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Update Newsletters
9 April 2006 Issue

1. New Booklet "Are Animals Our Neighbors?"

2. Leafleting Feedback

3. Vegan outreach Job Opening in Boston Area

4. Prayer Request

5. Feedback on "Are We Called to Save all the Animals?"

6. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: The Parakletos, Defender of the Accused, part 1

1. "Are Animals Our Neighbors?"
CVA member Gracia Fay Ellwood has published a very nice color booklet "Are Animals Our Neighbors? Taking the View from Below." This thoughtful and inspiring booklet is available free of charge (though donations are appreciated) by sending your address to graciafay@mac.com.

2. Leafleting Feedback
Amanda, leafleting at a Gaithers Homecoming in Tulsa, OK on March 31, writes: Wow! It was my very first time to do anything like this, and frankly I was terrified. I was very timid at first, but as I saw people respond, it got easier and easier to approach people. I got mostly positive responses. There were very few negatives, and I felt like I could have been a little better prepared for some of the questions I got. Overall, I am so grateful I got to participate in this experience.

Some Upcoming Events:
4/15 FL Jacksonville Casting Crowns
4/21 MO Kansas Casting Crowns
4/22 CO Denver Casting Crowns
4/24 TX Abilene Casting Crowns
4/28 IA Ames Casting Crowns
4/29 MN St. Paul Casting Crowns

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/. Read the home page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you might be able to help.

3. Vegan Outreach Job Opening in Boston Area
Vegan Outreach has decided to add another leafleter to our staff, to start next 8/06 August and last through 5/05, and possibly beyond.

This person would need to live in the Boston area during that time. Duties would involve:

Leafleting at public colleges in the New England area.

Leafleting at private colleges that allow it or where there is access to the campus from a public sidewalk.

Investigating, scheduling and conducting tabling/leafleting at private colleges that allow vendors.

Possible help with Vegan Outreach correspondence.

This job could be part or full-time depending on your situation. Contact Jack Norris at 916-375-0014 if interested.

4. Prayer Request
I'm asking for prayer for three things:

1 - for the millions of animals who are abused each day, especially those who are factory farmed

2 - for my alcoholic boyfriend to stop his addictions

3 - for myself to find another job which is not so stressful

Thank you, and God bless you.


5. More Feedback on "Are We Called to Save all the Animals?" (March 26):

I'll turn 65 this July--long time to be fighting for better treatment of animals, and with NO EARTH SHAKING SUCCESS. You got it right--it becomes overwhelming and I too thought of giving up. Instead I decided to downsize the expectations of my youth--helping ALL ANIMALS ALL OVER THE PLANET. Now I just help those that come to my door, (or whose local plight is brought to my attention) and promote the benefits of being a Vegetarian.

Since I look a good 20 to 30 years YOUNGER than my chronological age, and am very peppy, I use that to do my converting without over emphasizing how it will benefit animals. I also always let everyone I first meet know that I am an Animal Lover, not just a lover of Pets, in the first 5 minutes. So it's no surprise that I'm often the first person they call about a downed Deer, or a dog stuck out on the ice, or an unwanted pet that needs placing. I also still join letter writing campaigns, protesting inhumane treatment of Animals and Children. Over the years, I've taken in 10 Foster Kids and countless cast off former pets when I couldn't place them. They ALL repaid me in Spades... It's NOT ((ALL)) that I hoped to accomplish, but it's BETTER THAN DOING NOTHING...

Kudos to you and everyone who TRIES to make a difference.

Sincerely, Mrs. Barbara Faust

6.  Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence:  The Parakletos – Defender of the Accused, part 1

[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It is being archived at http://www.christianveg.com/violence.htm.]

John 14:15-16 reads, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (Greek: parakletos), to be with you for ever”. According to Liddell and Scott’s Lexicon, the parakletos is the one who defends the accused. Who is the accuser, and who is the accused?

The Bible often describes Satan as the accuser, such as in the Book of Job. According to mimetic theory and the scapegoating mechanism, the mob’s satanic powers accuse an arbitrary victim of responsibility for a crisis, and then they scapegoat the victim. These satanic powers are as old as human civilization; indeed, Girardian mimetic theory asserts that human community was generated by the camaraderie that accompanies mob violence. The accused, then, is the scapegoat, who may not be totally innocent (none of us is totally innocent) but is never nearly as guilty as the mob believes.

Let’s consider the first part of John 14:15. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” According to this analysis, those who love Jesus will follow him in loving God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and strength, and their neighbor as themselves. (Mark 12:30-31; Luke 10:27). Such people would not consider participating in scapegoating, and their faith would encourage them to forego violence altogether. Jesus then promised that God would send “another Counselor (parakletos).” I think that Jesus was saying that he was the first counselor. He was the one who defended the accused – those who were sick, poor, widowed, or otherwise disenfranchised – who were the typical victims of scapegoating.

According to this analysis, then, one of Jesus’ principle functions was to serve as the defender of the accused. How does one defend the accused? One approach is to use violence to destroy the accusers, but this merely turns the victimizers into victims and fails to generate peace and harmony. A nonviolent strategy involves showing that the accusers are wrong. In the case of scapegoating, one demonstrates that the accusations are satanic, motivated by a desire to maintain peace and order at the expense of an arbitrary, relatively innocent victim. So, in defending the woman accused of adultery (John chapter 8), Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of the accusers, since they felt free to pass judgment despite being sinful themselves.

Jesus, however, was but one person, and he recognized that future generations, benefiting from the gradual work of the Holy Spirit, would prove effective in defending the accused. Therefore, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12)

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D

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