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Update Newsletters
24 November 2010 Issue

1. Activist Opportunities

2. Essay: Is Karma Real? Part 2
     *Reply to Comments on Last Week’s Essay

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

1. Activist Opportunities

The Christian Vegetarian Association is looking for volunteers to leaflet at upcoming Christian events with our “Would Jesus Eat Meat Today?” booklets to spread the word about vegetarianism as good stewardship of all of God’s Creation. Volunteers have a great opportunity to earn $18.00 per hour (up to 2 hours) per person to be donated to their favorite animal advocacy or veg group. For more information, please contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com .  

11/25 NY New York Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

11/25 TX Houston HEB Holiday Parade-Thanksgiving Day!

12/3 OH Cincinnati Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/4 WI Madison Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/4 LA Lafayette Surgefest Christian Rock Festival

12/4 LA Lafayette Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock Concert

12/5 NB Omaha Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/5 MI Clinton Twp Point of Grace Home for the Holidays Tour

12/7 CO Colorado Springs Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/8 WV Keyser Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock Concert

12/9 CA Anaheim Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/9 DC Washington CeCe Winans Christian Concert

12/9-10 FL Coral Gables Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade

12/10 CA Sacramento Family Force 5 T The Christmas Pageant

12/10 MI Fairfield Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock Concert

12/11 NY Berlin Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock Concert

12/11 AZ Queen Creek Extreme Faith Todd Agnew Christmas Concert

12/11 CA FRESNO Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/11 PA Mt. Bethel Point of Grace Home for the Holidays Tour

12/12 NJ Leesburg Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock Concert

12/13 UT Salt Lake City Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/14 NV Las Vegas Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/15 AZ Phoenix Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/16 NM Albuquerque Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/17 AZ Gilbert BarlowGirl Christmas Concert

12/18 NC Asheville Point of Grace Home for the Holidays Tour

12/18 TX San Antonio Family Force 5 The Christmas Pageant

12/31 VA Lynchburg Fireflight Christian Rock Concert

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/  


2. Essay: Is Karma Real? Part 2

Last week, I discussed the notion of karma. I suggested that when we harm other individuals we separate ourselves from the natural world, and this can be a source of karmic suffering. We are physical bodies living in a physical world, and indeed even our minds (which are linked to what most people regard as the soul) have a physical component. People with brain injuries can lose their sense of self, which people often identify as the soul.

I think many people want to think that, because they are humans, they are above nature. Yet experience keeps telling us otherwise. We grow, live, age, and die like other animals. I think that, to the degree that we attempt to deny our animal nature, we generate two problems. First, we become much more inclined to harm innocent creatures, because their “inferior” status can be used to justify exploitation and abuse. Second, there is a part of our mind that recognizes self-deception. If our worldview, which includes our notion of where we came from, what we are supposed to do with our lives, and what happens to us when we die, is built on very dubious foundations, we risk feeling a sense of despair if the house of cards collapses.

I think there is a solution – one that can give us a sense of meaning, inner peace, and well-being. It is one that helps us meet the great questions of human life and that also accords with Christian teachings. The only drawback of this solution is that it impels us to adapt our lifestyles to its moral imperatives. This might be inconvenient, but it isn’t onerous or terribly unpleasant, and many people find it enriching and liberating.

The solution is to recognize that God cares about all of Creation. I see no good reason to believe that God cares only about humans, and the prevalence of so much nastiness and selfishness among humans makes me wonder whether a just God would prefer humans over other creatures. Indeed, why should God not care for the world’s many wonderful nonhuman beings, whose bodies are as remarkable as our own and whose minds are free of evil thoughts or intent? If we hold that God cares about all of Creation, then God cares about us, despite our imperfections and shortcomings. Then, we may reasonably conclude, whatever we do to help protect and preserve God’s Creation accords with God’s divine will, and this can give our lives meaning. Further, whatever happens to us when we die won’t be bad. As I argue in my book Guided by the Faith of Christ, I think this encapsulates the “faith of Christ,” which the Apostle Paul encouraged followers to adopt.

Reply to Comments on Last Week’s Essay

I appreciate feedback, and last week’s essay got more than usual. Among those who raised objections, a few disagreed with my assertion that homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice. They said that homosexuals can choose to have a heterosexual partner or be abstinent. Though questions regarding homosexuality were not central to the essay, the number of comments encourages a response. I think they made a good point, and I would rephrase my assertion by saying that being homosexual is not a choice. Whether sexual attraction is genetic, environmental, or both, it isn’t chosen and, as best I can tell from reading the literature, it can’t be changed. We have much more control over our sexual activity, though from all that I have learned and heard, homosexuals in monogamous heterosexual relationships generally find the relationships very unsatisfying, as do their partners, in part because physical intimacy is very important to most people. By the same token, abstinence for many of us would be a substantial cross to bear. One person said that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, yet such a view would not account for the high suicide rate among homosexual youths. As best I can tell, their burden is generally not from their homosexual desires, which feel very natural to them, but from society’s condemnation of their homosexuality.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Daniel, God’s Man in the Field (Part XVIII)
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s12nov89.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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