Jedi Cops in Scotland
This is no joke. But it is pretty exciting news for Star Wars fans everywhere. According to a report by the BBC, there are eight police officers and two civilian members of the Strathclyde Police Department who claim to be Jedi.  Strathclyde is Scotland’s largest police department, serving the area in and around Glasgow, Scotland.  It turns out that a publication called Jane’s Police Review obtained the information in a Freedom of Information request. The BBC then confirmed the existence of the Jedi cops through a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police. According to the article, the spokeswoman said, "At the time of the request, 10 (eight police officers and two police staff) had recorded their religion as Jedi." When I first read about this, I couldn’t help but imagine eight ass-kicking Jedi, roaming the streets of Glasgow in dark cloaks. I pictured them working alone, calmly walking down dark alleyways, or perched atop old gray buildings, hunting for crimes in progress. What might be even easier to imagine though, for fans and non-fans alike, is that a few of Scotland’s finest claimed to be Jedi for the sake of a good laugh.  But that’s where the story gets even more interesting. It turns out that these Jedi cops are not alone actually. I’m not making this stuff up people.

The BBC pointed out that, according to a 2001 census study, a total of 14,000 people in Scotland chose to voluntarily disclose their religion of choice to be Jedi. It’s one thing for a few cops, from the same department to joke around and claim to be Jedi, but it’s quite another thing for 14,000 people to be in on the same joke. The good people of Scotland shouldn’t get all the Jedi credit though. That same year, some 390,000 people in England and Wales claimed Jedi as their religion. That’s a total of 404,000 Jedi in the UK alone. For that many people to be in on a joke way back in 2001 would be definitely a stretch, to say the least. For a few Scottish cops to be claiming the same thing, nearly 8 years later though, makes me believe that being a Jedi is more than just a joke for many of these people. Call me crazy,  but my guess is that these Jedi are more than just fans of the movies; these are fans that actually connect with the concept of the Force, and the awareness of it, as a philosophy of life of sorts.

The BBC mentioned that last year, two brothers founded the UK Church of The Jedi. Barney and Daniel Jones apparently had enough interest in their religion of choice, to create a church that, according to the article, “offered sermons on the Force, light sabre training, and meditation techniques.” Maybe this a way of life for some people? That’s my take on it all, but I’d like to hear yours though. I’d also like to find out why I haven’t heard about any Jedi here in the U.S. or anywhere else for that matter.  If you  know something about this that I don’t, or have something to say about it, please, be my guest.  I'd love to hear from members of the Church of The Jedi in particular.  

One last question for all of you, if you had the chance to go check out the Church of the Jedi, would you?