CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Hey Australia, stop listing yourself as Jedi on the census

What would Yoda think? An Australian atheist organization says fans are making the nation look more religious than it is.

But...little cartoon Yoda is so cute!

Atheist Foundation of Australia

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side," Han Solo once famously said. But that hasn't stopped Star Wars fans in many nations, including police in Scotland, from declaring "Jedi" as their religion on various official forms.

More than 65,000 Australians claimed to be Jedi in the 2011 census, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. And that's got an atheist group concerned, because those numbers are folded into the numbers of all religious Australians, making the nation seem more religious than it really is.

Australia's next census, held on August 9, is already causing contraversy, with privacy experts raising concerns that name and address data will be stored and matched against other responses this year. Some privacy advocates are even suggesting creative ways to boycott the Census altogether.

Now, the Atheist Foundation of Australia is waging a campaign to let would-be Jedi know how their possibly lighthearted answer is treated in the final results.

Atheist Foundation of Australia president, Kylie Sturgess, was one of those thousands who listed herself as Jedi in 2011, as did her husband. "It seemed hilarious," she told the Morning Herald last week. "We didn't really reflect on it."

But now, she says the response is a wasted answer that skews the view of how religious her nation actually is. "The census results are used for funding and decision-making purposes," the group's site notes. "Ensure you are represented, mark 'No religion.'"

Or, as Yoda would say: Tell the truth. Or do not. There is no goofing around.