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The Profits of Religion

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This excoriating critique of religion, especially as represented by powerful clerical institutions, is a lesser-known work by the author who had earlier become famous with his publication of The Jungle, an exposT of the poor labor conditions and unsanitary practices in Chicago's meat-packing industry. More than just a tirade against religion, this is the work of an impassi ...more
Paperback, 315 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by Prometheus Books (first published July 1st 1970)
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Craig Williams
Sep 04, 2015 Craig Williams rated it liked it
"Let us not fail, young comrades; let us not write on the scroll of history that mankind had to go through yet new generations of wars and tumults and enslavements, because the youth of the international revolution could not lift themselves above those ancient personal vices which wrecked the fair hopes of their fathers—bigotry and intolerance, vindictiveness and vanity, envy, hatred and malice and all uncharitableness!"

I swear I didn't start reading this book to perfectly coincide with the late
Laura Lee
Sep 11, 2011 Laura Lee rated it really liked it
Sinclair is a passionate and articulate advocate, and I enjoy his rhetoric on behalf of working people and against social inequality. The main thrust of his argument, however, is that religion, as it now exists, (or more accurately as it then existed) is nothing more than a tool used to keep the oppressed from rising up against a wealthy class that the religious leaders represent.

It is an argument that I might have found compelling in my youth. In fact, when I was in high school I wrote a cheeky
Mark Wilkerson
Jan 11, 2015 Mark Wilkerson rated it it was amazing
This book proves to be quite the comprehensive takedown of organized religion. Sinclair chronicles the influence that leaders of organized religion, chiefly the Christian religion, hold over business and government leaders of his time. They strike down unions and those "dangerous" individuals with socialist or anarchist ideas through the use the brute force of police and the legislative power of the government, profit off of the poor and ignorant through quack medicines and non-scientific or bib ...more
Corbin Routier
Dec 09, 2014 Corbin Routier rated it it was amazing
"In its true sense Religion is the most fundamental of the soul's impulses, the impassioned love of life, the feeling of its preciousness, the desire to foster and further it. In that sense every thinking man must be religious; in that sense Religion is a perpetually self renewing force, the very nature of our being. In that sense I have no thought of assailing it, I would make it clear that I hold it beyond assailment. But we are denied the pleasure of using the word in that honest sense, becau ...more
Jim Thomas
Oct 16, 2015 Jim Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any Upton Sinclair book has some great things to say even if some have an enormous amout of intellectual meat and some not as much but what is there always surprises me. He shows how religion has been used to control people, steal their money, control politics yet who is not antheist. It's the churches and people who use if for Capitalistic abuse. Sinclair was openly a Socialist. One thing I found really funny is when he wrote about people going on and on about the signs are here and the world w ...more
Apr 20, 2015 Megan rated it really liked it
It was very interesting to read Upton Sinclair's opinions on religion, but I had a hard time accepting some of his ideas about it. His views on raising children don't make much sense when one takes into consideration how he raised his own son. Also, I think it needed a bit more fact to be entirely convincing, but it was entertaining nonetheless (especially near the end when he "tricks" the reader).
An excellent discussion of the $$ behind religion and how it controls individuals in order to push them down a particular path. Though written before 1920 (and self-published by the author because there was no other way to get it into print), this book is spot-on currently and is a MUST-READ for anyone who has been a member of organized religion(s).
Sep 06, 2012 Eli rated it really liked it
There's a bit of casual anti-Semitism that bothers me quite a bit, but this is a no-holds-barred attack on religion as a fraud that enriches the privileged, and perpetuates human ignorance.
Apr 18, 2013 Bita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I skimmed through towards the end. It started off ok , but got weird and boring later and repetitious
The good thing is you can download it for free online
Joshua Jackson
Apr 10, 2008 Joshua Jackson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
Known mostly for his "muckraking" novel "The Jungle," Sinclair was a versatile and prolific writer and political activist. "The Profits of Religion"
Nov 18, 2014 XRay RMA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm at a time when you are so much for a long way in hell of an old lady at my job to
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Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr. was an American author who wrote close to one hundred books in many genres. He achieved popularity in the first half of the twentieth century, acquiring particular fame for his classic muckraking novel, The Jungle (1906). To gather information for the novel, Sinclair spent seven weeks undercover working in the meat packing plants of Chicago. These direct experiences expos ...more
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“...the priests of all these cults, the singers, shouters, prayers and exhorters of Bootstrap-lifting have as their distinguishing characteristic that they do very little lifting at their own bootstraps, and less at any other man's. Now and then you may see one bend and give a delicate tug, of a purely symbolical character: as when the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Bootstrap-lifters comes once a year to wash the feet of the poor; or when the Sunday-school Superintendent of the Baptist Bootstrap-lifters shakes the hand of one of his Colorado mine-slaves. But for the most part the priests and preachers of Bootstrap-lifting walk haughtily erect, many of them being so swollen with prosperity that they could not reach their bootstraps if they wanted to. Their role in life is to exhort other men to more vigorous efforts at self-elevation, that the agents of the Wholesale Pickpockets' Association may ply their immemorial role with less chance of interference.” 7 likes
“In the year 1819 an act of Parliament was proposed limiting the labor of children nine years of age to four-teen hours a day. This would seem to have been a reasonable provision, likely to have won the approval of Christ; yet the bill was violently opposed by Christian employers, backed by Christian clergymen. It was interfering with freedom of contract, and therefore with the will of Providence; it was anathema to an established Church, whose function was in 1819, as it is in 1918, and was in 1918 B. C., to teach the divine origin and sanction of the prevailing economic order.” 3 likes
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