In my morning internet wanderings today I came across two articles, shared by two different friends, both about prejudice in academia – one at the college level, “An Acceptable Prejudice?” and the other at the pre-school level, “LR Christian Academy rejects Mormon as pupil.”
Perhaps I’m lucky, but the only thing I’ve ever noticed is that I have to ask for water at department lunches (and then have to remind the wait staff to keep refilling the pitcher because everyone at the table decides that’s a better idea than the iced tea originally provided). But I’ve been doing something similar since fourth grade when I volunteered to bring Sprite to a class party because everyone else was bringing Coke (and the Sprite was always the first thing we ran out of too).
Mormonism has come up in a class discussion every so often. The last time I had the opportunity to clear up some misunderstandings a few classmates had about what the LDS Church teaches with regards to science. But I’ve never felt attacked for my beliefs by classmates or professors.
But I know prejudice is out there. Which is why I don’t blatantly advertise my beliefs, I let them percolate out. I talk about the year and a half I lived in Brasil and don’t mention I was there as an LDS missionary unless asked. I have photos of us on our wedding day in front of the Bountiful temple in my office, but I don’t go into details about why we got married there unless asked. I tell people I got my undergraduate degree from BYU and taught in Utah for six years, and it’s pretty easy to assume from that. Being LDS is part of everything I do and I am very proud (that seems like the wrong word) of who I am, but I don’t shove it in people’s faces. Because I know that there are people who would be more than happy to shove it right back.