1. CVA tops 3000
2. Commentary -- Are We Called to Save All the Animals
for free Tofutti (vegan ice cream)
"Theology and Animals" at Xavier University
5. Leafleting and
6. Arizona Animal
7. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: Can Satan Cast
1. CVA tops 3000
The CVA now has over 3000 members. Help us grow throughout the world by
telling family, friends, and Internet colleagues about our ministry.
Commentary -- Are We Called to Save All the Animals
Many activists feel overwhelmed by the amount of animal suffering and
death that is a consequence of human callousness and greed. They are
determined to stop the horrors, yet they find that most people seem
relatively unconcerned and many people are unwilling to even hear about
how humans treat animals on factory farms.
The activists often feel discouraged by their inability to change the
world, and many give up activism (and sometimes even vegetarianism) in
despair. I think the activists err in thinking that they are called to
save all the animals. We activists did not create the problem, so it's
now our fault. The forces backing cruelty are far greater than we are
(but we're growing!), and it is unreasonable to expect that we can do
more than chip away at the problem.
As Christians, we are called only to serve God, not to save the
world. Of course, an important part of that service is to honor God's
creation by protecting God's earth and God's creatures. However, whether
or not we change the world substantially is beyond our control. We
should be practical and pragmatic, choosing those strategies that have
maximum effect, but ultimately we should not hold ourselves responsible
for the state of the world. With that in mind, we may proceed with
determination and confidence, recognizing that service to God is what
gives life purpose and meaning.
3. Coupon for
free Tofutti (vegan ice cream)
"Theology and Animals" at Xavier University.
Dr. Elizabeth J. Farians is teaching this course at Xavier University
this spring. Contact the CVA for further information.
5. Leafleting and
A. Elizabeth Farians and three of her students in her Theology
and Animals class at Xavier leafleted at a Casting Crowns concert in
Cincinnati on 3/18. She writes: Our leafleting was very successful. We
distributed about 1250 booklets in a little over an hour. Almost all
concert-goers said, "Thank you."
B. Lorena, tabling at a Helping Animals 101 conference
in Atlanta, writes: PETA people were very welcoming and the audience was
very receptive. There were about 70-80 attendees. Today 9 people
signed-up for the newsletter and among them was a pastor who wants to
hear more about the CVA.
The conference itself was incredible. First, there were presentations
on the major issues regarding animals: food, entertainment and
experimentation. They had warned the audience that it was going to be a
tough day and boy it was! There was no one there without tears and heavy
hearts. All the videos were powerful and heartbreaking. People left very
hopeless and feeling impotent, and I believe with a lot of anger in
their hearts. The next day was very empowering as people learned how
they can make a difference in this world.
For more information about Helping Animals 101 conferences, visit
C. Upcoming Leafleting Opportunities
3/31 TX Plainview Kutless Christian Rock
3/31 LA Shreveport/Bossier Women of Faith Conference
3/31 TN Chattanooga Third Day Christian Rock
3/31 OK Tulsa Gaither Homecoming
3/31 TX Dallas Acquire the Fire
4/1 FL Orlando Christian Rock Festival
4/1 LA Angola Franklin Graham Festival
4/1 OH Columbus Reliant K Christian Rock
4/1 NC Charlotte Acquire the Fire
4/6 SC Greenville Casting Crowns
4/7 VA Lynchburg Casting Crowns
4/7 TX Dallas Dare 2 Share Revolution Youth Conference
4/8 TX Houston Dare 2 Share Revolution Youth
4/8 KY Louisville Casting Crowns
4/15 FL Jacksonville Casting Crowns
4/21 MO Kansas Casting Crowns
4/22 CO Denver Casting Crowns
4/24 TX Abilene Casting Crowns
4/28 IA Ames Casting Crowns
4/29 MN St. Paul Casting Crowns
To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities
in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group.christian_vegetarian/. Read the home
page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify
upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you might be able to help.
6. Arizona Animal
There is an Arizona statewide initiative for the November 2006 ballot to
ban the current confining gestation crates in which pregnant sows are
inhumanely held and to do the same to the veal crates that confine veal
calves. For more information, visit
7. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: Can Satan
Cast Out Satan?
[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It
is being archived at
The Gospel of Mark reads, “And the scribes who came down from
Jerusalem said, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of
demons he casts out the demons.’ And he called them to him, and said to
them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided
against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided
against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has
risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming
to an end.’” (3:22-26)
I think that a Girardian reading of this passage lends some helpful
insights. From the foundation of human civilization, people have
projected their own anger and hostility onto scapegoats, claimed that
those scapegoats were possessed by satanic demons, and then expelled or
killed the scapegoats. The scapegoating mob has always believed that
their actions were just and the will of God or the gods (the divine).
In truth, the human forces that have tried to eradicate Satan from
their midst have been satanic. “Satan casting out Satan” describes the
scapegoating mechanism. When people call someone Satan, they have
assumed the role of Satan the accuser, and invariably they come to
participate in scapegoating. Jesus taught that the way of Satan is
accusation, while the way of God is forgiveness.
Accusation is Satanic because it attempts to absolve the accuser of
guilt while simultaneously ascribing too much guilt to the accused.
However, forgiveness breaks the cycle of accusation, and it is through
forgiveness that Satan falls from heaven like lightning (Luke 10:18),
because Satan loses all of his power.
Jesus did not deny that Satan casts out Satan. In the short term,
satanic forces can cast out the perceived Satan in a community’s midst.
However, Jesus taught that it doesn’t ultimately work, because attempts
by Satan to cast out Satan merely divide the house between the satanic
forces that scapegoat and the victims of the scapegoating mechanism.
People are never fully innocent, given that nobody is without sin.
Indeed, as long as the scapegoating mechanism is the glue that holds
communities together, the main difference between the victims and the
victimizers is who happens to have power at the moment. As long as the
scapegoating mechanism pervades human communities, the victims would
readily become victimizers, if they could.
While the victims of scapegoating violence are rarely completely
innocent, they are never as guilty as perceived by the scapegoating mob.
Meanwhile, the mob never recognizes its own satanic desires, because it
always attributes its own hate and violence to the divine. Consequently,
the peace created by the scapegoating mechanism is always temporary.
Invariably, hostilities build up until, once again, Satan attempts to
cast out Satan with the scapegoating mechanism. According to René
Girard’s anthropologic analysis, this happens perpetually because all
cultures are grounded on the scapegoating mechanism (see essays 6 & 7).
The only way to break the endless cycle of violence is to develop a new
culture grounded in love and forgiveness, which is what Christ offered.
Jesus taught that satanic violence is ultimately self-defeating,
because a house divided against itself cannot stand. Scapegoating
violence is only a temporary “solution” to the problem of human violence
in that it substitutes a small dose of sanctioned, “sacred” violence for
the widespread “profane” violence that would otherwise occur. By
exposing the scapegoating mechanism as a scandal, Jesus facilitated
reconciliation and offered a way to stop the cycle of violence. Inspired
by Jesus and, perhaps, assisted by the Holy Spirit, we can refuse to
participate in the scapegoating mechanism. If necessary, we may assume
the role, like Christ, of the willing and forgiving victim. Whether or
not satanic violence is self-defeating, as faithful Christians we should
do our best to imitate Christ and participate in the reconciliation of
Creation. This includes living prayerfully and peacefully. If we find
ourselves victims of the scapegoating mechanism, I think our faith calls
us to willingly submit to its powers. If we forcibly resist, the mob
will regard our resistance as satanic, and the house will remain divided
I think this helps explain 1 Peter, which encourages slaves to obey
their masters and wives to submit to their husbands. Christians, by
their examples of love, should encourage others to reform their hurtful
ways. If Christians responded to injustice with violence, they would not
help heal a broken world. Tragically, many Christians have applied 1
Peter’s teachings from the perspective of the victimizer, rather than
the victim, to justify slavery, mistreatment of women, and other abuses.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.