We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustees under God of the civilization of the world… God has marked us as his chosen people, henceforth to lead in the regeneration of the world… he has made us adept in government that we administer governments among savage and senile people.
– Albert J. Beveridge (USA Senator)
A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place or shrine of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith. Christians in the past traveled to the holy places identified as the places of birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. This was done as a way to connect with the historical and devotional reality of Jesus. Pilgrimages were/are a long journey or search of great moral significance.
These journeys to christian sites are still popular, mostly among Roman Catholic, Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox groups. Not so much among the christians sub-group in the USA, especially those identified as evangelicals, unless it is election year. On Nov. 4th USAmericans will once again, like every 4 years, embark on a pilgrimage to the “promise land.” The way in which most USAmerican Christians, conservatives and liberals, from the right and the left, set about this journey is by the religious practice of voting. Once the vote is casted at the voting both (or by the other means of voting available), the pilgrimage is completed. The completion of this religious discipline have accomplished it’s purpose of perpetuating the system for yet another 4 more years while at the same time providing meaningful civic satisfaction and sense of purpose to the pilgrims.
If we observe the fact that election year is the time when USAmerican christians speak the loudest about their values (whatever that means) and beliefs, then election year is that event that bring not only dis/unity but also serve as catalyst for authentic expression of religious/spiritual zeal and passion. No other event draw more attention to religion in the USA than the electorial year. Taking into consideration that a religion is set of practices and disciplines with a corporal expression, often centered upon specific supernatural and moral claims about reality, the cosmos, and human nature, it is then easy to reach the conclusion that USAmerican politics – especially the 4 year cycle election process- it is a religion in itself. If one honestly observe the amount of energy, resources and time that a sub-group of people identified with christian faith spend in validating the electoral process of USA, it clear to see that what take place every 4 years is nothing else than idolatry. If actions really speak louder than words, then no wonder the USAmerican christian church is for the most part deaf to the plea of justice and transformation reverbarating in the world.
While many christians around the world pray “let your Kingdom come,” the USAmerican christian plea for the coming of the Kingdom is expressed by casting a vote every 4 years and after that going back to a privatized faith.
Most christians in this nation, while not realizing it, live submerged in the mythological assumption of this country as a chosen one by God to bring justice and prosperity to the rest of the world. It is therefore not a surprise that the concept of God’s Kingdom is hardly even mentioned in churches, with the exception of it been some sentimental idea of God’s ruling in ones heart. For many the hope of justice, freedom, fairness and prosperity once placed in the promise of the Kingdom of God, now have been fulfilled by USAmerican democracy and market capitalism.
While the price to pay to this corporate-political god is high – sacrifice of lives in military enterprise, the lost of communities and families on behalf of accumulation of capital, the destruction of environment for means of productions, the obliteration of dignity of those whom have become disposable people, new ways of slavery et cetera- USAmerican christians for the most part will keep quite for another 4 years, when once again the season of holy pilgrimage will begin, ending on election day.