Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - September 9, 2023
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. The Problem of Evil, part 9: The Promises and Perils of Institutions
  2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. The Problem of Evil, part 9: The Promises and Perils of Institutions

Institutions are rules and norms that shape and constrain individual behavior. According to Girardian mimetic theory, religious institutions and many secular institutions are grounded in the scapegoating mechanism. The scapegoating mechanism involves a communal conviction that one or more scapegoats are responsible for a crisis and then the alleviation of the crisis is a result of the scapegoat(s) being punished or ostracized.

Typically, they believe that one or more of their gods endorse the scapegoating. Religious rituals arise, which symbolically reenact the crisis and its resolution, and the people believe that performing the rituals pleases the god(s) and prevents recurrence of the crisis. Priests do the essential work defining the norms of institutions, enforcing those norms, and mediating ritualistic interactions between people and the gods. Preservation of religious institutions serves the interests of the priests, and the people support the institution because they believe it protects them from dangerous crises.

If religious and many secular institutions are grounded in the inherently violent scapegoating mechanism, one might wonder whether it is possible for these institutions to transcend violence and scapegoating and cease to rely on violence or threat of violence. Some people think that institutions grounded in the scapegoating mechanism need to be dismantled and new institutions created. Others think that institutions can be redeemed. Can human-created institutions grounded in the scapegoating mechanism become part of the “Realm of God” envisioned by Isaiah or the “beloved community” described by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? I will consider this next.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. From All-Creatures.Org Ministry

We hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter. There is always so very much to share including…

Trillions of gallons of water for ‘leather’ — speaking for the victims of nonvegans — Bob Barker, generous, committed, kind — eels and cocaine? — another NYC carriage Horse dies — more Frogs granted Endangered Species Protections — ‘we be pirates’ by Paul Watson — counting chickens and eggs — massive logging project stopped, saving Grizzly Bear habitat, old forests — eels and cocaine? — travel companies eliminate animal-abusing venues — cockfighting vs. big ag —local or less? — and more…

All-Creatures.org Newsletter, August 30, 2023

Do you have things that you would like to see included in future newsletters? Then send it to us at veda@all-creatures.org

In the Love of the Lord,
Frank L Hoffman


Tams Nicholson
Executive Directress

2023 Newsletters Archive