> Downsizing the Church - John Dale Davidson, Lord William Rees-Mogg
> We know what happened to organized religion in the wkae
> of the Gunpowder Revolution: it created strong incentives to downsize
> religious institutions and lower their costs. When the traditional
> Church declined to do this, Protestant sects seized the opportunity to
> compete. In so doing they employed almost every device imaginable to
> reduce the cost of living a pious life: [faith over deeds -gab]
> o They built spare new churches and sometiems stripped the
> altars of older ones to free capital for other uses.
> o They revices Christian doctrine in ways that lowered
> costs, emphasizing faith over good deeds as a key to
> o They developed a new, terse liturgy, pared or eliminated
> feast days [holidays where one couldn't work but had
> to not only lose income, but spend it on deeds to demonstrate
> their piety -gab], and abolished numerous sacraments.
It's worth pointing out that redefining 'good deeds' to mean 'donating
income to benefit the organisation behind the religion' is the second
step taken by any successful self-perpetuating religion. And this
includes chain letters.
The first, of course, is to declare all other religions untrue.
('Like you, I hate junk mail, but I just had to tell you about this
Interesting document - where I can get the full text?