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2016 Aussie Census - Keep the (Jedi) Faith

We need a Jedi Temple in the Outback.
August 9th is Australian Census night, the Australian Bureau of Statistics survey that, every five years, takes a snapshot of the country, finding out who we are, how old we are, what we do for a living and more... including what religion we identify with.

The Atheist Foundation is running a social media campaign discouraging Australians from marking down their religion as 'Jedi', a practice that started as a kind of joke but, since 2001's census has had over 70,000 (2001), 58,000 (2006), and 64,000 (2011) like minded people show their support on the census.



AF claims that this makes Australia seem more religious than it is (it's recorded as a 'Not Defined' religion) and could ultimately affect public policy and funding if allowed to continue. Perhaps they're also expecting a spike this year with last year's Star Wars movie success, the aptly titled The Force Awakens?

Now I'm not an Atheist and I'm also not religious so I'll be marking 'no religion' on my census form however, if you prefer to identify as a 'Jedi', even for no other reason than it amuses you to do so, then I say go right ahead.

Clearly the ABS does keep track of actual numbers of people who mark down Jedi, and clearly people are aware that the 'Not Defined' religious category is filled with a number of joke religions (you've heard of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, right? That's a real thing).

Plus, if you are going to identify with a religion then Jediism isn't a bad way to go. The Jedi are supposedly peacemakers. As soon as you say you're a Jedi in real life, most people find it kind of amusing and know they're not about to get an ear full of how great it is to be a born again Christian or spruiked the merits of reading a Watch Tower magazine.

Rather than decreasing Jedi numbers, how about working hard to increase numbers so the ABS has to concede and list Jediism as a separate category. If the numbers get high enough you may even have a legitimate case to apply for funding of Australia's first Jedi Temple.

The Star Wars movie franchise isn't going away any time soon since Disney bought the rights. If you want to follow something religiously, there's plenty of related documentation to suggest that being a Jedi is at least as legitimate as being a Scientologist and a whole lot more fun too.

Stuff the Atheist's Foundation and their agenda. They don't know they're right either. If you want to be a Jedi, go right ahead.

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