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Jedi-ism, Britain's fourth-largest religion, is still going strong - Comments

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins

After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of "peace": "Always keep a hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse." But the best solution is surely to tick the "No religion" box, and I am backing the British Humanist Association's census campaign.

Nevertheless, I posted this article about the Jedi campaign, partly because it is funny and partly because anything that weans people off automatically ticking the 'Christian' box is a good thing. There is also the point that, in the unlikely event of anyone claiming Jedi as a serious religion, their claim is precisely as silly as the claims of Christians and Muslims.

The other thing to note in this Times article, and also in the film, is the rather sinister statement by the Deputy Census Director that

the responses directly affect community services. “People are developing their local policy and activities on the basis of this information. I would urge people to give an accurate response,” he said.

That, alone, might seem to provide good reason to sabotage the religion question on the census form. But I'm still going to tick the "No religion" box.


Sat, 26 Feb 2011 10:34:50 UTC | #596425

Mrkimbo's Avatar Comment 2 by Mrkimbo

These frivolous people will be PUNISHED by the righteous followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster during their lives, and after their demise by the Divine Pasta in person; they will writhe in agony in the clutches of his noodly appendages; they will scream for mercy in the boiling bolognese of his wrath and choke perpetually in the parmesan of his fury... I could go on, but we are a religion of peace.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 10:38:30 UTC | #596426

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 3 by Cook@Tahiti

Ever since The Phantom Menace, the Force is no longer a supernatural religious phenomenon. It's due to your Midi-chlorian Count which you inherit. It's testable, quantifiable, and falsifiable.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 10:41:43 UTC | #596428

jel's Avatar Comment 4 by jel

Personally I'm a follower of the PFG.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 10:56:32 UTC | #596435

Lapithes's Avatar Comment 5 by Lapithes

By God the colours of THE CENSUS CAMPAIGN are spectacular!

Not living in the UK it's no business of mine but I would guess that the Jedi course of action would be more effective (attracts attention of media, expresses an opinion/ comments on society, will still be understood as nonreligious). Though I do really mean 'guess', I don't know anything about it. Still, those splendiferous colours really make me want to cast a vote.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 10:57:54 UTC | #596437

sbooder's Avatar Comment 6 by sbooder

Luke Skywalker in a restaurant, trying to eat steak with a spoon.

Obi1 says...Use the fork Luke...Use the fork

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 11:02:04 UTC | #596438

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 7 by Cook@Tahiti

Don't try and frighten us with your rationalist ways, Lord Dawkins. Your sad devotion to Enlightenment reasoning has not helped you stem the tide of dogma and superstition, or given you enough insight to debunk the religious mindset.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 11:15:08 UTC | #596441

ajs261's Avatar Comment 8 by ajs261

It will be interesting to see whether the census results reflect the most recent British Social Attitudes survey, in which the non-religious were a majority.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 11:25:44 UTC | #596443

Hammert1me's Avatar Comment 9 by Hammert1me

I'm offended that the Jedi get all this attention, while my own faith, the Sith, are marginalised and discrimated against.

Our beliefs are just as valid!

Rtanbree, Comment three.

Qui-gon was speaking metaphorically about midichlorians. You're not watching it in the right context.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 11:52:58 UTC | #596451

JackR's Avatar Comment 10 by JackR

What Richard said.

Please let's drop this "Ho ho aren't we wags for ticking 'Jedi'?" stuff, this time. Do we think opposing religion is a serious matter or not? If so, then please tick "No Religion".

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:07:06 UTC | #596456

AlexP's Avatar Comment 11 by AlexP

Jedi-ism should not be treated like a religion, in satire or otherwise, for several reasons:

a) The majority of those who subscribe to jedi-ism do not practice their alleged religion to any noticeable degree in their everyday life.

b) The self-declared jedis display a stunning lack of understanding of their own religion.

c) Ask ten "jedis" about their religion, and you will get a dozen different descriptions.

d) When asked to explain the reasons for their choice of religion, jedis will either ramble incoherently, list some vaque, irrational motives or simply shrug and claim "it's my religion" or a similar circular argument.

e) The majority of all "jedis" will admit, after further inquiry, that they aren't serious about jedi-ism.


On second thoughts, calling jedi-ism a religion doesn't seem that misplaced after all.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:29:33 UTC | #596462

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 12 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 9 by Hammert1me

I'm offended that the Jedi get all this attention, while my own faith, the Sith, are marginalised and discrimated against.

Ah yes the called religion of peace my arse...or am I being a Sithaphobe?

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:33:06 UTC | #596463

epicure's Avatar Comment 13 by epicure

Jedi-schmedi ... grow up for chri'sake...

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:33:32 UTC | #596465

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 14 by Cook@Tahiti

Comment 11 by AlexP :

On second thoughts, calling jedi-ism a religion doesn't seem that misplaced after all.

Also, children are sent to the Academy on Coruscant to become indoctrinated into the Jedi cult, without being old enough to make up their own minds. Clearly evidence of abuse.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:37:03 UTC | #596467

phodopus's Avatar Comment 15 by phodopus

I'm offended that the Jedi get all this attention, while my own faith, the Sith, are marginalised and discrimated against.

Aren't there only two of them?

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:38:25 UTC | #596468

Cook@Tahiti's Avatar Comment 16 by Cook@Tahiti

Comment 13 by epicure :

Jedi-schmedi ... grow up for chri'sake...

That's right. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:38:56 UTC | #596469

William33's Avatar Comment 17 by William33

Join the dark side... and get a free cookie!

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:46:04 UTC | #596471

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 18 by Stevehill

"Jedi" does have the small frisson of cocking a snook at religion, but with all the force (see what I did there?) of a fourth form prank.

The mature response, surely, is "no religion"?

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 12:56:51 UTC | #596479

Big Gus's Avatar Comment 19 by Big Gus

If I remember correctly there wasn't a "no religion" option on the form when people put Jedi down. I would like to think that the fact the option exists on the latest form is down to so many people putting Jedi on the last one, of course we all know it was really the force. On a plus note the one thing that the Jedi thing might of done is make people aware that it is alright not to use one of the standard responses.

We are not scared by the threats of followers of the FSM as we would eat him for breakfast, well more likely lunch or dinner.

On a more serious note I will be choosing "No religion" this time and encouraging everyone else to do likewise. I think that in reality most people put some religion down only because they identify with it culturally rather than actually observe its teachings. That or they rightly conclude that not answering it will lead to some other religion garnering more clout than it deserves. Its about time that ticking "no religion" is perceived or identified as synonymous with secular values as opposed to having none. Let's get the meme out there.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:06:14 UTC | #596483

BowDownToGizmo's Avatar Comment 20 by BowDownToGizmo

In all seriousness, do we know if Jedi will appear as a tick-box this time, since it is now officially a religion?

in little seriousness, if it's not a tick box and you have to spell it out and If enough people accidentally spell it Jedai, does it officially create schism?

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:07:52 UTC | #596484

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 21 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 16 by Rtambree

That's right. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid

Easy for you ta say.....tell that to the Egyptians, that staff Moses had was a ta see yer blaster part sea's.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:14:21 UTC | #596489

hiss's Avatar Comment 22 by hiss

Can we get the influential Stephen Fry to twitter a link to the campaign?

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:16:00 UTC | #596491

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Comment 23 by HardNosedSkeptic

In the last census I ticked the “Other” box and specified “Atheist”. Atheism isn’t a religion as you know, but I didn’t see a “No Religion” option and I was determined not to tick “Roman Catholic”, so I didn’t know what else to do.

I shall certainly be ticking “No Religion” this time and I’ll try to persuade as many of my non-religious friends and family as possible to do the same thing. I can think of at least six.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:19:52 UTC | #596493

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 24 by scottishgeologist

For what it is worth, there is a minister in the Free Church of Scotland who calls himslef the "Jedirev"

I shit thee not.....

Jedi Rev

He's a friend of David Robertsons by the way...... sigh.......

:-) SG

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:24:26 UTC | #596497

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 25 by aquilacane

With numbers like that, i don't see how the Jedi population can't recieve adequate tax payer funding to establish a more official Jedi Council.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:30:43 UTC | #596499

Hendrix is my gOD's Avatar Comment 26 by Hendrix is my gOD

I think I need to start doing a better job evangelizing the "Tax-Exempt Church of Jimi Hendrix, gOD". I will be expanding to the UK this year. My goal is no less than to make it the #1 religion for you next census. My only question is Does the UK also offer tax exemption for churches? It really makes a significant difference in my profits.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:32:01 UTC | #596500

Hammert1me's Avatar Comment 27 by Hammert1me

Comment 15 by phodopus

I'm offended that the Jedi get all this attention, while my own faith, the Sith, are marginalised and discrimated against.

Aren't there only two of them?

The rule of two was established by Darth Bane after the New Sith Wars. Other time periods have seen vast numbers of sith and other dark side followers.

This is just another example of the misinformation spread by followers of the Jedi. The Sith are being persecuted for our beliefs.

Like the obvious truth that it is an abomination to marry your own clone. We Sith are being criminalised for turning away clone-couples from our bed and breakfasts and rufusing to let them eat in our resturants.

I demand my force-given right to discriminate against all Jedi and thier teachings. Modern secualrism is making it impossible to be a Sith.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:46:34 UTC | #596508

spongebob's Avatar Comment 28 by spongebob

I'm a Jedi; my wife's a Sith. Our kids are confused. Every year we have a combined Jedimas and Sithmas. Some of the kids get light sabers; others get lightning bolts. Depends on if they were naughty or nice.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:46:58 UTC | #596509

chawinwords's Avatar Comment 29 by chawinwords

Personally, I am a follower of evidence and reason -- no magic or non-questioned voices from the void crap. And if not enough evidence exists for a question, I put an asterisk by the question and wait for more evidence. I don't pretend I know the answer, I patiently wait for the answer, in evidence from the natural world. Why in the hell would anyone want to listen to imagined voices from the unseen -- scary, deadly, enslaving stuff -- just as the long record shows.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:50:23 UTC | #596511

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 30 by God fearing Atheist

Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins :


Comment 10 by JackR :


Comment 18 by Stevehill :


Please, just tick "No Religion". The Jedi joke was 2001. Its past its "sell by" date.

Sat, 26 Feb 2011 13:56:20 UTC | #596512