Weekly Newsletter - August 6, 2014
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Peacemaking part 3: A Proposal to Ensure Good Motives
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback
 
Carol, who tabled with Anna and Seth at the Houston VegFest, writes:
 
Vegfest went great. We had a table in a good location. We had many interested people (easy crowd) and many people signed up for CVA membership. We depleted our supplies about the time that the Vegfest ended. Anna and Seth were great CVA ambassadors and my hope is that they will participate/leaflet again soon.
 
All of the many booklets and leaflets were great and there was particular interest in Fr. John Dear's leaflet this year because many people were pacifists too. Again, everything went very well overall and it was good to reach so many people in a comfortable educational setting.


2. Peacemaking part 3: A Proposal to Ensure Good Motives

We humans tend to be excellent observers, but we are not always good interpreters. In particular, we often err badly when trying to assess motivations, including our own motivations. We tend to attribute bad motives to those with whom we disagree and good motives to those with whom we agree, and the latter group almost always includes ourselves.
 
Last week, I argued that use of force to defend ourselves or others is sometimes justifiable. However, it can be difficult to discern whether this use of force is genuinely aimed to protect the innocent. Perhaps “defense” is just an excuse for force designed to gain money, power, or prestige. How can we be sure that our motives are good?
 
I suggest that whenever force is used, compensation for the victims of force should be planned and then executed, to the best of one’s ability. Compensation can take various forms, including financial (perhaps with amounts being guided by precedents in court cases for accident victims) and social (e.g., attending to the social and emotional needs of the victim and/or victim’s relatives). If we knew that we would be held accountable for any harm that we perpetrated against another, however justified we might believe this harm might be, we would use force sparingly.
 
Of course, with this principle, violence toward nonhuman persons should be exceedingly rare. Yet, humans are remarkable in their ability to believe one thing and to do another. As best I can tell, the vast majority of peace activists eat meat and other animal products. This strikes me as hypocritical.
 
Next week, I’ll start to explore the nature and implications of hypocrisy.
 
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD


3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
 
Narrow Heavenly Path: Are We On It?


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