1. Activist Feedback
Rick Hershey, who leafleted at Winter Jam in Oklahoma City, writes:
Chip, Tyler, and I handed out 4075 CVA booklets at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City for Winter Jam Saturday before thunderstorms came. Hostility from some attendees was worse than usual, but most people were polite and friendly.
2. On Faith, part 5
Last week, I started to explore the paradox that the religion of Jesus seems to conflict with the Christian faith that so many people profess to follow. Jesus repeatedly instructed followers to be loving, merciful, and charitable, yet the vast majority of Christians are callous, self-serving, and hard-hearted, particularly when it comes to animal issues. The harmful sentiments among Christians toward many humans and nearly all nonhumans have prompted many people to reject Christianity as a guide to divine wisdom and morality. While I acknowledge that Christianity’s history of violence and victimization is a burden to those seeking spiritual enlightenment through Christian churches, I do think that faith in the religion that Jesus inspired can lead to a more peaceful, just, and compassionate world.
Christians over the centuries have done some terrible things, often in the name of Christ, but I don’t think the Christian religion is entirely to blame. Often, people attracted to the prospects of rape, pillage, and plunder have twisted religious teachings to endorse their unjust, self-serving activities. While ambiguities in religious teachings can facilitate evil-doing, the religion is not necessarily responsible. Often, I think, there are people with evil intentions who misused religion to excuse injustice. Similarly, people have exploited secular ideologies, including nationalism, to support mistreatment of other individuals.
Next week, I will continue this exploration of whether we can help develop a Christendom that promotes peace and well-being among all God’s creatures.
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD
3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman