On June 2, people across the country will wear orange as a sign of their commitment to curtailing gun violence, and Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde is urging members of the diocese to join in.
“I know it’s not easy to talk about the issues that divide us as Americans, such as gun violence, from the perspective of our Christian faith,” Budde wrote in herrecent blog post. “But we simply must persevere with courage and love. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.’”
The Wear Orange movement began in 2013 after Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old high school student was shot to death on the south side of Chicago. Her friends asked people to honor Hadiya by wearing orange—the color hunters choose for safety—on her birthday, June 2. Their cause was taken up by gun violence prevention groups around the country, who last year promoted the first National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
This year, more than 85 partner organizations, including Bishops United Against Gun Violence, are urging their members and friends to wear orange to commemorate Pendleton’s life and to help pass common sense gun legislation.
Budde and others members of Bishops United are asking Episcopalians and others to:
- Share material such as this post on Facebook and this tweet on Twitter
- Have their picture taken in orange garb on June 2 and posted on social media using the hashtags #WearOrange and #Episcopal
- Follow Bishops United Against Gun Violence on Facebook: Episcopalians Against Gun Violence and Twitter: The Cross Lobby.
Members of the clergy are invited to consider joining the movement to wear an orange stole on Sunday, June 5.
Bishops United also urges Episcopalians to work for common sense solutions to gun violence including: background checks on all gun purchases, handgun purchaser licensing, the passage of a clear, effective statute making gun trafficking a federal crime and the development of smart gun technology.
“One day the tide of violence in this country will turn,” Budde wrote, “when enough people of goodwill persevere in doing what we know is right.”