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I’m still a Jedi

The 2006 Australian census is tomorrow night, and once again participants have a chance to answer the religion question as: JEDI. Apparently 70,000 did last time (including me).

Jedi on the Census form

As the Australian Bureau of Statistics says: If your belief system is “Jedi” then answer as such on the census form.

Taking a look at the Jedi Code (at least, one of the versions), I think I can broadly commit to following it… though I’d probably do better if I was a vegetarian…

  • Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
  • Jedi use their powers to defend and protect, never to attack others.
  • Jedi respect all life, in any form.
  • Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.
  • Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.

The ABS also says the data gathered is to ensure community resources are appropriately focussed. Well, I’m not otherwise religious, so I know I’m not robbing any religious organisations of funding by declaring myself Jedi.

So, why not?

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

8 replies on “I’m still a Jedi”

Be wary of the Jedi religion entry on the census.

After the last census, those 70,000 Jedis were part of the number that were pointed to in the statistics, by people such as Tony Abbott, that religion was on the rise in Australia.

Your joke Jedi entry could work against you in the end if you’re not actually religious and don’t record that on the form.

Philip: You’ve linked to the same page I did, and have ignored my point: If I’m switching from religion: None to religion: Jedi, it in no way effects allocation of future resources. Unless my whole suburb does so too and they decide to put a Star Wars theme park or something here.

Brett: Now that’s a good point. I hope someone would point out to Abbott that specifically Jedi was on the rise in Australia…

My husband made me write that he was a Jedi. I wasn’t going to write it, but he said that’s what he wrote in the last census (before we got together). I figured that if he still believes that after 5 years he should write that Jedi is his religion, then who am I to question his beliefs? I put myself down as a Humanist this time around because it sounded appropriate. Next time I write “Sportism”.

Strictly speaking, the first seven options are not really religions – just denominations of the religion known as Christianity. I know a few people who choose Other and then write “Christian”.
If the ABS are going to use denominations instead of religions, then why not list the denominations of Islam?
There is a large Indian presence in my area yet Hindu is not an option unless you choose other and write it. Likewise if 70,000 wrote Jedi last time then you would have thought it would have rated being an option in it’s own right.
Or are the ABS trying to “lead” the questioning?

It looks like next time the census comes around things might get even more interesting. From what I have read in the SMH there’s not only a Jedi religion but also religions based on The Matrix, Harry Potter, Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Maybe with these new options the Jedi vote will get watered down a bit. Still I expect heaps of Jedi.

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