A. Barton Hinkle on the God-Awful Mess Religion in the Public Sphere Makes



In the 213 years since Jefferson wrote of the First Amendment's 'high and impregnable' wall between church and state in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, debate regarding private faith and the public sphere has waxed and waned. Get ready for some more waxing. In recent days, writes A. Barton Hinkle, Muslims won two victories, one major and one minor. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city schools will close to observe the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. To the north, officials at McGill University in Montreal signified their openness to a request by Muslim students for women-only hours at the school gym. If McGill approves the request, it will follow the lead of Harvard, which created women-only hours at one of its gyms several years ago.