Neuhaus argues quite properly that America itself is not the promised land or the kingdom of God; it is still another place of exile.
And so we return to the beginning. When I meet God, I expect to meet him as an American. Not most importantly as an American, to be sure, but as someone who tried to take seriously, and tried to encourage others to take seriously, the story of America within the story of the world.
The argument, in short, is that God is not indifferent to the American experiment, and therefore we who are called to think about God and His ways through time dare not be indifferent to the American experiment. America is not uniquely Babylon, but it is our time and place in Babylon. We seek its peace in which we find our peace as we yearn for and eucharistically anticipate the New Jerusalem that is our pilgrim goal. It is time to think again—to think deeply, to think theologically—about the story of America and its place in the story of the world. Again, the words of Augustine: “It is beyond anything incredible that God should have willed the kingdoms of men, their dominations and their servitudes, to be outside the range of the laws of his providence.”