Friday, December 23, 2016

Charity watchdog risks the wrath of Star Wars fans by ruling Jedi is a 'lifestyle choice' not a proper religion

Image result for 'Temple of the Jedi Order'Jedi is a 'lifestyle choice' and not a proper religion, the charity watchdog has ruled.

The verdict, which risks the wrath of Star Wars fans, came after an organisation called the 'Temple of the Jedi Order' tried to join the official register.

In the application, its purpose was listed as advancing the religion of 'Jediism' for 'the public benefit worldwide' and in line with the so-called Jedi Doctrine.

It defined Jediism as: 'A religion based on the observance of the Force, the ubiquitous and metaphysical power that a Jedi (a follower of Jediism) believes to be the underlying, fundamental nature of the universe.'

But the Charities Commission for England and Wales said it was not eligible to feature on the list of 'Charities Incorporated Organisations'.

The watchdog was not satisfied that the organisation would be 'established for exclusively charitable purposes for the advancement of religion and/or the promotion of moral and ethical improvement for the benefit of the public'.

Despite the famous mysticism of characters including small green guru Yoda, the commission noted that 'everything that chooses to call itself a religion' should not be recognised as a religion.
Officials were also unconvinced by evidence proposed to support Jediism as a legitimate faith.

'The Commission is not satisfied that the observance of the Force within Jediism is characterised by a belief in one or more gods or spiritual or non-secular principles or things which is an essential requirement for a religion in charity law,' the ruling said.

Pointing out that the Temple of the Jedi Order was an entirely web-based organisation, the watchdog said practices cited within its online community may be adopted as 'a lifestyle choice as opposed to a religion'.

The commission's decision will disappoint members of the Temple of the Jedi Order and fans who have been worked up into a fervour by the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

The new film has been eagerly anticipated by Star Wars fans, many of whom attended special screenings at one minute past midnight the day of its release.

It has received generally good reviews.

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