Anthony Esolen brings it. The gut punch:
America, said G. K. Chesterton, who came to visit here shortly before his death, was a nation with the soul of a church. But in some sense, I think all nations must be so if they are to remain nations and not mere political agglomerates. If you are not one nation under God, as the Pledge of Allegiance affirms, you will soon find yourselves to be no nation at all. That is because men cannot possibly be united by the political—it is like asking Germany and France to unite by declaring war on one another. It is a performative contradiction.
Please read it all.