“When Religion Becomes Evil” by Charles Kimball helps the reader understand the way religion has become corrupted by the ways of the world. Religion differences have become a predominant issue in society coupled with greed and corruption resulting in corrupt religions. The issue I found the most problematic is blind obedience whereby the followers are not permitted to question the absolute truths claimed by the religion or their followers. Kimball said that “Blind obedience is not always or necessarily a purely voluntary matter. It is nonetheless a sure sign of religion becoming evil” (p.83). Such an aspect of any religion draws questions in the followers’ mind as to whether the religion is genuine or not. Establishment of ideal time is another sign of a corrupted religion whereby the religion emphasizes that a certain event in prophecy will be attained at a specific time. This is based on absolute truths such that the claims are made to attract more followers. This brings forth the question how do the leaders establish that an event will happen at a specific time. In addition, the declaration of holy war by a faith is a sign that it has been corrupted to its core. The declaration of war by a religion is an oxymoron by claims that the war seeks to strengthen the faith. How can bloodshed and violence bring about peace? Moreover, how can a religion that should set a precedent for the society by practicing peace and being compassionate to its neighbors claim to be righteous, are questions that a reader raises upon examining the book. Religions have become obsessed by the need to gains recognition, which has corrupted their values and swayed them from their purposes in society, which is to provide good guidance and spiritual nourishment. Absolute truths have become the foundation of violent religions who claim to act violently in the quest for peace, which is unfounded.
Religion is one of the factors that make up personal and group identities. Religion has a definite role to play in people’s search for world peace. The moral principles and values contained in the teachings of great religious teachers are essential factors for the reduction and ultimate eradication of greed, hatred, and delusion which form the root cause of various conflicts and wars, both within and without. The world cannot have peace until nations and people begin to reduce their selfish desires for more and more material possessions, give up their racial arrogance, and eliminate their madness for worldly power.