Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

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Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#1  Postby johnbrandt » Jul 27, 2011 1:37 pm

Little news item today, saying that in the upcoming Australian census, they won't recognise an answer in the "religion" box if you put "Jedi" or "Pastafarian"...
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/census-wont-count-jedis-or-pastaferians/story-e6freonf-1226103025136
YOU may be a Jedi or even a pastaferian, just don't expect it to be acknowledged in this year's census.
On August 9, millions of Australians, whether living at home, in tankers, on submarines or in remote communities, will be asked more than 60 questions on their profession, religion, income and the makeup of their family.

At the launch of the 2011 census in Sydney tonight, Federal Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten asked people to keep the jokes to a minimum.

"In 2006, 55,000 australians marked themselves down as Jedi. That's not a recognised religion in Australia," Mr Shorten told reporters.


The Australian athiests organisations tried to have a "no religion" option included in the religion question, but the government wouldn't agree...you can leave it blank, but that doesn't count in the census as being an athiest. The athiests said, quite rightly, that many people just mark down whatever religion they grew up with, even if they don't follow it themselves, and this allows churches and religious groups to claim special funding by pointing to how many "christians" there are around the place.

What's even worse is the blasphemy that followed in the article...
"You hear all sorts of discussion in the social media about calling yourself a pastaferian, which is a worshipper of pasta.

The sheer ignorance of a dearly held religious belief is astounding!! Pastafarians aren't "worshippers of pasta", they are believers in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (may his noodly appendages bless us all)... :nono:
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#2  Postby chairman bill » Jul 27, 2011 1:38 pm

Sounds like the oppression of religious minorities to me
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#3  Postby johnbrandt » Jul 27, 2011 1:42 pm

Found a link to the athiests requests over the census...
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/national/atheists-assert-themselves-in-census/story-e6frea8c-1226101012120
ALMOST 15,000 people have joined an Atheist Foundation of Australia push to mark "no religion" on the August 9 census.
The foundation has begun unveiling billboards across the country urging people to join their campaign to take the religion out of politics.

In Queensland there are two billboards - on Breakfast Creek Rd, Newstead and Fairfield Rd, Yeerongpilly.

Thousands have also pledged to mark "no religion" in a Facebook campaign asking Australians to question whether they hold religious beliefs.

AFA president David Nicholls said many people simply marked down the religion they were born into, despite not now being religious people at all.

He said the transfer of taxpayer money to religious organisations was justified on the basis of the census results, as were special concessions and exemptions including the right to discriminate against some groups.


How hard would it be, and who would it hurt to have a "no religion" or "athiest" option in the census? I mean they recognise any other religion you may care to put, so why not allow people the freedom to at least put "no religion"?
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#4  Postby chairman bill » Jul 27, 2011 1:45 pm

Or make it an optional 'write in' section. You write in your religion, or put atheist (or leave it blank, which would indicate the same thing)
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#5  Postby lobawad » Jul 27, 2011 1:46 pm

Oh don't worry- there are large numbers of theists who insist that atheism is a belief, and of course, with all that divine instruction about not lying, being honest, doing unto others, etc. etc., they will be enraged by this and insist that "atheism" be included as a choice on the poll.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#6  Postby johnbrandt » Jul 27, 2011 1:48 pm

I think, recalling the last census, that is it indeed a "write in" section...I could be wrong, but seeing how many people wrote in "pastafarian" or "jedi" last time, I think I could be correct. However, if you put "no religion" or "athiest" in a write in section, it's treated the same as leaving it blank...it isn't counted.

I'll let you know what the census form actually looks like in thats section when we get ours this week. I'll scan it in and post it here.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#7  Postby Corneel » Jul 27, 2011 2:20 pm

So you're telling me that Chad is actually more progressive on this issue? When they came by for the census in 2009 I distinctly remember being able to give the option "no religion" (and did so).
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#8  Postby rEvolutionist » Jul 27, 2011 2:38 pm

It's ridiculous in a modern so-called secular society we can't have the option to put 'no religion'. Fucking religion and its bullshit... :yuk:
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#9  Postby Clive Durdle » Jul 27, 2011 4:10 pm

If someone writes something into a box on a census, that should be reported. Full Stop. Otherwise the census is not reporting what it was told.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#10  Postby Clive Durdle » Jul 27, 2011 4:12 pm

And the woman who said she would not fill in the census because she did not believe in censorship would be correct.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#11  Postby THWOTH » Jul 27, 2011 11:24 pm

chairman bill wrote:Or make it an optional 'write in' section. You write in your religion, or put atheist (or leave it blank, which would indicate the same thing)

Unless atheism is fallaciously declared a faith-equivalent belief system, as my daughter was told by her RE teacher only two weeks ago. She decided not to argue the toss.

On the other matter, I hope the fundamentalist arm of the Pastafarians don't try and take extreme action over this. :nono:
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#12  Postby Rome Existed » Jul 27, 2011 11:39 pm

It's further disgusting because polls show that 1 in 4 Australians are atheists, the 2nd largest group in Australia.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#13  Postby byofrcs » Jul 27, 2011 11:50 pm

I'd imagine there may not be many STRONG atheists who (positively) believe that there is no god but there would be a vast number of weak atheists like secular humanists, rationalists and freethinkers. They need a box to collect this,more intelligent, thought-out, grouping rather than a collect-all of "no religion".

Having a bunch of no-religion won't tell the politicians what is the reality of the demographics of the population.

Actually what do the black fellas tick ? Aboriginal beliefs must be tracked too ? Or does the Government ignore them too ?
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#14  Postby Ironclad » Jul 27, 2011 11:54 pm

The Australian athiests organisations tried to have a "no religion" option included in the religion question, but the government wouldn't agree...you can leave it blank, but that doesn't count in the census as being an athiest. The athiests said, quite rightly, that many people just mark down whatever religion they grew up with, even if they don't follow it themselves, and this allows churches and religious groups to claim special funding by pointing to how many "christians" there are around the place.


Impotent census.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#15  Postby johnbrandt » Jul 28, 2011 1:50 am

Here's a link to past census information:

http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/d3310114.nsf/home/census+data

I had a quick look at my locality and the "religion, by sex" tag, and came up with the interesting fact that 356 people in town (about 400 people here) were listed as some religion...mainly catholic, presbyterian, and uniting...but our town doesn't even have a church, and no one know goes to church. In fact, by the way people speak out here, I'd say we're a pretty normal bunch of heathens who have absolutely no time for god-botherers. In fact, some Seventh day Adventists came around one day door knocking early one sunday...that went down well in a town made up completely of shift workers who work seven days a week and 365 days a year... :lol:

I suspect greatly that people have indeed just "marked down whatever religion they grew up with, whether they follow it or not"...

Most interestingly, I do notice that there's a tag for "athiesm"...funny, but I don't remember that being an option when I filled it in last time...I'll take a closer look this time. But I believe it's a loaded question...they say "what religion are you", and most people wouldn't think that "athiest" is an option for "religion". Perhaps a second question saying "are you an athiest or have no belief" would be interesting... :think:
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#16  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Jul 28, 2011 2:22 am

I'm pretty sure there is a "no religion" box to tick. It is just right down the bottom of the question and hard to see.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#17  Postby Rome Existed » Jul 28, 2011 2:27 am

Yeah, but it's not counted as atheist, just means no organised religion.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#18  Postby byofrcs » Jul 28, 2011 2:33 am

Sounds more like the census is measuring the ability to lobby as one political bloc rather than belief.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#19  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Jul 28, 2011 2:46 am

Pretty much. And their decision to not count "Jedi" votes just enforces that suspicion. On what logical grounds is Jedi dismissed?

If the no religion campaign doesn't get us the changes we want. I reckon we should have a "vote islam" campaign in 2016. We can push the Islam vote from 2-3% up to 30%, anything to piss of the Christians.
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Re: Jedi or Pastafarian won't be "recognised" in census

#20  Postby Fenrir » Jul 28, 2011 2:54 am

There is a box for "no religion", just right down the bottom in small print.

Yes the question is illogical and misleading.

No there seems no possibility of having the question changed to one that makes sense.

Yes you can answer "atheist" by choosing "other".

Yes marking religion as "other" and "atheist" makes no logical sense for those who actually know the meaning of the word, but we seem stuck with the question as it is for the foreseeable future. Instead of having your say buried in the grab-bag of "other" with "bretheren" and "salvation army" why not put it in "no religion", means the same in terms of demographics.

Yes "no religion" includes those who choose it because they don't subscribe to an organised religion even though they are theists, not sure how this matters for the purposes of the census, i.e. making demographic decisions in terms of infrastructure and such.

Marking "Jedi" or "pastafarian" is simply giving your say on religion in public life to Jim Wallace, think about that.

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