I liked it when the interviewer asked Fr. Deacon Michael if Orthodoxy could spread in Jamaica and he said unequivocally, "It has, in the form of the Ethiopian tradition". It was a little disappointing, however, that the follow up question didn't have to do with what could be done to support the existing Orthodox mission, which has indeed become an integral part of Jamaican culture, but rather how the Byzantine Church could get a foothold and compete.
My quibble with this isn't whether or not some Chalcedonians consider us to be Orthodox or not; it has to do with the ambiguous and sometimes disingenuous way in which some Chalcedonians approach the point at which Orthodoxy, Rastafari, and the Byzantine Church intersect.
I can't help but find it irksome when, on any number of message boards and blog comment sections, some of our Chalcedonian brothers and sisters emphasize certain facts to Rastas, such as "You know, Bob Marley died Orthodox" or "You know, His Majesty was a devout Orthodox Christian" while simultaneously endeavoring to insinuate the idea that the Oriental Orthodox Churches "aren't quite Orthodox" and that Rastas would be better served by becoming Chalcedonian. As I said, if they don't regard us as Orthodox, they don't. No big deal. That's not the issue here. But to act as if Bob and His Majesty were somehow Orthodox while the rest of us aren't...or that Rastas would be better following the examples of Bob and His Majesty by becoming Chalcedonian...is just weird and sort of dishonest.
This blog post, for example, is entitled "Bob Marley: Orthodox Christian":http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/06/03/bob-marley-orthodox-christian/
The author makes a point of emphasizing that Bob and His Majesty were Orthodox, and that Rastas should follow their example. Great. Then some guy in the comments section writes:
All this nonsense about mixing monophysites with Eastern Orthodox under the same banner is getting me down; the same autistic logic should demand we go mad about the Latins because they call themselves “Catholic”.
The “Oriental Orthodox” are very different to us, and have a christology that borders on the Islamic (indeed, Georges Florevsky categorized Islam as being essentially derived as a Coptic heresy).
It is a sin and a scandal to continue enjoining the monophysites to those in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Let them keep their own, and let us get on with our business.
Thought for the day: have you noticed how everyone claims to be in communion with us (their own Popes, including the Bishop of Rome, the Coptic Pope of Alexandria etc.) yet we will never give them the Mystery of Mysteries?
Okay, no big deal. That's his opinion. Whatever. But then the blog's author, the guy who entitled his article "Bob Marley: Orthodox Christian" and spent paragraph after paragraph urging Rastas to follow Bob's example in becoming Orthodox chimes in with:
Amen and amen.
Really? Respectfully, you can't have it both ways. Either it's "Bob Marley: Monophysite Barred from the Mystery of Mysteries" or its "Bob Marley: Orthodox Christian" along with the rest of us with whom he was actually in communion. This is just one example out of many such discussions across the web, and honestly, I detected a little of the same tone in the article Gebre posted (though not from Fr. Deacon Michael, although he used the term "monophysite", I don't think he meant it as a pejorative). I don't want to debate Chalcedon here for the millionth time, I'm just calling for a little intellectual honesty and consistency when it comes to this "Bob was Orthodox...but I'm not so sure about everyone else in the Church he actually belonged to, so you're better off with us" thing. If one is so inclined, there are more forthright and accurate ways to win Rastas to Chalcedonianism than to bait and switch in this way.