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The Religion of Greed

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The Religion of Greed

“…money has become modern man’s most popular way of accumulating Being, of coping with our gnawing intuition that we don’t really exist.”  David Loy

In American culture, advertising is based on the premise that greed is good. Although greed is contrary to the ethics and values of most religions, it doesn’t really seem to matter much. Given the pervasiveness of greed today, the most widely accepted religion could be called Money, the religion of greed.

You may have paused for a chuckle at the absurdity of such a thought, but consider that under the rules of this form of religion, the marketplace, instead of being a space for the exchange of goods and services, has become the guiding principle for all nations and people. It even sends out corporate missionaries to the less-industrialized countries to integrate the people fully into the consumer market of spending money. Can’t afford it? No problem, can you say “charge it”?

According to Carolyn Wesson, author of Women Who Shop Too Much, “59 million persons in the United States are addicted to shopping or to spending.” The number of U.S. shopping centers has grown from 2,000 in 1957 to more than 30,000 today, meaning the number of shopping malls has surpassed the number of high schools in this country.

Two years ago the Nielsen Company ran a survey showing 10 percent of the world’s population (627 million), shopped on-line, while 2 years later the numbers had increased by 40 percent to 875 million people. Whether traveling to the stores or sitting at home we continue to feed our need to consume.

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Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include author, artist, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia's blogs: and. To view her website go to


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9:35AM PST on Feb 2, 2013

Great article,thanks. Greed is killing our planet. Interesting points.

9:40PM PST on Jan 29, 2013

School brain washes you to go to college and make a lot of money. Success=high paying job+college. Having money is great for security and saving for an emergency and retirement in old age.

You can be wealthy and still frugal like Warren Buffet. He still lives in the same house as he did fifty-five years ago.

1:50PM PST on Jan 16, 2012

Thank you for this wonderful article - I think I need to keep the idea of greed as a religion in mind during my everyday life. It's important to remember to banish greed and care instead (just like the name of the site)!
I think the idea of a 'religion of greed' is especially applicable when thinking about politics. I started a book recently called 'Operation Downfall' by Daniel McNeet (, which is a political thriller about corruption and greed in the US government. I can't help but think I'll be reminded of this article when next I pick up the book.

4:08PM PDT on Aug 30, 2011

I've heard the phrase 'religion of greed' before, and it completely makes sense to me. Greed is everpresent in America, even behind a layer of morality. There's a great book that talks about the 'shadow' of greed: "Shadow in the USA" by Kay Plumb -

8:15AM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

I totally agree, however, this is largely preaching to the choir. The "wrongness" with obsessing over material things has been explained since before even the Buddha addressed it. The Christ certainly addressed it. The fact is that people are deaf and blind to realities for which they are simply not ready.

May all beings be enlightened, May all beings discover and understand their suffering. May all beings find and follow the way out of suffering.

6:07PM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

This should be read by everyone, and should be taught in the schools to children before helping them choose careers they were born to pursue---for the betterment of all, not just themselves. There is a spiritual undertone to everything, and perhaps when the pain of empty pursuits become overwhelming, there will be a change of direction.

5:22PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Brilliant word combination!!

5:29PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

Some good points here. Thank you.

9:44AM PST on Jan 24, 2011

good points

12:48AM PST on Jan 24, 2011

Thank you very much for this article! And a big thank you to all the people who made so many insightful comments.
Yes, people need to change their more-more-more-mentality and sit down and realize what really matters :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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