A. Barton Hinkle on When Faith and Politics Don’t Mix

According to a poll taken shortly before the
Super Bowl, 50 percent of American sports fans think supernatural
forces affect the outcome of athletic contests. Judging from recent
debates, many Virginians think supernatural forces should affect
the outcome of political ones, too. But, says A. Barton Hinkle,
there must be difference between personally held views and official
government policy. Citizens of a Christian persuasion might feel
differently about the appropriate degree of religion in the public
sphere if county supervisors opened meetings with prayers by
Wiccans, or if Muslims penned legislation to make health clubs hold
separate exercise classes for men and women.

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