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Update Newsletters
6 April 2011 Issue

1. Activist Feedback

2. Essay: Christianity and Animal Rights, part 3

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

4. The April Issue of The Peaceable Table in Online

5. Book review: Daniel and the Big Test

1. Activist Feedback

Regarding leafleting at the recent Newsboys concert in Champaign, IL on Jon writes:

Leafleting at the Newsboys show went very well. Darina and I leafleted both before and after the show. We arrived while people were waiting in line for the doors to open up, and we brought 300 Sun flour vegan cookies to distribute with pamphlets. We quickly ran out of those, and gave out just over 600 booklets before the concert even began. We killed some time watching a movie on my laptop while the show took place, and then went back for the mass exit after the concert. We finished distributing all 1,200 booklets just as the crowd thinned at the exits. We handed out a number of Vegetarian Starter Kits to interested parties as well. We often heard some supportive feedback, and I am continually impressed by the quality of this crowd - a very worthwhile group of people to leaflet.


Upcoming Activist Opportunities

4/10 NY Binghamton Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/11 PA Williamsport Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/11 FL Tampa TABLE Talking Animals Festival

4/12-14 IL Chicago Gospel Coalition's 2011 national conference

4/13-14 KY Stanford Rush Of Fools Christian Concert

4/15 MO Trenton Rush of Fools Christian Concert

4/15 FL Orlando Monster Ball Tour Starring Lady

4/15 KY Bowling Green Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/15-16 CA Ontario Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

4/15-16 FL TAMPA Acquire the Fire Christian Youth Conference

4/15-17 OK Oklahoma City Women of Joy Conference

4/16 OR Portland Acquire The Fire Christian Conference

4/16 KY Paducah Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/17 CA San Diego TABLE EarthFair 2011

4/17 KS Topeka Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/18 KS Dodge City Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/21 MO Poplar Bluff Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/22 GA Atlanta Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience.

4/22 TX Arlington David Crowder Band

4/22 DC Washington Canton Jones Christian Concert

4/23 KY Pikeville Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience

4/26 AL Birmingham Canton Jones Christian Concert

4/28 TX Cypress Disciple Rock Born Again Experience

4/29 TX Wichita Falls Disciple Rock Born Again Experience

4/29-30 IL Greenville AgapeFest Christian Rock Festival

4/29-30 OH Columbus Women of Faith Conference

4/29-30 NV Las Vegas Women of Faith Conference

4/29-30 MI Lansing Acquire the Fire Christian Youth Conference

4/29-5/1 MO Branson Women of Joy Conference

5/1 TX Corpus Christi Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience

5/3 TX Lubbock Disciple Rock The Born Again Experience

5/13 IA Des Moines Women of Faith Conference

5/15 NY New York TABLE Post Veggie Pride Parade or leafleting

9/17-18 MO Kirkwood TABLE 2011 Kirkwood Greentree Festival

5/21 CA Buena Park Knottsberry Farm Gospel Festival

6/19 VA Richmond TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival

7/5-8 OH Cincinnati TABLE Church Turning the World Upside

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you can 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: Christianity and Animal Rights, part 3

The last two essays have argued that human hopes, desires, and fears profoundly influence our interpretation of the Bible. It is easy to recognize and scoff at the mistakes of the past, but it is harder to recognize contemporary errors. For example, the Bible was once used as a powerful tool to defend human slavery in America. Abraham and other honored characters in the Bible owned slaves, evidently with God’s approval. Paul told slaves to obey their masters (Colossians 3:12). Actually, I think the biblical case for human slavery is much stronger than the biblical case for unnecessary harm to nonhuman beings. Fortunately, just about everyone finds human slavery morally repugnant today, perhaps more due to secular values than biblical mandates.

Multiple factors led to the rejection of human slavery. Among them was the rise of secular humanism, an outgrowth of the Enlightenment, which held that all humans have inherent value and deserve basic human rights. Another was the cruelty associated with slavery. Defenders of slavery maintained that people of African descent were inferior creatures who were “naturally” enslaved, did not have the same depth of feeling as Caucasians, and were treated well by slave owners, even though obvious facts contradicted these claims.

Today, nonhuman beings are enslaved by humans. People justify contemporary enslavement of animals much as they justified human slavery 150 years ago. And, just as was the case 150 years ago, the arguments are hollow. As once happened with human slavery, many people pick and choose Biblical passages and stories that, they think, justify animal abuse. However, as with human slavery, their self-serving interpretations are not ironclad, and there are many passages and stories that describe God’s concern for nonhuman beings and God’s condemnation of their mistreatment.

Next week, I will explore how secular knowledge has informed ethics related to animal issues. Like the slave owners of the past, defenders of harmful animal exploitation claim that nonhuman beings are inferior, lack human-like feelings, and are generally treated very well. However, readily available evidence undermines and sometimes baldly contradicts these claims.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

What Does a Christian Look Like?

4. The April Issue of The Peaceable Table in Online

Contents include:

The editorial, "The Hidden Paradise, the Hidden Hells" builds on the editorial for the June-July 2008 issue. Paradise, an ever-present but largely invisible reality which includes a power drawing us into unity with all beings, is available to us mostly in glimpses and intuitions; but it can inspire and support us. The hells, such as factory farms and slaughterhouses, are hidden by ignorance, by cultural blindfolds, and by deceit; they must be uncovered if they are ultimately to be dismantled.

In one of the Unset Gems, Thomas Kelly reminds us that we are not responsible to right every wrong: "We cannot die on every cross . . . ."

A NewsNote cites studies apparently showing that chickens feel empathy with one another.

Benjamin Urrutia reviews Quiet in the Garden, a children's book whose principal figure, a small boy, learns that in stillness he may find an extraordinary harmony with wild things.

You will want to try the unusual and tasty Carrot Ginger Dressing in one of Angela Suarez' Recipes for this month.

To read this issue, go to http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue75.html

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

5. Book review

Daniel and the Big Test by Lois E. Anderson, illustrated by Janice Hope Stenz, color illustrations, 32 pp, $9.95 plus S/H, available from Curt Stenz Graphics 715-359-0244

This attractively illustrated book, written by two Health Ministers of Hallelujah Acres, relates the story of Daniel and his three friends Shadrach, Mashach, and Abednego, whose Jewish dietary laws compelled them to declined Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar’s meat. After 10 days, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and were stronger and wiser than those who ate flesh. The book aims to inspire children to choose raw fruits and vegetables rather than animal-derived foods.

I think much of the book is laudable, but I’m skeptical about some of the specific claims at the book’s end regarding the superiority of raw foods over cooked foods. My review of the science behind raw food diets has led me to stories of people who have claimed to have experienced superior health with this diet, and perhaps for some currently unknown reason(s) a raw food diet does confer better health for them. I wonder whether their feeling more energetic or finding that their medical conditions have improved or resolved was due to a transition to a plant-based diet away from a diet laden with animal-derived products, and not raw foods per se.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D..

Your question and comments are welcome

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