Richard John Neuhaus on American ExceptionalismFirst Things 107 (November 2000): 69-88.
Americans have at times “theologized” their history, seeing this experiment as an instrument — maybe even the instrument — of God’s unfolding purposes. That way of thinking has been out of fashion for some time now. When it was in vogue, it was sometimes attended by a doctrine of American “exceptionalism” so exaggerated that American purposes were depicted in angelic hues, untouched by the ambiguities, corruptions, and lust for power associated with mere mortals… The caution is always in order. Those who think of themselves as angels may end up by giving themselves license to do things that are, in fact, quite beastly.