With the whole world going all higgledy piggledy over the past week and a half, what with the royal wedding, the suspension of Father Pleger, the birth certificate, the beatification of John Paul II, the price of gas pushing five bucks a gallon, the Vatican’s blogger council, and the death of Osama Bin Laden, it seemed like a good as time as any to take a short break from blogging to attend personal matters. I mean really, with all that stuff going on, who was going to miss talking about a bunch of crappy movies?
Well, me for one. I don’t know about you, but I personally find that the daily news cycle goes down a lot smoother when it’s chased with a chunk of cheese. So let’s enjoy some, shall we? And since it’s May 4th, why don’t we go with this little nugget in honor of Star Wars Day.
Now, it’s true that the cult of Star Wars can get a bit out of hand (seriously, ladies, some of you have no business dressing up as slave girl Leia at conventions), but you have to tip your hat to any movement which manages to get under the skins of modern day militant atheists. Take, for example, the recent hubbub over the 2011 British census. So disturbed was British Humanist Association over the 2001 census, in which 71.74% of respondents in England claimed to be Christian (as opposed to around 55% in other non-government surveys), that they launched a campaign to get as many Jedis as possible to check 'No Religion' on their 2011 census forms. This effort, of course, targets that deluge of people who claimed Jedi as a religion on the 2001 census and made it the 4th largest religious affiliation in Britain. But why bother? Well, the atheists goals are pretty straight forward, actually…
“The [census] data gathered is used to inform government policy, and was used by the last government to justify funding of religious community bodies over secular ones. For example, 2001 census data has been used repeatedly to justify an increase in the number of state maintained faith schools and the increasing level of government money spent on faith organisations. By ticking ‘No Religion’, you will ensure that the Government receives an unambiguous message about the number of non-religious people in the UK. Any other response may be manipulated into a response in favour of religion and publically funded religious organisations.”
So, they don’t want government money going to religious schools or charitable groups. Well, that’s a position hardly limited to atheists in Britain. But regardless of one’s views on the rightness or wrongness of that particular argument, what should be blatantly obvious is… just how desperate the atheists sound. You see, to counter the 2001 census result, the British Humanist Association’s website posts data from the annual British Social Attitudes Survey which indicates a current Christian population in Britain of about 49%. The problem, at least for me, is that the survey is based on a representative sampling of 3,000 or so people, whereas the last census contained responses from roughly 94% of the population, or somewhere around 55,000,000 people. If only the atheists would use some of that ‘Reason’ they so often lay sole claim to, you think they would realize that those numbers suggest the British Social Attitudes Survey might be… flawed. Possibly? Just a bit?
Oh well, I won’t hold my breath waiting for ‘Reason’ to triumph. Instead, I’ll just throw a little moral support to all the besieged British Jedi out there (heck, they can’t even eat in peace these days). While, as a Catholic, I have some big problems with the syncretistic underpinnings of the Jedi ‘faith’, I’m even less of a fan of seeing any religion singled out as a target. Yes, even if that religion consists largely of portly guys who try to stuff themselves into storm trooper outfits on weekends.
So hang in there, Jedi. You mark whatever you want to on the census. We’ve got your back. And may the 4th be with you.