Congratulations to our 15,070 friends in the Czech Republic who listed their religion on the recent census as Jedi Knight. While it represents only 0.14% of the population, or 0.31% in Prague, the impressive turnout caused some ripples that could be felt in the Force. This recognition follows similar results in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada. Some people question whether the Knights of Jedi is a ‘real’ religion, just as they sometimes question Apathism. As JediChurch.org states
No religion is truth. It’s all just a matter of faith.
And let us not forget the words of Adi Gallia
Better a few faithful supporters than a wealth of false friends.
May the force be with you.
I thought all parents had an unlimited license to name their children whatever bizarre name struck their fancy like Harper Seven, but not so in New Zealand where the name Lucifer is growing in popularity. There were three requests there for babies to be given that name, but all were turned down along with Messiah and many other strange names like * and /. Previously however, they did allow Violence and Number 16 Bus Shelter, so it seems a bit inconsistent. Is there a ban on just some biblical names? Would Herod be allowed, or how about Jezebel? I presume Jesus is allowed. I really like the name Jezebel, along with the bad girl connotations but strangely it has never been very popular. They say that having a crazy name can lead to trauma in later life, so perhaps it is a way of protecting children from their crazy parents, but surely there should be clearer guidelines on what is not acceptable.
A recent study has concluded that organised religion is an endangered species. This follows a study of nine countries, selected because they have census figures with the relevant data over a significant time span. The countries involved were Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Daniel Abrams and Haley Yaple of Northwestern University together with Richard Wiener of the University of Arizona predict a continued growth of non-affiliation, tending toward the disappearance of religion in 85 regions around the world. Even in Ireland, which is mostly Catholic, the figure has risen from 0.04% in 1961 to 4.2% in 2006. Another census is taking place shortly in the UK and Ireland, so perhaps there will be more data to back it up shortly. So do you as an Apathist belong to the non-affiliated group or others? That’s right, you don’t care. Let someone else worry about it.
Yes, people are at it again, seeing Jesus in the most unexpected of places. This time it’s a university scientist in New Zealand, who wishes to remain anonymous. Although he claims he was an atheist, he asked God to give him a sign after watching a religious programme on TV. Sure enough, when he woke in the morning, he saw Jesus in a stain on his tin cup. In response to this extraordinary event, he placed the unwashed cup in a cupboard and left it there for a year. When exactly one year had passed, he again asked God for a sign, and hey presto, another Jesus stain on a white mug. Now he is sharing his stained cups with the world. Does he always leave a mess like that on the cup? Wow!
It’s been a few months since someone has claimed to see the face of Jesus in a foodstuff. Imagine the shock of Mrs Wendy McMahon in New Zealand, when she opened a tin of pears and found a face staring up at her. However, the face did not have a beard and was not very pretty, so it was obviously not Jesus. The demonic face had buckteeth and shocked peckish Wendy. Perhaps Jesus is pushing for a new image and trying to tell us that looks are not important?