Religion is a belief system not supported by scientific facts. It should not be part of our legal, political or educational systems.

Survival of our species requires that we use our brains to cope with environmental hazards. To deny science is akin to denying reality. Religious explanations of what the world is about are based on myths, most of which are thousands of years old.

We do not need a religious caliphate in the USA. We can readily see what happens when religion attempts to control populations. Examples are Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt. Wake up, America.

Terence O'Heany

Corona Del Mar

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Thanks for the fitness advice

Every Friday, with my morning coffee, even before I do the crossword puzzle, I read Carrie Luger Slayback's column and become a better person.

She inspires me to eat healthier, exercise more and, in general, take better care of myself. Her column always includes something of interest to think about and share with my friends throughout the day. Thanks to Carrie for my morning wake-up.

Marilyn Gould

Newport Beach

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Airport is here to stay

Re: "JWA report brings ire," (July 6): I was an Air California passenger some 44 years ago when the Back Bay was a wild bird habitat and there were no invasive homes.

The birds got used to the flights, and there was no bad throttle-back by pilots. John Wayne Airport is not going to move to Palm Springs.

Al Wonders

Newport Beach

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Make background checks mandatory

While the Brady Law requires criminal background checks of buyers at gun stores, these checks are not required for online sales or at gun shows and other venues where unlicensed sellers operate.

Right now in most states, felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill can walk into a gun show or flea market or log on to the Internet and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers, no questions asked.

Forty percent of the guns purchased in America are bought without a background check, and yet certain people, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill, should not have them.

Congress should require a simple criminal background check before a gun can be purchased. The Brady Law works and, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, has stopped more than 2 million felons and domestic abusers from getting guns at gun stores. Now it's time to finish the job.

Completing the necessary paperwork for a background checks takes mere minutes, and most of these checks are completed instantaneously.

Jeanne Whitesell

Huntington Beach

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