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Update Newsletters
22 October 2006 Issue

1. Commentary (Replies Welcomed)

2. Activist Feedback

3. Published Editorial for World Vegetarian Day

4. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence
-Healing in the Synagogue

1. Commentary (Replies Welcomed)
If people would wait until animals died naturally to use the body for sports equipment and food we would not have to feel guilt for slaughtering. Footballs, baseball gloves, and other sports gear could be used from animals after their natural death.

The same could apply to eating meat. Though the thought of eating meat from an animal who perished naturally would be unsettling at first, people who chose to eat meat would appreciate the meals more. Only through protecting animals can we hasten the day when the wolf will lie with the lamb, the child will play near the viper's nest and the ox shall live with the lion. And a little child shall lead them. Then will there be no more destroying on all His Holy mountain.

Brett Luster

2. Activist Feedback
Denise in El Paso, tabling at the Veggie Fair writes: My sister Sonia told me that the Veggie Fair got off to a slow start on Saturday. I got there at 12:30 and it was busy with people. There were food demonstrations (vegan), samples of soy products from the local vegan and vegetarian friendly store Sun Harvest, there were speakers talking about the effects on the environment from dairy farms, farm factories, etc. The Vegetarian Society also had ample handouts, some from CVA (Honoring God's Creation) and from animal rights groups. Approximately 200 booklets were given out and a few people signed up for membership. I don't mind holding on to this material in case there are any upcoming Christian events in El Paso.

Thank you and God Bless You.

Some featured upcoming events:
11/4 MO Saint Charles Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert

11/5 MN Rochester Hearts at Home Women’s Conference

11/6 TX Belton An Evening with Joel Osteen

11/10 MI Battle Creek Gaithers Homecoming Tour

11/11 OH Akron Gaithers Homecoming Tour

11/11 SC Florence Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert

11/12 GA Augusta Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert

11/14 GA Savannah Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert

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 christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you might be able to help.

3. Published Editorial for World Vegetarian Day
CVA member Jenny Moxham recently had the following editorial published in her local newspaper:

If you could improve your health, help alleviate world hunger, reduce animal abuse, reduce global warming and environmental damage and save hundreds of thousands of litres of water, simply by refraining from doing one simple thing ...would you?

Well, simply by refraining from buying animal products you can achieve all this.

Today, more and more people are realizing that choosing to be vegan is far more than a mere 'dietary choice'. It is about rescuing the planet from destruction and preventing human suffering as well as non-human suffering. It is about creating a sustainable future.

In third world countries, children starve next to fields of soya and grain destined for export as animal feed for Western nations. For every 10kg of plant protein fed to cattle, only one kg is converted into meat

The irony is that whilst the worlds poor are dying of poverty, millions of affluent Westerners are dying from heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cancers, largely caused by eating animal products.

Water scarcity is reaching crisis point. According to the CSIRO, every kilogram of meat consumed requires up to 100,000 litres of water to produce. In contrast, rice, our thirstiest crop, requires only 1500 litres.

Nov.1st is World Vegan Day ... the perfect day to make the decision to try a more healthy, sustainable, and compassionate vegan lifestyle.

4. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence
-Healing in the Synagogue


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

I think that one reason Jesus healed so many people was that he was trying to show that our broken world desperately needs healing. Jesus prayed, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10), and the earth requires much healing if it is to resemble a heavenly paradise. What has been the illness that has always stricken humankind? No doubt, people have suffered from diseases such as infections, cancers, and heart disease. From the standpoint of human community, the leading disease has been violence, as humans have killed untold millions of each other – approximately 160 million in wars during the last century alone.1 Human violence has also blighted God’s nonhuman Creation, and every year humans unnecessarily abuse and kill many billions of animals.

Jesus taught his followers how to heal both the body and the soul, and the ultimate consequence was a path towards healing broken relationships in our communities. For example, in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus began his ministry by entering the synagogue and healing a man with “an unclean spirit” (Mark 1:23-25). There are several remarkable aspects to this story. First, Jesus healed the man’s demonic possession without harming the man. Previously, humans had frequently accused scapegoats of demonic possession and killed them or banished them. If it were safe for us to have our demons (e.g., addictions to sex, drugs, power, or fame) exorcised, we could acknowledge our demons and face them directly.

Second, the healing occurred in the synagogue. Mark’s Gospel describes Jesus repeatedly healing in synagogues: “And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39). Only clean people were allowed in the synagogue, so people with “an unclean spirit” would normally be excluded. It is not clear how the man with an “unclean spirit” got in, but the important point was that Jesus did not do what was customary at the time – to expel the man. Instead, he chose to expel the demon. Historically, religions have always distinguished “clean” from “unclean” people. This is what people always do when they judge others – people believe that they are “clean” and condemn others as possessed by “unclean spirits,” or “evil inclinations,” or “sinful desires.” People tend to see their own violence against “unclean” people as “God’s justice” rather than as the violence that it is.

A third point involves how those in the synagogue received Jesus. Before Jesus healed the possessed man, they admired his teaching: “And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). Those with “authority” had always been able to “cure” the problem of demonic possession by killing or expelling the possessed person. However, Jesus healed with authority in a new way: “And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching!’” (1:27). Remarkably, their amazement was not focused on the healing per se. Rather, they were astonished by the teaching, saying, “With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him” (1:27). The authorities had “cured” possession by scapegoating; Jesus’ nonviolent solution to the problem of demonic possession was a new teaching.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

Your question and comments are welcome

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