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Update Newsletters
19 May 2010 Issue

1. Activist Feedback

2. Regarding Free Speech, part 2

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

1. Activist Feedback

Jeff Larson, who distributed nearly 600 CVA booklets on May 11 at the Skillet Christian Rock Concert in Bismarck, ND, writes:

The weather was cool & overcast. Most of the people arriving were dressed for the concert and not for the weather. Hence, everybody was in a hurry to get inside. I thanked people as they accepted the booklets & they often replied thank you. People were polite. Afterwards I went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner & a couple with 2 children paid for my meal. I felt really blessed. Leafleting was not difficult. The trip was well worth it because I reached a lot of people who would not have been reached otherwise.

Upcoming Activist Opportunities  

05/27 IN Lafayette Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

05/28 IN Valparaiso Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

05/29 OH Canton Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

05/29 WA Everett Carrie Underwood Concert

05/30 PA Allentown Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

05/30 WA Spokane Carrie Underwood

06/1 ID Nampa Carrie Underwood Concert

06/4 FL Tampa Joel Olsteen Conference

06/4-5 CA LakePort Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

06/5 TX San Antonio Building 429 Christian Rock Concert

06/6 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

06/9 TX Lubbock Thousand Foot Krutch Christian Rock Concert

06/11 CA Redlands Thousand Foot Krutch Christian Rock Concert

06/12 MN Blaine Joyful Noise Family Fest

06/12 CO Burlington Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

06/12 CA Irvine FishFest Christian Rock Concert

06/12 PA Quarryville Witness Festival 2010 Christian Music Festival

06/13 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

06/16-19 KY Wilmore Ichthus Festival 2010 "BeCause" Christian Rock

06/19 MA Holyoke TABLE Sustainable Energy Summit 2010

06/19 VA Richmond TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival

06/19 NJ Newark McDonald's Gospelfest

06/19 NJ Newark 3rd Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest

06/20 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

06/21-25 FL Deland Student Life Conference

06/27 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

08/20-21 TX Dallas Women of Faith Conference

International events:

05/28-29 CAN AB Edmonton Thousand Foot Krutch Christian Conference           

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/  

2. Regarding Free Speech, part 2

The First Amendment grants United States citizens among the broadest free speech rights in the world. These rights are under constant attack, and the reason is that free speech allows people to speak on behalf of those who are weak, vulnerable, and abused. Animals are the weakest and most vulnerable among us, and, not surprisingly, they are massively abused. They are routinely subjected to pain, suffering, and frustration of nearly all natural behaviors. Then they are generally killed, often in painful ways, when they are young adults.

Free speech allows evil to come to light, and indeed the Gospel of John relates, “For every one who does evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (3:20). I am convinced that free speech is essential to freedom, because free speech makes it very difficult for those with power to abuse from those who are vulnerable. Without free speech, those who cheat, steal, sexually abuse, and otherwise victimize vulnerable individuals are well-positioned to defend their actions as just. Isaiah decried “those who call evil good and good evil” (5:20), and without freedom of speech there is no one to contradict their self-serving claims.

Those who aim to curtail free speech never acknowledge how doing so will benefit those with power. Instead, they typically denounce speech that betrays their lies with such terms as “offensive,” “obscene,” “blasphemous,” and “unpatriotic.” It is important to note that defense of free speech sometimes means defending speech that we find offensive. For example, many of those who opposed laws prohibiting the burning of the flag did not want to burn the flag themselves or enjoyed seeing others burn the flag. Rather, they believed that it is important to retain the right to dramatically express opposition to American policies. A flag-burning prohibition can readily lead to a prohibition against desecrating the flag, to a prohibition against offending the flag, to a prohibition against criticizing the country for which the flag is a symbol.

By the same token, we need to be careful that laws that prohibit the sale of videos that depict illegal cruelty to animals can’t be applied to animal activists, who distribute (for a fee) undercover videos that expose these same illegal acts of cruelty to animals. I don’t think that selling videos of cruelty to animals created for purposes of resale for profit should be legal, for the same reason that I oppose the sale of child pornography. It seems difficult to generate wording that would prohibit people from selling those videos by falsely claiming that they are distributing footage of undercover investigations, while also allowing animal activists to sell genuine undercover footage. In general, I think we need to err on the side of free speech, because laws that restrict free speech can readily be used to silence our voice – a voice that animal-abusing industries and many members of the public don’t want to hear.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

What Language Are You Speaking?
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s14may89.html  .

Your question and comments are welcome

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