We’ve remarked before on President Obama’s readiness to close major speeches to the American people by saying, “God bless America.”

He’ll do so a bit later today, at the conclusion of his back-to-school remarks to the nation’s children. One could quite rightly say this is no big deal, in the overall context of American political life. Politicians frequently use the phrase in the United States.

But as the Daily Blog noted when the president signed off in the same way at the end of his victory speech last November, this public readiness to turn to God sets America apart from most other countries in the developed world. In these countries, such a reference to God is regarded as unseemly at best.

Not in the United States, though, where Americans are still humble enough to be ready to thank God for their good fortune and to ask for his continued blessings on their country.

It’s a good thing, and it’s more important than it might seem. It’s a concrete expression of the collective determination of Americans to resist, at least to some degree, the unhealthy tide of secularism that has washed over contemporary Europe.