Fri | May 26, 2017

Man holds on the rasta faith

Published:Saturday | May 9, 2015 | 5:00 AM

SPRING BANK, Portland:

FOR SOME four decades, Dennis Michael Marsh, who resides at Spring Bank in Portland has held on to his religious faith as a rasta man.

Marsh, who hails Halie Selassie as supreme God and ruler of the universe, is maintaining that Rastafarians are among the chosen people - having maintained the order of righteousness, while displaying love and kindness to the black race.

"Rasta will live forever. We are the only set of black people who have not been brain-washed by the white race. Our God is Selassie, and it is important to know that black people originated from Africa in the bloodline of coloured people, not white's. We were the first people on planet earth, and as such, we have maintained the order."

According to Marsh, the religious practice of Rastafarians is somewhat similar to Christianity, as they, too, support marriage and promote love among their brethren and neighbours, with special emphasis placed on sharing and giving.

The 60-year-old Marsh pointed out that once per month, Rastafarians from across the island assemble in a temple at Scott Pass in Manchester for seven days, where they engage in a ritual involving prayer, worship, drumming, and smoking marijuana.

Marijuana is considered to be important for Rastafarians and the weed is smoked as a part of their religious sacrilege and also for preparing sumptuous meals including stew, soup, and cake.

Marsh noted that the dreadlocks is the covenant and is symbolic in pronouncing one's faith. He noted also that one's locks are highly treasured in the Rastafarian faith, and that it is considered a disgrace for one to lose their dreadlocks.

"When we assemble, a priest oversees the entire worship. Marriage is heavily promoted in our faith, although it is not considered a sin to take a woman into your household as a companion in a relationship setting. Ganja smoking is very important among us, as it allows us to meditate spiritually and also to improve our health. Ganja was among one of the plants found on King Solomon's grave. We worship a black God in Selassie and believe in equal rights for black people."

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com