"The key distinction in my mind between political theology and modern political philosophy concerns whether human beings legitimately govern themselves. I think this is deeply engrained in the American psyche, even among those who think vaguely that this is a Christian nation, rather than a nation full of many Christians. I avoid the word secular for just this reason, because it is usually taken in a wide sociological sense rather than a narrowly political one. I just don't see many people who think, as Damon suggests, that we have "a Christian form of government," though there are many who think we are, as Lincoln said, "almost chosen."

How do Americans put these two ideas together: self-rule and chosenness? I'm not sure they do, intellectually," - Mark Lilla, in the latest installment of Cato's discussion of his superb new book, "The Stillborn God."

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