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Update Newsletters
30 July 2009 Issue

1. Article on Animal Intelligence
2. Upcoming Leafleting Opportunities
3. Perspective on the Lectionary: Christianity and the Golden Rule
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Article on Animal Intelligence

"I suggest we humans should keep our egos in check," said Edward A. Wasserman, professor of experimental psychology at the University of Iowa, who led a February symposium on animal awareness at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (see 2nd session in list at http://tinyurl.com/clh8vq ).

Showcasing “the latest empirical discoveries in the field of comparative cognition,” the symposium revealed “remarkable cognitive abilities” of birds and mammals, including memory and planning for the future, counting, comprehension of abstract concepts, and tool creation and use.

The term "birdbrain," is obsolete and should be replaced by "brainy birds," said Nicola S. Clayton, Cambridge professor of comparative cognition. She noted that there has been a major revolution in the understanding of animal cognition during the last 20 years.

 “[T]he evidence that we collect constantly surprises us,” Wasserman said, “Why we would believe that humans alone have such capabilities is a peculiar and unfortunate arrogance.” See also: http://www.livesofanimals.org

Researchers Say Animals Plan for the Future. Associated Press, Randolph E. Schmid, 2/12/09

Behavioral Studies Show Baboons and Pigeons are Capable of Higher-Level Cognition. RxPG News (University of Iowa), 2/12/09 http://tinyurl.com/c5m9t6

2. Upcoming Leafleting Opportunities.

8/3-7 FL Orlando Assemblies of God: 53rd General Council

8/6-7 IL Barrington Amer. Baptist Church Leadership Summit 2009

8/6 TX Paris Kutless Christian Rock Concert

8/6-8 MI Muskegon Unity Music Festival

8/7-8 IN Indianapolis Women of Faith Conference

8/7-8 TX Midland Rock the Desert Christian Music Festival

8/7 WI Siren Kutless Christian Rock Concert

8/7 IN Ft. Wayne Mercy Me Christian Rock

8/7 TX Waco Morris Cerullo Waco Christian Hispanic Rally

8/8-9 IL Peoria Promise Keepers Men's Conference

8/8-9 IL Naperville VeggieFest

8/8 IA Davenport Billy Graham Rock the River Tour

8/8 CO Brighton HeavenFest Christian Rock Festival

8/8 GA Austell Pillar Christian Rock Concert

8/8 MO St. Louis Eureka Mercy Me Christian Rock Concert

8/9 NE North Platte Kutless Christian Rock Festival

8/9 TX Rio Grande Valley Joel Olsteen A Night of Hope

8/10 WI West Allis Mercy Me Christian Rock Concert

8/12 TN Franklin The Katina's Christian Rock Concert

8/12 IN Indianapolis Mercy Me Christian Rock Concert

8/14-15 MN Winsted Higher Ground Music Festival

8/14-15 FL Tampa Women of Faith Conference

8/14 ND Bismarck Phil Wickham Christian Concert

8/14-16 CA Anaheim Harvest Crusade

8/15 MI Mt. Pleasant Pillar Christian Rock Concert

8/15 NC Asheville New Song Christian Rock Concert

8/16 WI Eau Claire Phil Wickham Christian Concert

8/16 TN Clarksville Natalie Grant Mother-Daughter Tea

8/16 MN St Paul Billy Grahams Rock the River Tour

8/20 OK Lawton Kutless Christian Rock Concert

8/21-22 TX Dallas Women of Faith Conference

8/21 TX Cypress Mercy Me Christian Rock Concert

8/21 AR Springdale Kutless Christian Rock Concert

8/22 TX Houston Mercy Me Christian Rock Concert

8/22 MO Moscow Mills Kutless Christian Rock Concert

8/23 TN Memphis Pillar Christian Rock Concert

8/24 NJ Ocean City Kutless Christian Rock Concert

8/29 NV Las Vegas Somebody Loves You / Exit Concert

9/5 NJ Frenchtown Resilient K Christian Rock Group

9/11-12 TX Waco Just Give Me Jesus Angel Ministries

9/12 CA San Francisco Power to the Peaceful Festival

9/12 CA Chula Vista Switchfoot Christian Rock Concert

9/16-19 TN Nashville 2009 AACC Grace and Truth World Conference

9/19 NY Albany TABLE NY's Capital Region Vegetarian Expo

9/23-26 MA Boston Natural Products Expo East

10/2-3 MI Grand Rapids Hearts at Home Conference

10/3-4 CA San Francisco TABLE World Vegetarian Festival

10/16-18 CA Burbank Healthy Lifestyle Expo

10/24 FL Orlando TABLE Central Florida Veg Fest

11/7-9 WI Milwaukee Call To Action 2008 National Conference

11/13-14 MN St Paul The Christian Community Fair    

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can to 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/

3. Perspective on the Lectionary: Christianity and the Golden Rule

August 2

Last week, I asked: How do we build a just society, in which people don’t justify abuse on such features as gender, ethnicity, or species? History shows well that simply confessing Christ is not sufficient – some of the greatest crimes of history have been done in Christ’s name, including the Inquisition, the Crusades, the burning of witches, pogroms against Russian Jews, the Africa-to-America slave trade, and a wide arrange of animal abuses. Of course, many of history’s great liberators have also been inspired by their Christian faith, including the early abolitionists, the early animal protectionists, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

As I see it, the Bible contains stories in which God seems to endorse violence and injustice, as well as stories in which the Bible encourages love, compassion, and mercy. Some people try to resolve the apparent contradictions by emphasizing certain passages over others, or by claiming (without compelling evidence) that certain stories are historically accurate and others are not, or by arguing (against without compelling evidence) that some stories were meant as metaphor and others were not. The metaphor argument is particularly problematic, because different people can suggest widely different meanings to the metaphors. Many religions resolve this paradox by appealing to religious authorities for the “correct” interpretation of metaphors, but this opens up the problem discussed last week – people in positions of power often abuse that power.

As nicely discussed in Katherine Wills Perlo’s book Kinship and Killing, nearly all religions abide by the “golden rule,” that we should do to others what we would want them to do to us. Jesus articulated this as well: “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets” (Mt 7:12). Many people agree in principle that the golden rule applies to people, but they deny that it should apply to animals. Next week, I’ll discuss why I think animals should be among the “others” who deserve such moral consideration.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Why Do We so Often Fear the Good Things, and Go Along with the Bad Things?
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s29jul90.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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