Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - August 16, 2017
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. The August “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online
  2. Original Sin, part 5
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. The August “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online

  • A dog walking on the shore with his person saw a fawn drowning in the ocean and leaped in to rescue her. He brought her to shore and revived her, but that wasn't the end of the adventure. See A Glimpse of Divine Compassion.
  • In the Editor's Corner Essay, Robert Ellwood reflects on the relationship between kinship and kindness. If a person agrees that it is important for humans to be kind to animals, is she in fact saying that they are our kin?
  • One of the NewsNotes reports that the 2012 ag-gag law in Utah has been struck down as unconstitutional by Federal judge Robert Shelby. Good news indeed!
  • Bronson Alcott, the father of novelist Louisa May Alcott, was a Pioneer in compassionate veganism as well as in children's education. He and his family were also abolitionists of human slavery, serving on the Underground Railroad.  
  • Two short sketches, by Patricia Todd and Ashia Villegas, comment on the film Okja, about a Korean orphan named Mija and the super-pig she and her grandfather raise for a New-York based corporation intending to "improve" the breed for human use. But Mija bonds closely with her pig friend. See the Movie Notes.
  • Are you planning a summertime picnic?  Try making vegan hot dogs of marinated carrots, according to this month's Recipe.  It seems unlikely, but it's a winner!
  • Sixteenth century Spanish saint, John of the Cross, tells in the Poetry selection of a wild rabbit who noticed his sadness as he sat in a field, came near, and silently gave the help he needed.

To read this issue, see http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue138.html.
Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

2. Original Sin, part 5

I suggest that scapegoating is “the sin of the world (John 1:29), because I think this is the sin from which all other sins emanate. Specifically, scapegoating is the attribution of excessive guilt to an individual. The victims of scapegoating are often not fully innocent, but the hallmark of scapegoating is the transfer of guilt from one or more individuals onto victims, who are then punished or ostracized for these “sins.”
The first obvious problem with scapegoating is that it is unjust. However, there are many other activities that victimize individuals that are also unjust. Scapegoating qualifies as “the sin of the world” because it always results in exclusion from the group. If we are to have communities grounded on love, we cannot unjustly exclude anyone. Jesus repeatedly aimed to build communities grounded on love, and he often scandalized his followers by embracing strangers, foreigners, and even sinners. This, I think, was an important part of his ministry to “take away the sin of the world.”
As long as we countenance scapegoating, we cannot have the “beloved community” that Martin Luther King so eloquently described. We might still have groups that tend to get along with each other. But, permitting victimization by scapegoating results in conflicts and violence with individuals outside the group, and it even puts everyone within the group at risk of becoming a victim of scapegoating. If we are to transcend the human tendency to engage in scapegoating, we need to understand why humans scapegoat. I will start to explore that next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Multiplying Evil

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