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Update Newsletters
25 August 2009 Issue

1. Why Christians Must Not Countenance Animal Mistreatment , part 2

2. Can’t Lose Book Offer – Last Chance

3. Activist Feedback

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman


1. Why Christians Must Not Countenance Animal Mistreatment, part 2

Last week, I maintained that the churches’ explicit and implicit endorsement of animal abuse undermines Jesus’ message. Why is this so?

Jesus encouraged love, compassion, and peace. These principles are incompatible with victimization, in which the powerful benefit from harming the weak. Asserting that the victims are “just animals,” “don’t have souls,” “lack human intelligence,” etc. are inadequate excuses, because we know that animals can feel pain and suffer, and we know that our faith teaches that God cares about all Creation. Similarly, defending animal abuse on such grounds as humanity’s supposed “dominion” over animals or the assertion that God created animals for humanity’s benefit have poor biblical and theological foundations, and our booklet (found here) counters these self-serving claims. In addition, concern for animals has profound implications for human rights, because victimizing animals opens the door for victimizing humans.

The victimization of animals has always been based on animals’ supposed “inferiority.” However, people are not equal either, and these differences have been the criteria, from the beginning of time, for humans to justify victimizing each other. As long as our culture considers victimization a legitimate activity, all weak and vulnerable individuals – human and animal – are at risk. We might tend to avoid victimizing people today (although racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. continue to flourish), but the transition from victimizing animals when convenient to victimizing humans when there is a perceived threat or other “need” is, psychologically, a small step. All that communities need to do is generate contempt for the victims, and history – from Nazi Germany to Bosnia to Rwanda – shows how easy this can be. Tragically, human desires and passions readily trump human reason, and the surest way to avoid the victimization of innocent individuals is to share Jesus’ faith that God is about love, compassion, and mercy, not about worldly vengeance, hate, and death. Indeed, Jesus rejected victimization, and the New Testament is replete with stories of Jesus’ championing those who his society rejected, including members of other tribes, sinners, widows, and those who were infirm.

Jesus preached a Gospel of love, and all victimization undermines this Gospel. As a consequence of the institutionalization and mechanization of animal abuse, the United States today abuses more animals than any other nation at any other time in human history. Meanwhile, the horror of factory farming has become a worldwide phenomenon. As long as Christianity countenances abuse of innocent individuals, it is a stain on the world and a betrayal of Jesus. Our vegetarian calling is not only a calling to save animals, nor only an effort to heal a broken and deteriorating world; it is a calling to save Christianity itself.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. Can’t Lose Book Offer – Last Chance

From now until the end of the month, we are offering a money back guarantee to CVA members for the book Guided by the Faith of Christ: Seeking to Stop Violence and Scapegoating by CVA chair Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. It can be purchased HERE at a cost of only $14, post paid. If you don’t find the book valuable, you can return it by the end of September for a full refund.

3. Activist Feedback

Carolyn, leafleting with two friends at Rock the River in Minneapolis, writes, “Leafleting this Sunday went really well. We handed out 2,300 booklets. Most people were very friend, but of course there were some weirdos who were angry.”

Upcoming Leafleting and Tabling Opportunities

8/28 OH Willmington SEABIRD Christian Rock Concert

8/28 GA Atlanta Women of Faith Conference

8/29 NV Las Vegas Somebody Loves You / Exit Concert

8/29 PA Allentown Skillet Christian Rock Concert

8/30 OR Portland Joel Olsteen Conference

9/3 MN St Paul Barlow Girl Christian Rock Concert

9/3 VA Bluefield B. Reith Christian Concert

9/4 NJ Frenchtown Revelation Generation Christian Rock Fest

9/4 CA Quincy Joshua Fest

9/4 SD Sioux Falls 2009 Sioux Falls Lifelight Festival

9/4 TX New Braunfels Skillet Christian Rock Concert

9/4 MI Clarkston Michael W. Smith Christian Concert

9/5-7 NM Albuquerque House of Heroes at Freedom Fest 2009

9/5 NJ Frenchtown Relient K Christian Rock Group

9/5 TX San Angelo Skillet Christian Rock Concert

9/11-12 TX Waco Just Give Me Jesus Angel Ministries

9/11-12 PA Harrisburg Men at the Cross

9/11 FL Orlando Fireflight Christian Rock Concert

9/11 CA Anaheim Women of Faith Conference

9/11 FL Lake Buena Vista Night of Joy

9/12 CA San Francisco Power to the Peaceful Festival

9/12 CA Chula Vista Switchfoot Christian Rock Concert

9/12 WI Green Bay Shawn McDonald Christian Concert

9/12 MA Springfield Kutless Fall Quest 2009

9/12 IL Belleville TABLE Festival of Faith and Cultures

9/12 PA Warren Oceans In Love Christian Concert

9/16-19 TN Nashville 2009 AACC Grace and Truth World Conference

9/16 OH Akron Kutless Christian Rock Concert

9/17 MO Springfield B. Reith Christian Concert

9/18 NH Keene Oceans In Love Christian Concert

9/18-19 PA Philadelphia Women of Faith Conference

9/18-19 MO St Louis TABLE Kirkwood Green Festival

9/19 NY Albany TABLE NY's Capital Region Vegetarian Expo

9/19 NC Charlotte Christian Music Day

9/19 VA Lynchburg SEABIRD Christian Rock Concert

9/19 TX Longview B. Reith Christian Concert

9/19 AR Jonesboro I Am Terrified Christian Concert

9/19 AL Brookwood Desire the Fire Kutless Christian Rock Concert

9/20 IN North Webster Run Kid Run Christian Rock Concert

9/21 OK Oklahoma City Fireflight Christian Rock Concert

9/23-26 MA Boston Natural Products Expo East

9/25 OH Cincinnati Run Kid Run The Confessions

9/25 CO Denver Women of Faith Conference

9/26 FL Avon Park TABLE Christian Arts Festival

9/26-27 TX El Paso TABLE Veggie Fare

10/2-3 MI Grand Rapids Hearts at Home Conference

10/2-3 AZ Phoenix Women of Faith Conference

10/3-4 CA San Francisco TABLE World Vegetarian Festival

10/3 MN St. Paul Honoring Billy Graham HUGE

10/16-18 CA Burbank Healthy Lifestyle Expo

10/24 FL Orlando TABLE Central Florida Veg Fest

10/31 MA Boston TABLE 14th Boston Vegetarian Food Festival

11/7-9 WI Milwaukee Call To Action 2008 National Conference

11/13-14 MN St Paul The Christian Community Fair    

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can to help. 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/

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

A Vision of the High Priest
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s26aug90.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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