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Jedi 'not a religion' says charity commission


Posted on Tuesday, 20 December, 2016 | Comment icon 30 comments

There are thousands of Jedi worldwide. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Master Alexus
The Temple of the Jedi Order has failed in its latest bid to be recognized as a religious organization.
Jediism, which is based on the fictional order from the Star Wars franchise, might seem like little more than a fan club, but while its origins do lie firmly rooted in the realms of science fiction, the organization has since evolved beyond the movies on which it was originally based.

Sadly though, its efforts to be recognized as a genuine religion have not been faring too well.

Most recently, the group was rejected by the UK Charity Commission on the basis that it "lacks the necessary spiritual or non-secular element" to be classed as a religious organization.
"The Commission considers that there is insufficient evidence that Jediism and the Jedi Doctrine as promoted by the Temple of the Jedia Order is a sufficiently structured, organised or integrated system of belief to constitute a religion," the commission wrote in their report.

A similar application by a separate Jedi group was also rejected in New Zealand last year.

"We put a lot of work into the application and really did our best to illustrate why we do consider ourselves a religion and why we believe we do offer benefits not just to our members but also to the public at large," said psychologist and Temple spokeswoman Brenna Cavell.

"It's not based on worshipping of the force or George Lucas, although many of our members refer to a higher power or the transcendent as the force. But you could easily exchange it for God, the universe... it's the same thing to us, we just happened to pick that name."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (30)

Tags: Jedi, Star Wars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by glorybebe on 21 December, 2016, 4:36
If my nature could move things with my mind   I would be a faithful disciple of Jediism.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Zero Fox FK on 21 December, 2016, 10:50
Based on as much fact as other Religions so I don't see the problem. Maybe when we've all been wiped out a handful of survivors will find a Star Wars Novel and base their lives around it. We can only hope.
Comment icon #23 Posted by stevemagegod on 21 December, 2016, 22:59
Wait the Church of Scientology claims its a religion and is tax free but they wont recognize the way of the force? What bull **** is this?
Comment icon #24 Posted by Podo on 21 December, 2016, 23:34
Religions shouldn't be tax-exempt at all. Considering Jediism is as valid as any other belief system...well, they deserve it if they want it.
Comment icon #25 Posted by pallidin on 22 December, 2016, 1:18
I guess I don't know what, exactly, is a true religion.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Mangoze on 22 December, 2016, 2:06
But... https://www.templeofthejediorder.org/doctrine-of-the-order
Comment icon #27 Posted by Unfortunately on 24 December, 2016, 8:52
You would be correct if both of those were started as an effort to evade tax, but I don't believe that is true. (Please correct me if I'm wrong).
Comment icon #28 Posted by eight bits on 24 December, 2016, 10:09
Evading taxes probably wasn't a big issue in the 19th Century United States, especially not on the frontier. Tax concerns were a big issue in the 20th Century, but you don't need to be a religion to be tax exempt in the US. It was harder for Scientology to qualify for religious status than simple charitable status. (The main difference in the United States is that religions do not have to report their finances.) The hard part of becoming wealthy is getting other people to fork over their cash. Maybe you make something they want to buy, or maybe you just tell them a story and pass the hat. Rega... [More]
Comment icon #29 Posted by marydavis0191 on 27 December, 2016, 14:30
Star Wars movie fans..
Comment icon #30 Posted by Thorvir on 27 December, 2016, 15:14
Evading taxes isn't the only thing that drives people to a cult.


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