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CVA Weekly Newsletter
May 23, 2012

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Brief Review: For the Beauty…How Our Food Choices Affect God’s World
  3. Essay: Christianity and Scapegoating
  4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback
Rick Hershey, who led the team that tabled at St. Louis Earth Day, wrote:

Considering the marginal weather, we did extremely well today.  Thanks to Pamela, Julia, Melissa, Bill, Karen, and Cindy for making this possible!  Our booth was well attended, we answered lots of questions, and we focused primarily on kids and people in their twenties.  This was Karen’s first experience leafleting and first experience with CVA; hopefully it was a positive one because she did great!

Total pieces of literature (including coloring books):  1515
Thanks again to our wonderful volunteers for their outstanding work! 
Upcoming Activist Opportunities
5/29      UTOgden            FREE Manafest Christian Rock Concert
5/31-6/2  MN Minneapolis          Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference
6/1       TX Dallas               The Good Life Tour
6/2       MD Upper Marlboro Christian Music Day featuring Sanctus Real-
6/2       NE Omaha           Hip Hope Fest: Hope Center For Kids Event
6/9       NY Syracuse        Women of Faith One Day Conference
6/9       CA Long Beach      Women of Faith One Day Conference
6/12      IA Bettendorf      Esterlyn Christian Rock Concert
6/14      AL Birmingham      McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour
6/14-16   MI Allegan              Big Ticket Festival Christian Music Fest
6/14-16   GA Atlanta              Christian Music Festival
6/16      GA Valdosta        Sanctus Real Christian Rock Concert
6/16      AR Little Rock          Women of Faith One Day Conference
6/16-17   NY Rochester       Rock The Lakes News boys and more!
7/14      MN Minneapolis          TABLE Twin Cities Veg Fest
6/20-23   KY Wilmore              Ichthus Music Festival
6/23      IL Hoffman Estates Women of Faith One Day Conference
6/23      NC Greensboro      Women of Faith One Day Conference
6/23      VA Richmond             TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival
6/21-24   NC Pittsboro       TABLE Wild Goose Festival
International Events:
6/2       CANADA    BC   Nanaimo   Manafest Christian Rock Concert
6/3       CANADA    BC   Vancouver     Manafest Christian Rock Concert
6/6       CANADA    AB   Lethbrdige    Manafest Christian Rock Concert 

2. Brief Review: For the Beauty…How Our Food Choices Affect God’s World by Jennifer Moore, MS, RD (150 pp, $11.95, available through www.vegwell.com).
This compact, fact-filled book contains compelling environmental, animal welfare, and human health reasons to choose a plant-based diet. While virtually all religions and secular ethical systems endorse environmentalism, animal protectionism, and human well-being, Moore grounds her argument in biblical writings. Upon reading this book, it is hard to see how any faithful Christian could choose anything other than a plant-based diet. For those who wish they could change but don’t know how, Moore conveniently offers a food plan and a plethora of resources.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

3. Essay: Christianity and Scapegoating
Last week, I discussed how scapegoating can bind communities, but there is much in the Christian tradition that rejects the scapegoating process. Indeed, Jesus recognized that, initially, his ministry would break communal bonds, and he said, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three” (Luke 12:51-53). In the scapegoating process, it would be four against one, but when there is three against two there is no unification of the larger community at the expense of one or a few individuals. Without scapegoating, will communities break apart?
In my book Guided by the Faith of Christ, I discuss how the need for self-esteem underlies the scapegoating process. I think Jesus showed us another path toward self-esteem, which is to regard ourselves as beloved creations of God, the source of life. If God loves us, we don’t need to be better than anyone else. We are only called to do what we can to honor and serve God. Loving God means showing love for God’s creation, and this has several implications.
First, it encourages forgiveness, which was a central theme of Jesus’ ministry. While we must be wary of those who have been harmful in the past, harboring resentment absolves us of the degree to which we are responsible for conflicts, facilitates scapegoating, and undermines community-building. Second, love and the unjust, violent* scapegoating process are incompatible. Third, love does not have arbitrary boundaries. Though we don’t have the same emotional love for everyone and we don’t express love the same way with everyone, our call to love should manifest as assistance and care as well as avoidance of harm whenever possible. Therefore, harming nonhumans unnecessarily is the antithesis of love and is a fundamental rejection of Jesus’ ministry.
Next week, I will consider a common question: Is animal abuse a manifestation of scapegoating, or does it simply reflect humans exerting the ethic “might makes right”?
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

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

What's Wrong with Meat and Booze?  

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