Telling a classmate “God bless you” could land you in some serious trouble at a Boston women’s college — that is, according to newly released social justice guidelines that label the remark a “microaggression.”
On its website, the Simmons College library lists six “anti-oppression” categories — “anti-racism,” “anti-transmisia,” “anti-ableism,” “anti-Islamomisia,” “anti-sanism” and “anti-queermisia” — along with guidelines to help students avoid causing offense.
“This guide is intended to provide some general information about anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion as well as information and resources for the social justice issues key to the Simmons College community,” reads the online description.
Despite the incredible detail enclosed in the document, the college insists, “this guide is by no means exhaustive.”
Categorized under the “anti-Islamomisia” tab, students are sternly warned that saying “God bless you” after a sneeze is to commit the microaggression listed as, “Assumption of One’s Own Religious Identity as the Norm.”
So what about wishing someone a “Merry Christmas”? Nope. According to the college, this “conveys one’s perception that everyone is Christian or believes in God.”
Many have labeled the guide as absurd.
“If anything, ‘God bless you’ could perhaps be said to be offensive to people who don’t believe in a God of any kind, but honestly I don’t think that’s true, either. Why? Because I don’t think it assumes anything; it’s just a phrase,” wrote Kat Timpf at National Review. “I don’t think people actually think about it; it’s just something that we grow up hearing and so start saying ourselves. It’s really more of a reflex than a declaration of faith. Personally, I’m not religious, but I’d never for a second think to be offended at someone telling me ‘God bless you’ after I’d sneezed.”
But you’d be misguided to think that such a “micro” aggression is likely to be overlooked by members of staff. Despite the prefix, there is nothing insignificant about this type of “offensive” behavior , according to the college.
“Note: The prefix ‘micro’ is used because these are invocation of religious hierarchy at the individual level (person to person), whereas the “macro” level refers to aggression committed by structures as a whole (e.g. an organizational policy). ‘Micro’ in no way minimalizes (sic.) or otherwise evaluates the impact or seriousness of the aggressions,” the website reads.
You can see the entire guide here.
(H/T: The College Fix)