Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Comments Are A Riot

Australia's atheists are upset that many Australians list their religion as "Jedi."
Here’s the problem: On the 2011 census (it takes places every five years) 64,390 Australians put “Jedi” down as their religion, an increase of from 58,053 on the 2006 census, according to The Brisbane Times. Numbers like that put “Jedi” right behind Sikh on the list of religions in the country. It seems unlikely that all these people truly believe themselves to be actual Jedi, and most of them make the claim as a harmless way to declare theirStar Wars fandom and give the government the middle finger at the same time.

However, a group called the Atheist Foundation of Australia is leading a campaign to get people to stop making this joke. Their reasoning is, that when officially counted, Jedi gets classified as a “Not Defined” religion instead of “No Religion.” When that happens, they believe “it makes Australia seem more religious than it really is.” Which, again, doesn’t sound like a problem, but “data on religious affiliation is used for public policy, city planning, community support facilities and more,” according to this cute infographic.
Is there anyone besides me who finds the notion absurd that government resources are going to be allocated based on religion?   The comments on this at Instapundit are a riot.  It appears that Yoda is posting:
Hmmmm, atheists, no humor have they.
Atheists: Sad pathetic creatures who spend every moment of the day fearing and loathing a supernatural entity they claim doesn't even exist. 
"God doesn't exist and I'm very angry with Him!" 
I think you have a point. There's this harmless old guy in our town who thinks the Confederacy won the war. And yet, I don't find myself terrified of anti-carpetbaggers. I don't think about it much at all, to be perfectly frank. 
But... wouldn't it be better if the Atheists marked themselves as Jedi? Then the government could spend their money on cool stuff like light sabres and space ships. By coming down on the Jedi like this, all the Atheists are likely to get are Jedi safe spaces and public debates on whether or not robes are appropriate school clothes. 
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away there were those who, well, not to put to fine a point on it, were really really gullible. It seems it's not so long ago and not so far away. 
The stupid. Burns it does. 
I thought I felt a disturbance in the Farce. Mate. 
As for the Atheists, "I find their lack of faith disturbing" 


  1. I think the bigger question is this: What business does a government have in asking you about your religion in the first place, especially on an official census? I mean, it's not like that kind of data hasn't been used to target religious minorities within living memory [sarcasm]. Sure, that question is optional:$FILE/2011%20Census%20Household%20Form.pdf

    But I'd personally feel better about it if it was done through an anonymous survey of a limited number of randomized individuals, if there was some legitimate reason for it (and I can't think of one). The US Census long form doesn't even ask about religion:

  2. It's a measure of how habituated to authority they are that they answer these questions, and as you said, it gives the finger to that authority in a harmless way. The boxcars are unlikely to come for the Jedis any time soon.