Delivering an address “of surpassing clarity of thought [and] felicity of expression,” President Coolidge “spoke in a clear, resonant voice which was easily heard, through the use of amplifiers … and was broadcast to countless thousands more listening in.” The full address, excerpted here, was published in the Christmas 1928 issue of Cathedral Age.

We cannot doubt that the world is growing better. But because we have made a very large progress is no reason for failing to comprehend the enormous work that yet remains to be performed. The most casual survey of our own country reveals the existence of conditions which require constantly increasing efforts for their redress. The officers of our governmental agencies are constantly alive to these problems and through legislation and administration are alert to meet their demands. But those who have given these subjects much thought are constantly reminded that an additional element is needed.

The advancement of knowledge, the increase in science, the growth and distribution of wealth, the enactment of laws, while they may all be commendable or even necessary in themselves, do not alone meet the problem of human existence or furnish a sufficient foundation for human progress. Man is more than all these. Organized government and organized society have done much and can do much. Their efforts will always be necessary, but without the inspiration of faith, without devotion to religion, they are inadequate to serve the needs of mankind.

We cannot remind ourselves too often that our right to be free, the support of our principles of justice, our obligations to each other in domestic affairs, and our duty to humanity abroad, the confidence in each other necessary to support our social and economic relations, and finally the fabric of our government itself, all rest on religion. The debt which this country owes to the men and women down through the ages who have been teaching and are teaching today the cause of righteousness is beyond all estimation.