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Just can't believe it

March 15, 2009

Heather King, in her review of William Lobdell's book "Losing My Religion" ["Living With a Hole in His Heart," March 8], claims that perhaps Lobdell could have discovered that "conflict, uncertainty, paradox, doubt are the beginning of faith, not the end of it."

Leaving aside her Sunday school condescension toward Lobdell's intellectual process, the answer to King is, "well, maybe, if it's all about going in circles."

King has written a book about her own spiritual search and opted for one church's particularly blood-spattered mythology as the right one for her. Unfortunately, she holds her intellectual regression and belief in ancient tribal gods (in her parlance, saints) as some kind of banner to display proudly, where in reality it's the tattered remnant of dark, preliterate superstition.

I'm not sure why The Times so often seems compelled to treat reviews as rebuttals. King's abdication of humanity for volcano gods, musty icons and refurbished myths of the redeeming, sacrificed hero would seem to make her an odd choice for a reviewer of a book written by someone who struggled so hard to find that ultimately, for better or worse, all we have is each other.

David Pabian

Los Angeles

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