Why not worship money?
At least its rewards are obvious and immediate. But no, that was simplistic. [Their] worship was more subtle, its ethics bound to those traits and habits that well served the acquisition of wealth. Diligence, discipline, hard work, optimism, the personalization of glory.
And the corresponding evils: sloth, despair and the anonymity of failure. The world was brutal enough to winnow one from the other and leave no room for doubt or mealy equivocation.
In this way, worship could become pragmatism, and pragmatism was a cold god.