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Update Newsletters
16 April 2006 Issue

Christ is Risen!

1. Leafleting Feedback
2. Upcoming CVA Tabling
3. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: The Parakletos - Defender of the Accused, part 2

1. Leafleting feedback
Regarding leafleting at a Joyce Meyers Conference in Winston-Salem, NC, Michele writes: Thank you for your encouraging words and advice when I called you two nights ago. To be honest with you, I was a nervous wreck!! I kept having nightmares of police officers asking me to leave the coliseum and all kind of horrific thoughts about how my leafleting experience was going to be. But you told me that I was right when I said that I was the small ant standing in the middle of a giant mountain, and to start thinking about all the animals out there that are suffering in the meat factories. And so I did, and let me tell you how grateful I am for your kind words and also for inspiring me to be fearless and an active voice for the animals.

I went yesterday to the Joel Coliseum, just at the time where everybody was leaving, so I got the chance to leaflet to a big crowd. It was very easy, and a pleasant experience, as I did get some feedback, all positive.

My 8 year old daughter came with me, as she's also very committed in helping the animals, and wanted to help me. She said, "Mommy, I have the charm factor, and nobody is going to resist it!!". And she was right! My daughter kept smiling to everybody, and was sooooo cute!! People would stop walking for her to hand them pamphlets. If people were walking fast, she would run after them and get their attention. She was great! And I'm telling you, I'm very proud of her. When people asked questions she would answer in such a loving and compassionate way about the animals, that she almost made me cry. We hand out most of the pamphlets yesterday. We met a health teacher that has over 100 students, she got so interested in your information that she started chasing us all over the parking lot to ask us where she can get more of your literature, because she wants to share it with her students. I showed her your web page, so she will probably be contacting you soon.

My husband got so excited about our success last night that he decided to join us this morning, we went to the Coliseum again to hand out our last stack of pamphlets, my daughter came too, and between the 3 of us we were able to finish in 30 minutes. People was very receptive to the information, we even got hugs and people blessing us for what we were doing, it was very rewarding and we all felt really blessed for the chance you gave us to help the animals.

To find out about upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, check out 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 christian_vegetarian@yahoo.comif you might be able to help.

2. Upcoming CVA Tabling
The CVA will have tables at the upcoming events below. If you plan to attend any of them, please stop by the CVA table and say hello.

4/22 Encino, CA WorldFest
4/22 Knoxville, TN EarthFest
4/22 Nashville, TN Earth Day Celebration in Centennial Park
4/22 College Station, TX Planet Earth Celebration
4/22 Richmond, VA Earth Day Richmond 2006
4/23 San Diego, CA EarthFair 2006 (Balboa Park)
4/23 St. Louis, MO Earth Day at Muny Grounds in Forest Park
4/23 Atlanta, GA Earth Day at Georgia Tech
4/23 Cleveland, OH EarthFest
4/28 Galviston, TX Earth Day at U Texas Medical Branch

3. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence:
The Parakletos – Defender of the Accused, part 2

[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It is being archived at http://www.christianveg.com/violence_view.htm.]

John 16:7-11 reads, “…it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor [Greek: parakletos] will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world about sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father, and you will see me no more; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

From the perspective of mimetic theory and the scapegoating mechanism, this is a principle function of the parakletos, or Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works slowly in human communities, assisting their gradual recognition of the scandal of “sacred” violence, i.e., violence done in the name of God which is not God’s will. In many ways, the Holy Spirit can more effectively spread Christ’s message than Jesus himself. Because of the scapegoating mechanism, people always resist prophets. Indeed, they tend to kill the prophets who point out the innocence of the scapegoating victim. Therefore, the subtle assistance of the Counselor may prove more revealing than the actual personage of Jesus.

Jesus said that the Counselor will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment. Regarding sin, the Holy Spirit will reveal that human communities, since the foundation of human civilization, have blamed scapegoats rather than accept responsibility for their own sins. It is not that scapegoats are totally innocent; rather, they are not nearly as guilty as the community believes. If they had believed in Jesus, they would have rejected scapegoating violence.

Regarding righteousness, the Holy Spirit will reveal that the sense of righteousness that always accompanies the scapegoating mechanism is mistaken. The people had wrongly believed that righteousness involved killing an innocent person at the behest of religious authorities. Jesus, judged sinful by the mob, went to the Father. This proved his innocence and therefore proved that the people’s understanding of righteousness (i.e., that God wants “sacred” violence) had been wrong.

Regarding judgment, the Holy Spirit will reveal that God’s judgment is loving and forgiving, not accusatory like the satanic mob. The ruler of our world of violence is Satan (the subject of recent essays), whose temptations Jesus rejected. Accusatory human judgments have always been satanic – people have sacrificed peripheral, expendable members of the community in order to gain communal peace. The revelation of Christ and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit undermine this universal mindset.

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12) Jesus was a single person struggling against strong forces of oppression. With the help of the Holy Spirit awakening concern for victims in society at large, our voices in defense of victims are more readily heard. Consequently, each of us has great potential to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression, defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17).

Acting in accord with God’s love and mercy in an expression of faith, to which we will turn next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

Your question and comments are welcome

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