Published 2016-11-13

So there was this enormous flood. Bob heard news broadcasts telling everyone in his neighborhood to evacuate before the end of the day. Bob said: “my faith in God will protect me.”

Eventually the water was lapping up over his porch into his house. His neighbor comes by in a rowboat and says, “hey Bob, get in the boat! I'm headed to higher ground.” Bob says, “my faith in God will protect me.”

By nighttime Bob is clinging to the chimney at peak of the roof of his house, water rising up around his ankles. A National Guard helicopter flies over. Over the squawky they say: “grab onto the ladder and we'll pull you to safety!" Bob says, "my faith in God will protect me.”

So then Bob drowns. In heaven he meets God and says, “why didn't You send a miracle to save me? I had total faith in You.” God says, “whaddya mean? I sent three of them: a news broadcast, your neighbor, and the National Guard!”

When people talk about the strength of American institutions, how one man can’t just wreck 240 years of America, I think they are right. I have faith in the United States of America. Comfortable establishmentarians like myself have been consoling ourselves for decades with this faith, while one miracle after another passes us by. I am realizing very belatedly that WE are the miracle that keeps America from wrecking itself.