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Update Newsletters
1 September 2011

1.  Activist Feedback

2. Commentary on the Lectionary – Romans 13:8-14; On Monotheism

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

4. Help Put Animal Agriculture and Climate Change on the Agenda

5. Regarding “Shark Finning” 

1. Activist Feedback


Deanne, who leafleted at Casting Crowns in Denver on August 21, writes:


There were TONS of people, and this was GREAT place to leaflet.  You can stand right out front the stadium.  There were so many people it was hard to get everyone.  I ran out of my box of 300 leaflets in an hour.  I had only two people hand it back to me and one guy said, "I hope this says that Jesus wouldn't eat meat, because I don't think He would," and I said, “You're right!”  I walked around later and found a few piles of leaflets that people left, so I handed those out. 


I'd like to do a lot more events at Coors Field since you reach so many people and I can walk there too.  Next time I'll need more booklets and hopefully another person to help so we can reach more people.  It was great though, and I hope it did some good. Thanks!


2. Commentary on the Lectionary – Romans 13:8-14; On Monotheism


This passage includes Paul teaching, “The commandments . . . are summed up in this sentence, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”


It has always been tempting for people to envision their gods as having complex personalities with multiple emotional states and competing desires that, not coincidentally, reflect their own competing emotions and desires. Consequently, humans have tended to create their God or gods in their own image. A monotheistic faith that describes God as having multiple personality characteristics permits humans to conjure up whatever image of God suits the situation. For example, when at war, they can envision God as angry, vengeful, and warlike. When at peace, they can see God as loving, caring, and peaceful. Therefore, a monotheistic God with multiple personality traits is essentially the same as a polytheistic faith in which each god has a single attribute.


Paul portrays God in a monotheistic framework, with love being the fundamental characteristic of God. This accords with Jesus’ own teaching (Matthew 22:39, and elsewhere) and with 1 John 4:8, which reads, “He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.”


This brings us to obvious questions: If God is love, would God approve of killing God’s creatures unnecessarily? Is it not a particularly egregious offense to systematically abuse God’s creatures prior to killing them, in order to reduce the cost of their flesh, eggs, and secretions? I think that, if we are to take the idea of a monotheistic faith seriously, we must reject violence and abuse against God’s innocent creatures.


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


O Lord! How May I Worship You?



4. Help Put Animal Agriculture and Climate Change on the Agenda


One of Australia's top newspapers, The Sunday Age, plans to report on the 10 most popular CLIMATE CHANGE questions, as voted on the OurSay website. If enough people vote on the question below, the newspaper will answer the proposed question about the impact of animal agriculture on climate change. Vote now, because voting will close at mid-day on Friday, 2nd September, Australia time.


Paul Mahony's question on the huge impact of animal agriculture can be seen at http://www.oursay.org/s/86.


To vote, follow these instructions:


1. Please click on "Yeah, I agree" next to the question. You will be asked to register or login. To register, go to the "Register" link in the top right corner.


2. After submitting your e-mail address and a password, you will receive an e-mail asking you to verify your registration by clicking on a link.


3. You can then vote at http://www.oursay.org/s/86. (If the e-mail doesn't appear immediately, check your "junk mail" box.) You have seven votes, and you can use all of them on this question.


5. Regarding “Shark Finning”


Paris Harvey writes:


Shark finning refers to the removal and retention of shark fins and the discarding of the rest of the fish. It is widespread and largely unmanaged and unmonitored. Shark finning has increased over the past decade, largely due to the increasing demand for shark fins for shark fin soup and as “traditional” medicines, improved fishing technology, and improved market economics. Some researchers believe that from 1996 to 2000, an average of 38 million sharks were killed annually for their fins.


Animal welfare groups have vigorously oppose finning on moral grounds and also because it is a major cause for the rapid decline of global shark populations. The industry is valued at $1.2 billion.


In California, a recent campaigning has moved the Assembly bill AB376 to ban Shark finning all the way to the Senate. Other states have passed a ban on the sale of shark fins. The following recent article focusing on the cultural aspects of this "tradition": Proposed shark fin bans divides Chinese-American community.

Your question and comments are welcome

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