In Robert Di Nero’s The Good Shepherd an Italian-American (Joe Pesci) asks a CIA agent (Matt Damon):
Q: We Italians, we have the Church and the family; the Irish, they have their homeland; the Jews, tradition. Hell, even the niggers have their music… What do you people have?
A: We have the United States of America, the rest of you people are just visiting.
It was a comment on the WASP nature of the CIA: early agents were all upper-class Yankee boys from Harvard and Yale who considered themselves the natural rulers of the nation. America was their church and their belief system. Damon’s character had sacrificed his conscience and his happiness to serve his nation and his class.
America is a fine country, but it makes a poor god.