Mutato checks in with UA's infamous mall preacher

Along time ago, when I was

but a freshman at this fine

institutional learning fa

cility, I had odd precon

ceptions about what university life would be like. I expected student activists, protests, general civil unrest. Instead I got the serene prozac happiness that only a city like Tucson, the sunniest city in North America, can provide. It was just too nice out to demonstrate. What? The university is planning to raise our tuition by 666? Oh well, it's nice out... we'll try and do something about it tomorrow.

Initially I was disturbed by all this, but then I discovered Dave Temple a zeitgeist of sorts, a complete oddity on this otherwise prosaic campus of fairly ordinary people.

You all know Dave Temple, even if you don't know his real name. He's Yoshua, the bearded guy out on the mall yelling about the evils of various religions. His mighty voice echoes off the student union, but sometimes, even if you can hear him clearly, it's hard to tell just what's he's talking about.

For a while I thought he was on the university payroll free entertainment sponsored by Manuel Pacheco at the expense of the students. But then I started hearing stories about him making appearances at other schools around the West. He's a legend of sorts on the Berkeley campus, and he has also been known to preach at Stanford.

So, when I stumbled into McDonald's the other morning in search of Breakfast Burritos and spotted him in the corner reading the paper and drinking coffee, I knew it was destiny. After all, he's DAVE a living legend among college kids everywhere.

As it turns out, he's not insane at all. Away from his regular job of being the loudest campus preacher on Earth, he's a surprisingly rational guy. He doesn't yell or spew hellfire, he talks. Even over breakfast he preached and explained his beliefs, but it's understandable he's on a mission from Yoshua.

You see, you're all worshipping the wrong god. The message becomes muddled by his confrontational rhetoric when preaching to a mass audience on the mall, but in regular conversation, it comes through loud and clear.

Around 280 B.C.E., the Greeks put serious pressure on the Jews to translate the Torah into a gentile language (Greek). Although the Jewish holy men didn't want to do it, they also feared retribution for not completing the task. So, they intentionally messed up the translation to prevent the secret name of God (Yoshua) from getting into the hands of the Greeks.

Dave's literature, which is available from him, says, "They hated having their sacred scriptures translated into a 'goy' language... These 'pigs and dogs' (that is, non-Jews) were certainly NOT going to see, pronounce and hear the Sacred and Holy NAME of YHWH [aka Yahweh], when they themselves considered 'yodh, heh, wahw, heh' to be ineffable (not to be spoken)."

So, they substituted the word "Iesus," or "The Son of Zeus" in Greek. This has led Christians off the straight and narrow path, as they are attempting to lead a good and moral life, but are instead worshipping the wrong god. How else can you explain the Nazis, the Inquisition, and all the other atrocities committed in the name of Jesus if "Jesus" wasn't really a code-name for Satan?

It's not the explanation I might give, but whatever. You go Yahweh, I'll go my way.

Maybe it was the Monopoly contest, or maybe it's just that Dave needs grease like the rest of us, but MacDonald's really does attract all types. It was a surreal experience, wolfing down my Sausage Egg McMuffin while listening to Dave pull from his exhaustive knowledge of the Bible. He's not just a paid entertainer he's a real person.

Even after breaking the fast with Dave, he remains an enigma. He scrupulously avoided providing answers to personal questions and spoke only of his message. When asked about his rates of success, he replied that he was baptizing a Ph.D. candidate and his wife sometime next weekend, but provided no more information. I have no idea how he finances his adventures or if he's part of larger organization. But he appears to based in Berkeley and can be reached at P.O. Box 12091, Berkeley, CA 94712. He's Dave Temple, and perhaps that all one needs to know.

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