Notes: Killing for God and religious-based wars strike me as particularly evil in their perversion of the good intentions of religion. My good friend Pat Crowe sent me the following e-mail after he saw this week's strip:

"I just finished 'When Religion Becomes Evil' by Charles Kimball. Kimball grew up in Oklahoma, in a Christian church, but his grandfather was an observant Jew living in New York, where Kimball spent a lot of time with his Jewish cousins, etc. Since receiving a doctorate at Harvard, Kimball has spent most of his career working with ecumenical groups that promote dialogue between religions. Most of his work has been in the Middle East.

"Kimball holds that violence is not justified or promoted by the core, essential doctrines Judaism, Islam, or Christianity. On the contrary, he finds that peace and social justice are central to each of these religions. Then he identifies the 5 most common identifiers of religious corruption. The first on the list is absolute truth claims. 'I know the way to God. You don't. I pity/hate you.' I have fought against this kind of absolutism in Christianity since I was a kid, so you can imagine that I was pretty impressed with Kimball." 12.01.02