1. Activist Feedback
Rick Hershey and friends continue to do great leafleting at Winter Jam events. He writes:
Dianna, Miranda, Charlene, Lorrin, Tyler, Chip, and I handed out 4325 CVA booklets for Winter Jam at Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita today mostly to kids and young adults. I think that this is a Winter Jam record high.
2. How Much Is Animal Abuse Worth?
Animal agribusiness spends a lot of money trying to convince the public that they “care” about farmed animals and treat them “humanely.” Perhaps they should spend a little money and actually avoid causing immense suffering. Karen Davis, Ph.D., president of United Poultry Concerns, has written about the killing of “spent” hens whose productivity has declined. She notes:
Before they are slaughtered, egg industry hens are deprived of food for an average of four days to “provide a modest net return to help pay for the costs of hen disposition” says U.S. poultry researcher Bruce Webster, explaining that starving a flock before slaughtering them “provides as much as 3.6 cents extra per hen that can be put against the cost of flock removal.”
3. On Faith, part 4
Many Christians act as if they had no obligation to refrain from directly or indirectly harming God creatures. What are the consequences?
The consequences for nonhumans have been substantial. The failure of the vast majority of Christians to regard animal issues are important to their faith has facilitated massive and intense abuse of countless innocent beings. Not only is this a tragedy of the highest order, but spiritually a Christian faith that contributes to such profound injustice is an impoverished faith. What does it mean to call oneself “Christian” if one’s Christian faith fails to inspire compassion and mercy toward the most innocent and most vulnerable individuals around us?
Another problem is that any faith that countenances profound injustice in one sphere might acquiesce to injustice in other spheres. For example, if Christians feel justified in treating nonhumans unfairly and callously, it becomes easy to treat a group of humans similarly by calling these humans “subhuman” or “animals.” Indeed, while there have been many kind and compassionate Christians, some of history’s most heinous crimes against humans have been justified by Christian doctrine, including countless religious-based wars, the Inquisition, the murder of many thousand “witches,” and slavery. It is hard to imagine Christians engaging in such activities if their moral standards included showing compassion and mercy for nonhumans.
Can Christianity be saved from the hard-hearted faith that so many professed Christians believe? I will start to explore this question next week.
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman