Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Jedi Church - No, Really

Let me preface this by saying, "I did not make this up. I could not make this up."

What started as an anti-government joke has evolved into an actual religion for some. Yes, The Jedi Church is based on the tenets of the robed knights from the sci-fi Star Wars movie series. While the series mentions some of these, members of the Church of the Jedi have apparently surmised and added more.

In 2001, nearly 1/2-million people listed "Jedi" as their faith on official census forms. The whole thing is still referred to by politicians and one even ran on a Jedi platform in 2003. In 2006, the UK actually gave the religion its own processing code (896) but refused to list it on the forms. However, numbers dropped dramatically. But some people don't know when the joke is over.

Two brothers in the UK have taken it far more seriously and further than anyone else. Not only did they establish the UK Church of the Jedi, they have gone to extraordinary lengths to prove the religion's authenticity. And some people are buying it!

In February of this year, the founder of the church petitioned a news source in regards to a story posted and received an apology! The founder and his brother also appeared in court to complain about a neighbor's Dark Side attack.

While this is all hilarious and I am all-for individuals' personal freedoms, no matter how "silly" or outrageous they may seem to others, I think it's quite obvious that these two guys are truly fucking nuts.

The website is abominable - while almost completely void, what little content there is is characterized by barely-contained lunacy, rife with misspellings, poor grammar, and an all too-real zealotry that bleeds through. I actually find it disturbing.

Still, they seem largely harmless, so who am I to judge? The Jedi Knights are the good guys in the Star Wars films and The Force carries positive messages; one could do worse than to belong to the Church of the Jedi. Like belong to the First Baptist Church.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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