“I heard that all five of you BYU Democrats have been pretty active this year! *wink wink*”
“You’re a member of the BYU Democrats? Have they taken away your temple recommend yet?”
“They let you guys exist?!?!”
If you have ever thought about saying one of these things (or maybe you continue to say them)- please, in the wise words of our beloved President Uchtdorf: STOP IT.
As the current Co-President of this group, let me share with you a few things.
Did you know that we have about 30-35 people regularly attend our weekly meetings? Did you know that we have close to 700 BYU students on our emailing list and about 400 in our Facebook group? Did you know that the advisor for our club is the Chair of the Political Science Department? Did you know that none of us have gotten our temple recommends taken away for being a member of the club?
Did you know that every time you crack a joke about the BYU Democrats being lame or too inconsequential to make any difference, you diminish the possibility for recognizing their achievements and prominence, and by extension liberal Mormons as a whole?
The BYU Democrats is the largest College Democrats chapter in Utah. Dozens of us participated in campaigning for President Obama, with many of us taking weekend trips to canvass in Colorado and participate in weekly phone banks. Several BYU Democrats are currently serving internships with the Utah legislature, including as interns to two of the five Democrats in the State Senate (which are difficult spots to achieve). We have weekly club meetings with speakers, debates, and other activities like field trips to the state capitol, all of which have been well attended.
So please, stop talking crap about the BYU Democrats. We’re not the largest club on campus, and we haven’t single-handedly influenced any elections. But every time you jokingly (or not jokingly) spread these incorrect assumptions about the BYU Democrats, you disparage liberal Mormons and the possibility for the Church to be politically neutral. You send the message that liberal Mormons are still a joke, it is some feat of enormous courage and threat for excommunication to admit that you are a Democrat, and it is okay to diminish the successes of a minority simply for being a minority.
We deserve better, you deserve better, and the greater community of Mormons and people outside the church watching this dialogue unfold deserve better. So stop talking crap about the BYU Democrats. Instead, think about speaking about us favorably once in a while. Consider supporting our club, monetarily or by offering your professional services as a speaker at one of our club meetings if you’re ever in Utah. Let us know if there are any job openings or conferences in your respective fields that members of our club might be interested in. Instead of talking down about us, reach out a hand and help us be better- among us are members of the next generation of LDS Dems.
Feel free to contact Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org