I had the great pleasure of being a good friend of Noble Waite during the 35 years I lived in Huntington Beach ("Noble Waite dies at age 87," June 14). Many times, I sought his advice on issues involving the city. I served as a city councilman from 1968 to 1976 and served as mayor of Huntington Beach in 1973 and 1974. I went on several water district trips with Noble and enjoyed his company immeasurably. Of course, Noble was not a drinker but he enjoyed himself while eating while some of us drank cocktails. He always had a great sense of humor but also a strong temper if he was crossed. I will miss Noble.

Jerry A. Matney

Surprise, Arizona

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Three religions, but only one God

In response to the letter written by Ernst F. Ghermann in the Mailbag section on May 31 ("Writer needs to check theology"):

Lest any unknowing person be led astray by Ghermann's letter, your servant would like to clarify a few things. Even though Christians, Jews and Muslims all believe in the God of Abraham, their understanding of Him varies. Muslims believe in one God but do not believe Jesus Christ is God, but a prophet, like Muhammad. The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah to come, while the Christians hold that He has already come (Jesus Christ) and that He is God. Each of these religions teach something contrary to each other, and since God, who is perfect by definition, is the source of one of these religions, only one can be right, for God can not oppose Himself.

Roman Castro

Huntington Beach

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Edict violates 1st Amendment

The universal health coverage mandate by President Obama that the Catholic Church provide contraceptive services to women violates the freedom of religion protections guaranteed by the Constitution. It is a striking expansion of executive power unknown and unthinkable in our country's history except during a time of war.

America was founded by people who had fled their English homeland to escape the royal edict prohibiting religious freedom. The Founding Fathers so strongly feared their new government's possible intrusion into this personal liberty, it was the first right they guaranteed in the new Constitution they drafted.

The founders were deeply religious Christians, as were the colonists. Their descendants for generations have gone to war time and again to defend God and country. Americans remain a religious people despite the assault of liberal secular progressivism that began in the early 20th century. Our faith still distinguishes us from our European cousins.

Having successfully destroyed the core foundation of our Judeo-Christian beliefs, President Obama has now added the final nails in God's coffin with his support for a federal law that would guarantee homosexual marriage and for the dispensation of contraceptives and abortifacients by the Catholic Church. If passed, Catholic obstetrician-gynecologists will one day soon be compelled to perform therapeutic abortions in Catholic hospitals to protect a woman's health.

It is at this moment that Jews and Christians need to come together in defense of our Catholic sisters and brothers. Rabbis and pastors need to join and express their public outrage. It is now or never. Our civilization depends on it.

Dr. R. Claire Friend

Newport Beach