Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - January 1, 2021
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
  2. Thoughts on Moral Frameworks, part 3: Theodicy
  3. All-Creatures.org Ministry

1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The past year has been difficult for many people, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those suffering the consequences of the pandemic as well as other challenges.

It has been another miserable year for nonhumans as well, as the pandemic did little to pause humanity’s relentless abuse of the innocent. As we know, there is a relationship between the ways that animals are raised for food and humanity’s vulnerability to pandemics. Indeed, whether COVID-19 originated in a wet market or in a Wuhan virology lab, animal abuse played a crucial role.

The struggle to end the harmful exploitation of animals is essential to stop humanity’s massive war on God’s creatures. It is also vital if human civilization is to thrive. To support our ministry financially you can donate online or send a check to CVA, PO Box 201791, Cleveland, OH 44122. If you are interested in leafleting, giving presentations, or assisting us in other ways e-mail us at cva@christianveg.org.

2. Thoughts on Moral Frameworks, part 3: Theodicy

Life is complex, and the right moral path is often unclear. It appears that there are exceptions to every rule, and nearly every choice we make will be denounced by some people. If there were discrete laws to guide our actions, it would make life much easier. One option is to try to abide by rules that, one believes, are prescribed by God.

There are several difficulties with theodicy, which is rule by God. First, it is difficult to discern the supposed laws of God. Even if one were to believe that the Bible is an inerrant text from God (which non-Christians and many faithful Christians do not hold), people differ in their interpretations of Biblical passages and stories. Believers have no choice but to adhere to an authority, whether it is a historical theologian, a contemporary preacher, the inner workings of their own minds, or some other source. Human decisions are based on a lifetime of thoughts and experiences, many of which are long forgotten. Therefore, there is no way to know whether the choice of authorities, as well as the deliberations of those authorities, is directed by wisdom, insight, or divine guidance, or whether it is guided by one’s own needs, fears, and other personal concerns.

Second, the nature of God cannot be readily discerned, and consequently theodicy requires a component of faith. However much one might want to believe that the will of God directs their actions, the initial choice to believe is a personal one. Again, this choice might be valid, but it might also reflect the psychological make-up of the believer. Though one might express and even experience certainty about one’s beliefs, there is no way to know whether they are indeed true.

Third, deferring one’s moral choices and one’s position on social justice issues to an authority who claims to speak for God raises the possibility that a person with a kind-hearted disposition will adopt hard-hearted attitudes. We see, for example, otherwise kind people rejecting their own children upon finding that they are gay. Similarly, we see people who deplore cruelty to animals sponsor factory farming with their purchases because of dubious interpretations of “dominion” by their church authorities.

There is much wisdom in sacred scriptures and religious traditions. Danger lurks, however, when “God’s law” conflicts with compassion, justice, mercy, and kindness.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


3. All-Creatures.org Ministry

Newsletters: These are recent editions of our all-creatures Newsletter, which we hope you like and share with others to help end the exploitation and killing of animals:

Recipes:

Sermons:


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