Thursday, April 23, 2009

Church of Jediism anyone?

This started out as a giggle for me when I first read about it on the BBC, but now I don't really know.

However, I've recently thought about how religions evolve from something rather unbelievable (recent examples include the Mormon church and the "church" of Scientology) and I cannot help imagining what would happen in the future, particularly after George Lucas passes away.

This is something from their Church Doctrine [,]:

History of Our Religion

The force has always existed and always will.

Our faith in the force existed well before the fictional Star Wars movies brought popular recognition to the terminology and concepts that our members always innately held, but had difficultly describing in a shared forum.

When the movement to answer Jedi to the religion question in the NZ census began, it was incredible to see how quickly word spread, and just how many people embraced the new popular name of their shared innate religion. With such immediacy, people from all around the world followed suit, now having an obvious and common name for their deeply held religious and moral convictions. It is the speed and numbers of people involved in the census movement, that show just how powerful the concepts of the Jedi Faith are.

The terminology used by the Jedi Church were introduced by the fictional Star Wars movies, and often references are made to the movies by our members, as a conceptual demonstration of how some might ascribe to the higher levels of a Jedi faith, in a far away land, a long time ago. The fact remains, that these concepts merely reflect a deep held innate morality, that we all have inside us, and now we have some common terminology and place to share our thoughts with each other. This morality existed prior to the movies. The movies do not in any way legitimise nor negate the legitimacy of the Jedi Church. They are merely a discussion point.

The Jedi Church neither confirm nor deny that George Lucas is a member of the Jedi Church. We do not mind if our members deny their involvement in our church should they seek to avoid persecution.

So, these people are serious. A work of fiction was merely incident on a "fundamental truth". Depending on how you look at it, this is almost as bad as Scientology. The latter was based on science fiction but actively perpetrated by the author as a religion.

I wonder if this will gain traction. In 200-300 years, will they become mainstream? Will they then begin to rewrite history to legitimize their "religion's" existence? Will Star Wars cease becoming fiction and turn into canon? Afterall, the starting text says "A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away ..." totally legitimizing a non-existent inter-galactic history as humanity is, perhaps, embarking on its first baby steps to practical space travel. We know the truth now ... will we remember it a few hundred years from now?

No comments: