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United Kingdom Star Wars Prequels Idle

"Jedi" Religion Most Popular Alternative Faith In England 262

Posted by samzenpus
from the believe-or-believe-not dept.
Census numbers show that 176,632 people in England and Wales ask themselves, "What would Yoda do?" Although the number of people who list their religion as "Jedi" has dropped by more than 50% in the past 10 years, It remains the most popular "alternative" faith in England. From the article: "The new figures reveal that the lightsabre-wielding disciples are only behind Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism in the popularity stakes, excluding non-religious people and people who did not answer."
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"Jedi" Religion Most Popular Alternative Faith In England

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  • by Artea (2527062) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @01:59AM (#42269745)
    Regardless of your actual faith, why wouldn't you choose this option?
    • by Spad (470073)

      It's an empty text field on the census, to avoid the toss-up between "You didn't list my religion" and "Please turn to page 9,126 for question two".

    • by Patch86 (1465427) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:16AM (#42270255)

      There was a write-in option ("other, please specify"), and this was the most popular write-in.

      Far more interesting to me is that Christianity declined to less than 60% of the population, while No Religion almost doubled to get around 25%. That's a massive attitude shift for a 10 year period. Really brings into question why we have a state religion- although I suspect the figures will have to sink even lower before we can use census data as an excuse to separate church and state.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:36AM (#42270305)

        Because getting rid of the state religion, and the state relationship with the church of england would be problematic. It's not that it can't or won't be done, but there's quite a lot of legal effort involved in the powers of parliament vs the sovereign vs the church as an independent entity.

        In some respects it's the same reason why none of the countries have actually settled the legal inheritance issue of if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter and then a son (just a daughter, or multiple daughters doesn't require any rewrite), because it's not that we can't sort this out. But it's a lot of legal paperwork that can be deferred 50 or 60 years if they never have a son after a daughter.

        • by mr_jrt (676485)

          Because getting rid of the state religion, and the state relationship with the church of england would be problematic. It's not that it can't or won't be done, but there's quite a lot of legal effort involved in the powers of parliament vs the sovereign vs the church as an independent entity.

          In some respects it's the same reason why none of the countries have actually settled the legal inheritance issue of if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter and then a son (just a daughter, or multiple daughters doesn't require any rewrite), because it's not that we can't sort this out. But it's a lot of legal paperwork that can be deferred 50 or 60 years if they never have a son after a daughter.

          I was under the impression that they sorted this out very recently: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20600543 [bbc.co.uk]

      • by Inda (580031)
        And this is the reason why we shouldn't be ticking the box that says "Jedi" or "Church of the FSM", as would have been my choice. I know it's fun, and some people may truely feel it is their faith, but "No religion" should have been ticked. And we were actively told not to write Pastafarian in the box by the FSM himself (honest!).

        The Christian church in England gets tax breaks, six unelected members in the House of Lords, and all manner of other allowances. It's about time these allowances were reduced in l
        • by 19061969 (939279)
          Quoth: "The Christian church in England gets tax breaks, six unelected members in the House of Lords"

          Umm, how many elected members are there in the House of Lords? I'm just curious why there's a qualifier?

      • by Yvanhoe (564877)

        Really brings into question why we have a state religion

        To crown sovereigns and to decide on royal divorces without interference from a foreign power. This is really the only reason. I don't see England getting rid of state religion without getting rid of the monarchy. However, in practice, UK is a secular state. The state religion is not forced to anyone, it is more a mere folklore than a real endorsement by all the government officials.

        • Folklore is an exemplary way of looking at it. Also, the bishops in the Lords are usually left-wing intellectuals, rather than taking the role of conservative demagogues. We therefore don't really care/notice them.

    • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:28AM (#42270279)

      because

      Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
      Through passion, I gain strength.
      Through strength, I gain power.
      Through power, I gain victory.
      Through victory, my chains are broken.
      The Force shall free me.

      The sith should not need to hide in the shadows pretending to be jedi any longer.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Not to mention who don't like to fuck with those irritating poll takers? I had a friend that every time was asked about religion on what of those stupid things would put down "The Church Of The SubGenius" and I have switched back and forth between the FSM and since George Carlin passed I list "The Great Electron" because of that bit he did on religion.

      So who wouldn't think it was funny to list themselves as Jedi if that were an option? After all this IS the same country that gave birth to The Ministry of [youtube.com]

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Regardless of your actual faith, why wouldn't you choose this option?

      Because you're not a childish twat?

      If you want to make a protest about being asked to choose a religion, do it properly. Just write atheist or agnostic, according to your view of things.

      Saying "Jedi" is probably funny if you're a backward fourteen year old, but then you wouldn't be doing the census in the first place. I find it hard to believe that adults would do this sober.

      • Atheist and agnostic are not religions.

      • We drink a lot more than Americans.

        A lot of people would have had a few drinks before they got around to filling in the census form.
      • If you want to make a protest about being asked to choose a religion, do it properly. Just write atheist or agnostic,

        But that's not a protest, if the person is non-religious, then that's merely a statement of fact and/or uncertainty. Writing "Jedi", or "Flying Spaghetti Monster" or some other gag faith is a much stronger protest, because it mocks the very idea of religion as something special, something society should make special allowances for (tax exemptions, special schools, fawning faux-respect from public figures). And it always prompts someone complain, "You can't be Jedi/FSM/etc! That's just something someone made

    • by Duds (100634) * <[gro.ecapsretne] [ta] [yeldud]> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @07:15AM (#42270959) Homepage Journal

      Because census results are aggregated and by putting ANY region you're increasing government funding for pro-religion programs.

      You might think it's a joke but you're basically voting for your taxes to be used for brainwashing kids.

    • Because for years we've been trying to remove the influence of the church from parliament, like you know, those 18 unelected male bishops that sit in the house of lords. Putting Jedi down in the census before last was all well and funny, but this time around people were asked to put 'atheist'. The idea being that if the majority of the country were atheist, politicians would have a hard time defending the churches unelected role in our country. So yes, putting 'Jedi' was funny ten years ago, but this time a
  • by pkthunders (2777383) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @02:01AM (#42269747)
    I see nothing wrong with this. Now, if they get control of the republican Senate, then there might be a problem...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by r33per (585447)

      if they get control of the republican Senate, then there might be a problem...

      Thank heavens we're still a constitutional monarchy!

    • by siddesu (698447)
      Isn't the Senate Democratic now?
      • Maybe not, but I'm thinking poster was referring to the Galactic Republic Senate (or at least I hope so)

        http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galactic_Senate [wikia.com]

  • I for one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gagol (583737)
    Believe in the giant spaghetti monster.
  • All Hail Discordia!
  • By "Made Up" I'm talking religions that came to be in modern times as in post industrial revolution. This puts it ahead of Scientology and Mormonism. Also one of my personal favorites, Jehovah Witness. I am surprised it passed up Pastafarianism. The Flying Spaghetti Monster definitely makes as much sense as Scientology or Mormonism.
  • I don't worry about the people who consider themselves Jedi. But we really should be keeping an eye on the people that choose "Sith".

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I don't worry about the people who consider themselves Jedi.

      Indeed, I suppose it's a testament to how liberal the UK is that we allow mentally ill people to complete the census too.

      • by ratbag (65209)

        Reading through all the comments here, you (tehcyder) seem to be popping up quite a lot. Do you have a beef with:

        • humour: whilst it's merely chuckleworthy, rather than laugh-out-loud, it really is funny, both for the individual concerned and for us lot looking at the figures;
        • the Jedi faith: this would be illogical and suggest that you possibly were mentally ill (see item above - it's a joke);
        • all faiths other than "the one true faith": I get the feeling, call it a hunch, that you're a believer. Possibly on
  • I guess Kopimism [kopimistsamfundet.se] still has a long way to go in the UK...
  • by ikaruga (2725453) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:07AM (#42270023)
    I rather pray for Jesus Christ Second Impact.
    Evangelion NERV Church in India [youtube.com]
  • by DontScotty (978874) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:32AM (#42270117) Homepage Journal

    Virgin birth: Check

    Holy Ghosts: Check

    Passover: Many people Pass Over re-watching Ep 1 due to Jar Jar Binks: Check

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @03:56AM (#42270199) Homepage
    One of those "real" religions, all of which are 100% factually based on the words of an invisible sky giant?
    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Badly worded title. What they mean is that it was the most popular write-in option (the list only included the obvious major religions).

    • I think the assumption is that people don't actually believe in the Jedi Faith.
      People actually believing in imaginary* friends telling them what to do differ quite a lot of people following a set of philosophical guidelines.

      *By necessity, most of them must be imaginary since most religions are exclusive in some fashion

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        I think the assumption is that people don't actually believe in the Jedi Faith.

        Then why the fuck bother writing that you do? As a political gesture it's up there with drawing a funny moustache on a candidate's election poster.

        It seems to me the sort of thing that only sounds funny when you're a very, very drunk student.

        People should have the courage of their convictions and just write "atheist" or "none" or something.

        • They are treating the field on religion with the importance they feel it deserves. Strong convictions in this matter are for people who actually care, like theists and petty anti-theists. For the rest of us, it's no different than asking our favorite color of socks.

        • by Ost99 (101831)

          "Courage"? WTF are you talking about. I find your post insulting and offensive.
          Why the fuck should they restrict themselves for your benefit?
          Jedi is just as likely to be true as any of the other fantasy options.

          I'm personally surprised there are not more professed Cthulhu worshipers.

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      Historians have a strong consensus that Jesus of Nazareth [wikipedia.org], Mohammed [wikipedia.org], and Gautama Buddha [wikipedia.org] were real, historical people, and it's on their words major religions are based. So even if you don't believe in the Divinity of, well, anything, to put these major religious figures on the same level as a green rubber puppet is just ignorant of history and culture.
      • Historians have a strong consensus that Jesus of Nazareth [wikipedia.org], Mohammed [wikipedia.org], and Gautama Buddha [wikipedia.org] were real, historical people, and it's on their words major religions are based. So even if you don't believe in the Divinity of, well, anything, to put these major religious figures on the same level as a green rubber puppet is just ignorant of history and culture.

        Dear Sir Garlon,

        Please read: Misquoting Jesus, by Bart Ehrman. Or Forged, by Bart Ehrman. Or Jesus, Interrupted, by Bart Ehrman. Ehrman is an apostatic ex-born-again Christian who is currently a professor of religious studies at UNC-Chapel Hill (who happens to live about a mile away from where I'm sitting right now at Duke, where his wife works). He started studying the Bible thinking it was God's word, but the facts (as he will exhaustively and clearly teach you, if you bother to actually try to lea

  • fuck Jedi (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @04:14AM (#42270251)

    I worship gaffer tape. It has a light side and a dark side, just like the Force, and it binds the Galaxy together. Difference being, it's real, tangible, and doesn't require faith because its physicality is a reassuring proof of its ubiquity.

  • While there might actually be respondents who believe themselves to be disciples of Jedi principles, the other 99.999% would have just seen a facebook friend post, "Hey! Wouldn't it be funny if we all put Jedi on the census form as our religion".

    I found a more interesting blog post at the time about Lockheed Martin having a fixed price contract to collate the census data and if enough people answered honestly but took measures that would interfere with the automated form scanning, then the costs incurred in

  • At the risk of starting an unholy war, I'm shocked and encouraged to see that fruit worshippers are outnumbered by fluorescent tube wobblers. Well done UK!
  • by sribe (304414) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @11:11AM (#42273073)

    In a century or two, people will have forgotten the light-hearted unbelieving nature of this, and the Jedi will be true believers.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.

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