Historian William E. Weeks has noted that three key themes were usually touched upon by advocates of Manifest Destiny:
the virtue of the American people and their institutions;
the mission to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of the United States;
the destiny under God to do this work.
The origin of the first theme, later known as American Exceptionalism, was often traced to America's Puritan heritage, particularly John Winthrop's famous "City upon a Hill" sermon of 1630, in which he called for the establishment of a virtuous community that would be a shining example to the Old World. In his influential 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, Thomas Paine echoed this notion, arguing that the American Revolution provided an opportunity to create a new, better society:
We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand...
This country I was born in (barely Hawaii).. has been touting devine rights from the Atlantic to the Pacific since the late 1700's. It is too bad that us atheists are just now able to get a glimpse via our vast data bases of knowledge, how religiously corrupt our society is. I know some of you are in the UK or other countries. But this is rotten. It makes me a little pissed Im 'mercan. It is going to take lifetimes of US(not U.S.) protesting (not in the streets) the debauchery of religion in all flavors to make a dent. Will there ever be success. Maybe we will only have small battles won.
The gubby should be held accountable for its treachery in the last few centuries, with religious intent and backbone on trial. So Gross.