At the conclusion of a church service

At the conclusion of a church service, a priest will often call on each member of the church to go out into the world, prepared to serve God and the greater cause of the faith. The priest will often follow this by praying and asking God to bless the congregation’s activities. These concluding sentences from various State of the Union speeches contain distinct similarities with this religious ritual.
While the religious commitments of individual citizens is an important factor in how significantly religion influences the politics of a nation, it’s also crucial to think more historically, to look at the public rituals, language, imagery and narratives that constitute the way we think about American nation-states and constitute national identity. The United States is but one example.