Weekly Newsletter - March 25, 2015
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Comment and Replies to Last Week’s Story
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback

Rick Hershey, who leafleted at Winter Jam in Memphis, writes:

Chip Ballew and I handed out 3000 CVA booklets at FedEx Forum in Memphis today, in light to moderate rain, mostly to kids. Leafleting with umbrellas is always a challenge.

2. Comment and Replies to Last Week’s Story

Last week, I related a story from a woman who, as a girl experienced the tragic drowning of her younger sister. The storyteller, her mother, and her father all felt responsible for the accident, but they never told each other, evidently because they believed that those who knew “the truth” would cease to love them. Here is my opinion and that of some of the other people who responded to the question of whether the family members should have admitted their mistakes that might have contributed to the girl’s death.

I think they needed to admit their mistakes for several reasons. First, big secrets undermine relationships. Though each feared losing the love of other family members if “the truth” were known, each also likely believed that they didn’t deserve any love shown to them. From their perspective, the love they received was based on a lie of omission – they thought the other family members loved them only because they didn’t know the truth. Second, their silence made it very difficult for them to forgive themselves. If they could admit the truth and find that other family members forgave them, it would become far easier to them to forgive themselves. Their silence indicated that they did not believe they would be forgiven, which would make it very difficult to forgive themselves. Finally, it is uncommon that a tragedy is the result of a single person’s misjudgment. Though responsibility is not equally distributed, often it takes several people’s missteps for an accident to happen. Open and honest discussion can help relieve the deep sense of guilt that people typically feel when they are responsible for someone else’s death, particularly someone they loved.

It is possible that, in acknowledging their misjudgments, what they feared would come to pass – they would be condemned and rejected by those who had loved them. The risk was real, but the poison of silence also posed real risks to their relationships, and I think it is very likely that the parents’ later divorce was related to this tragedy and the failure of the parents to speak openly and honestly about what happened.
- Steve Kaufman

Did they do the right thing by staying quiet? No. Communication is key in family relations and the more you try to hide an elephant in the room the more distant you grow from one another. Also, it's the key to healing. Bottling things up only leads to more stress and damaging of our own very souls. What repercussions could that possibly have for us? Increased anxiety? Depression? These things could affect how you act in social settings. Maybe you'd prefer to sleep all day rather than get out in the daylight and celebrate with others or feel you're undeserving of all good things. God wants to give you all good things- we must allow him to do so and realize that we are worthy of His love as well as the love of others. We are HUMANS. We are not perfect, not all knowing. We must learn from our mistakes and allow God to heal our hearts together in the church.

As a Roman Catholic (Vegan) I find that it is best to expose any type of guilt during the sacrament of confession and allow the priest to provide guidance. Priests are known for involving communication in your penance or maybe even silent acts of kindness that speak loudly to the world.
- Megan Norris

No, keeping silent is rarely the correct response. Grief is always made better when people share their feelings. Sharing provides a sense of community that keeps grief from causing a sense of loneliness - which will only exacerbate the sadness one feels.
- Vincelee Stevens

This is a very telling story that I would expect many who have wasted years of being broken and weary can relate.

Yes, we absolutely must always confess guilt no matter what the personal cost of our relationships, reputation or freedom (even if admission leads incarceration). Had the family all communicated, they would have realized that they all had a common enemy (guilt) and then they could have fought that enemy and preserved their relationships with each other, not to mention having a cleaner conscience. A clear conscience is essential for good health of the body and of relationships.

Love and conscience are among the many things that proves there is a God. You cannot see them, but they certainly exist in us in a way that is very different from all other creation. We are here on Earth to make choices for or against trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. In our choices for God over our own earthly/sinful desires, we glorify Him.

We have choices and are to be the protectors of animals and all other living things. We have the freedom to kill for food if we absolutely need it for survival, but, knowing that we have plenty of other options, we MUST choose not to. When we kill and stop a beating heart, we have guilt, and yet we continue these practices and do not talk to each other about it. Sin is such a horrible thing, to show this I believe that is why there used to be blood sacrifices of animals. It showed the seriousness of sin and that only the shedding of blood can clean. With the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, there is no longer need for the killing of animals to atone for sin. It is finished. We need to be a living sacrifice by denying ourselves of our earthly/sinful desires.

When people eat flesh, they feel guilty at some level of consciousness. We as a society know that we have other options for food, yet we continue with the unnecessary mass killing of animals. We as a society know that there are many people waiting to adopt and yet we legally abort our children. Both killings are legal, and yet there is monumental guilt. Guilt will be the thief of our joy and lead to the early death of many.
- Sincerely, Tina Schutt

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

Free Will Choice and a Godly Life

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