Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - November 14, 2018
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Original Sin, part 52, Healing
  2. The November Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online
  3. From the All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Original Sin, part 52, Healing

Addressing the sin of the world calls us to be healers. The first step in healing the sin of the world is to identify it. I have been arguing that it is scapegoating – the universal human tendency to attribute excessive guilt to other individuals and then mistreat them. It would seem a daunting task to undermine the scapegoating process, because it reflects human nature.

While human nature can lead to strong predispositions, we have the capacity to transcend innate desires. This, I think, was a crucial lesson from Jesus’ ministry. Although tradition holds that he had a complete human nature, the Gospels relate that he was consistently kind, compassionate, and just. Nearly all of us have had the pleasure of living among saintly people who have reflected Jesus’ temperament and who have demonstrated the human capacity for goodness.

I suggest the first principle of healing is to be kind. Jesus advised his followers to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). Though we should always be careful and prudent, we should aim to be harmless in all our dealings. Ways that we may be harmless include: avoid contributing to animal exploitation and abuse in our choices of food, clothing, entertainment, and other purchases; remaining mindful of people’s needs in all social interactions, including their need for self-esteem; and resisting the temptation to attribute bad motivations to people who have ideas or behaviors that we deplore.

We should emulate the compassionate saints not because we want to be revered. It would be more likely that others would admire us if we were instigators of the scapegoating process - helping people feel better about themselves by casting blame for communal failures or tensions on scapegoating victims. Indeed, many politicians are adept at exploiting the scapegoating process. Saintly people stand with the victims of scapegoating and, consequently, they are often despised. The reward for saintly people is the sense of fulfillment that always accompanies leading a righteous life, even though doing so can come at a high cost to economic, social, or physical well-being.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. The November Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online


  • The Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom shows a partly-fledged owlet and a fox who seem very comfortable together. If anyone has identifying information about this picture, please share it with us.
  • In the Editor's Corner Essay "Turkeys and Humans," Robert Ellwood reflects on the divided mindset of the farmers in his first church as a new minister in the 1950s. A turkey farmer in particular seemed to care about the welfare of his flock, though he knew he would send them to slaughter in the fall.
  • This month's Unset Gem comes from the writings of Corrie ten Boom (rhymes with home), devout rescuer of Jewish refugees during WW II and survivor of Ravensbruck, the infamous Nazi prison for women. Out of her experience she coined a powerful saying about the boundless depths of God's love.
  • PCRM reports that the American Medical Association (AMA) has passed a resolution endorsing plant-based diets. See the NewsNotes.
  • Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, is the November Pioneer. Both a literary and a religious genius, he committed himself to nonviolence in regard to both humans and animals. He was sincere, but to his grief he was unable to surmount the increasing verbal violence in his marriage. Part II will follow in December.
  • Get ready for Thanksgiving with this Pumpkin Pie Recipe. You'll love it.
  • One of our Poetry selections, by subscriber Jan Tucker, celebrates her remarkable cat Marbles, who prefers greens to meat! The world could use more Marbles....

To read this issue, GO HERE.

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

3. From the All-Creatures.Org Ministry

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