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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NYC
Home country: USA
Current location: Chapel Hill, NC
Member since: Sat May 7, 2005, 11:13 PM
Number of posts: 17,097

Journal Archives

See why I love the beach?

Last morning at the beach, so Snowy and I were out for our walk by 6 am (thank goodness
that's just going off DST).

Lights still on at the pier

The trawlers are already out with lights on

Low tide

Photographer's assistant (Snowy) waiting for the sunrise

Gulls like it, too


And it's up!

Monarch butterfly migration at the NC beach

We saw a few Monarchs when we arrived on Sunday...but they're all over the yard here today! I first tried getting
some shots from the deck because the bushes are probably 10-12 feet high. But I wasn't satisfied, so i went down
in the yard. All these shots were taken over my head--anywhere from a foot or two to at least four or five.

We have a beautiful Carolina blue sky today..and this guy was willing to pose, somewhat shyly.

These two were doing what they need to do...it takes four generations of Monarchs to make the round trip migration.

This one was definitely feeding on the flowers

And this was the best shot I could get of open wings.

At the Vancouver Aquarium

Just a few shots.

Beluga whale--no dorsal fin, presumably an adaptation to make swimming beneath ice easier

Splendid garden eel

Chester, the false killer whale

Sea lions (females) poking through ice to find fish snacks

Do you see the seahorses?

There was a small Amazon jungle exhibit that included wildlife other than fish.

Blue fronted Amazon parrots

Red ibis

Sleepy sloth--napping high up in a tree

oh my gosh! I am amazed!

Congratulations to Binkie The Clown and Mira! I really loved both those photos!

And thanks to Solly Mack and Mira for helping out alfredo during a very tough time.

alfredo, I had to scratch my head trying to think of something for this contest. Ended up
going back in my photo archives--way back to 2009 when we went to Peru--because I remembered
the turn-out at this high point on the road from Cuzco to Puno and Lake Titicaca. With some cropping
and minimal post processing doctoring of the original single shot I took of the handicrafts laid out on the rocks, I figured that
would have to be my entry. It sure was a lot of fun revisiting that trip through the photos, too!

OK, I'm on it! My husband and I are leaving Tuesday on a trip, but I will have the October theme and information posted
before we go!

OK, I claim Summer Camouflage, but I tell you those darn deer have been hanging around all week

wondering if they were going to win a prize!

I've been photographing deer in and around our yard for several years. We get a lot of them!
Half an hour ago there were FIVE of them in our front yard chowing down on azaleas!


Caught three in this quick photo through the window...and then when they scattered another shot of them
up the hill from the house. Do you suppose they're expecting residuals?

It is not against the law in NC.

The story of the doctor who convinced a cemetery in Winston-Salem to open a green burial
site is here: http://www.pineforestmemorial.com/green-burial

A documentary movie was made of his story: http://www.awillforthewoods.com./#home

And a website that will connect you to options in other states is here:


Kim Davis perp walk. In leg chains and handcuffed. And still clearly in need of a designer.

Looks like the handcuffs are shackled to a chain around her waist, too.


Kim Davis is not following the tenets of her Apostolic Christian Church

This is brilliant--discovered by a Rabbi--and posted urging her to follow her own church's Statement of Faith.

Rowan County clerk Kim Davis refuses to issue marriage licenses to anyone because of the Supreme Court ruling extending marriage rights to same sex couples. She claims she is doing this on the authority of God. Ms. Davis is an Apostolic Christian. Among the 20 points listed in the Apostolic Church’s Statement of Faith (http://www.apostolicchristian.org/page.cfm?p=555) is the following:

Governmental authority is respected and obeyed. Members serve in a non-combatant status in the military. Oaths are not taken, but truth is affirmed.

Among the Bible passages used to bolster this teaching is Romans 13: 1–10:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

As an Apostolic Christian Ms. Davis believes the Bible is inerrant and is to be read literally. A literal reading of Romans makes it clear that governments are controlled by God, and that government employees, like the judges of the Supreme Court, are God’s servants. Rebelling against the government is the same as rebelling against God. And yet this is exactly what Ms. Davis is doing: she is rebelling against God.

Ms. Davis has said that her refusal to issue marriage licenses is “a Heaven or Hell decision.” I agree. My fear is that by rebelling against God she is condemning herself to Hell. I call upon Apostolic Christians everywhere to come to her aid: urge her to either comply with the ruling of God’s servants or resign her position. If you love this God fearing woman please help her step off the road to damnation.


Not all Christian denominations have the same view as this woman

Not only does she not have the legal right to impose her view of Christianity on the
residents of her County, her right wing fundamentalist view is not even supported
by many larger Christian denominations. It would be a nightmare to allow individuals--
given how many views of Christianity there are--to dictate secular policy in a government
office based on their individual religious views. The founding fathers knew this--which is why there
is separation of church and state. The Judge really just has to put an end to this tomorrow.
If it takes throwing her in the slammer to get her out of the office so it can resume functioning
according to law, then so be it.


Homosexuality and the Bible

This is a VERY interesting read that was posted on fb by a friend of mine who is a Methodist minister here in NC(educated at Duke Divinity School) and a writer. She offered it on fb as a great place to find arguments to use against the Bible thumpers when they are attempting to use the Bible for their rationale to oppose homosexuality.

It is particularly interesting given the NC Legislature override today of the Governor's veto of the bill allowing magistrates
in North Carolina to use their religious beliefs as an excuse not to marry gay couples. I apologize for violating DU rules
on quoting more than four paragraphs, but wanted to give those who won't read the entire essay a better feeling for
the point of view, so that maybe, more people would read it.

Sexual issues are tearing our churches apart today as never before. The issue of homosexuality threatens to fracture whole denominations, as the issue of slavery did one hundred and fifty years ago. We naturally turn to the Bible for guidance, and find ourselves mired in interpretative quicksand. Is the Bible able to speak to our confusion on this issue?

The debate over homosexuality is a remarkable opportunity, because it raises in an especially acute way how we interpret the Bible, not in this case only, but in numerous others as well. The real issue here, then, is not simply homosexuality, but how Scripture informs our lives today.

Nevertheless, the Bible quite clearly takes a negative view of homosexual activity, in those few instances where it is mentioned at all. But this conclusion does not solve the problem of how we are to interpret Scripture today. For there are other sexual attitudes, practices and restrictions which are normative in Scripture but which we no longer accept as normative:

The Old and New Testaments both regarded slavery as normal and nowhere categorically condemned it. Part of that heritage was the use of female slaves, concubines and captives as sexual toys, breeding machines, or involuntary wives by their male owners, which 2 Sam. 5:13, Judges 19-21, and Num. 31:18 permitted˜ and as many American slave owners did some 150 years ago, citing these and numerous other Scripture passages as their justification. The point is not to ridicule Israel’s sexual mores. Jews right up to the present have been struggling with the same interpretive task as Christians around issues of sexuality. The majority of U.S. Jewish groups (Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist) have gay-rites policies and have been involved in the same kinds of debates over homosexuality, masturbation and nonprocreative sexual intercourse as their Christian neighbors The point is that both Jews and Christians must reinterpret the received tradition in order to permit it to speak to believers today.

For example; virtually all modern readers would agree with the Bible in rejecting:

Intercourse with animals.

But we disagree with the Bible on most other sexual mores. The Bible condemned the following behaviors which we generally allow:

intercourse during menstruation
celibacy (some texts)
exogamy (marriage with non-Israelites)
naming sexual organs
nudity (under certain conditions)
masturbation (some Christians still condemn this)
birth control (some Christians still forbid this)

And the Bible regarded semen and menstrual blood as unclean, which most of us do not.

Likewise, the Bible permitted behaviors that we today condemn:

levirate marriage
sex with slaves
treatment of women as property
very early marriage (for the girl, age 11-13).

And while the Old Testament accepted divorce, Jesus forbade it. In short, of the sexual mores mentioned here, we only agree with the Bible on four of them, and disagree with it on sixteen!

The crux of the matter, it seems to me, is simply that the Bible has no sexual ethic. There is no Biblical sex ethic. Instead, it exhibits a variety of sexual mores, some of which changed over the thousand-year span of biblical history. Mores are unreflective customs accepted by a given community. Many of the practices that the Bible prohibits, we allow, and many that it allows, we prohibit. The Bible knows only a love ethic, which is constantly being brought to bear on whatever sexual mores are dominant in any given country, or culture, or period.

Approached from the point of view of the Spirit rather than the letter, the question ceases to be “What does Scripture command?”, and becomes “What is the Word that the Spirit speaks to the churches now, in the light of Scripture, tradition, theology, and, yes, psychology, genetics, anthropology, and biology? We can’t continue to build ethics on the basis of bad science. In a little-remembered statement, Jesus said, “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” (Luke 12:57). Such sovereign freedom strikes terror in the hearts of many Christians’; they would rather be under law and be told what is right.

If now new evidence is in on the phenomenon of homosexuality, are we not obligated - no, free — to reevaluate the whole issue in the light of all the available data and decide what is right, under God, for ourselves? Is this not the radical freedom for obedience in which the gospel establishes us?

Where the Bible mentions homosexual behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether that Biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well, and nowhere attacked it as unjust. Are we prepared to argue today that slavery is biblically justified? One hundred and fifty years ago, when the debate over slavery was raging, the Bible seemed to be clearly on the slaveholders’ side. Abolitionists were hard pressed to justify their opposition to slavery on biblical grounds. Yet today, if you were to ask Christians in the South whether the Bible sanctions slavery, virtually every one would agree that it does not. How do we account for such a monumental shift?

We in the church need to get our priorities straight. We have not reached a consensus about who is right on the issue of homosexuality. But what is clear, utterly clear, is that we are commanded to love one another.

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