Weekly Newsletter - July 31, 2014
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Web Site of Interest
  2. Essay: Peacemaking part 2: Peacemaking and Pacifism
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Web Site of Interest

Hand-Picked Veggie-Friendly Restaurants: This site offers carefully selected veg-friendly restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Austin, Philadelphia, Boston, and Paris.


2. Essay: Peacemaking part 2: Peacemaking and Pacifism

Some people believe in pacifism, even to the point of accepting injury or death rather than meting out violence toward others. Often, nonviolence is an effective strategy for change, but is it always a moral obligation? [See Gene Sharpe, The Politics of Nonviolent Action and Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan, Why Civil Resistance Works ]

Sometimes the use of force, even to the point of killing, seems justified. Most people would agree that we may protect ourselves from harm, particularly if have been attacked. Protection becomes an obligation when there are children entrusted to our care. More generally, though nonviolent methods are preferred, sometimes force is necessary to protect weak and vulnerable individuals from harm.

A principle argument against the use of force is that our motives might be suspect. We might justify the use of force in terms of defending innocent individuals, but perhaps we might really be motivated primarily by less altruistic considerations, such as the pursuit of status or wealth. Also, the innocence of victims is often difficult to discern. Are rebels in a colonized territory freedom fighters or terrorists? It often depends on who is asked.

Next week, I will suggest a way to discern whether or not our motivations are altruistic or self-serving.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


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

Separating Ourselves from Evil