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A take on ‘Jesus Revolution’ from one who was there, defending Rowling and more

‘Revolution’ soft pedals

Katie Walsh is right in her critique of “The Jesus Revolution!” (“They Don’t Know What They’re Doing,” Feb. 23). I was there 50 years ago on the Orange County coast and very involved in the movement.

I saw the film on Feb. 24, and to its credit, it’s beautifully shot with great scenery of the Newport Beach coastline, the actors are great, and it portrays both the positives and some of the movement’s internal conflicts.

The movie doesn’t go far enough. There is no mention of Chuck Smith condemning gays and lesbians. I well remember a Sunday morning sermon in which he declared, “They’re called queers because they are – queers!” This was long before the “LGBTQ” acronym was formed.

The film does not mention that Smith embraced Hal Lindsey’s book “The Late Great Planet Earth” and preached that Henry Kissinger’s last name matched the mark of the Beast and was “bored of looking” as the possible Antichrist.

The film makes no mention of Smith preaching the imminent rapture of Christians and the return of Jesus from Nazareth to planet Earth. And so passionately that he ordered the message “Jesus is coming soon…” on the outside wall of his new sanctuary. A few years later, the post was deleted because none of that ever happened.

Sure, the Jesus Revolution helped thousands of hippies get off drugs. But only by becoming addicted to another drug – Jesus as preached by Smith and his interns. And this drug has not worked for everyone.

Misdirected beliefs and beliefs can be illusory and sometimes dangerous.

David William Salvaggio


Dive deep into drag

Thanks to Christopher Knight for the brilliantly written commentary on drag (“Don’t Be a Drag, Just Be a Queen,” Feb. 23). It was great to read about how drag deliberately mixes up the sexist definitions of what a desirable woman or real man looks like. And how drag, even for non-achieving young and old, can be a courageous act to defend their own self-esteem.

Mom and Dad took me to a drag show in San Francisco in the ’60s when I was an impressionable young teen. The jokes were mostly over my head, but the feeling of complete exuberance to be who you are was a tonic at a time when being a girl was considered less than and most of the options offered to young girls were a buttoned up choice. -down housewife, nurse, teacher or mother.

I love the way that being a woman is both celebrated and criticized through drag at the same time.

Suvan Geer

Santa Ana

Where have all the people gone?

Mary McNamara’s column on the exodus of half a million Californians to other states (“Exodus Still in Trouble Despite the Exodus,” Feb. 20) was an eye-opener.

As a transplant in Maryland many years ago, I was particularly impressed by her astute observation that “the absence of anything close to a decent crab cake” is one of the many reasons cited. I’ve been looking for one in SoCal for 55 years with no luck, so I feel her pain.

I hope she will reward her readers if she ever finds one.

Paul Updegrove

Sherman Oak

Not so easy to ignore

I was disappointed that Mary McNamara, whose columns I normally enjoy, decided to use her platform to battle JK Rowling and Rowling’s defense of women-only spaces (“It’s Time to Just Ignore JK Rowling,” Feb. 21) .

Rather than having empathy for women who have been physically assaulted by men (as Rowling has been by her ex-husband) or women who have been raped, McNamara’s snarky column seemed to only have empathy for trans women who still have male genitals and want to. . use areas only for women.

McNamara writes, “Rowling’s own trauma is horrendous and undeniable. However, it does not give her any special insight into the transgender community.”

What does McNamara mean? Rowling claims to have no insight into the transgender community. She claims to have an insight from her own experience into the community of women who have experienced abuse by men (or “people with penises”) or who fear becoming victims of sexual assault by men.

Rowling stands up for those women, but McNamara doesn’t.

It is not transphobic to state that women are still victims of sexual assault and abuse by men and that they deserve a women-only safe space. It can be a shame that in protecting that rather large community of women, some trans women who would never hurt a woman can’t use certain bathrooms, spas, or other female-only areas.

Speaking out to protect women from triggering or potential abuse is not transphobic and does not say that all trans women are abusers, just as it does not say that all men are abusers.

Joan Parent

Los Angeles


Do I agree with Rowling? Don’t know. But the only arguments I’ve seen on this issue don’t really address her point; they just accuse her of transphobia.

Accusing Rowling of being transphobic no doubt feels right, but it doesn’t address her argument in any way.

Barry Carlton

El Cajon


We live in a terribly male-dominated society. Women are being raped and abused by men every second, minute, hour, day, for a lifetime. Yet we demand that women accept our dominators and abusers in our dressing rooms, with their genitals completely exposed.

Perhaps one could argue that point if women were completely equal to men and valued and loved, but that is not the reality. So until women have equality and worth, no male sex organs are allowed in women’s locker rooms.

Kathryn Kosmeya-Dodge

Santa Monica


Thanks to McNamara for saying what she said about JK Rowling. It just had to be said.

Mary Mulligan

Manhattan beach

Deviating from ‘Dilbert’

I was pleased to see that the LA Times, along with many other papers across the country, rightfully discontinued the “Dilbert” comic strip, as much as I’ve enjoyed it over the years (“Comics Change,” Feb. 27).

I am amazed that Scott Adams would damage his career in such a reckless manner by expressing clearly racist and vicious views. This has nothing to do with “political correctness” or “wokeism.” It’s about decency and good manners, which he should have learned from his parents.

Doug Weiskopf



In the name of awakening, why did you make the decision to cancel the “Dilbert” comic? It’s by far the best of your comics.

I can only guess that the pointy boss must have been behind this.

Wally would be proud of you.

Chris Bisgaard

Eagle, Idaho


Anyone who has followed “Dilbert” for many years must admit that the comic has evolved from a caustic commentary on the company’s workplace to a barely concealed right-wing attack on any attempt by the company to raise diversity, inclusivity or environmental awareness.

Worse yet, it’s just not funny anymore.

It probably should have been cut a long time ago, but now that Adams has revealed his true nature as a racist, it had to be cut.

And for Elon Musk and other Adams defenders, this has nothing to do with free speech at all. The right to free speech applies to governments, not to what newspapers choose to print (or what distributors choose to distribute).

Racism is unacceptable and should be banned from the public sphere wherever possible.

David Weber



Thanks for removing his comic. While often very funny and true, Scott Adams is clearly a racist.

The Times needs its own cartoonist: bring back Michael Ramirez! He is sharp and would engage readers with a different point of view.

The late great Paul Conrad did just that when The Times was conservative. And he wasn’t!

Mary Dickinson

Alta Loma

Alternative bookstores

Melissa Gomez’s story (“‘Queen of Pasadena’ Inspires a Dream Movement,” Feb. 19) says the Nikki High bookstore wasn’t the first Los Angeles bookstore owned by a woman of color, but you don’t go back to 2019 until to quote possible candidates for who could be the first.

I believe my wife, Julie Swayze, was the first. In 2006, she opened Metropolis Books on Main Street, in the heart of DTLA. Scott Timberg covered our opening and Nita Lelyveld covered our closing on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, September 18, 2011.

Steve Bowie



Kudos to Nikki High and Octavia’s Bookshelf, a much needed addition to the Altadena/Pasadena Black and Latino communities.

It is also important to recognize Rita Dyson, owner of the Altadena/Pasadena Black and Latino Multicultural Bookstore, which opened in 1989 (“Altadena Store Offers Minority Books,” Dec. 27) and closed in 1993 (“A Common Cause : Rita Dyson Struggles to Save Her Most Unusual Bookshop,’ Sept. 13) After Financial Trouble; a flood that destroyed the bookstore, forcing her to move to another location; and local feuds over ethnic identity and labels that continue to this day (“My Black Ancestors Were Erased From My Family’s Memory,” Feb. 13; “I Don’t Call Myself Latinx, but the Conservative War Against it Is Ridiculous” , February 15).

My family, my former students, and my colleagues and neighbors in Altadena and Pasadena have fond memories of Rita’s warm greeting at the door, vibrant displays, and great books from Children’s Book Press, Aunt Lute, Latin American Publishers, Africana Studies, and other books that described the diversity of experiences of non-white people.

My young children and students loved seeing themselves depicted in the children’s books that Rita carried in her store. To this day they are avid readers and I appreciate her efforts and courage in opening her bookstore, a first in our Pasadena/Altadena communities.

And for Nikki High, this community is the right space for you.

Suzette Vidal