Corruption in religion

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The history of religion includes numerous examples of religious leaders calling attention to corruption in the religious practices and institutions of their time.


  • The teacher is a royal functionary, steadily promoted, making a career—and now be dramatically plays Christianity, in short, he plays comedy. He lectures about renunciation, but he himself is being steadily promoted; he teaches all that about despising worldly titles and rank, but he himself is making a career.
    • Søren Kierkegaard, Attack upon Christendom (1855), as translated by Walter Lowrie (1944), p. 121
  • James W. Fifield Jr. ... convinced the industrialists that clergymen could be the means of regaining the upper hand in their war with Roosevelt in the coming years. As men of God, they could give voice to the same conservative complaints as business leaders, but without any suspicion that they were motivated solely by self-interest.
    • Kevin M. Kruse, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (2015), p. 3
  • The ecclesiastical authorities, for all practical purposes, acted as servants of the State in the confrontation with Jesus. In one version, the chief priest protests: "Caesar is our king, we have no other king but Caesar." In the dispute over jurisdiction between Pilate and Herod, they warn: "If you release him, you will not be Caesar's friend." The ecclesiastics were, practically speaking, surrogates of the State. That is an all-too-familiar situation for chief priests to be found in.
    • William Stringfellow, "Jesus the Criminal" (1969), in William Stringfellow: Essential Writings (2013), pp. 65-66

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