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Return of the Jedi religion

by Brad A. Greenberg

January 29, 2008 | 10:15 am

A Jedi “church” has been born in a galaxy far far away - North Wales.

The Holyhead chapter of the self-styled Jedi Church, which claims up to 400,000 members worldwide, has sprung up thanks to brothers Barney and Daniel Jones, both Star Wars obsessives.

The “church” is only one of a handful around the planet, said hairdresser Barney, 26, the Anglesey Order Minister, also known as Master Jonba Hehol.

This is a story in which the reporter takes tongue-in-cheek to the extreme. This is what happens when nearly 400,000 Britons claim in a census that their religion is Jedi. Like Voltaire said: If Yoda didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

But what does it mean?

“We will have teachings based on Yoda - the 900-year-old grand master - as well as readings, essays submitted, meditation and relaxation, visualisation and discuss healthy eating.

“The Jedi religion is about life improvement, inner peace and changing your lifestyle so you have a more fulfilling existence.

“It’s based on the films but we have brought things into it because the films are a bit more sci-fi.

“But we have developed on the film’s teachings, introducing teachings we believe the Jedi Knights would seek.

“We used to watch the films over and over again and it came about from that.”

That seems to open the door to all kinds of “religions” based on specific movies. In fact, there’s already a following of Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski. We could call them cults.

(Hat tip: GetReligion)

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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