Saying ‘God Bless You’ Declared a Microaggression in Simmons College

The concept of “microaggressions” has taken college campuses by storm as students rally to police each other for offensive language, and the phrase “God Bless You,” said after a sneeze, is no exception to draconian new guidelines instituted by Simmons College in Boston.

National Review’s Kat Timpf reports that a new “anti-oppression” guide posted online by the college classifies the rather innocuous phrase as a form of bigotry.

“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 guide, which is “by no means exhaustive.”

The rulebook provides links to over 100 articles and YouTube videos, classified into eight different categories: anti-oppression, anti-racism, anti-transmisia, anti-ableism, anti-Islamomisia, anti-sanism, anti-queermisia, and social justice zines.

Rather than adopt the typical suffix of “-phobia,” the guide’s authors chose to go with “-misia” as the term “phobia” may be considered offensive to people with medical phobias. How quaint.

“So when we use terms like ‘homophobia,’ we are equating bigotry with a mental health disorder,” it explains. “Misia (pronounced ‘miz-eeya’) comes from the Greek word for hate or hatred.”

The term “God Bless You” is filed under the guide’s anti-Islamomisia section, which classifies it as a “common Islamomisic microaggression.”

It explains:

“Assumption of One’s Own Religious Identity as the Norm: Comments or behaviors that convey people’s presumption that their religion is the standard and behaves accordingly (e.g., greeting someone ‘Merry Christmas’ or saying ‘God bless you’ after someone sneezes conveys one’s perception that everyone is Christian or believes in God).”

Contrary to the guide’s claim that the term is somehow offensive to non-religious people, no sane individual would find the common phrase, which has roots in Anglo-Christian culture, to be offensive.

Curiously, the guide does not have any sections for anti-Christian or anti-atheist discrimination, which says all you need to know about who the college considers deserving of special protections.


You can reach out to Ian on Twitter at @stillgray and follow his political and gaming livestreams on Twitch.

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