IWAS saddened by the loss of Teena Marie. I've been a fan from the beginning. It's still a joy to hear "Portuguese Love," "Out on a Limb" and, of course, her duet with Rick James in "Fire and Desire," a classic.

Teena was one of a kind, and it will be a long time before we see her inimitable style again.

Like others of my generation, I resent any equating the likes of Christine Aguilera, Madonna or Cyndi Lauper to Lady T. Teena sang with raw emotion and soul, and we loved her for it. The black community considered Teena one of our own when the white community ignored her because of her love affair with Rick James in the early years.

God bless you, Sister Girl! You brought joy into my life!

Corine Clark, Plymouth Meeting

nolead begins

Jesus the conservative

Before this Christmas season is totally over, I'd like to say a few words in defense of one of my favorite Reagan-style conservatives who has been unfairly attacked by the media for quite some time.

I'm referring to to Jesus.

Let's remember the reason he faces so much opposition, and hatred, during the Christmas season. It's essentially because, like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, he spoke the simple truth that all men are created, by God, to be free. Free to live, work, worship and help our fellow man, as free individuals, without government restrictions forced on us.

Remember, the IRS isn't a charity, which can't be imposed by government. Freedom is the core of all conservatives, including Jesus, and yes, at this time of year, he wants us to help our fellow man, but it must be of our own free will, not at the insistence of any king, queen, dictator or president.

Always remember, Jesus drove the money-changers from the temple because they were using religion as a means to make a profit. Why then would Jesus support a government agenda that uses his name to to impose forced charity upon taxpayers?

Stuart Caesar, Philadelphia