I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her
commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there;
in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there;
in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.
Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits
aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius
America is great because she is good and if America ever ceases to be good,
America will cease to be great.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
For more great quotes by de Tocqueville: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/465.Alexis_de_Tocqueville