Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to letters@ocweekly.com , or mail to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.

This letter was sent to us as a reminder that we should love our immigrant traditions, even if they're illegal.

Just wanted to point out that without the British limeys, we Americans would not have our language, all of those American Revolution heroes and stuff, the Fourth of July or the "Star Spangled Banner" (a British drinking song). And without the Mexicans, we would not have the Alamo, California and the Southwest (stolen fair and square from Mexico), beautiful Southwestern architecture and culture, and, of course, incredibly delicious foods such as guacamole and chili concoctions. So thanks, limeys & beaners.
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The following letters are in response to Janine Kahn's July 27 article, "The Closet and the Cross," about ex-gay ministry Exodus International and Michael Bussee's transition from founder to critic.

Thank you for sharing the story of Michael Bussee and others so affected by the "ex-gay" movement. It is heartbreaking to think that people are forcing a message of hatred directly linked to suicide under the guise of Christianity. I completely agree with my colleague, the Reverend Paul Tellstrom: Jesus was not interested in your sexual orientation. He was interested in justice for all people—the poor, the alienated, the outcast and the ostracized. Would Jesus want good people, whose only desire is to love and be loved, to hurt themselves, or even take their lives because they could not fit a mold that other people tried to fit them in? I think not. Jesus was about love and compassion. He called us to seek our own identity with God. My heart breaks that there are still Christians today condemning homosexuals for living their God-given life. Thank God for people like Michael Bussee, who, though they struggle, come to a place where they can love themselves—and so love others.

You can be gay and Christian. There are churches out here who believe you can have your faith and your life, too.

Thank you for sharing this story with Orange County. We still need to hear it.


I just read Janine Kahn's "The Closet and the Cross." I am a journalist and a member of the LGBT community. The article was well-researched and well-written, and I appreciate that the OC Weekly chose to put the story on the cover.

Thank you, Janine, for practicing fair reporting. As an ex-gay "survivor" myself, I found that your story fairly represented both sides. I am personally in contact with leaders of an ex-gay ministry to share my story and hopefully see change in how they work with clients and parents alike. There is a solution, and it is not blaming parents or changing orientation. It is in trusting God to have His way in our lives, wherever that may lead. If there is any change to come, change that is lasting, it will come from God working on us from the inside, not from anything external like blame and man-made rules.

Thank you for writing such an in-depth, balanced and very moving article. In today's world of soundbites and zero integrity, it's refreshing to read something that objectively reports on sensitive issues without judgment or spin. We need more journalists like you!

Thanks for handling this subject and my personal story so well. You write beautifully. The ending made me cry. I did not notice any errors and loved the way you weaved in the other stories. Thanks again.

I just read your article "The Closet and the Cross" and found it to be interesting and thought-provoking. It may surprise you that I am a married, straight white male, a devout Christian with Republican leanings. I also live in a world where I have gay friends, gay co-workers and gay family members. We human beings are complicated creatures, and I have no clear-cut answers to any of our identity issues.

That said, I have to point out two flaws in your otherwise strong article. Early on in the piece, you refer to Exodus International and its "ilk." I know that technically "ilk" simply means a "class." But I doubt that is what you meant. "Ilk" gives the reader evidence of a bias, and to do it so early in the article gives it a slight taint.

My other critique is your reference to "Focus on the Family, which made $138 million in 2005." "Made" indicates a "profit." The $138 million consists of contributions to the organization. It isn't a profit because Focus on the Family is a nonprofit organization. Let me ask you this as a bias check: Would you ever have said, "The Orange County United Way made $138 million in 2005"?

I think you have talent. I just would like to see you tighten things up a bit.


Congratulations on a really excellent article. Loved the title. Your writing is very close to "Time style," which is my favorite for journalism, being clear, objective and elegant. Looks easy, but isn't! I'll definitely be logging on to read more of your stuff in due course. You clearly have have an illustrious career ahead of you.

Would you deem AA to be wrongfully attempting to suppress alcoholism because some members do not succeed with the program? What about repeat sexual offenders, murderers, etc.? Systems that don't bring about rehabilitation must be after the wrong thing because released inmates sometimes return to their former ways.

Homosexuality is unnatural; defined by the Bible as a sin (missing the mark of God's requirement); and is unhealthy physically, mentally and socially for those who choose to live that lifestyle. Everyone is born with tendencies to act contrary to what is moral, right and good. We all have urges to control, reasons to deny ourselves and thoughts to bring captive to the obedience of Christ. Whatever happened to repentance? We are all sinners required to live a life of repentance—a changing of our mind, a deciding to do what is right and good, a denial of our sinful desires. I would choose the term "repentant homosexual," rather than "ex-gay" or "straight-identified." But why the labels anyway? Jesus wants us to be who we are—in Him. In Him, we are a NEW creation, we are FORGIVEN, we are REDEEMED, we are a CHILD OF GOD. When we receive this as truth, accept ourselves in this light, and realize we are free to live a sinless life by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit, we walk by faith and live with dignity.

The following letter is in regards to the Aug. 3 Hey, You! column, titled "Soul Shakedown," which depicted the step-by-step images of a hood handshake accompanied by the story of how one went horribly wrong.

I bet I am not the first to point this out, but your graphics are out of order and 25 percent MIA. The second image should be in the first position, and vice versa. I am sad to also report that the third image should be in the fourth position. The missing third image should show fingers hooked and locked, four to four, with the fellow handshaker's corresponding fingers. Can you get the graphics person to do a correction? Otherwise, don't let years go by before YOU apologize! Or, don't shake people's hands anymore—just to be safe!

Also, just for the record, I pick up the OC Weekly every Thursday afternoon at the Chipotle in Lakewood, and I sit down with a big salad and read Hey, You!, ¡Ask a Mexican! and Savage Love, in that order. It is the best-tasting meal of the week. Thanks!

The letter below is in response to the July 12 Hey, You! titled "White Power Bitch," sent by a very angry man who threatens to stab a racist woman who slapped him at a bar.

I fully understand the purpose of the Hey, You! column, but I can't for the life of me read half of the articles without feeling outraged. The one I just read about the writer wanting to stab the person showing off their tats and expressing their views was awful.

If there is any way you can send a reply to this person on my behalf? Please let them know I have suggested they just bloody stab them because you are no better than them if you're on here slagging people off but won't say it to their face. In short, "Do something about it!"


The new OC Weekly sucks!!!!!!!! Where are the articles about worker's rights and labor?

The following letters were sent in response to Gustavo Arellano's July 27 article, "Fading Away to Nada," which, accompanied by photos, explained some of Orange County's lost Chicano murals.

I knew the artist that did the work of art on Raitt Street and Chestnut. His name was Sergio O'Cadiz. He is a published artist who did the façade on the Santa Ana City Council building. His name can be seen from the bottom of the steps leading to the City Council chambers. You can see his other works of art in the Smithsonian Institute. Sergio died a few years ago; these murals serve as a remembrance.

In reading your piece on the Chicano murals, I think you may have forgotten a couple by Vasquez. First, in Anaheim at the cross streets of Broadway and Harbor, there is the large mural on the back wall of the liquor store. It is across from Little Peoples Park. The second is located at the Salvation Army on Cypress, also in Anaheim. The last, but certainly not the least, is located on the bridge off Lemon [in Fullerton], right past the AMC theater. Keep up the good work.

Editor's Note:Show don't tell! E-mail us your photos of Chicano murals, and we'll put 'em up on ocweekly.com. Send your pics to Web Editor Janine Kahn at jpkahn@ocweekly.com.


Sunday morning here in New York City, and I just read the article about ¡Ask a Mexican!'s Gustavo Arellano in The New York Times. Well-done for your efforts! I think it's a great idea and a chance for you to debunk some of the misconceptions in a clever way—a fun yet pointed way.

Having grown up in LA, my family and I drove the 405 to see my grandmother in Laguna Hills through what was then 60 miles of orange fields. The OC was literally a grove. Because of these trips and the Mexicans we met closer to home, I forced myself to learn Spanish to be able to communicate. Now I will forever have that bilingual gift that my neighbors helped me strive for. It has been a tremendous help in my life, as I have met great friends in not only Mexico, Spain and parts of South America—but also here in NYC with the Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Knowing Spanish has opened doors for me in the business world, too. Part of the reason I wanted to learn Spanish was because there was no article like ¡Ask a Mexican! back then, and I was fascinated by la cultura. I figured this was the best way to get closer to learn more—which it did. Perhaps now your critics will realize what a service you are offering. Keep it up!



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