The Safety Pin Movement

I’m pretty sure that none of you noticed the small ordinary safety pin on my choir robe last Sunday. A few people did notice the one on my sport coat after church and asked me if my name tag had fallen off. That gave me a chance to explain why I am wearing a safety pin every day and everywhere I go. I’d like to share my motivation with you.

I am not the only one wearing a safety pin these days. After our recent presidential election the rise in the number of threats made against Muslims, immigrants, the LGBT community and people of color has risen dramatically. Every hate group in our country seems to believe that the election results have empowered them to be even bolder than they were before.

This also happened in the UK after the Brexit voting results were tallied. The safety pin movement began there as a way for individuals to deliver a simple but powerful message to those who might feel threatened or marginalized by those peddling a message of hate; “You are safe with me!”

This message is needed today here in the US just as it was and still is in the UK. I wear a safety pin to declare that I judge people by their actions and not by the color of their skin, their religion, their immigration status, or their sexuality. I hope that everyone I meet will understand that

  • If your religion is different than mine,
  • If the color of your skin is different from mine,
  • If your country of birth is different from mine, or
  • If your sexuality is different from mine.

            YOU ARE SAFE WITH ME!

To me, that means not only will I not threaten you, but I will not be a silent witness when you are threatened.

I hope that you will consider joining the safety pin movement. Everyone has safety pins at home, and some will be available here in the church. More stylish ones can undoubtedly be purchased online. Wearing one is a small symbolic gesture, but every time I pin one on I pause to think about our society and how we can do more to promote tolerance. I’m pretty sure that Jesus would be wearing one too.

Nate Martin