In March 2011, House Bill 87, Georgia’s cruel anti-immigrant law was passed by the House and Senate. As the third annual Holy Week Pilgrimage for Immigrants began, the media’s attention was on Georgia and many immigrants, allies, and persons of faith were praying Governor Deal would veto this scapegoating piece of legislation.
As is tradition, the pilgrimage began on Palm Sunday in the North Georgia town of Gainesville. However, this commencement location took on additional meaning this year as this is the hometown of Gov. Deal. Would Deal be like Governor Pilate or would he rule justly?
Organizers of this year’s pilgrimage sensed a greater sense of fear to engage in this prayer with feet. With the exception of Cobb County where we saw a record turnout of 500 pilgrims, most legs of the pilgrimage saw a significant decrease. But this pilgrimage has never been about numbers but about a Gospel resistance to the dehumanizing politics of fear that crucify God’s people. For that reason, this was likely the most important year of the pilgrimage to date and perhaps three years of faithfulness prepared us “for such a time as this.”