Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - September 5, 2022
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Essay: A Path toward a Universal Ethic
  2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Essay: A Path toward a Universal Ethic

Can humanity resist the appeal of tribalism, which encourages people to sacrifice personal liberties in favor of a strong leader who will triumph over despites outsiders? As discussed in the last essay, aligning with such leaders is a Faustian bargain because they always end up serving themselves and their entourage at the expense of the general public.

The antidote to tribalism is a worldview that envelops everyone in a circle of compassion. Such a worldview is necessarily religious. By “religious” I mean involving a cosmology which describes what has meaning and value. Even atheists who abide by a broad ethic that transcends egocentrism or a narrow tribalism implicitly have such a religious worldview. Such atheists might reject the notion of God or gods, but their belief in good and evil is a requisite for moral discernment.

All religions have origin stories, which are myths that offer notions of truth and righteousness that help define and direct their values and priorities. People of faith who doubt that the stories really happened historically still find the stories insightful and inspiring. For Christians and Jews, the Garden of Eden story describes an ideal relationship between humanity and the rest of Creation. Some anti-racism activists have been animated by the origin story articulated by Nikole Hannah-Jones in The 1619 Project, which sees slavery and oppression of people of African descent as fundamental to the project of creating and maintaining America. For some American nationalists, the United States’ military and economic successes demonstrate that America’s founding was divinely inspired.

Christians are offered a second origin story, which complements the first. People have interpreted this second origin story, which describes the transformative ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, in many ways. I (and certain other admirers of René Girard), have argued that one reasonable interpretation is that Jesus exposed the injustice of the scapegoating process. This interpretation has the attribute of offering a path to personal and communal salvation in ways that, I argue in my book Guided by the Faith of Christ, other interpretations tend to fall short.

The interpretation of the New Testament as a challenge to the scapegoating process militates against tribalism and favors universalism. A problem for animal advocates, as well as for those who assert that Jesus was trying to undermine the scapegoating process, is that the New Testament does not seem to emphatically reject animal exploitation and abuse. In future essays, I will explore evidence that animal protectionism was actually a central component of Jesus’ ministry, and I will argue that inclusion of animal protectionism is essential to the realization of Jesus’ dream of a peaceful, harmonious world.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. From All-Creatures.Org Ministry

We hope you are having a good Wednesday and enjoy this week’s newsletter. It is jam-packed with helpful vegan, faith-based, and animal rights information to keep you up to date with all that is going on. Amazing progress is being made toward a cruelty-free world.

All-Creatures.org Newsletter for September 1, 2022

In the Love of the Lord,
Frank L Hoffman


Tams Nicholson
Executive Directress

2022 Newsletters Archive