- Summary of CVA Activities
- Christmas Songs
- Reflections on the Lectionary: Luke 2:22-40; Does God Want
- This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
1. Summary of CVA Activities
We have several people who receive our e-newsletter twice a year.
(Please let us know if that’s your preference.) For these people, we
summarize CVA’s 2011 activities.
This year, CVA volunteers leafleted and tabled at 72 events,
distributing approximately 75,000 booklets. I think this is impressive,
but it’s a less than in past years, and we hope that more of our 6000+
members will volunteer a few hours next year to get the word out. We get
new members every day, and it’s amazing the range of ways they find out
about us. Many hear about us at Christian events having received a
booklet from a volunteer, and a large number first learn about the CVA
from a bumper sticker on a car, from a booklet at a store thanks to our
Adopt-a-Shop program (contact Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org
for details), and other ways.
The animals, the environment, and the world’s poor and hungry people
are weak, vulnerable, and profoundly harmed by contemporary animal
agriculture. If we don’t vigorously oppose this cruel, wasteful,
ungodly, satanic institution, then nothing will impede its mindless
destruction of the earth and its inhabitants. Jesus sided with those who
are weak and vulnerable, and calling ourselves Christian is meaningless
self-indulgence unless we do likewise.
2. Christmas Songs
CVA member Larry Brown has two clever Christmas songs, and you can
see them performed at YouTube.com. Just search for them by title:
“Please Daddy Don’t Eat Meat This Christmas” and “Santa’s Going Vegan
This Christmas.” Enjoy.
3. Reflections on the Lectionary
Luke 2:22-40; Does God Want Sacrifices?
Included in this section is the description of Joseph and Mary
offering a sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons”
according to “the law of the Lord” (2:24). These instructions refer to
Leviticus 12:8. Luke 2:24 is one of the passages frequently highlighted
by those who assert that God does not have much concern for nonhuman
beings. Is it possible to reconcile this story with the notion that
Christianity calls us to show compassion and respect for animals?
I think there are several ways to regard this story that are
compatible with a Christian animal-friendly ethic, and I will explore
them over the next few weeks. A first theory is that animal sacrifices
were not desired by God, but they were unavoidable in the times of the
Perhaps animal sacrifices were a necessary alternative to human
sacrifices. Numbers 31:30 and 31:40 describe human sacrifices ordained
by God, and Abraham was on the verge of sacrificing his first-born son
to God. Several passages condemn human sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31,
18:9–12; 2 Kings 16:3; Psalm 106:38; Jeremiah 19:4–5), indicating that
child sacrifice was commonly practiced in the ancient world, including
among the ancient Hebrews (2 Kings 3:27; Judges 11:30–40; Jeremiah
32:35; Micah 6:7). People would have regarded a prophet who called for
an end to all sacrifices as absurd or satanic.
Perhaps abolition of human sacrifices but permission of animal
sacrifices was an unavoidable step toward a world in which there would
be no sacrificial violence. Indeed, many of the later prophets condemned
sacrifices. (See, for example, Micah 6:6-8; Jeremiah 7:22-23; Amos
5:22-24; Hosea 6:6; and Isaiah 1:11-13, 16-17.) Jesus called for an end
to all sacrifices (Matthew 9:13 and 12:7) and drove out the animals from
the Temple (John 2:15). Arguably, this view indicates that God cares
more for humans than non-human beings, but it is still compatible with
the notion that God cares deeply about animals as well.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman