Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'christmas'

Calvin Coolidge on the spiritual power of Christmas

In his many addresses to the nation, President Calvin Coolidge made a point of routinely redirecting the country’s attention to the “things of the spirit.” In his Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, he encouraged the country to reorient its vision of abundance, progressing not only in material prosperity, but also “in moral and spiritual things.” In his reflections on the Declaration of Independence, he reminded us that ours is a liberty not meant for “pagan materialism,” which would surely turn our prosperity into “a barren sceptre in our grasp.” Years earlier, as President of the Massachusetts Senate, he urged legislators to remember that “statutes must appeal to more than material welfare.” “Man has a spiritual nature,” he continued. Continue Reading...

Explainer: Christmas 2016 by the Numbers

As the most widely observed cultural holiday in the world, Christmas produces many things—joy, happiness, gratitude, reverence. And numbers. Lots of peculiar, often large, numbers. Here are a few to contemplate this season: $50.82 – Average amount U.S. Continue Reading...

The cost of Twelve Days of Christmas: $34,363.49

If you’ve been stuck at the mall listening to a song about ten Lords a-Leaping and eight Maids a-Milking you can blame the Jesuits. Rumor has it they invented the Twelve Days of Christmas song as a catechism in code for persecuted Catholics in 16th-century England. Continue Reading...

An economist’s Christmas: Is gift-giving wasteful?

During a season such as Christmas, where hyper-consumerism and hyper-generosity converge in strange and mysterious ways, it’s a question worth asking: How much of our gift-giving is inefficient and wasteful? For some, it’s a buzz-kill question worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge. Continue Reading...

5 Facts About Christmas

Christmas is the most widely observed cultural holiday in the world. Here are five factsyou should know about the annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus: 1. No one knows what day or month Jesus was born (though some scholars speculate that it was in September). Continue Reading...

Joy for the World: Restoring the Joy of God to Cultural Witness

Over the last century, Christianity has declined in social influence across much of the Western world, leading many to believe it has little place or purpose in public life. In response, Christian reactions have varied, with the more typical approaches being fortification (“hide!”), domination (“fight!”), or accommodation (“blend in!”).  Continue Reading...

The Joyful Seriousness of Christmas

As Christians living in a secular age, there’s a temptation to use Christmas as a wedge to wage epic new battles to restore Christendom. But despite the flurry of hackneyed “War on Christmas” tropes, there is, alas, something rather amiss. Continue Reading...

Nothing New ‘Underneath that Burning Sun’

Friedrich Hayek once called intellectuals “professional secondhand dealers in ideas.” And the Preacher proclaimed, “There is nothing new under the sun.” So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising when ideas, memes, and other cultural phenomena pop up again and again. Continue Reading...