Apparently, enough people are identifying as a part of the “Jedi” religion that it could actually affect census data for the country.
Can we join?
Local Atheist groups are now encouraging people who had previously marked it off as a joke to instead check “No Religion.” And the reasons are pretty hilarious.
According to an info-graphic released by the Atheist Foundation of Australia, people who register as Jedi are actually categorized as having a religion that is “Not Defined” rather than someone with “No Religion.” Because of this, anyone who registers as a Jedi, even as a joke, is classified as religious, and may make the country seem more religiously inclined than it actually is. As data collected from the census does directly affect public policy and the distribution of tax dollars, it’s easy to see why the non-religious population would consider this important.
It doesn’t make it any less amusing, though.
— Julius Flywheel (@JuliusFlywheel) July 26, 2016
What many people don’t realize is that “Jediism” is an actual religion, with actual active members. Sermons are preached. Doctrine has been written, and is studied and taught to others. And while America has yet to recognize it, it is the seventh-largest religion in England, and is growing as popular alternative religion in countries around the world. According to the Temple of the Jedi Order, the religion does not worship a deity, but they do believe in the Force, “and the worth of all life within it.” They accept people from all backgrounds, and strongly oppose the death penalty.