Weekly Newsletter - April 15, 2015
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Essay: Discerning Institutional Good from Evil
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback

TD in San Diego, CA, who leafleted on public property near a major church on Easter, writes:

It went great! We went through all flyers quickly . . . it was really easy :). “Happy Easter” and they took it! It felt like David and Goliath. Interacting with them got best results. We are about to start our caravan tent revival tour and will be doing other events like this often.

Many blessings to come.

- T

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities

4/23/2015 AL, Huntsville Casting Crowns
4/23-25/15 KY, Louisville Joyce Meyer Conferences
4/24/2015 IL, Peoria Casting Crowns
4/25/2015 IN, Anderson Casting Crowns
4/25/2015 NY, Albany Third Day
5/1-2/15 OH, Columbus Women of Faith 2015
5/15-16/15 CA, Stockton Promise Keepers
5/16/2015 CA, Sacramento Fish Family Festival
6/5-6/15 LA, Baton Rouge Promise Keepers
6/14/2015 CO, Morrison Third Day
6/19-20/15 PA, Pittsburgh Promise Keepers
6/27/2015 FL, Miami Xtreme Christian Music Conference
7/17-18/15 WA, SeaTac Promise Keepers
7-24-25/15 OK, Oklahoma City Women of Faith 2015
8/4//2015 TN, Nashville Casting Crowns
8/7-8-15 CO, Denver Women of Faith 2015
8/14-15/15 KY, Louisville Women of Faith 2015
8/14-15/15 TX, Dallas Promise Keepers
8/21/22/15 PA, Philadelphia Women of Faith 2015
9/11-12/15 CA, Anaheim Women of Faith 2015
9/17-19/15 MO, St. Louis Love Life Women’s Conference
9/18-19/15 FL, Orlando Women of Faith 2015
9/25-26/15 IL, Hoffman Estates Women of Faith 2015
10/2-3/15 TX, Dallas Women of Faith 2015
10/16-17/15 MN, St. Paul Women of Faith 2015
10/22-24/15 New Jersey Hillsong Conference
11/1-14/15 CT, Hartford Women of Faith 2015
11/20-21/15 CA, Sacramento Women of Faith 2015
12/4-5/15 OR, Portland Women of Faith 2015

04/19/2015 MI, Novi VegFest
04/19/2015 CA, San Diego EarthFair 2015
04/25/2015 FL, Florida Central Florida Earth Day 2015
05/9-10/15 LA, New Orleans NOLA Veggie Fest
05/30/2015 IL, Chicago Veggie Pride
06/20-21/15 CO, Golden Vegfest Colorado
06/27/2015 WI, Madison Mad City Vegan Fest
07/9-12/15 NC, Hot Spring Wild Goose Festival
08/15-16/15 IL, Lisle Veggie Fest 2015
10/10/2015 IL, Chicago Vegan Mania 2015
10/24-25/15 MA, Boston Boston Veg Fest 2015
11/7/2015 FL, Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Veg Fest
11/7/2015 GA, Atlanta Atlanta Veg Fest 2015

Contact Lorena at lorenavalenziveg@gmail.com if you can help.

2. Essay: Discerning Institutional Good from Evil

In my last essay, I raised the question: How can we discern whether institutions are doing good or harm, since institutional representatives always claim that they are doing good and people with long-time allegiance to certain institutions want to believe that they are doing good? I offer a few guidelines, and I welcome comments and suggestions from others.

A first and obvious criterion is whether individuals are helped or hurt by institutional activities. To the degree that the latter is the case, we should be question the merits of the institution’s activities.

Then we should consider who benefits and who is harmed. If institutional authorities do not materially benefit, we gain confidence in their motivations. If institutional authorities are the beneficiaries, this should raise doubts. American slave owners, who clearly benefited from the institution of slavery, once made the preposterous claim that the institution was good for the slaves themselves.

This leads to a third criterion – are those who benefit lying? We should be very dubious when those who benefit from institutional activities make false claims about the intent or consequences of those activities.
A fourth consideration is that we should be skeptical when authorities appeal to ill-defined values to justify harming other individuals. For example, much victimization has been done in the name of “purity” “God’s justice,” or “the nation,” to name a few. We should be particularly skeptical of humans who claim to speak for God.

It is tempting, particularly in times of stress or crisis, to believe that one or a few individuals are responsible and then, collectively, scapegoat those individuals. Institutions often facilitate this process, because their voice often carries the legitimacy of years of service to the community. We must remember that institutions are fundamentally human creations, continually guided by human beings, who have strengths and limitations. We can’t immunize ourselves from being swept up by the passions of communal accusation that characterize the scapegoating process. But, if we recognize the elements as they develop we might avoid being parties to evil.

Next week, I will begin to explore whether nonhumans are victims of the scapegoating process.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Living Examples of Jesus Christ

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