Sorry everybody, it’s time to stop using your devout faith in Jediism for getting you out of work on May the 4th. And if you decided you’d spend your holiday charitable giving dollars on the good work of the Jedi Order, you might want to think again: the Charity Commission has ruled that the The Temple of the Jedi Order doesn’t qualify for charitable status in England and Wales.
The BBC reports that although the Jedi Order is the seventh most popular religion, with 177,000 people identifying as Jedi in the 2011 census, the religion doesn’t have the “cogency, cohesion, or seriousness” that would be required for a religion to be recognized.
The Temple of the Jedi Order — which has a rather bland website for a religion based on the greatest space opera of our time or any other, but perhaps fighting the Empire is more important than web design — defines Jediism as “the religion of those who regard their Jedi practice as a religious vocation. Jedi observe a metaphysical entity called the Force and often practise meditation. Jedi beliefs at this Temple are outlined by our Doctrine and developed through participation in our training programmes.”
Their doctrine is outlined in three tenets: Focus, knowledge, and wisdom. It states:
“Wisdom is the sound application of accrued knowledge and experience through patient, good judgment. Knowledge can be acquired by focusing on the task at hand. Focus is the art of pruning the irrelevant and pouring the best of your mind into what you are doing.”
Sounds pretty legit, but apparently not good enough for the Charity Commission.
If you’re feeling inspired, however, the TotJO has a major holiday coming up: December 25. The purpose of the day is “to honour the Temple and its founding.” You might not be able to make a tax-deductible donation to the Order, but you can still be a Jedi yourself. There are 16 Teachings and 21 Maxims involved in abiding by the faith, so get to studying, young Padawan.