Biblical Reasonings based on The Teaching of Qedamawi Haile Sellassie
The controversy concerning the African Union’s recent decision to erect a statue honoring Kwame Nkrumah is a matter that has, on occasion, offended some of our RasTafari brothers and sisters, as well as supporters of the RasTafari Movement. Although, the basis of these sentiments are not without rationale. In this case, it would serve us well to seek a fuller comprehension and be mindful of The Will and Testimony of, Our Father, H.I.M. Haile Selassie I through the utterance given to us on November 7th 1949, as H.I.M. laid the foundation stone at Haile Selassie I University at Addis Ababa.
H.I.M. Haile Selassie I: “The population of Our Capital, Addis Ababa, have expressed through their Mayor, their desire to erect a monument to Our honour, that they on their own initiative, have started raising funds, and have requested that We lay the foundation stone of this memorial today. It has also been confirmed that the whole people of Ethiopia have joined hands with the people of Addis Ababa in this effort.
“As was indicated on the occasion of Our Birthday Anniversary on July 23rd last, We shall now make known to you Our intentions in reference to this monument. We wish first of all to state that Our heart was touched with Our beloved people’s desire to erect in Our honour a statue in recognition of services which We have rendered to them and to Our country. There can be no better way for a people to show their deep gratitude to their Sovereign. By what means can man’s achievements in this world be best remembered? Many people believe that this could be done by the erection of physical and material structures; others believe that their works are in themselves lasting monuments. We, for Our part, think that man’s contributions which live to influence the life and progress of posterity, are the most permanent monuments that can ever be erected. It is now 32 years since We assumed the high service of aiding and guiding the destinies of Our people, counting from Our Regency, when We were destined to the Imperial Throne of Ethiopia. During this period of Our Reign, a series of problems and trials have had to be faced. There can be no better testimony to the recognition of Our devotion to the cause of Our country and to the welfare of Our people, entrusted to Our care, from the day when We were chosen with the Grace of Almighty God the anointed Emperor of Ethiopia, than this expression of noble sentiments from Our beloved and loyal people. We have abiding faith that the Almighty, Who has vouchsafed Us the privilege to reach this present stage, will grant to Ethiopia a bright future and an enduring destiny. Now, when Our people are willing to erect a statue in Our image, We feel it a duty on Our part to consider what would be the most appropriate means of incorporating in a concrete and lasting manner the sentiments of Our people.
“A Symbol of Mutual Gratitude Any monument to be left for Our people, to be permanent, must be erected upon spiritual foundations. It is widely known that during Our reign, We spared no effort to promote and extend education and to cultivate the spirit and mind of Our people. It is Our sincere wish to intimately connect the statue Our people intend to erect in Our image and in Our honour with a living monument in remembrance of Our people’s goodwill, which will go down in history from generation to generation linking together perennially the affection of a people to its Sovereign. Our beloved people, in contemplating the erection of a monument in Our honour, and We, on Our part, to express Our satisfaction and recognize this gratitude, have decided that on this same spot, where Our people have resolved to build with the funds voluntarily subscribed a statue to Us, that a University be erected and established for the education of Ethiopia’s youth so as to allow them and future generations to benefit from this happy event. While giving this site for the building and establishment of a University to represent at the same time a monument to your Emperor, for the service and the benefit of your children and the future generations and to stand as a symbol of mutual gratitude between your Sovereign and His people, We now LAY THE FOUNDATION STONE of the University. The salvation of Our country, Ethiopia, as We have repeatedly stated to you, lies primarily in education. As Ethiopia is one, all Ethiopians are also one, and education is the only way to maintain this condition. (Excerpt from Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I 1918-1967, pg 1-3, Imperial Ethiopian Ministry of Information 1967/Electronically digitized edition published for The Worldwide Rastafari Community Mama Berhane (Dorothy Allen), Amaha Selassie, and Sistren Sharifah Pennsylvania and Ohio, U.S.A. 2011)
In considering this living testimony of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, in and through His Christ Eyesus, we are able to receive greater insight into at least two passages in found in The Bible, as H.I.M. stated “For my part I glory in The Bible”
The first being Exodus 20:4: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: It is evident that during H.I.M.’s December 1968 Christmas audience with Dr. Oswald Hoffman that H.I.M. transcends the obvious phi-cycle implications of superstitious idolatry to reveals the practical application of this mitzwah “commandment”, in a new and living way. “My advice to all is to fulfill the Ten Commandments. You are aware of the contents of the Ten Commandments and can elaborate on it. If the nation for which I am the Emperor follows and accepts this, since its also what I accept and follow, I would believe our country is not only historically Christian but also actively Christian.” On an interpretive level H.I.M. is advising us not to participate in mere idle worship but to honor His Son, Our Lord and Savior, Eyesus Kristos in Word and Deed as H.I.M. demonstrated, BUT MOREOVER WISELY SET A PERFECT EXAMPLE FOR US HIS CHILDREN, in Spirit and Truth by preferring His Divinity to lovingly shepherd His people through a living spiritual legacy rather through the boasting of works. (Confer Ephesians 2:8-9) In a previous portion of H.I.M.’s conversation with Dr. Hoffman, H.I.M. expounds “I would also tell him to learn and to think for himself the ways he would serve the Lord. In this thought and in this undertaking of his he will inevitably find the way of serving his fellow men. For his faith would then be manifested by His conduct. If Christians behave in this way, if we dedicate ourselves to this fundamental task, then we will have a peaceful world and will be assured of not transgressing against the will and the Commandments of God.” (Confer with John 13:34-35)
The second passage Psalms 118:22: The stone which the builders refused is [become the head stone of the corner:(እርሱ የማዕዘን ራስ ሆነ, ersu yemaezen ras hone) “HE BE the Head of The Corner”] while applicable to the current power structure of the world system, interpreted from an alternate perspective (of the 360 degree cipher) is also literally fulfilled during H.I.M.’s laying the foundation stone of The Haile Selassie I University, within the historical context, of the Derg’s Creeping Coup and any current course of action that members “builders” of the African Union whom choose to “refuse” the principles of progress laid under the guidance of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I/The Father of Africa (First President of The Organization for African Union), in exchange for narcissistically illusive means of temporal self indulgent gain.
“A century hence, when future generations study the pages of history, seeking to follow and fathom the growth and development of the African continent, what will they find of this Conference? Will it be remembered as an occasion on which the leaders of a liberated Africa, acting boldly and with determination, bent events to their will and shaped the future destinies of the African peoples? Will this meeting be memorialized for its solid achievements for the intelligence and maturity which marked the decisions taken here? Or will it be recalled for its failures, for the inability of Africa’s leaders to transcend local prejudice and individual differences, for the disappointment and disillusionment which followed in its train?
These questions give us all pause. The answers are within our power to dictate. The challenges and opportunities which open before us today are greater than those presented at any time in Africa’s millennia of history. The risks and the dangers which confront us are no less great. The immense responsibilities which history and circumstance have thrust upon us demand balanced and sober reflection. If we succeed in the tasks which lie before us our names will be remembered and our deeds recalled by those who follow us. If we fail history will puzzle at our failure and mourn what it lost. We approach the days ahead with the prayer that we have assembled here may be granted the wisdom the judgment and the inspiration which will enable us to maintain our faith with the peoples and the nations which have entrusted their fate to our hands. ” H.I.M. Haile Selassie I May 25 1963, Acceptance Speech as 1st President of The OAU.
Regardless of whatever actions those currently sitting in office may take or conditions the system of things may create, we that recognize H.I.M. Haile Selassie I as King of Kings, Father of Africa, Earth’s Rightful Ruler, Light of This World should not allow ourselves to be frustrated by trivial matters such as the erecting of a statue but seek to recognize the biblically prophetic elements that are manifested by such occurrences and how they are relevant in pertaining to us. Perhaps, then we will become increasingly proficient, whether on a grassroots or bureaucratic level, in recognizing and effectively pursuing The Will of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I.
pdf download OAU/AU 50 Year Commemorative Compendium
pdf download Select Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I