Is saying ‘God bless you’ when someone sneezes on campus the next microaggression?

It’s hard to know what the PC police will crack down on next. If one unidentified faculty member at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley gets his druthers, it will be uttering the words “God bless you.”

As CBS afficialte KGBT reports, the request, “Please refrain from saying, ‘God bless you’ during the classes and exams,” appeared in the syllabus for his course. It was deleted after some students complained, but a screen grab went viral on social media and is still available:


The teacher never clarified what it was he found objectionable, but presumably it wasn’t the prospect of students reacting in a socially acceptable manner to the sound of a sneeze; notice he didn’t add “or ‘Gesundheit'” to the highlighted bullet point.

The reaction among students on campus was mixed. Marcos Villarreal thought the request was over-the-top, telling reporters, “It’s kind of ridiculous, first amendment, freedom of religion. It’s there. We shouldn’t have to block that out of school.” Another student, Aaron Bravo, saw the incident as much ado. “I honestly wouldn’t have a problem with it,” he said, adding “it’s the teacher’s classroom.”

The school’s administrators was not as forthcoming with a reaction and refused on-camera interviews. They did, however, release a statement that is shamefully dishonest:

The professor’s syllabus sought to identify examples of potentially disruptive behavior the professor believed could hinder the classroom learning environment, including use of cellphones. The intent was not to limit the religious freedoms of UTRGV students, but to avoid unsolicited comments that might distract others.

A video report by KGBT follows:

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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