Weekly Newsletter - December 31, 2015
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Upcoming Activist Opportunities
  2. Reply to Last Week’s Essay “Why Don’t Churches Oppose Animal Abuse?”
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Upcoming Activist Opportunities

Leafleting at Christian events is effective, rewarding, and fund. And, when you volunteer for the CVA, the CVA donates $18/hr. to the veg. or animal protection group of your choice. Contact Lorena if you can help at lorenavalenziveg@gmail.com.

01/03/2016 MI, Grand Rapids Winter Jam
01/07/2016 PA, Reading Winter Jam
01/09/2015 CA, Santa Barbara Needtobreathe
01/09/2016 OH, Columbus Winter Jam
01/10/2016 TN, Chattanooga Winter Jam
01/15/2016 FL, Jacksonville Winter Jam
01/16/2016 FL, Tampa Winter Jam
01/16/2016 VA, Fairfax Women of Faith “Loved: The Farewell Tour”
01/17/2016 FL, Sunrise Winter Jam
01/22/2016 IA, Des Moines Winter Jam
01/23/2016 MO, St. Louis Winter Jam
01/24/2016 MO, Kansas City Winter Jam
01/29/2016 IL, Chicago Winter Jam
01/30/2016 PA, Pittsburgh Winter Jam
02/05/2016 MO, Springfield Jeremy Camp
02/11/2016 FL, Sunrise Hillsong United Empires Tour 2016
02/12/2016 FL, Orlando Hillsong United Empires Tour 2016
02/13/2016 FL, Tampa Hillsong United Empires Tour 2016
02/12/2016 TX, Dallas Jeremy Camp
02/14/2016 IN, Indianapolis Jeremy Camp
02/16/2016 TN, Memphis Hillsong United Empires Tour 2016
02/18/2016 LA, Baton Rouge Toby Mac Hits Deep Tour
02/19/2016 TX, Dallas Hillsong United Empires Tour 2016
02/25/2016 CA, Sacramento Jeremy Camp


03/20/2016 FL, Tallahassee North Florida Vegfest
04/02/2016 TX, Austin Vegfest
04/9-10/16 WA, Seattle VegFest
04/26/2016 MI, Novi VegFest
05/01/2016 CA, Los Angeles VegFest L.A.
05/07/2016 OH, Cleveland Vegfest
05/7-8/16 NY, New York NY Vegetarian Food Festival
05/7/2016 LA, New Orleans NOLA Veggiefest
06/4/2016 NY, Albany Vegfest 2016
06/18/2016 WI, Madison Mad City VeganFest
07/6-10/16 PA, Johnstown Vegetarian Summerfest 2016
07/23-24/16 CO, Denver VegFest Colorado 2016
10/22-23/16 OR, Portland Portland VegFest

2. Reply to Last Week’s Essay “Why Don’t Churches Oppose Animal Abuse?”

What you say about the self-preservation tendency of institutions is true, and no doubt this operates at many levels in church life. But I suspect that a more significant reason for this “animal apathy” (to give it a loose label) is the theology that dominates in those denominations, which stems from the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Kant, and other Western philosophers. For example, in a conversation I had with a fellow church member, his rationale (if one could call it that) for not caring more about the plight of animal suffering was the common myth “Animals don’t have souls.” This is blatantly reminiscent of farmer Joel Salatin’s defense of animal slaughter. Since this traditional view is not universal among Evangelicals (for example, Seventh-Day Adventists), it would seem that theology or biblical interpretation, rather than mere institutional self-preservation, is largely its cause. Hence, there is a moral disconnection.

I am not sure, however, what motivates SDA members to adhere to a plant-based diet. For some, it is a primitive pattern outlined in Genesis. For others, it may take on a legalistic tenor. For still others, it may become an ethical imperative motivated by compassion. I hear very little of the latter at SDA-sponsored events, which usually emphasize human health, not animal abuse.

In addition, of course, there is the fact that the church has “succumbed,” as it were, to the commodification of animals for the sake of efficiency and profit, or “economies of scale.” It takes patience to grow something, whereas you can kill your food in a matter of seconds.

The silence of the clergy and the hunter-predator mentality you noted are indeed remarkably inconsistent with the message of peace and love. Many Christian hymns, as well as the common Doxology, declare “praise God ALL creatures here below.” It’s time for the churches to start practicing what they sing!

Paul Hansen

Steve Kaufman's response: Mr. Hansen has raised some very good points. Both sides of nearly every social justice issue can find support from selected biblical passages. In the end, it seems to me that the moral compass – sometimes called the “heart” or the “soul” of the individual – is most crucial.

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

Moving Forward with the Lord

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