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Update Newsletters
11 March 2007 Issue

1. Become a CVA Sustainer

2. CVA Outreach

3. The Peaceable Table

4. Animals' Voice Magazine

5. Animal Ministry

6. Christianity and Violence: The Truth in Fiction

1. Become a CVA Sustainer
CVA needs your support. Sustainers who donate $25/yr or more receive our popular Take Heart! daily e-note.
To become a sustainer go to the dues-paying section of www.christianveg.org/freemembership.htm.

2. CVA Outreach: Easter Leafleting
Please let us know if you can leaflet for the CVA on Easter Sunday. We discourage leafleting on private church property, so we often find that the best churches to leaflet are those in urban areas where people must traverse
public property to get to churches. Suburban churches often have large parking lots, so people are often on private property from the time they park to the time they enter church. Please do not put CVA leaflets under
windshield wipes. Leafleting at Easter can be very effective and rewarding.

Volunteer Feedback

Nine volunteers from Saving Animals Via Education leafleted at a Gaithers Homecoming concert in Tallahassee, FL on Jan. 26, and they distributed over
3300 copies of the CVA booklet Honoring God's Creation. Great work!

Upcoming Events

3/18 IL Champaign Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
3/22 NY Albany Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
3/23 TN Nashville Acquire the Fire Battle Cry Christian conference
3/23-24 FL Coral Gables Acquire the Fire Christian Rock Conference
3/23-24 SC Greenville Extraordinary Women Conference
3/23 PA Erie Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
3/24 PA York Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
3/24 TN Nashville Acquire the Fire Battle Cry Christian conference
3/25 PA Wilkes-Barre Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
3/29-31 FL Waldo Bill Bailey's 2007 Spring Gospel Jubilee!
3/30 TX Dallas Acquire the Fire Christian Rock Conference
3/30 AL Ozark Audio Adrenaline Christian Rock Concert
3/30-31 NC Winston-Salem Acquire the Fire Christian Rock Conference
3/31 TN Johnson City 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. The March 2007 Issue of The Peaceable Table
http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue30.html includes: The Editorial "The Wall," which deals with the artificial moral barrier humans have erected between human animals and all other animals, making us "insiders" and putting animals beyond the pale. But that which is made by our minds can be unmade by them.

* NewsNotes includes a significant experiment in which human volunteers lived for a time in a tent enclosure in a British zoo, eating largely the same diet as the apes. The results for their health were very heartening.

* Book Review of Holly Roberts' Vegetarian Christian Saints, with accounts of a hundred and fifty saints who followed a meatless diet.

* The Pioneer for March is Seraphim of Sarov, a much-beloved Russian saint who lived in close intimacy with forest animals.

Peace to all God's Animals,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

4. Animals Voice Magazine
Avid CVA supporter encourages people to subscribe to The Animals Voice Magazine - $20/yr,
http://www.animalsvoice.com/PAGES/news/magazine_back.html.

5. Animal Ministry
Nancy Cronk, founder of Interfaith Animal Clergy, is offering a new program in the field of Animal Ministry. You can see and subscribe to her interfaith animal ministry on-line class at www.animalclergy.com.

6. Christianity and Violence - The Truth in Fiction
[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It is being archived at http://www.christianveg.org/violence_view.htm.]

While many Christians are skeptical of the historical accuracy of certain biblical stories, I think one reason that Christianity flourished in the first centuries A.D. and now has about 2 billion members is that the Bible has revealed profound insights into human relationships. Great stories reveal important truths, whether or not they are factually accurate in all its details. Consequently, it is not surprising that René Girard developed mimetic theory while exploring fictional literature. Briefly, Girard found that "classic" novels, which have withstood the test of time, have depicted desires as mimetic. In other words, according to these novels, desires arise as people observe what other people seem to want. Further, these novels often identify competition for the same objects of desire as the source of rivalries that breed resentments and hostilities. One thing that makes certain novels perennial classics is that they describe human conflict in terms that strike readers as true.

In a culture replete with novels, most go largely unnoticed. Those that enjoy brief popularity typically present human conflict in simple, accessible, and emotionally appealing terms, such as stark good versus stark evil. Whereas we find in real life that generally decent people sometimes do disreputable things, and sometimes nasty people display acts of kindness and generosity, many popular novels have one-dimensional characters.

"Romance novels" exemplify popular novels in that they portray their subject - love - in a similarly simplistically manner. Typically, romance novels feature attractive people who fall in love, but they must overcome sinister forces in order for their love to flourish. The reader's sympathies are typically undivided. However, such novels fail to provide much insight into the actual challenges of most human relationships. People tend to quickly forget such novels, which have little relevance to the readers' lives and the lives of people around them. In contrast, while many people find that classic novels require more thought and are sometimes more troubling, these novels depict truths that continue to resonate with readers for many generations. In classic novels, conflicts often relate to acquisitive mimetic desires shared by sympathetic characters, who have flaws, and distasteful characters, who have redeeming features. The characters, while fictional, are believable, because what they say and do accord with readers' experiences and relationships.

In contrast to fiction, nonfiction stories aim to relate factual material objectively. However, nonfiction writers must choose, from a wide range of possibly relevant facts, which facts are accurate and relevant to their stories. While nonfiction writers may try to be objective, their beliefs and values invariably color how they report events. Our modern culture wants objective facts, but all accounts (whether purporting to be fiction or nonfiction) are stories that include subjective elements and reflect the biases of the writers. To the degree that "nonfiction" storytellers manipulate their material and (either consciously or unconsciously) promote a certain point-of-view, nonfiction is less true than fiction, because fiction makes no pretense of direct correspondence with real people or events. Consequently, explicitly fictional stories can be less inclined to mislead.

Next week, we will explore relationships in literature and covenantal relationships.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

Your question and comments are welcome

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