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"There are a score of great religions in the world, each with scores or hundreds of sects, each with its priestly orders, its complicated creed and ritual, its heavens and hells. Each has its thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of true believers; each damns all the others, with more or less heartiness--and each is a mighty fortress of Graft."
The Profits of Religion, Upton Sinclair ‎· Eivind
"a mighty fortress of Graft" - I am not sure what he means by that. ‎· maitani
Graft is political corruption. He's very fond of the word. He uses it all the time for bribery and other forms of corrupting the political process for profit in The Jungle :) ‎· Eivind
This, I imagine, is about religion as a tool for the priestly caste/class to extract wealth from the laboring classes and live in idle luxury. ‎· Eivind
A couple of other excerpts to support that hypothesis: "The Lamas are very clever in many ways, and have a great hold over the entire country. They are ninety per cent of them unscrupulous scamps, depraved in every way and given to every sort of vice. So are the women Lamas. They live and sponge on the credulity and ignorance of the crowds; it is to maintain this ignorance, upon which their luxurious life depends, that foreign influence of every kind is strictly kept out of the country." ‎· Eivind
"Wherever belief and ritual have become the means of livelihood of a class, all innovation will of necessity be taken as an attack upon that class; it will be literally a crime--robbing the priests of their age-long privileges." ‎· Eivind
And a funny tidbit: "I will record an utterance of one of the obscure victims of the British standard of outward decency, a teacher of mathematics named Holyoake, who presumed to discuss in a public hall the starvation of the working classes of the country. A preacher objected that he had discussed our duty to our neighbor and neglected our duty to God; whereupon the lecturer replied: Our national Church and general religious institutions cost us, upon accredited computation, about twenty million pounds annually. Worship being thus expensive, I appeal to your heads and your pockets whether we are not too poor to have a God. While our distress lasts, I think it would be wise to put deity upon half pay. And for that utterance the unfortunate teacher of mathematics served six months in the common Gaol at Gloucester!" ‎· Eivind
"So that I may attribute all the changes of Religion in the world, to one and the some cause; and that is, unpleasing Priests" ‎· fax
I don't understand what you're getting at, @ufux? ‎· Eivind