‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God Bless You’ a Microaggression Against Muslims? What?

By Nancy Flory Published on March 10, 2018

Saying “God bless you” is a microaggression against Muslims? “Merry Christmas”? “Happy Easter”? Really? So claim librarians at Simmons College in Boston.

They put together an “Anti-Oppression Library Guide.” And surprise! Christians may be the worst offenders.

Anti-Oppression

Oppression “is prejudice plus power,” write the librarians. Systems of oppression infiltrate our language. They shape our behavior in our culture. And they are “built around what are understood to be ‘norms’ in our societies.”

They give “heterosexism” as an example. (They prefer to call it “Queermisia.”) People assume it is the “norm.” When people speak as if it’s the norm, they victimize those who are not heterosexual. They make non-heterosexual people feel like outsiders. Heterosexism “is privileged by and built into laws around marriage, property ownership, and raising/adopting children.” 

Christians — Especially Guilty

How are Christians the worst defenders? Christians are the ones who have “institutional power,” the librarians claim. What they think are Christian prejudices have the most effect on others. 

Saying “Merry Christmas” assumes that everyone should celebrate the holiday, at least as far as saying “Merry Christmas.” Saying “God bless you” assumes that everyone believes in God. This offends those who don’t, they say. These “indignities” encourage the oppressive systems of “religious/Christian hierarchy.” 

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Muslims also suffer “Islamomisic microaggressions,” write the librarians. “Islamomisic Microaggressions are commonplace verbal or behavioral indignities.” They can be intentional or unintentional. They are “slights and insults in relation to the beliefs and religious practices of Muslims.”

This means Christians better not wear a hijab as a fashion statement. Or endorse religious stereotypes. They can’t tell someone else they’re in the “wrong religion,” or assume their own religion is the norm. They also can’t deny their prejudice. These are all “microaggressions.”

Christian Fragility

Christians suffer from “Christian fragility,” the guide says. This may cause them to become angry during discussions about religion. They simply don’t have skills to talk about religious differences.

The “dominant social environment” makes Christians feel superior, the librarians write. They may become defensive and act like victims when others challenge their  “religious privilege.”

Christians “expect social comfort and a sense of belonging and superiority,” the librarians say. “When this comfort is disrupted, Christians are often at a loss because they have not had to build skills for constructive engagement with difference.”

And Christians have “Christian privilege,” like getting time off for a Christian holiday. Or placing one’s hand on a Bible in a swearing-in ceremony. People of other religions don’t have this, they note.

A spokesperson for the college told Fox News that the document is not complete. They said the guide is an “introductory resource” to provide general information about “anti-oppression, diversity, and inclusion.”

Wonder what the list would look like were it complete.

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