In a country close, close to home, it seems like an epic battle is brewing over Australians and their so-called declarations of Jediism. Ahead of the nation’s upcoming census, a group is now lobbying for citizens to forgo selecting “Jedi” as their religion for one very peculiar reason.
The Atheist Foundation of Australia has decided to educate Star Wars fans of the repercussions that could occur from any bogus census responses. See, their problem with Jediism began back in 2011 during the last national census. The poll revealed that 64, 390 Australians said “Jedi” was their religion, indicating a massive increase from the last census’ 58, 053 respondents. The dramatic surge in Jedi followers put the religion just under that of the Sikh population, and the Atheist Foundation wants to warn people who jokingly profess the Jedi faith of the damage they're inflicting upon their fellow citizens.
So, how could being a Jedi hurt other Australians? Well, the Atheist Foundation explains that the Jedi religion is classified as a “Not Defined” religion rather than “No Religion,” signifying it’s an actual established faith. The group worries false census records will only, “[make] Australia seem more religious than it really is.”
By making the country appear more religious, the Atheist Foundation worries whether the federal government might use the data to employ unwanted policies and taxes. The group’s campaign explains that, “data on religious affiliation is used for public policy, city planning, community support facilities and more.”
While many believe it’s unlikely so many Jediism followers have congregated in Australia, the sci-fi religion is actually a very real thing. While Jediism isn't practice widely, the sci-fi faith does acknowledge its cinematic roots. However, in recent years, followers have stretched the faith well beyond the reaches of even the Star Wars universe.