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CVA Weekly Newsletter
June 11, 2014

  1. Essay: What is Evil? Part 2
  2. Comment: Proposed Term “Vegcon”
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Editor’s note: We welcome feedback. We assume permission to reprint replies, so please indicate if you do not wish your response to be published or if you prefer that it be published anonymously.

1. Essay: What is Evil? Part 2

Last week, I argued that evil isn’t real, as in a material or spiritual substance. What, then, is evil?
I think evil is the part of human nature that separates us from God and from each other (including God’s creatures). We all have egocentric desires, including the desire for self-esteem and desires to experience sensual pleasures. Desires become evil when they alienate us from God or God’s creation. I think “satanic desires” can be used interchangeably with “evil desires.”
This was exemplified by Jesus’ response to Peter’s denial that Jesus would be killed and raised after three days. Peter hoped that he would gain fame and fortune as a leading disciple of Jesus. But Jesus saw these as evil, satanic desires that conflicted with Jesus’ ministry. Mark 8:33 reads, “But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.’ ”
All of us have satanic desires – it’s part of our being human. Having such desires is one way to regard us as “fallen” and in need of God’s grace. How do we transcend satanic desires? I will consider this question next week.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. Comment: Proposed Term “Vegcon”
There is no such thing as a "vegan." There are some "vegan" foods or drinks that are made from 100% animal-free components. However, animal products and by-products are in almost everything we eat, drink, wear, and use, including plastic bags, condoms, fireworks, nail polish, tires, the roads we drive on, tools, candles, toothpaste, paint, colognes, perfumes, crayons, shampoos and conditioners, some beers, paint brushes, fabric softeners, deodorant, soap, computers, and sugar (which is in almost everything sold at grocery stores). For example, carmine is used as a red food colorant in foods like grapefruit and is made from the cochineal bug. L-Cysteine generally comes from bird feathers or human hair and is widely used in foods such as bagels and pizza. White sugar contains bone shard, which usually comes from cows. I suggest the term "vegcon" (pronounced veeg’ con), because we cannot be perfectly vegan but we can do our best to limit our consumption of animal products. I propose the term “vegcon” derives from VEGetarian CONscious and is meant to reflect the need to make conscious choices about what we eat and how we live. Derivative terms would be “a vegcon” and “vegconism.”
On behalf of all our Beloved Animals,
Daved Wachsman

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Pentecost Celebrates Indwelling Holy Spirit

Your question and comments are welcome

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