Getting Together

October 6, 1970
1970 HFP, Volume 2 Number 19

California was burning. Fire officials estimated more than half a million acres had burned in northern and southern California in 13 days, consuming 772 homes with at least 16 lives lost. Fire crews were struggling to bring the major Santa Ana and Laguna fires, and more than a dozen smaller blazes, under control. Some were sparked by downed power lines and fanned by high winds, others were arson. To this day, firefighters and state officials refer to the devastating fire season of 1970.

Dale Yancy's cartoon, pictured at right, recalled activist Jerry Rubin's exhortations on fire in his manifesto Do It. "Our goal is to create fires," Rubin wrote. "When in doubt, burn. Fire is the revolutionary's god. Fire is instant theatre. No words can match fire. Burn the flag. Burn churches. Burn, burn, burn." Our feature article contrasted Rubin's vision of a revolution of flames with Jesus' gentle inner revolution of love. If you weren't with Jesus, we wrote, "you are part of the wrong revolution."

In his column "As I See It", Larry Norman spoke of the vision born in San Francisco during 1967's Summer of Love, a "dream that life could be meaningful, that love was the answer to everything." That first summer "was so special," Norman recalled, "so full of hope." But it didn't last; our innocent visions of peace and love were all too quickly overwhelmed by political violence, drug abuse and social conflict. "If you get tired of the revolution," Norman wrote, "and you suddenly realize you're not happy, there is an alternative...and that alternative is Jesus."

A Jesus commune was opening in the desert community of 29 Palms, about 130 miles east of Los Angeles. The on-again, off-again Free University was starting up again in Hollywood on Friday Nights. A street Christian teach-in and workshop was being planned for downtown Hollywood in late December. The Wall listed coffeehouses, Jesus raps and Bible studies up and down the entire West coast and was gearing up to go nationwide, as the HFP was being distributed in 47 states and 5 foreign countries.

Our cartoonist Dale Yancy also created the poster pictured at lower right, depicting people of different races and colors joining their hands in unity.

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