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Policemen declare that their religion is 'Jedi'

Members of the Strathclyde police in Scotland declare that their official religion is Jedi. The U.K. Office of National Statistics incorporates "Jedi" with "atheist."

Is there an exalted life force breeding among the fine, uniformed officers of the U.K. police?

I ask only because the redoubtable sleuths of a publication called Jane's Police Review decided to perform a little analysis of the religious leanings of police officers.

I have no reason to believe that this is a policeman, though the checkered pattern on his hat does remind me of British police caps. CC Arbron/Flickr

Strangely, the United Kingdom actually has a Freedom of Information Act, which means that you can find interesting jewels of fact about public officials.

And so it has transpired that eight members of the Strathclyde police, Scotland's biggest force, are, spiritually, members of a slightly more exalted force: The Jedi Church.

Well, it's not exactly a church in the bricks, mortar, and smiling-man-giving-a-fascinating-sermon sense. (The U.K. Office of National Statistics lumps "Jedi" in with "Atheist.") It's more of a spiritual church that encourages its followers to embrace the good and resist men who breathe heavily through an artificial lung. You know, Buddhism with pointy ears and a very slightly jaundiced eye.

However, there seem to be more organized Jedi churches springing up all around the world. Indeed, believes, for example, that 2 percent of the population of Brighton, England, are Jedi believers.

It is estimated that more than 400,000 people in the United Kingdom alone registered their faith as Jedi in the Census of 2001.

It would be instructive to discover what happens on a Friday night in Scotland, when the Jedi officers arrest someone who is being, for example, drunk and disorderly. Do they read him his rights? Or do they offer some guiding philosophies that might help him steer clear of the dark side? Or, at least, the dark beer?

I feel a movie script coming on. It's like a cross between "Hot Fuzz" and "Return of the Jedi." I have tentatively entitled it "Return of the Fuzz."