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CVA Weekly Newsletter
February 12, 2014

  1. Essays in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., part 3
  2. Response to Last Week’s Essay
  3. The Next Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

1. Essays in Honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., part 3
I have been reflecting on the following quotation from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “We will continue to despise people, until we have recognized, loved, and accepted what is despicable in ourselves.” Today I will consider the third component – accepting what we find despicable in ourselves.
Such acceptance is difficult because we tend to judge ourselves as our parents and peers have judged us. Conditioned by their disapproval when we have fallen short of expectations, we have felt inner shame about our shortcomings. I think self-assessment and our assessment of others should have the same standard – discerning right from wrong without passing judgment. Indeed, Jesus said, “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).
I think it can be helpful to discern shameful thoughts and desires from shameful actions. We all have shameful thoughts and desires – we can’t avoid desiring things that perhaps we shouldn’t have. I don’t think we should feel shame for thoughts and desires over which we have no control. We have much more control over how we live. Even so, Paul lamented, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). I think that, at the end of the day, we should strive for perfection. Jesus taught, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), and I think that this should be our goal as long as we remain mindful that, as humans, we invariably fall “short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. Response to Last Week’s Essay
Karen Borch (web site: Blessed Be the Animals) writes:
"It is my deep conviction that the main reason people are so determined not to become knowledgeable about the gruesome truth of animal cruelty, is because, then they will have no excuses and they will have to make some serious changes in their lives, because, now, they know."

3. The Next Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online
Contents include:
One of our Unset Gems features electronics genius Nicola Tesla, who became a compassionate vegetarian late in life, and urged that we make every effort to stop "the wanton and cruel slaughter of animals. . . ."
We can glimpse the harmony of the Peaceable Kingdom in the devoted friendship of a domesticated dog and a wild fox in the woods of Norway. See and enjoy some splendid photos of Tinny and Sniffer playing and socializing.
Wait till you taste the delectable Queen of Winter Yam Casserole in our Recipe section!  
Karen Borch's new book Farewell with Love: When You Lose a Beloved Animal, offers ways of honoring the lost friend and finding comfort and healing (reviewed by Robert Ellwood).
Our Poetry selection is the excerpt from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure in which the novice nun Isabella eloquently expresses the anguish that the angels feel at some of the acts of arrogant humanity. 
Many of our readers will not have time to read all, or even half of an issue of PT; if that includes you, we suggest you just turn to the Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom, and perhaps the Poetry selection, to warm your heart and help strengthen you to meet your day.
To see this issue, go to http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue101.html.

Your question and comments are welcome

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