It goes without saying that COVID-19 has impacted the lives of everyone in one way or another.
For many the impact has been for the most part negative, and expectations of what the future may provide does not look all that promising. It is during times like these, many people call on their faith, in whatever deity they ascribe to for the mental, spiritual and physical strength they need to carry them through.
While the closure of religious establishments has caused many to rearrange their forms of worship, the essence of their faith remains intact. However, the question must be asked, is COVID-19 a test to the faith of many, if so, how and is this time a testament to their resolve within the context of what is being looked at here?
I can only speak as it relates to the direction of this article, to two religious/spiritual entities I have experience in. Christianity for me has always been about “going with the flow”. The flow I speak of, is the flow of the system that men have constructed to govern the lives of others. Although I am fully aware of the role in the early black churches as it pertained to slave rebellions on the plantations, Christianity through my reddened eyes, has become passive and non challenging to what they themselves perceive as evil. Maybe the Bible passage that records Jesus as stating, “Give to Caesar what is due to Caesar, and to God what is due to God”, is taken as an ordinance of non resistance by the church. What happens when the dues to Caesar conflict with the dues to God? What would Jesus the rebel do?
It is the modern spirit of Christian non resistance that suggests to me that in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, their faith is not being tested. Apart from the concerns of virus contraction and possible death, which are global, how is their faith being tested? Maybe I should replace the word faith with resolve as I continue.
The Rastafari movement in which I am grounded, unlike their Christian counterparts, will be tested in the resolve of what it holds to be true and here is how. I have heard some Christians refer to this as the time of revelation. The time that was written of in the Bible; here the rapture will be manifested. Signs and wonders are the order of the day. For Rastafari it is also a time of manifestation. However this manifestation is related to social constructs and systems that Rastafari have deemed wicked and unjust, that are now forced to be reconstructed in a manner that has long been recommended by that community. From the forced advancement of homeschooling to the focus on healthy eating and agriculture globally, the words of Rastafari brothers and sisters internationally have been validated. Let us not forget that this validation of the Rastafari way of life started with the acknowledgement that Cannabis was a medicinal plant a couple years ago by those who condemned it previously. Again this is something that Rastafari brothers and sisters have been saying from in the 1930’s. Rastafari has led the way in reclaiming the practiced knowledge of holistic living among African descended people in the diaspora.
Brothers and sisters of Rastafari are resolved in their resolve of who they are and their role in society. However, they are fully aware that another momentous battle is before them. While their vegetarian and ital diets is a key ingredient in fighting COVID-19, a strong immune system, does not protect them from the people of COVID-19. The people of COVID-19 are the scientist who are advocating that the only way to treat this virus is with a vaccine. Let us add at this point, a vaccine that they, the COVID-19 people, will create or have created. COVID-19 people disregard traditional remedies for the virus, even if they are being effective in the fight. Take a look at what is happening in Madagascar, and what is being said about their herbal remedy for the virus.
Rastafari people have long rejected the idea of vaccinating their children and being vaccinated for the most part. The community has been using its human and constitutional rights to avoid the mandatory requirement of the state for all children to be vaccinated. The concern of the community is whether these rights will be recognized in the face of impending COVID-19 vaccines. Like Judas Maccabaeus the Rastafari community will resist any attack on their freedom and champion a righteous cause.
The resolve of Rastafari today will provide the strength needed in the battle of the COVID-19 Vaccine vs Holistic Health for the advancement of humanity.
Written by Simba