Weekly Newsletter - September 9, 2015
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  2. Thoughts on Free Will, part 7
  3. The September/October Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

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

Righteousness Overcomes Evil; It’s Our Job

2. Thoughts on Free Will, part 7

Three weeks ago, I argued that, even if we have difficulty locating the source of free will, the existence of consciousness suggests that free will exists. The ambiguity about whether or not we have free will has moral and practical implications.
If we did not have free will, we would not be morally accountable for our actions. There might be a place for punishment as a practical matter, because a fear of punishment would alter people’s behavior, but there would be no moral basis for retribution. On the other hand, if we did have free will, then punishment for bad behavior would seem appropriate for both practical and moral reasons.
Most of those who believe in human free acknowledge that there are limits on our choices. They recognize that early childhood experiences over which we don’t have control influence our behavior, and they recognize that different people have different options. Mocking the oft-made claim that everyone has the same opportunities, novelist Anatole France once quipped, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”
Even if humans have a degree of free will, our culpability for bad behavior is limited if our choices are largely beyond our control. This has relevance to animal issues. We are inclined to condemn those who contribute to animal abuse directly or indirectly. Such condemnation, which has significant social implications for ourselves and for animal abusers, presumes that animal exploiters are largely free to do otherwise. Is this presumption reasonable? I will explore this in future essays.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

3. The September/October Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

Contents Include:
In a Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom, a photo and video clip of a yellow-crested cockatoo, who knows that the way to a dog friend's heart is through his stomach.
"Mind if I order the cheeseburger?" is the sort of question we sometimes hear from a friend lunching with us in a restaurant.  How to deal with it without either violating our conscience, or making our fellow diners tense and uncomfortable, not to say angry? The Editor's Corner Essay makes one or two suggestions.
The NewsNote on the street is that a federal judge has declared Idaho's ag-gag law to be unconstitutional.  We hope this will be the pivotal event leading to the dismantling of the unholy ag-gag laws in several states, and perhaps even bigger evils.
This month's Pioneer is William Metcalfe, 1788-1862, who joined the Bible Christian Church--pacifist, anti-slavery, vegetarian--at age 21, and together with his wife and son, bravely offered the good news of nonviolent love for all beings in the young and violent United States of the nineteenth century.
Do you ever hanker for lemon meringue pie?  Here is a vegan Recipe whose final result tastes even better than the original made with products stolen from animals.

For these and more, go to http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue118.html
Many people want to be veg and try it, but succumb to the pressures of the surrounding culture and go back to eating violence. They need support.  If you know anyone just starting out, offer a helping hand, perhaps in the form of recommending Peaceable Table or sending encouraging items from this or other vegan sources.

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