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6 July 2011 Issue

1. Looking for Area CVA Members?
2. Activist Feedback
3. Free Will and Animal Issues, part 3
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
5. The July Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

1. Looking for Area CVA Members?

Periodically, we list the first name, city, and e-mail address of people who would like local fellow CVA members to contact them. To be added to the list, which will be part of next week’s e-newsletter, contact cva@christianveg.org

2. Activist Feedback

Tabling outside theaters playing the movie Forks over Knives in Atlanta, Lorena writes:

We stayed for two of the shows, so we caught people as they were coming in and out of the theater, not just for Forks Over Knives but also for other shows. People were very receptive and were glad we had so much Christian literature about veg. After the shows, there were crowds of people surrounding our table, taking literature for themselves, friends and family members. There were 30 people who came together from a Church in Conyers, GA. The leader of the group took literature for his church and told me he was going to contact me to give a presentation at his church. Let’s hope this happens!

Upcoming Outreach opportunities

7/13-16 MN Wilmar SonShine Festival Christian Music Festival

7/15 NC Raleigh Joel Olsteen: A Night of Hope Conference

7/15 NC Lexington The Hoppers Gospel Tour

7/16 SD Rapid City Kutless Christian Rock Concert

7/16-17 SD Rapid City Hills Alive Music Festival

7/17-21 TN Nashville Camp Electric Christian Music Learning Camp!

7/18 CA Irvine Benny Hinn Ministries Monday Night Service

7/20-23 WA Enumclaw Creation 2011 Christian Music Fest

7/21 GA Rome The Hoppers Gospel Tour

7/21-23 MD Fort Wash. Benny Hinn Miracle Conference-

7/21-23 NY Albany Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

7/21-24 WI Milwaukee Festa Italiana

7/23 TN Jackson The Hoppers Gospel Tour

7/23-25 GA Atlanta Women 'N Power Conference

7/24-28 OH Cedarville Camp Electric Christian Music Learning Camp!

7/27-30 TN Nashville Immerse 2011

7/29-31 IL Zion Ignite Festival Christian Music Fest

7/30 CO Loveland HeavenFest Christian Music Fest

7/28-31 WI Milwaukee GermanFest

8/3-6 NH Gilford SoulFest Christian Music Festival

8/4-6 TX Midland Rock the Desert Christian Music Fest

8/4-6 PA Hershey Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

8/4-14 WI West Allis Wisconsin State Fair

8/6 IL Chicago Joel Olsteen: A Night of Hope Conference

8/6 OH Wapakoneta The Hoppers Gospel Tour

8/6 MO St Louis Casting Crowns Christian Family Day

8/7 NC Asheville TABLE VegFest

8/11-13 MI Muskegon Unity Festival

8/12-13 NE Omaha Women Of Faith Conference

8/12-13 GA Atlanta Women Of Faith Conference

8/12-14 CA Anaheim Harvest Crusade

8/12 AL Huntsville The Hoppers Gospel Tour

8/13 TN Chattanooga The Hoppers Gospel Tour

8/13 KS Kansas City Farm Aid 2011

8/19-20 IN Indianapolis Women Of Faith Conference

8/25-9/5 MO Branson Southern Gospel Picnic

8/26-27 TX Dallas Women Of Faith Conference

8/26-27 DC Washington Women Of Faith Conference

9/1-2 PA Pittsburgh Benny Hinn Miracle Services

9/2-4 SD Sioux Falls Lifelight Christian Music Festival

9/9-10 CA Anaheim Women Of Faith Conference

9/9-10 PA Philadelphia Women of Faith Conference

9/10 PA Philadelphia GreenFest Philly

9/10 CA Los Angeles Harvest Crusade

9/15-17 MO St. Louis Love Life Women's Conference- Joyce Meyers-

9/16-17 WA Spokane Women Of Faith Conference

9/16-19 MO Kirkwood Greentree Festival

9/17 OH Mt Vernon SonFest 2011 Christina Rock Festival

9/17-18 MO Kirkwood TABLE 2011 Kirkwood Treetree Festival

9/23-24 VA Middleburg Awakening Festival Christian Music Festival

9/25-26 IL Belleville Our Lady of the Snows Youth Day Celebration

9/29-10/1 TX Dallas Benny Hinn Miracle Conference

9/29-10/1 GA Atlanta Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

9/30-10/2 CA San Diego National Youth Workers Convention

10/7-8 VA Lynchburg Extraordinary Women's Conference

10/7-8 CO Co. Springs Hearts @ Home-Mom Revolution Women's Conference

10/7-8 MA Amherst Acquire the Fire Christian Youth Conference

10/13-15 CA Long Beach Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

10/14-15 IN Fort Wayne Extraordinary Women Conference

10/21-22 MS Tupelo Extraordinary Women Conference

10/29-30 MA Boston Boston Vegetarian Food Festival TABLE

11/3-5 OH Cleveland Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

11/4-5 IL Rockford Extraordinary Women Conference

11/4-5 MN Rochester Hearts @ Home Mom Revolution Conference

11/18-20 GA Atlanta National Youth Workers Convention

International Events:

7/22-24 CANADA ON Burlington Burlington Jazz'n Blues Festival

3. Free Will and Animal Issues, part 3

As discussed in previous essays, the degree to which humans have free will is difficult to ascertain and, evidently, impossible to test scientifically. We feel as if we have free will, because, in general, we do not feel our decisions being controlled. Many people attribute human free will to the “soul,” but uncertainties about what the soul is, how we come to acquire it, and how it operates in human decision-making reduce the usefulness of the term.

Neither the existence nor the functions of the soul are amenable to scientific investigation. Perhaps belief in the soul emanates from a human desire to avoid death by imagining that some component of ourselves will live on after the body ceases to function. I think evidence for free will, and of some notion of the soul (the destiny of which is a separate topic), is our own subjective experience, which is a manifestation of consciousness. Why do we have consciousness, if not to make choices? Programmed machines can be very complex, but their “choices” are dictated by their programs and therefore they have no need for consciousness. Further, where does subjective experience come from? While most properties of things, such as hardness and color, can be explained at the atomic or molecular level, we have no idea how a collection of atoms comes to subjectively feel and think. The notion of a soul offers an explanation, but the nature of the soul and the destiny of the soul remain unclear. For some, such a limited explanation of the soul remains unsatisfying.

I cannot prove that any living being other than myself has subjective experience. It is possible that other creatures act as if they have consciousness but are in fact automatons. However, this theory is unreasonable, given that the behavior of other humans, as well as the behavior of nonhuman beings, strongly supports the notion that many other living beings share with me the capacity to have conscious, subjective experiences. If free will is related to consciousness, then it is reasonable to conclude that nonhumans and humans both have comparable degrees of free will. This makes sense from evolutionary, biological, and behavioral perspectives. To deny free will to nonhuman beings, in my opinion, contradicts our best scientific information. If we are to ground justice on truth, then I think we need to acknowledge that we share this world with beings who are much like us and who have moral claims comparable to our own.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

What I Really Need Is a Little Patience!

5. The July Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

Contents include:

July Issue of “The Peaceable Table”

With this issue, we begin the eighth year of publishing PT. We are also beginning a new occasional feature, "Did You Miss This One?" It will be a review-like essay on a film or book which appeared in the past, which some readers may have bypassed or have forgotten, and might enjoy now.

* The editorial, "Stranger at the Table," reflects on Rembrandt's dramatic 1628 painting Supper at Emmaus, and goes on to consider a meal shared with strangers and outsiders as a crucial sign of the Kingdom of God. And how about the ultimate strangers, the animals?

* The British Parliament has passed a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, to take effect in July 2012, according to a NewsNote.

* We don't often see a land animal and an ocean animal having fun together, but in this Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom, a cat and a dolphin actually nuzzle and bat playfully at one another.

* Did You Miss This One?-- "this one" being the 1990 Disney film The Rescuers Down Under. More than an animal fable, it deals with deep human-animal friendship.

* You haven't lived until you've tasted the unbaked Vanilla Lemon Cheezecake with a raspberry topping featured in the Recipe section. Yum!

* The July Pioneer is physicist Brian Greene, who in books, lectures and a film has made String Theory meaningful to the general public. He decided at the tender age of nine to be a vegetarian, and not only kept that resolve, he's now a vegan.

We invite comments, submissions, and suggestions for future topics.

Toward the Great Feast,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

Your question and comments are welcome

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