21,000 Jedi in Canada


Religion News Service blog pointed us to the story that 21,000 people in Canada wrote “Jedi Knight” as their religion in a recent census.

Religion: Jedi Knight

From Religion News Service

[Priest]: May The Force be with you.

[Response]: And also with you.

Did George Lucas accidentally create a new religion?

Unlike in the U.S., the National Census of Canada contains a question on religion that is asked every 10 years. The entire census is optional, including the religion question.

In the 2001 Canadian census, however, 21,000 people put “Jedi Knight” for their religion. This in a nation that accepted, in 2009, the Order of the Jedi Knight, Inc., as a federally incorporated non-profit religious entity.

. . .

I have to admit, I don’t expect to see Jedi Knight make an appearance in a world religions textbook. But I can’t help but feel as though this appearance is indicative of something larger. Is this innocent satire, or are these individuals making a statement? Could you be a Christian and a Jedi Knight simultaneously?

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6 Responses to "21,000 Jedi in Canada"
  1. The census is NOT optional. Perhaps Religious News Service should hire an actual journalist.

    There are two parts to the Canadian census. The "short form" goes to everybody and the "long form" (which includes the religion question) goes to 20% of households. As of the last decennial census, both were complusory.

    The reason this dubious statistic is in the news is because our anti-government government of troglodytes is proposing to make the long form voluntary while sending it to more households and running an ad campaign to encourage people to fill it out anyway. In other words, typical far right stupidity, spending more money for information that is less reliable.

    Malcolm French+

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  2. Star Wars, as so aptly explained by Campbell and others, is our modern myth. It speaks to us of the fight between good and evil. And, it gives us a model for living the good life. It has elements of mysticism (that I believe are necessary for spiritual life) It is a story of redemption. And, it may speak to us on a more visceral level by tapping into the archetypes that live within us all.

    Pam Alger

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  3. Malcolm French is correct the census is not optional, but the tory government of Stephen Harper wants to make it optional. It is part of the Conservative party M.O. of de-funding groups at odds with their right wing ideology or making arms length government agencies subservient to partisan political propaganda. As for people indicating "Jedi" as their religion on the Canadian census, they are pulling your leg, or least the government's leg. I think it a tad pretentious pretentious to claim that Star Wars is a new mythology. Its great entertainment, and a very cool homage to old fashioned movie serials, and the movies certainly play out themes found in all good story telling. I don't know that it is anymore a mythology than all those John Wayne war movies made by Republic pictures. In fact, I think those pictures may have been more, and more dangerously, mythological.

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  4. 21,000 Jedi! This will make the war of 1812 look like a bar fight!

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