit. Saved By grace through Faith. Just like seeing a new colour.... can't explain it to a transient caught in the matrix of worldly deception.
You will also see how the world suppresses this information and distorts it
You're all smart people . I tell the truth. Its hard to think out of the box when earthly thinking is the box.
I'ts a personal free experience you can do it free anytime . Don't wait till you are about to die.. START PUTTING YOUR TREASURES WHERE THEY REALLY MATTER >
Its awsome and It's just between you and Jesus
"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved
Sorry, but you *know* no more about Deity than Reality, below. Your silly "holy book" offers no proof, faulty logic, and wishful thinking, nothing more. While Deity (of some form) certainly may exist, you simply can't prove it, nor could you (or anyone, for that matter) ever understand the slightest bit about something so far beyond ourselves.
There's no better place for jackin' it than San Diego.
As noted on p.15:
Putting the kibosh on all religions to include "pot-laced" Rastafari:
• There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
Added details available upon written request.
A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.
"The Rastafari movement, or Rasta, is a spiritual movement. It arose in the 1930s in Jamaica, a country with a predominantly Christian culture where 98% of the people were the black descendants of slaves. Most of its adherents worship Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia (ruled 1930–1974), as God incarnate, the Second Advent, or the reincarnation of Jesus. "
Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/rastafari-movement#ixzz22QKGVQHq
PLEASEEEE SHUT UP!
Great post, Reality. Please keep on posting.
Sorry, but using the word "probably" immediately puts the kibosh on your oh-so-sanctimonious certainty =3 ... Furthermore, your definition of "probably" is deeply flawed. The word merely means "more likely than not".
And just to clarify: I'm a Deist (Christians would call me an agnostic or atheist, depending on how irritated they are at the time), so I don't believe in any particular religion, myself. But YOU... Yeesh. YOU DO NOT KNOW, anymore than anyone does, anything at all about Deity.
Only for the those interested in a religious update:
1. origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482
“New Torah For Modern Minds
Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine docu-ment. “
Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell ; more than likely.
2. Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a ma-mzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). An-alyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related doc-uments have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus' sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.
The 30% of the NT that is "authentic Jesus" like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus' case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hitt-ites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.
For added "pizzazz", Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the "pew people" to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the "filicider".
Current RCC problems:
Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!
2 b., Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).
Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,
3. Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.
This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.
And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.
The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.
4. Hinduism (from an online Hindu site) – "Hinduism cannot be described as an organized religion. It is not founded by any individual. Hinduism is God centered and therefore one can call Hinduism as founded by God, because the answer to the question ‘Who is behind the eternal principles and who makes them work?’ will have to be ‘Cosmic power, Divine power, God’."
The caste/laborer system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence are problems when saying a fair and rational God founded Hinduism."
The caste system, reincarnation and cow worship/reverence.
5. Buddhism- "Buddhism began in India about 500 years before the birth of Christ. The people living at that time had become disillusioned with certain beliefs of Hinduism including the caste system, which had grown extremely complex. The number of outcasts (those who did not belong to any particular caste) was continuing to grow."
"However, in Buddhism, like so many other religions, fanciful stories arose concerning events in the life of the founder, Siddhartha Gautama (fifth century B.C.):"
Archaeological discoveries have proved, beyond a doubt, his historical character, but apart from the legends we know very little about the circu-mstances of his life. e.g. Buddha by one legend was supposedly talking when he came out of his mother's womb.
Bottom line: There are many good ways of living but be aware of the hallucinations, embellishments, lies, and myths surrounding the founders and foundations of said rules of life.
Then, apply the Five F rule: "First Find the Flaws, then Fix the Foundations". And finally there will be religious peace and religious awareness in the world!!!!!
I am a long time fan, I mean long time. Owned the Chronic album (which was Dr. Dre's album but Snoop named it after, yes weed 20 years ago) and I have bought every single CD he's ever made. Bought a few on the day they came out, so it's safe to say I'm a huge fan.
With that said, Snoop was a long time Christian, though hardly a practicing Christian. A few years ago he became Muslim, I knew that wouldn't last. I think Snoop in his 40's is looking for spiritual guidance and I figure the Muslim thing would not last. Not more than 2 years later, he now says he's Rasta and his now Snoop Lion. My thought, figures. He's in the stage if his life where he's looking for meaning, spirituality. Snoop has always been a huge advocate for weed, even when he quit for 2 years to coach his son's Pop Warner football team. I feel this is Snoop, and that this might be the most fitting thing he's done. At the end of the day, I am glad he's found something and I hope it makes him happy.
So it's an Afrocentric faith that's rooted on Judaism. Go figure. They can't even practice a faith with African roots.
Can't..? Sorry, but no. Religion is about choice, dingbat. YOUR quibbles are meaningless.
For a religion of black empowerement it does sound like it's very kosher oriented. Their weed is sacred because because it grew from Solomon's grave...
I once saw an enlarged picture of this guy "SCOOP T-RD" in a convenience store, and I just had to wonder, just who are all THESE STUPID PEOPLE THAT CONTINUE TO MAKE HIM RICHER ???!!! I finally figured it out... He's a modern day con artist that has full control of OVER THE COMPLETE STUPIDITY OF THOSE THAT FOLLOW HIM AND BUY HIS "TOTALLY STUPID GARBAGE" !!!!!!!! ONLY IN AMERICA !!! LOL !!!! I WOULDN'T PI-S ON HIM IF HE WERE TOTALLY ENGULFED IN FLAMES !!!! THE SADDEST PART, THIS AH IS LAUGHING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK !!!! TO THOSE THAT ARE CONTRIBUTING TO HIS WEALTH, WELL LET ME QUOTE FORREST GUMPH, "STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES" !!!!
Er, no. He's an entertainer, dolt; that's why he's rich. Furthermore, he's laughing all the way to the bank, while you rage =) .
yet you took time to comment, d-bag
If Snoop is not actively hurting people, he can get away with anything and people will still love him. He's shown himself to gravitate toward peace for years now. He takes care of his family and contributes to the community, without using that as an excuse to do vile things.
People like Snoop for a reason. He's a good guy IMO.
i agree. i would like to burn some spirit with him
Snoop is not a phony. If you don't like him, fine. If you've got some racist perspective, maybe you should try and figure out how
you got that way – are your views informed by any personal truth, or are you receiving and repeating second and third hand knowledge. The man sponsors – and coaches – his kids' school football teams. Sure, he's got some bad habits, but, there ain't
no saints on this chat, are there? Let me know, I'll stop by your chapel, listen to your sermon, and throw some green in the basket. Everyone else, take it from this old white guy – live learn, live and let live.
I Guess he ended up blowing the high priests pipe and he gave him this name.
Just a nitpick: The article says "Jehovah" is found in the Jewish scriptures. This is not exactly true. Without going into a lot of explanation, "Jehovah" was a name arrived at by medieval European scholars because of a mistaken reading of the Jewish scriptures. The name in the scriptures is actually "Yahweh" (well, that's an approximation of the Hebrew). So essentially the word "Jehovah" is just an embarrassing mistake.
How can you take anyone like this fool seriously?
I can take Snoop exactly as seriously as I take Christians in general. That's not seriously at all, however, I'm afraid.
i would take him more serioiusly than any preacher out there
Where in the hell do you get your facts? And why are you all treating this like a joke? He is going to be a pivotal person in helping change this planet this year! Embrace the changes don't add to the corruption the world is already facing, who makes fun you you every day, every think about that?
Snoop (animal of the month) – A "pivotal person". What have you been smoking?
Crazy people with burned out brains!
....get on their knees and pray for salvation
Nice career move niqqar.
Your a small minded racist bigot!
Go back to snipping little holes into sheets, Grand Wizard. You are not wanted, either here, or by society in general.
...and THIS is news
and you DID stop to comment on it
Why did she only interview black people?
i like to feed Christians, Jews, Muslim yes even Rastas to lions,.. cant help it
ps dude lions a patriarchal thats evil should have change your name to snoop wolf wolfs are matriarchal, there family oriented, proud and wise, much more regal and honorable then a lazy lion who demand absolute obedience
wolves vs lions
why were better then you
Teaching, Guidance, Loyalty, Intuition, Discipline, Order, Community, Freedom, Guardianship, Prudence, Respect, Communication, Patience, Teamwork
Courage,Power, Royalty, Dignity, Authority, Dominion, Justice, Wisdom, Ferocity.
i take the 9 wolves vs the one lion any day
you roar does not scare us whey we come for you in silent community is always better the authority equality better then superiority,.. you pride will fall when we come,..
bring it kitty
What's really going to happen is your soul will be failed to Satan and hell when you die if you do not repent fool.
Well, you may think so, erik, but I don't. Got a problem with that..? LOL
Does your Deity really need help figuring out who to damn?!
"Judge not lest ye' be judged." Even your own silly book says that.
Snoop could do anything he wants. Look at life and then speak
Yes he can do anything he wants, and we can call him retarded for saying he's Bob Marley reincarnated.
Misguided, yes, probably (but who kows for sure? lol). Retarded? Most certainly not. I can't help but note that YOU aren't smart enough to gain Snoop's level of wealth, now ARE you? And to be fair, neither am I, of course; c'est la vie.
I wouldn't degrade myself to his level of crap music and celebrity w.horeing.
Rational.....yeah, you wouldn't do so because you are above it, eh?