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Prop 8 trial update with questions about Imperial County

Background Trial analysis

(Cross-posted at LGBTPOV)

By Karen Ocamb

Judge Vaughn WalkerHere’s a quick wrap of some of the latest developments on the federal Prop 8 trial front.

Prop8TrialTracker posted video of three of the “best” moments from Prop 8 shouter Lou Engle’s TheCall Sacramento rally over Labor Day weekend, which David Link reported on earlier for LGBT POV.

Last Thursday, the 3rd District Court of Appeal rejected that lawsuit filed by the Pacific Justice Institute trying to force the state to defend Prop 8 on appeal. PJI are the folks who said “failure to pass Prop 8 in California would be akin to failing to stop Hitler.”

Meanwhile, Imperial County is using the pro bono service of the conservative religious firm Advocates for Faith and Freedom, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, instead of their own county counsel to try to intervene. This is curious.

District Court Judge Walker already ruled that counties cannot act independently of the state, which, through governmental defendants Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown, has the responsibility to defend Prop 8 – which they’ve refused to do.

Imperial County passed Prop 8 by 20,217 votes or 70 percent, according to the Union Tribune. Last December the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to hire the outside firm, arguing that they had a governmental interest because their county clerks had to issue marriage licenses.

The county board appealed Walker’s ruling denying their petition to intervene. So when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals convenes the week of Dec. 6 to considering the issue of whether Protect Marriage has legal “standing” as a civilian group to appeal Walker’s ruling on Prop 8, they will also decide if Imperial County has legal “standing” to serve as government-defenders in the case.

In addition to Walker’s reasons why Imperial County should be disqualified, it will be interesting to see if the 9th Circuit considers that the intervention plea is not being brought by the county’s own counsel, that it was authorized by a split political body, and that some of the 70 percent of Prop 8 voters may have since changed their minds and not want their local government advocating for Prop 8 in their name.


  • 1. Bolt  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Has anyone read findlaw's recent legal opinion on the standing issue? As some of you all have read, V. Amar believes that if standing is denied to the defendants, Walker's trial will be thrown out; however, we still wouldn't lose in California.

    Amar believes the case would be sent back to Walker, and he would rule in favor, by default, for the plaintiffs. At that point, nobody would be able to appeal the case any further.

  • 2. Sagesse  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Only 74 messages in my inbox… must need more mail.

  • 3. AndrewPDX  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Sounds reasonable to me. If nobody can defend the case, then the judge has no choice but to rule based on the evidence presented — which he already did. And if nobody can defend the case, then nobody can appeal from the defense.

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

  • 4. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I also have to wonder if the supervisors in Imperial County who voted to hire this outside firm to handle this delaying tactic were merely playing to what they think is their voter base.

  • 5. Dave in ME  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I agree! I've been gone and the mail has practically stopped!

    Dave in Maine

  • 6. Dave in ME  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    This time *I* forgot to click the box!

    Dave in Maine

  • 7. Ann S.  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Click the box, get more mail.
    Click the box, get more mail.
    Click the box, get more mail.

    It's a routine.

  • 8. Ann S.  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Odd that PJI, which vowed to appeal "immediately", hasn't yet managed to do so. No idea what it means.

  • 9. Kate  |  September 7, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Nothing has been filed yet???? I've been waiting for the CA Supremes to deny it!

  • 10. Tony Douglass in Ca  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Will one of the law types correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was already stated that the criteria for standing to Intervene in the lawsuit to overturn Prop8 are different than the criteria for standing to appeal the ruling?

  • 11. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    He seems to be the only one suggesting this scenario. Every other legal analysis I've seen says if there is no one with standing to appeal, then no appeal. Period. But Walker's decision will stand.

  • 12. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Yes. PJI has filed a petition for review in the California Supreme Court.

  • 13. Linda  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Okay, if Imperial County is granted Standing, that just means the case will go to the 9th district COA, right? That's what we assumed would happen to begin with, isn't it?

    Is there a reason we should be concerned? No new evidence can be presented, right?

    I'm confused. :(

    On the other hand, does anyone find it humorous that this group of…..uh….people think they can take on Olson and Boies? :)

  • 14. Linda  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm


    (forgot to click)

  • 15. Brad  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Advocates for Faith and Freedom's website says it "is a non-profit law firm dedicated to protecting religious liberty in the courts." The law firm aims to advocate for "the message and influence of God." Imperial County wants to stand in for the State, so it hired a religious-based law firm. So we essentially would have Church representing State. That fundamentally violates the constitutional mandate for separation of church and state.

  • 16. Dave in ME  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I was about to miss Prince Peacock on America's Got Talent, so I was rushing!!! But I clicked the second time around AND got to see him, so all is well. For now.

    Dave in Maine

  • 17. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Yes. The standard for intervention in the district court, is different than that for appealing a decision.

  • 18. Dave in ME  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Advocating for the message and influence of God doesn't seem to protect the religions that don't fall in line with that. Sometimes it seems that with them "freedom of religion" is freedom to be a God-fearing Christian only, much like was was pointed out in the "Are you a pro-gay bigot" post.

    Dave in Maine

  • 19. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    I think it just goes farther to proving that Imperial County itself may not care much one way or the other, and the Prop 8 proponents are clutching at straws, by paying for the lawyers so all Imperial has to do is sign the paperwork and go back to whatever else they were doing.

  • 20. Ann S.  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Ooh, how did I miss that? Must read ASAP. Except I have a date with the family to do some TV watching. Will read when I get a chance.

  • 21. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Just watching this time.

  • 22. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    PJI is donating its services. Reports I've read say that PJI is assisting just to the extent necessary to help IC get standing in the case. According to the article linked to above, if IC is granted standing, they would be appellants in name only, and the Proponents' legal team would still handle the appeal.

  • 23. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm


    Does Schwarzenegger have to even bother replying to this? If it seems as silly as the previous incarnation, can't the court just throw it out without bothering him?

  • 24. Ann S.  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Do you mean ADF?

  • 25. Steven  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I was about to ask if to see they already filed an appeal to CA Supreme Court. which they already did.. where can we see their appeal?

  • 26. Brad  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    NPR had an interesting story about Imperial County/Prop 8 a few weeks ago. The story quoted someone with the county's local chamber of commerce saying he wished the government was NOT spending time and resources on this case–because, he said, doing so would damage the reputation of the county at a time when business people there are laboring to create a progressive image and bring in "green" jobs.

  • 27. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    That really did make me laugh out loud.

  • 28. Kate  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Am I reading this correctly, that "they" are setting dates/times to be honored by the SUpremes??? what nerve.

  • 29. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I find it highly amusing.

    I also find the acronym for National Organization of Marriage amusing. OM NOM NOM…

  • 30. Steven  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I think 9th Circuit will RULE that Imperial County does not have a standing to present a whole state on an appeal.. They are only county in CA seeking to stand for ag/ governor………

  • 31. Steven  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I will give it till Thursday afternoon for CA Supreme Court to rule or Friday morning………

  • 32. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    *plays Jeopardy think music*

    (I am apparently in a silly mood tonight)

  • 33. Straight Dave  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    As I understand it, if Imperial is granted standing, then the 9th Circuit COA must consider the merits of the case. If their standing is denied, and if's standing is also denied, then the 9th will just throw the case out without even considering the merits. Standing of both of them looks a bit shaky at the moment. All such decisions can be appealed to SCOTUS, of course, and almost certainly will be.

  • 34. Straight Dave  |  September 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Correct, no new evidence. The 9th just reviews the trial transcripts (or perhaps just the written opinion – Kathleen, help!) and applies their own legal judgment.

    (I shouldn't have tried to wade in over my head)

  • 35. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Kate, I think the court is the one that puts all the dates on it.

  • 36. Anonygrl  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Silly is good! I like silly!

  • 37. Bolt  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Yes, you've said that before, and you're absolutely correct, at least from what I've read.

  • 38. Gary  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    If the case is remanded to Walker, the remand will almost certainly happen after the new governor and attorney general are sworn into office in January. If a republican wins either office, I bet they elect to defend the case — in which case there would be no default judgment.

  • 39. Bolt  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Justice Corrigan will do something to steal the show. If there is such thing as a legal histrionic, it is she. During Strauss v. Horton, she had her day in court.

  • 40. Ann S.  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    That's if it is remanded for a new trial. I don't think it's very likely.

  • 41. Steven  |  September 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm


    What do you mean by that to steal the show? Justice Corrigan can't grant the appeal on her own.. there need to be 3 to 4 justices…….. i think ron george will say DENIED. JMO

  • 42. HunterR.  |  September 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Politics and religion are also playing in Mexico regarding SSM. I wish our Supreme Court had the cojones to stop religious fanatics.

    "Legal, But Still Contentious

    In Mexico, at least, the rulings have been polemic. Most Mexicans are Catholic, and the Catholic Church retains tremendous power and influence there. A significant minority of Mexicans are Evangelicals, who, like Catholics, also oppose same-sex marriage and adoption. Religious and secular authorities have therefore taken sides in what has become a ripe slugfest.

    In the first volley, the Cardinal of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, alleged that the Supreme Court justices had been bribed to make their ruling. He also used a common slur against gays. In response, the Supreme Court censured the prelate.

    The Bishops’ Conference of Mexico continues to support the Cardinal, who has not backed down. On the secular side, left-leaning Mayor Marcelo Ebrard of Mexico City (who the Cardinal alleges was also bribed) has slapped a defamation suit on the Cardinal in civil court.

    “We live in a secular state, and here, whether we like it or not, the law rules the land,” said Ebrard, according to Mexican newspaper La Jornada."

  • 43. Rhie  |  September 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Oh what are you watching? *is curious*

  • 44. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    The 9th will consider the trial record (evidence, transcripts, expert testimony, etc.), the legal briefs of both parties and information that comes from oral arguments. In general, there is a lot of deference to the findings of fact by the trial judge (Walker) but the 9th will come to its own legal conclusions based on all the above.

  • 45. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    The first two docket entries (petition for review and motion for expedited review) are from the petitioner Beckley. The third item, setting the deadlines for briefs is an order of the Court.

    Unfortunately, the California Supreme Court site doesn't make the petitions available. And I haven't been able to locate them online anywhere. If anyone finds them, let me know and I'll upload them to Scribd. Hopefully, the briefs due tomorrow (if any are filed) will be available.

  • 46. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    There's no requirement that anyone answer this. But the Court order says if parties want to answer it, it must be by 9am Wed, with replies to any answers due by noon.

  • 47. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    My mistake. I meant "Advocates for Faith and Freedom" is the group offering pro bono services for Imperial County).

    I had PJI in mind from my earlier post. PJI is the group representing Beckley in his petition in the California state courts.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  • 48. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I haven't been able to locate a copy of the petition online. If anyone finds it, let me know and I'll upload it to Scribd.

  • 49. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    The deadline to file a notice of appeal of Walker's decision is Sept. 11. So, the only way a decision of the California Supreme Court on this petition would have any meaning is if it issues its ruling by that deadline. Otherwise, the question is moot.

  • 50. Kathleen  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Sorry for repeating myself, Bolt. I'm never sure who's asked what questions before and whether people have seen the earlier answers. I often answer the same question several times. :)

  • 51. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Yeah, it's hard to know what they were thinking. I was taken aback when I read they were using outside counsel (and such an obviously biased choice)–and it's curious that Imperial's own counsel didn't take a position. Maybe they didn't want to spend the money, or maybe they thought an appeal was a non-starter–dunno.

    Seems that firm is providing services pro bono; part of me wonders if they lobbied Imperial's supervisors for the job, maybe for their own political reasons. Hmmmmm.

  • 52. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 7, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Too late, Imperial County. But at least you're getting your legal services for free.

  • 53. draNgNon  |  September 7, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    "could not connect to"

  • 54. Ray  |  September 7, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Imperial County was recruited by the h8ters, they didn't "hire" anybody.

  • 55. Bolt  |  September 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    @Steven, forgive me. My brain believes everyone will understand everything I type. During Strauss v. Horton, the state challenge to 8, everyone's eyes were on Corrigan. When the television cameras were rolling, she stole the show. It was presumed that if she asked whether the 18,000 ssms' performed were valid, that we would have lost the state challenge to 8.

    My initial reply to your comment had nothing to do, whatsoever, with your concern. I'm a total goofball. :)

  • 56. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 8, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Hunter – I found the article interesting in the fact it stated If LGBTQ persons request traditional family life, South-of-the-border may be an option. I've been thinking along those lines….I noticed that "Bob" posted a comment to the article that Canada is a good option too.

    I would be interested to anyone who has taken this giant step to move to another country to live. What challenges, rewards, recommendations.

  • 57. Franck  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Gregory, I suggest that you contact the folks at <a>Love Exiles. Being that it's an association of LGBTQ people who had to leave the U.S. due to DOMA, they would know a lot about the issue.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1174 days, as of today.

  • 58. Rebecca  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:01 am


    No, we don't need to be concerned. The great legal work Olson and Boies did cannot be changed, and Imperial County, if granted standing, cannot add any evidence.

    The reason people are so excited about this is that, if standing is denied both the defendants and Imperial County, the trial is over. And Walker's ruling stands!

    Many people want this to go the Supreme Court and make marriage equality a nation-wide thing. (Including myself, if we could win. We in Illinois get NOTHING yet, not even civil unions.) But if Imperial County and the defendants are denied standing, it means many couples in CA will be able to marry much sooner.

    Put simply, we win, and the benefits of that victory could be enjoyed much sooner than the years-long process of climbing up to the Supreme Court.

  • 59. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Thank you Franck! I haven't replied much to you but I always read your posts and my heart and spirit goes out to you, wishing you all good things!



  • 60. Kathleen  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I'm having trouble accessing the site this morning, too.

  • 61. MJFargo  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Yes. In an interview with the county representative, he stated he was approached ("called") twice by the Intervenors to join the case. He also said no county money was being spent.

  • 62. Bolt  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Dude, even if LGBTQIA equality becomes the supreme law of the land, the lousy bigot attitudes of the xtianists will persist. AmeriKa doesn't deserve our talents, and as far as I'm concerned, it deserves to become as uninteresting as Poland.

    I would consider living in Rio De Janeiro, Nova Scotia, Geneva, or Copenhagen. Good luck, and good love.

  • 63. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  September 8, 2010 at 1:47 am

    Bolt – thanks for input :)

    About Poland, I actually find it very interesting! My oldest daughter traveled their (she is a concert violinist who traveled many places performing). That is the one country that captured her imagination and longing to move to. Chopin, one of my music champions hails from Poland as well.

    p.s. – I haven't been called "dude" before and it made me laugh out loud and instantly feel uplifted **BIG SMILE**

  • 64. Dave T  |  September 8, 2010 at 2:01 am

    Sounds like the Catholic Church is doing everything they can to marginalize themselves in Mexico, much like they have done in the rest of the world through their appalling handling of the child sex abuse cases.

    Sheesh… can these cardinals, bishops, and priests be any stupider?

  • 65. Kathleen  |  September 8, 2010 at 2:29 am

    According to the docket, Schwarzenegger has filed an Answer to PJI's petition for review. But I still haven't found a copy of the petition or Schwarzenegger's answer.

  • 66. Ann S.  |  September 8, 2010 at 2:32 am

    Very interesting! I have another very busy work day, but will try to look, too.

  • 67. Bennett  |  September 8, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Ahh, these few happy days since I have actually forgotten to think of nothing but what a California court was going to do are about to end. Is it too early to start holding my breath?

  • 68. Bennett  |  September 8, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Hmm, seems Maggie is on the list of approved posters over at NOM's blog. Are my eyes deceiving me or is she misquoting a post just 3 or 4 inches up? Someone teach this woman to copy and paste.

  • 69. Carol  |  September 8, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Also, it seems to confirm Judge Walker's finding that opposition to SSM is primarily a religious position. The First Amendment's Establishment Clause doesn't permit the state to impose a religious viewpoint, so this outfit's advocacy would seem to be counterproductive.

  • 70. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 8, 2010 at 4:51 am

    That makes sense, but it still doesn't explain why their own County counsel didn't prohibit it or make a statement about it, or whether County officials represented by someone other than official County counsel are in fact acting in a private capacity, not on behalf of their government agency. It will be interesting to read the ruling, maybe some of that will be addressed.

  • 71. mandy  |  September 8, 2010 at 5:13 am

    While it is extremely unlikely that once the time has run for california to jump in, that the court will allow california jump in if whitman is elected as governor. However when it comes to the Court one can never say never, that is why it is very important that we elect the right people to office this November.

  • 72. truthspew  |  September 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Very interesting. Maybe this won't ever hit the USSC because quite frankly those who have the standing to appeal want nothing to do with it.

  • 73. Gray Coyote  |  September 8, 2010 at 9:33 am

    09/08/2010 Petition for review denied


  • 74. Ann S.  |  September 8, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Yay! Where did you see that, please?

  • 75. Gray Coyote  |  September 8, 2010 at 9:42 am

  • 76. Ann S.  |  September 8, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Oh, that is sweet, indeed. Thank you.

    And thank you, CA Supreme Court!

  • 77. Sagesse  |  September 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Elizabeth, I think the Advocates for Faith and Freedom offered to represent Imperial County for free, because the county was willing to stand up for Prop 8, but probably would have run into opposition if they had to incur legal costs to do it. Made it easy for them to vote yes. They are no different from PJI and other similar advocacy organizations.

  • 78. Russell Fletcher  |  September 10, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I have watched and listened to all of the many things going on with regards to our right to marry and I find it interesting that nobody has ever challenged the rightwing conservatives with the facts about their biblical verses. Are they unaware that the Bible is an edited compelation and not the dictated word of GOD? The Emporer Constantine had the Priests of the day compile and edit the book in the 4th century. Further, Christian monks again edited the book at the begining of the 16th century (is became the 2nd latin version). Most notably however, there are no laws on the books against homosexuality until the late 17th century. Further, there were recorded homosexual unions in the Bible before it was edited. Maybe they should try doing their homework.

  • 79. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 10, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Actually, Russell, the editing, redacting, mistranslating, and miquoting started well before the Council of Nicea in 323 CE. It actually started with those who followed Saul of Tarsus in the latter 1st Century and early 2nd Century. And no, the rightwing "conservatives" are NOT going to read the Bible–they prefer to have it spoon fed to them by someone who got his or her "seminary" degree from the University of Close Cover When Striking. They also do NOT want to admit that the laws in Leviticus were addressed to the Priesthood and dealt more with ritual cleanliness and not participating in the rituals associated with the pagan religions of the area. They also want ot conveniently forget about Saul telling David that he (Saul) was David's Father-in-law twice because David was married to both Saul's son and Saul's daughter. This is why it is useless to even attempt any dialogue with them, and why it is more important that we have that dialogue with the folks in the middle–the ones who have critical thinking skills and know that faith and reason work better when used together instead of faith overriding reason and eliminating reason.

  • 80. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 10, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Damn you're good, Richard… I mean, dang. :)

  • 81. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I had to learn the Bible and his history and context, including the cultures and histories of the lands of the Bible beginning at a young age. My birth mother's father was a hardshell, hellfire and brimstone Southern Baptist minister who firmly believed that the church should stay out of politics, and when my grandmother remarried after his death, her second husband was a Wesleyan minister. And I was told by my aunts and uncles that you had to know your Bible and the full context of it because you never knew what questions Papaw Childers would ask, and you had to be able to back up what you said, and the Bible was not the only reference you were to use–you also had to have something that came from other sources, and other disciplines in addition to religion. And I found out first hand that Papaw Fuller was the same way. Then there was my own spiritual journey as I grew older, and trying to reconcile myself with what I had been told for so many years. As an adult I went from Protestant to Catholic, and along the way I met a rabbi (not the one I am getting married to soon) who showed me many things from the Torah and from the commentaries that had been written from the earliest times of the Jewish race, which showed me that there had been redactions, mistranslations, and misquotings since the time shortly after the events of what is now called Good Friday, Easter, and the modern day understanding of Pentecost. That led me to investigate further, and I am currently on a hunt through the local used book sellers in my area for the books I used in those studies. ANd I have had even more resources added since BZ and I got together. Then I have also learned quite a lot from everyone here at P8TT. And I guess I just get so irritated when folks willingly ignore the use of their own reason merely to justify what they call faith. since we are created in the image of HaShem, that tells me that we have the faculties of reasoning and logic. And if we are to live up to our fullest potential, then we owe it wo whatever Supreme Being we believe in to use those faculties of reason and logic. I have never felt that faith and reason were polar opposites, but rather, two facets of the gemstones we all are, that only work when used together.

  • 82. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Richard, have you ever read any Hyam Maccoby? I can highly recommend "Revolution in Judea" and his other books. Most are out of print and hard to find, but full of many gems too.

  • 83. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Thanks, Elizabeth. I will look for that one. I will start in the rabbinical library here at the house, just in case BZ has a copy or two of it here. Then I will hit our local used book sellers and put the word out that I am hunting it.

  • 84. Elizabeth Oakes  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:18 am

    He was kinda Bart Ehrman before Bart Ehrman, and I believe Ehrman may have drawn from some of his work. The gospels make much more sense when viewed with an understanding of Jewish culture at the time; I found his books revelatory. Maybe now he's old hat, but he was doing scholarly investigations of the bible before it became The Big Thing to do. I had the pleasure of meeting him about 15 years ago, a sweet old professorial type, modest and very quiet.

  • 85. Richard A. Walter (s  |  September 10, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Thank you, Elizabeth! I am printing out the Wikipedia article now, and BZ knew who I was talking about when I told him about you pointing me to Hyam Maccoby. And I can only assume that his last name is a variation on Maccabee. this is great!

  • 86. AndrewPDX  |  September 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    But But But… it's the word of GOD! It can't be wrong!!! God Himself WROTE it — in English, and everything!!!! /sarcasm

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

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