In this commentary I investigate the roots of American exceptionalism in the Puritan conception of the special covenantal relationship of New England (and later, America) with God. I argue that the contemporary culture has maintained the Puritan idea of exceptionalism, while having forgotten some of the moral constraints upon personal and national conduct that accompanied that idea. For the Puritans, material and military prosperity followed from conformity to the moral requirements inscribed in their divine covenant with God. I argue that in the contemporary context, the direction is reversed: Culture warriors show their worthiness to impose their moral vision upon the country by defending the nation’s material and military prosperity.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kaveny/2/