Fr. Jake has passed a milestone on a fortuitous day: On New Year's Day 2008 his blog had its millionth visitor.
For those of use who visit regularly this is no surprise. I suppose that in the last year I have visited his site about twice a day. The reason is simple: Fr. Jake does indeed stop the world, at least the Anglican world, long enough to where we get some sense of what is going on. He is right, sometimes gnawing the bone a bit, but right none the less. He writes well and has found a unique voice in the blog community. He has become essential reading.
It is with some trepidation that I point out that he continues to be a person of interest because he is a man of mystery. Some time ago, before Fr. Jake fessed up (or seemed to) I wrote a piece exposing him as Fr. Sarducci.
Here is what I wrote then (Advent 2006):
"The world is too much with us: so for a bit of relief, it is time for an Advent outing worthy off nothing at all, save the Joy that is to come when, in blog heaven all is revealed.
Readers of this blog must recognize by now that I am an admirer of Fr. Jake Stops the World.
I am for many reasons, not the least is the title itself. But, truth be known I am also admiring of his vistage, both in cartoon form and in photograph.Here are both, for your viewing pleasure. Please note the use of hats, the fine mustache, the shades, the hint of a sneer. He is hip, he is a priest forever after the order of .... well, who knows. I was never quite sure until today when someone pointed to a new song with the voice of Fr. Guido Sarduci. Now I realize Fr. Jake and Fr. Guido are surely of the same order, if not brothers.
A picture of the well known Fr. Sarducci reveals all: Notice the same clerical garb, the same slant of the hat, the same mustache, the shades, the hint of a sneer. These are two priests cut from the same cloth. God bless their little hearts.
Fr. Guido Sarducci has just published a new song, a remarkably bad overlay of a remarkably bad song in the background. It is worth every minute of it to hear it. HEAR IT NOW
Don Novello, the one behind the good Father said in a San Francisco Cronicle article that he realised that he was setting the bar pretty high in recording this song... the bar being the worse Christmas song ever.
Our own Fr. Jake sets high bars in other ways, and I wish him the best, and his alter ego too."
I looked again at Fr. Jake's confession, which can be read HERE. He submits the following proof that he is who he says he is:
He says, "My name is Terry Martin, and I am an eclectic and sometimes eccentric Episcopal priest. I'm the one in the picture not wearing purple. I would imagine that most of you recognize the gentleman standing with me.
In an attempt at further transparency, I will tell you that I began in the diocese of Fond du Lac and received my M. Div. from Nashotah House. During my first year at the House, I preached a sermon in my home parish that attacked Bp. Spong. The parish gave me a standing ovation, which is quite unusual in TEC. My stance on inclusivity began to shift during my second year at the House, under the instruction of such great minds as Jim Griffiss, Joe Hunt and David Ruppe."
Well, fair enough. Disclosure is a wonderful thing and I am sure we all feel better knowing who Fr. Jake is... but do we really? We know who Terry Martin is... he's the fellow not in purple, etc., but Fr. Jake never says he is Terry Martin or that Tarry Martin is he. In fact near the end of his "outing" message Terry clearly distinquishes himself from Fr. Jake. He says, "Jake represents my own thoughts, which are not always appropriately expressed within the environments in which I have been called to serve." There is still the supposition of difference here.
At the very least this is a Jekyll and Hyde sort of thing. at the worse it is a sign of being psychologically unhinged.
Knowing and trusting both Fr. Jake and Terry I chose still the possibility that BOTH Fr. Jake and Terry Martin are disguising themselves as Fr. Gudo Sarducci. How else are we to explain the continuing Sarducci look of Fr. Jake and the unwillingness of Terry to post his own picture on the blog's front page?
Instead what we have is an odd hint at the bottom of his sidebar - you have to scroll forever to get to it. It is this:
Perhaps Fr. Jake and Terry Martins have some sort of sunglasses fetish. Perhaps they are both figments of Fr. Sarducci's imagination. But perhaps, both are extensions of the Blues Brothers, Jake and Elwood, with Terry for Jake and Sarducci for Elwood.
This theory, an advanced form of my former assertion that Fr. Jake is Fr. Sarducci, has at least this truth going for it:
Fr. Jake and Terry Martin are, like the Blues Brothers, on a mission from God.
And we, dear friends, are beneficiaries.
Fr. Jake, Terry, whoever you really are, may you have a million more visitors. I will call several times to be added to the number.