Imagine walking into a church and seeing a group people puffing and passing cannabis while reciting a bible verse. Ones first thought might be, how can they disrespect the house of God in such a manner. In reality, this is no different than drinking wine in church. Both traditions express their worship towards god, just in different ways.
In Erin Taylor’s article, Who are you Calling Fundamentalist? Inside Rastafarian, she discusses the background and cultural rationale behind Rastafarianism. Taylor explains that Rastafarianism entails interpreting the bible through the black mans eyes. Rastas believe that the bible was originally written by black men but was taught through the white mans eyes in an attempt to mold biblical ideals into what they believed fit. There is reasoning behind the practice of smoking marijuana; it’s said to aid in rising above the white mans interperation and helping the Rastas re-interperate the bible in the way they believe it was intended.
The fact the methods followed by Rastas are different and sometimes frowned upon under the law causes many people to underestimate the legitimacy behind the practice. Many people might not view the Rastafari religion as a fundamentalist one. Many view it as a way of life rather than a religion. But, what constitutes this being a fundamentalist religion is that it sets forth a strict structure that many devoted members are willing to follow. If this is a religion just like Christianity and Judaism, why is it mocked in such a way that devalues it as a religion? There should be no strict way in which religions follow for it to be thought as one. Many different religions have practices that are normally looked down by society but such religions are still thought of as one. As a society we have belittled the ideas and thoughts of Rastafarianism and turned it in to a main stream practice for entertainment.