Snoop Lion and Five More Weird Religious Conversions That Need to Happen
A funny thing happened to our old buddy Snoop Dogg last year: he got religion. And not just any old religion, either. In a move that we probably should have seen coming, the Doggfather formally embraced the Rastafari movement, a Jamaican spiritual ideology with fewer than a million adherents worldwide by most estimates.
Photo by Marco Torres Snoop Whatever at FPSF 2012
Perhaps understandably, this conversion was taken by many to be yet another sign of Snoop's devotion to ganja rather than God. While Rastas' sacramental cannabis usage is pretty widely known (and celebrated) at this point, most of the movement's spiritual pillars are more poorly understood by your average gangsta rap aficionado. Rastafari began popping up in the 1930s during the reign of Ethiopia's Emperor Haile Selassie I, whom the faithful revere as an incarnation of God.
Africa's only independent monarch for a time, Selassie (or Jah Rastafari, as he's known) is expected by his followers to return someday to usher in the perfect world of Zion, a heavenly paradise free from the corruption of Western society.
Following a pilgrimage to Jamaica, the man who wrote "Ain't No Fun (If the Homes Can't Have None)" rechristened himself "Snoop Lion," recorded and released a reggae album and filmed the whole experience for a documentary entitled Reincarnated.
How seriously is Snoop taking this conversion? Tough to say for sure. There are certainly elements of the Rastari way with obvious appeal for the rapper (Afrocentrism; weed). Other beliefs, though, such as the rejection of materialism and sensual pleasures, may be a tad more difficult for him to choke down indefinitely. Fans can judge the Dogg's sincerity for themselves tonight when the Rastaman takes the stage at House of Blues.
At first blush, though, the whole conversion thing feels rather appropriate. Not least because the Rastafari's greatest evangelists have always been musicians -- especially reggae legends like Bob Marley and the Wailers. Nothing helps spread spiritual ideas faster than an honest-to-God pop icon.
In fact, we here at Rocks Off kind of hope that Snoop will be an inspiration for other musical superstars to champion offbeat faiths. Since the proliferation of spiritual healing is a core mission of this here blog, we've come up with a few fringe faiths that only need the right artist to help take them mainstream.
So open your heart, light up a candle (or a spliff, if that's what you believe in) and read on -- you might just discover a new icon with a set of beliefs that you can live with, too.
5. Justin Bieber for Scientology
If there's one superstar right now in desperate need of some spiritual rehabilitation, it's got to be Justin Bieber, the pop sensation/little fuckhead who's made more headlines for his bad behavior in recent months than for his voice-of-a-generation musical stylings. Luckily, there's a religion out there with particular interest and experience in shepherding celebrities into a new spiritual understanding.
According to the tenets of Scientology, humans are immortal beings who have forgotten their true Thetan nature -- a state of spiritual purity that can only be rediscovered through a form of counseling known as auditing. If there's any star who could benefit from a well-publicized return to purity, it's Bieber.
Given Scientology's prioritization of celebrity outreach and "fixed donations," no doubt they'd love to hook up a rich, popular and attractive star like J.B. up to an e-meter at the first opportunity. As for Justin? Well, embracing Scientology makes for better headlines than "Drunken Bieber Pisses Into Mop Bucket." Slightly better, anyway.
4. Lady Gaga for Raëlism
Anybody who saw her hatch out of that egg at the Grammys a couple years back can pretty much agree at this point that Lady Gaga is an extraterrestrial of some sort. And hey, we here at Rocks Off welcome our new alien overlord. In fact, we think her off-world heritage makes her the perfect evangelist for Raëlism, the world's largest UFO religion.
Founded in France in the '70s, the Raëlian Movement teaches humanity was scientifically created by an alien species known as the Elohim, and that if we become peaceful and spiritually aware enough, we can rejoin them amongst the stars one day. Part of that includes being true to our own sexual nature, be it heterosexuality, homosexuality, pansexuality or anything else consenting adults might find hot. Come to think of it, did Gaga found this religion, because it kinda seems right up her alley.
Raëlians are also big fans of human cloning, which they believe is a path to immortality. Lady Gaga might just have the money, stroke and eccentricity required to make the dream of human genetic duplication a reality at last. We only hope there's enough latex in the universe to clothe all her clones.
Story continues on the next page.