Pardon the trite expression, but I just got sick, a little. I got my nausea through The New York Times.
The newspaper once positioned as America's "newspaper of record," the one whose slogan, "All the News That's Fit to Print" might well have been carved in stone, that newspaper has just served up a positive puff piece positioning a group of "Star Wars" movie aficionados as a religion.
In the process, they offered yet another installment -- is anyone keeping count? -- of how the fabled institution is more tone-deaf on faith than was Ludwig von Beethoven at the end of his life.
Here now, the "news," or perhaps, "alternate facts, faith division":
The makers of the “Star Wars” franchise on Monday [Jan. 23] announced the name of the films’ next installment -- “The Last Jedi” -- just as “Rogue One” hit $1 billion in global box office. Onscreen, it’s a great time to be a Jedi.
But Jedi is also a real-life religion that drew headlines last month when the Charity Commission for England and Wales ruled that it would not grant religious status to the Temple of the Jedi Order, a Jedi church. So, what is Jediism, and who is in the temple? We caught up with some practicing Jedi to find out.
What is Jediism?
Several Jedi communities exist around the world. Some call themselves religions, though others shy away from the word.
Interest in the religious potential in “Star Wars” first bubbled up online in the early 1990s, Michael Kitchen, one of several directors of the Temple of the Jedi Order, said in a recent interview.
The religion exploded into the mainstream in 2001, when fans in several countries listed Jediism as a religion on their local census. Hundreds of thousands did so. For many, it was a joke. But the phenomenon led others who were serious about Jediism to start considering the possibility of full religious status.