Friday, January 16, 2009

Pilgrimage and Social Consciousness

One of the aspects of pilgrimage I've not written much about is pilgrimage and social activism and consciousness.  I know that some pilgrimages are also marches of one kind or another, promoting a social issue.  For example, every Good Friday there is a pilgrimage from Fayetteville to Raleigh, focusing on those who have died in Central and South America because of American politics and military forces, carrying small crosses with names of those who had died.  Meanwhile, the marches for civil rights were pilgrimages.  Those who are against or for a lot of causes usually drum up support for their cause by marching and moving en masse, e.g., Selma with King, Chavez and the farm workers, and the list goes on.  On the pilgrimage to Chimayo there is the opportunity to stop at a United Methodist Church where there is a soup kitchen: pilgrimage with social action.

I am especially struck by the violence in the Holy Land, in which the Palestinian people and the other people of Israel are clearly divided, with violence ripping through the land.

I am struck by the reminder of violence of the Basque area of Spain, evident even during a pilgrimage to Santiago.

When I've been on pilgrimage in Ireland, the violence between northern Ireland and the Republican of Ireland is everywhere.

I am hoping that in 2009 a social consciousness will be a part of the pilgrimages I go on throughout the year.

Buen camino!

Peace, B