Living

Safety First

safety_pin2Dear Everyone-Annoyed-By-the-Safety-Pins,

You are not marginalized.  Sit down.

I know just as many as you do– those bleeding hearts whose entire sense of worth comes from jumping on board every trendy cause.  Yes, they are making it more about themselves; they want everyone to know they’re cool and liberal, and most of them probably live in highly gentrified cities where it’s not even necessary to wear the safety pin because the general population of the area is liberal and a “Safe zone” for minorities.

Can you imagine, though, being a person living in rural America who feels afraid because of what half our country has just proven it is okay with– misogyny, racism, bigotry, hate crimes, rape culture, and homophobia?  For just a moment, even if you think it’s hogwash, put yourselves in the shoes of someone who is afraid right now because of who was just elected President and because of all the open hate that is beginning to be reported day after day… attributed to this President elect.

You think it’s ridiculous, you think it’s Millennial whining (believe me I have plenty to say about Millennials, but this ain’t one of them), you think it’s sore losing and perpetuating irrational fear… yet even so, can you find compassion because the fear is real to THEM?  If you voted for Trump and you’re not a racist, bigot, homophobe or misogynist- why don’t YOU put on a safety pin?  Why don’t you evangelicals who think Republican is the Christian party practice a little Jesus right now and make a whole f*&%ing SUIT out of safety pins.  Your arms should be more open than anyone.

Do you know how much it would mean to the immigrant in Kansas busing your table, or a pregnant teen in North Carolina unsure of what to do, or the 25 black students in your 90% white school or your muslim neighbor in Missouri to, in a quiet way identify you as a friend, as someone with compassion?  How about the woman who has to walk home alone at night knowing that our nation’s leader condones & participates in sexual assault?  Maybe your safety pin lets her know she can walk on your side of the street.

Forget about the trend-shadowers.  Are YOU a safe person for the fearful to interact with?  If you are, let them know.

Sincerely,

Bethany Joy Lenz

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25 Comments

  • Reply Zara

    Hi Joy

    This is such a beautiful and powerful read. Thanks for taking the time to write this and share your thoughts with you.

    November 15, 2016 at 11:55 am
  • Reply Thanh

    Both my parents are immigrants and was one of five Asian in a white high school. After the election I was told to go back to Asia.. considering that I was born here. Never have I felt ,so shame what the world is becoming. This is raw and powerful.

    Thank you, Joy.

    November 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm
  • Reply vicki burris

    We will all be ok. We as Americans have our own opinions of the future with the new president. Whether good or bad. I believe in a higher power. I also believe in what you put out there you get back whether good or bad. I have raised my kids on the idea of karma. Ilike to think they are going to be ok as young adults and how they treat people as well as theirselves. It always goes back to prayer and being thankful for what we do have in this wonderful country of USA. Thanks for reading

    November 15, 2016 at 6:04 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    Hi. I am a huge fan. I just watched your hallmark Christmas movie and loved it and stumbled upon this article. I take huge offense to part of it though. I vote based on my biblical beliefs. That doesn’t mean my arms aren’t wide open to love and show compassion – because I am always to Love, love the way Christ did. But when it’s election time I vote based on my biblical convictions, I uphold marriage that way God intended it to be and life happens at conception- so those unfornutely are always party dividers. I truly hate that you say in your article that “we think Republican is the Christian party. ” it’s not about thinking that the Republican Party is the Christian party- but I would as a bible believing Christ follower not vote for an invidual who publically states that they are for the things that Go against my convictions. I hate the the world try’s to say love like Jesus but yet they water down Gods word- he states it so clearly what things we are to stand for.

    November 15, 2016 at 7:37 pm
  • Reply Kristen

    Kelly, I’m genuinely interested as a fellow Christ follower how those convictions carry more weight for you than the creation mandate, the mandate to care for orphans and widows, etc. I ask because I hear a lot of Christians make the argument you just did and it doesn’t hold up for me because each candidate in some way goes against our convictions. Being a one or two issue voter, in my opinion, throws the baby out with the bath water.

    November 16, 2016 at 4:08 am
  • Reply Kelly

    Kristen your right they both did in some way go against our beliefs- but I am not saying I only vote based on two things- I vote based on all my beliefs but none of my beliefs ever line up with the Democratic Party because they have become so liberal. However I did not say I did or did not agree with the Republican person chosen, I was making statement regarding what Bethany said about christians assuming it’s the Christian party. I am a Christian and I do not assume that- I vote based on who will vote and uphold biblical truth. And Kristen it goes deeper than abortion or laws on marriage and widows and caring for orphans. It’s all about sharing the gospel of Christ and his truth – our culture has watered down Gods word to fit what they want it to be. However we should be praying for our leaders regardless if you agree with who was chosen or not, pray for Gods wisdom to lead and guide them

    November 16, 2016 at 7:10 am
  • Reply Amanda

    As an evangelical, born again, practicing Christ follower–I would never say the Republican party is the Christian ideal. It is, however, the party that has not abandoned us. At least we are still heard. At least they are not shouting their tolerance from the rooftops as they call us hate mongers, xyz phobic and any of the other names the left slings like mud in the guise of open-mindedness. Sure, they are tolerant. Of those who think like they do or speak like they do. But we are the ones labeled as hate groups?

    I’ll tell you what we are. We are called to love, even those who hate us. And, make no mistake; Hollywood, the media, and liberals have spewed nothing but hate towards Christians. They expect us to just take it and bow down to their wishes because that’s what we’ve done in the name of getting along. When Obama won, we were told to shut up and take it. When Trump won, we were told to shut up as they rioted in the streets. I am done being quiet. The sleeping giant that is the church has woken up. I am 100% done with those who don’t know Christ trying to tell me how to act, vote, speak, live. That everyone else can do whatever they want, except us. Yes, I am aware that Jesus said turn the other cheek. But he also turned over the tables when people used His name for their own personal gain or to forward their own agenda.

    And no, I will not be wearing a safety pin. Those around me, those I come in contact with every day, know by my actions. They don’t need some meaningless trinket on my lapel to know where I stand. I choose to treat people with kindness and respect. All people. Because I serve a whosoever God. I serve a God that says give me your brokenness, your pain, your shame, your burdens, repent from sin and I will make you whole, give you peace that passes all understanding and I will show you what it means to love unconditionally. That’s what we are called to do. That’s who we are as Christians. Call me whatever you want because I refuse to play the PC game, but that’s the only label I accept.

    November 16, 2016 at 8:26 am
  • Reply Kelly

    Amanda- this is excellent ! Your spot on

    November 16, 2016 at 8:35 am
  • Reply Joy

    Why so many Christians seek out persecution as a means of validating their position, I will never understand.

    November 16, 2016 at 10:20 am
  • Reply vicki burris

    All these comments have been very enlightening. Glad I returned to read more. Thanks

    November 16, 2016 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Amanda

    I’m not seeking out persecution to validate anything. I’d much rather live in a happy bubble where we all get along. Unfortunately, I live in reality. A reality which includes insurance that now costs twice (that’s two times) the cost of my mortgage thanks to the ACA, a divided country where people would rather hurl insults instead of finding common ground–but no one wants to hear that, we’re just seeking out persecution, a “free” press that wants sound bites instead of sound analysis, a celebrity culture that sits in their ivory towers of moral superiority telling every one else what they should be doing and a society that is raising a generation of fit pitchers every time they don’t get their way. Maybe, just maybe we voted for change because we didn’t like what our country was turning into. Maybe, just maybe we looked at the 30 years of experience one candidate had and didn’t like what we saw.

    November 16, 2016 at 10:56 am
    • Reply Joy

      Right, sure, okay– but still… you’ll refuse to wear a pin on the principle that you “shouldn’t have to”, even though it lets people who feel afraid know that you are compassionate. Really? You didn’t have to vote for Hillary to let folks know your arms are open to the hurting people around you. It’s literally the LEAST you can do. Come on! Let’s let our pride go for a minute and share our compassion

      November 16, 2016 at 12:09 pm
      • Reply Amanda

        Really? I’m not compassionate because I won’t wear a pin? How compassionate are you really if a pin is the only way folks know you have open arms? My point is simply this. People who love others don’t need a neon sign or a safety pin. Sure, it makes you feel good to wear but how many people have come to you for safety as a result? If we truly love and are compassionate won’t we seek them out? Instead of the other way around? And before anyone says, how would you know if they are hurting or not…its called paying attention to the people around you. Talking to them instead of staring at your phone. Being aware of physical signs of stress and anxiety. Offering a kind word or a helping hand to those you come in contact with no matter who it is. It’s speaking up when you see someone being mistreated instead of being silent because you can’t be bothered. It’s treating people as human beings instead of a label. That’s how the world knows you’re compassionate. You live it.

        November 16, 2016 at 12:45 pm
      • Reply Kelly

        Is this Bethany Joy? Or a different Joy

        November 16, 2016 at 6:15 pm
  • Reply Amanda

    Maybe its because I’ve been on both sides, I see things differently. But neither I or nor the people who have come to me needed a passing fad that you’ll forget to wear in a couple years in order to know who to contact for safety.

    November 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply human

    A stranger who is walking down the street won’t automatically know you’re a loving person. The responses here aren’t all taking this reality into account. Does it suck that we as people aren’t all loving, yes, it’s a whole other topic. But when lots of awful acts are happening in the world, I’d do anything for someone to feel safer, regardless of whether I agree it should be unnecessary or whether I agree with the safety sign. When people feel unsafe, it’s our duty as loving people to do whatever it takes to helps.
    So thank you, for this post. For your love. The world deserves it, from us all.
    God bless

    November 17, 2016 at 7:43 am
    • Reply Joy

      yes! thank you for understanding the point.

      November 17, 2016 at 11:21 am
      • Reply human

        Bless you. But honestly, thank you for writing the post. For choosing to use your voice, your powers, your love. To choose to take action. To show people they’re loved. May we all rise up. Love reigns.
        Let me know how I can help you with this, in any way. Thank you ma’am.
        Sending you love and prayers. You’re loved.
        AlisonLouiseBellBooks.com

        November 18, 2016 at 7:47 am
  • Reply Kelly

    I truly regret posting on here-this is exactly why I got rid of Facebook years ago… this argument about stupid safety pins (which anyone could pin one on them, a good person or bad so that doesn’t mean anything ) it is so much deeper than that- This world needs a spiritual awakening .. a revival.

    November 17, 2016 at 8:55 am
    • Reply Amanda

      Amen. You said it way better than I did. I usually keep my opinions to myself, I should have again. Lesson learned.

      November 17, 2016 at 9:37 am
    • Reply human

      Hi Kelly. Max I ask you a question? Do you wear a poppy for remembrance day?
      God bless

      November 18, 2016 at 9:44 am
  • Reply vicki burris

    These are all good comments and maybe their all correct opinions.Their just comments and opinions and we all show are love, friendship and support in different ways. If wearing a safety pin helps you or someone else to feel safe, thats you. For me I don’t need to do that. I’m not comfortable showing my feelings that way. How about a warm smile to someone that looks like their ready to explode for whatever reason. I’m glad everyone these days are looking out for individuals feelings. Sometimes Ifeel we go overboard,like everyone gets a trophy even if you didn’t win or what really made me laugh when I heard some colleges were giving out play dough and coloring books to 20 somethings because they were so upset at the results of the election What it comes down to we all wake up each day and decide how we will intereact with people or how we will handle situations. But if you still need that safety pin ,feel good wearing it. Thanks I’ve enjoyed this blog

    November 17, 2016 at 10:45 pm
  • Reply Erica

    Being a single woman who lives alone, I have felt this fear. I have found myself waking in the middle of the night to check my windows and doors. I am a very outgoing person and I love talking to passerby’s, because that one conversation could be the reason they smile today, but I have been more cautious about it and sometimes feel uncomfortable when a strange man looks at me in the grocery store. I’ve caught myself checking my shirt to make sure it’s not too revealing and giving off the wrong impression, and I shouldn’t have to worry about this!
    Just a few nights ago my neighborhood was woken from an explosion, a home just 3 blocks from mine, exploded, luckily no one was home, but the police and FBI were called in and it is, as of now, under investigation, which of course has be worried shitless, thinking that it may happen to me. I live in a small town, our population is just 2,000. I honestly have never heard of the safety pin, until now, but how am I to know the person wearing one is wearing it because they truly are compassionate, or because they are just conniving and trying to get others to approach? Most of the “good” people choose to walk with their heads down and turn their eyes from those around them suffering or in need, because people are just too damn stuck in their own little bubble and scared to pop it and let others in. Doesn’t matter who you, I or they voted for people just need to get along and stop being so damn ignorant.

    PS I love your blogs by they way! They always have so much insight and you are a damn good writer! Have any plans for writing your own book?

    November 18, 2016 at 11:45 am
  • Reply vicki burris

    Safety pin would not of helped at OSU stabbings

    November 29, 2016 at 9:05 am
  • Reply Jocelyn

    Hi,

    I just came across this randomly and wanted to let you know how on the money you are. I am from Iowa, born and raised in rural America, I am not some person wanting to get recognition in a liberal city. I wear a safer pin for my Muslim, Latino, African American, fellow women, and the LGBTQIA Community. It’s been exactly a month sincr the election and I still wear it on my coat everyday. I won’t take it off because if I can make someone feel better by showing the simplest gesture I will always do it.

    Thanks fam.

    December 7, 2016 at 11:06 pm
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