[For our many new visitors, the Freethinker Sermonette is a regular Sunday feature here.]
With swine flu and everything, some people might think of turning to a Higher Power for protection. Head to the UK. Because The Force is with them. In fact, it’s even on the Force. The police force:
Eight police officers serving with Scotland’s largest force listed their official religion as Jedi in voluntary diversity forms, it has emerged.
Strathclyde Police said the officers and two of its civilian staff claimed to follow the faith, which features in the Star Wars movies.
The details were obtained in a Freedom of Information request by Jane’s Police Review.
Strathclyde was the only force in the UK to admit it had Jedi officers. (BBC)
The information turned up in response to a survey that monitors “diversity” along dimensions of age, disability, gender, race religion and belief, and sexual orientation. But the eight officers and two staff in the Glasgow force Force aren’t alone. Jedism is big in the UK:
About 390,000 people listed their religion as Jedi in the 2001 Census for England and Wales. In Scotland the figure was a reported 14,000.
The Office for National Statistics did not recognise it as a separate category, and incorporated followers of Jedi with atheists.
Last year, brothers Barney and Daniel Jones founded the UK Church of the Jedi – which offered sermons on the Force, light sabre training, and meditation techniques.
So we atheists have Jedi amongst us. The Farce is with us indeed.