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Mutabaruka questions creation story

Published:Sunday | March 27, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Mutabaruka speaks on 'A Rastafari Perspective on the Hebrew Bible' at the United Theological College of the West Indies recently. - Photo by Mel Cooke

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

Mutabaruka addressed two Old Testament tales in detail when he spoke at the United Theological College of the West Indies (UTCWI) recently. The first was the story of creation in six days and the other the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

"When I say something in my Rasta framework, the first thing them say is that it not rational," he said, referring to the Rasta concept of Haile Sealssie's divinity. "So, right away, the Rasta a idiot. But God make the earth in six days, and on the seventh day he rested.

"But, to the illogical Mutabaruka, that no make no sense," he said. However, he said, although if science and logic are applied to the creation story, it makes no sense, "the logical Christian come to you and say 'a day is like a thousand years and a thousand days like a year'". But that is more illogical, Mutabaruka said, as that is connecting something 4,000 years apart to justify a story.

Mutabaruka zeroed in on the 'evening and morning' part of the creation story. "I am saying was the day and night longer or is it the reasoning of an illogical set of people?" he said. "I can't sit down rationally with a Christian and discuss it ... .You spend three hour a discuss if a day is a day and it no make no sense."

Added to that is the story of Adam and Eve, and Mutabaruka said, "We realise the people who writing this - the men who writing this - is some insecure men write this. Most religion, to me, was created by insecure men to suppress the female energy."

He noted that all the books in the Bible were written by men, and asked, "You mean God couldn't find one woman to write down something that inspire me?

"We grow up in a society that say is woman bring sin into the world," he said, and there was laughter when Mutabaruka painted a verbal picture of a man and woman talking to a snake wrapped around a tree. He asked the audience to "picture the conversation and sequence of events", where the snake says that God know if you eat this fruit you will be like him, knowing good and evil. But when God encounters Adam eating the apple, "the man turn round and say, 'is she sah!'".

Snakes don't talk

So God invokes childbearing pain on the woman and work on the man, but also says that before they partake of his next tree, and be like one of us, "make we chase him out". So although the snake is portrayed as a deceiver, Mutabaruka said, "but what the snake say is confirmed by God".

However, he said, "If you be truthful to yourself, you will realise snake don't talk. Donkey don't talk. Six days do not make the planet. There must be something we lose in theological knowledge."

And in understanding what is written in the Bible, he said, one has to take into consideration sociology, history, the political structure and the times in which it was said.

In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah's destruction, Mutabaruka said that when the homosexuals wanted the men who visited Lot, "him take him two daughter and tell the gay guys 'here, take me daughter'".

"Wha kin' a father that?" Mutabaruka demanded.

Then, when the family fled the city before it was destroyed, his wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. "It means your disobedience means death. In other words, 'yu salt'," Mutabaruka said, to laughter.