Jedi says Tesco discriminated against him

Discuss

99 Responses to “Jedi says Tesco discriminated against him”

  1. Cog says:

    A Jedi, honestly.

    I worry for the human race.

  2. noen says:

    “Several of the world’s current religions are based on books. How is this different?”

    It is a cult, not a religion.

    Traditional religions are not based on books. Their sacred texts codify cultural practices that in many cases precede any written record by centuries. While trad. religion may feature prominent figures like Jesus or Buddha they are not strictly speaking personality cults. Today in our multicultural society things appear to be different but for 99.999% of human history one’s religion IS one’s culture.

  3. cinemajay says:

    “I wonder what their policy is on burqas?”

    Jedi don’t need to keep their hood on for religious purposes. Of course this could all be solved with a clarification from the Jedi Master himself–Steve Sansweet.

    /you thought I was going to say Georgie, didn’ you!

  4. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    John, style geek, eh?

    This is my fav: http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide

  5. Brainspore says:

    Lester #34:

    First off, there isn’t a rationale for most religions. If they were invented today, we’d make fun of them.

    Yes, exactly my point! Let’s make fun of this guy!

  6. johnnyuber says:

    #6 ANONYMOUS

    stated “Yes, the Tesco PR person is pretty funny, but the humor is based on the idea of questioning the reasonably of a person’s stated religious beliefs. Many of us would agree that basing one’s religion on a fictional fantasy story where some key people have magical powers is silly

    I agree … your point… ironically applies to almost every religion

  7. Lester says:

    Yes, exactly my point! Let’s make fun of this guy!

    Sure, that’s easy. Do you have the cajones to start making fun of the Burqa wearers or the zombie carpenter believers? And really, enough with the prohibitions on pork? Is trichinosis really God’s sword to smite the backsliders?

  8. Anonymous says:

    @ Lester #25

    I’m missing your reference to a religion based on an “anorexic Asian prince”… could you elucidate? (I haven’t had my morning cuppa yet)

  9. Gloria says:

    @69: “Their sacred texts codify cultural practices that in many cases precede any written record by centuries.”

    Shouldn’t be new religions’ fault that they happened to be formed in a literate age. I think it could be reasonably argued that many people today are converted by text.

    “While trad. religion may feature prominent figures like Jesus or Buddha they are not strictly speaking personality cults.”

    Hmm. I honestly do not wish to offend, but it’s difficult to argue a religion does not have shades of a personality cult in its practise when some worshippers see fit to adoring toast. Maybe that’s not the Pope’s fault, but religion is at least partially defined by its practitioners, not just official dogma.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      religion is at least partially defined by its practitioners

      Most religions have a tiny core of philosophers, usually including the founder, and masses of practitioners who mostly regard it as ritual/social convention/superstition/etc. In the tiny core, you’d have a hard time telling the difference between adherents of different religions.

  10. Daemon says:

    On a related note – does anyone else find it odd that a store has banned one of the most popular clothing items in the last 20 years for the younger folks? I think I’d be hard pressed to find a student in my university that doesn’t own at least one…

    What’s next, tshirts?

  11. Brainspore says:

    Antinous #71:

    I’m lucky enough to live in a country where that seems extremely unlikely, so I really don’t know how I’d deal with that situation. Join some civil rights organization and organize some protests, probably. Maybe try to move my family somewhere better if I got the chance.

    Back to the topic at hand: I see no contradiction in believing Tesco responded irrationally (albeit humorously) to a guy who is acting like a total dork.

  12. RickB says:

    Um, he is not in England, he is in Wales/Cymru as is Bangor (as is the Isle of Anglesey/Ynys Mon from where I type this), to be honest the worst thing about Bangor Tesco is they stopped stocking shredless lemon marmalade, mmm the Force was tasty in that one.

  13. Brainspore says:

    @ Lester #40:

    Followers of established religions have been told for centuries that their beliefs are not based on fiction. Time has a way of adding legitimacy (earned or otherwise) to wacky beliefs. It’s a helluva lot easier to prove that Yoda was a puppet than to ascertain the divinity of a guy who died 2000 years ago.

  14. Anonymous says:

    @69

    The most honest definition of what makes a cult as opposed to a religion was Ambrose Bierce’s in the Devil’s Dictionary. “Cult: A small unpopular religion.”

    The only reason why traditional religions aren’t classified as personality cults today is because the personality is long dead. However I would still argue that revering any person as divine and good is by definition a personality cult.

    Ever since I was young child reading about Grecco-Roman mythology and realizing that the ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t invent Zeus/Juptier et al because they were biding they’re time for Jesus, and that if religion could change once, it could change again, I’ve found the the entire concept of religion profoundly insulting.

  15. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    As mentioned above, the UK has huge issues with hoodies, and it makes for column-yards of copy. And Tesco has made their policy on hoods pretty clear, in the past.

    TESCO FIGHTS BACK OVER HOODIE ROW
    27 October, 2006
    http://www.retail-week.com/tesco-fights-back-over-hoodie-row/105216.article

    Tesco has defended itself against accusations of hypocrisy after a security guard told a six-year-old boy to remove his hooded top that had been bought in the supermarket.

    SUPPORT GROWS FOR OUR HOODIE CRUSADE
    Sunday April 6,2008
    http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/40392

    Last week a harrowing series of stories emerged, highlighting the need for a ban on hoodies in public places.

    SHOP REGRETS ‘HOODIE’ HUMILIATION
    Tuesday, 21 February 2006
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/4735154.stm

    A supermarket has apologised to a 58-year-old teaching assistant who was asked by an over-zealous security guard to remove her hooded top.

    TROUBLE-MAKER BANNED FROM WEARING HOODED TOPS
    26/06/2008
    http://www.kentnews.co.uk/kent-news/Trouble__maker-banned-from-wearing-hooded-tops-newsinkent14085.aspx

    A teenage yob has been banned from wearing a ‘hoodie’ as part of a strict six-point ASBO.

  16. Lester says:

    #41

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gautama_Buddha#Early_life_and_marriage

    He had an eating disorder, but was able to learn from it.

  17. redstarr says:

    Gloria-
    Thanks for the insight on the UK hoodie issue. I’m American wasn’t aware of the situation over there.

  18. b33fj3rky says:

    From a different article, same incident:

    “Mr Jones, who also goes by the Jedi name Morda Hehol, claimed he was ‘victimised over his beliefs’ and left ‘emotionally humiliated’ when staff deemed him a security risk…”

    This guy’s somehow deluded himself into believing he’s gotten profound spirituality from the same dude who created Jar-Jar Binks–that wasn’t already emotionally humiliating?

    Unrelatedly, I wonder if these Jedis have to take vows of celibacy, or if that’s just redundant?

  19. mneptok says:

    “They had three people around me. It was intimidating.” (said Jedi) Jones.

    There were three people standing and talking, and he was intimidated?

    Maybe he tried not to be intimidated, but there is no try. Only do, or not do.

    Total, utter Jedi FAIL. This padawan is stormtrooper kibble.

  20. Architexas says:

    I kind of felt the need to weigh in on the “Jedi is silly it’s based on a sci-fi movie” v. “all religion is silly it’s based on sci-fi books” remarks.

    Star Wars was created to entertain.

    Religions in general were created to explain things not understood by man at the time of their inception (the reason *most* religions came about before the Age of Enlightenment, mostly).

    Why did the sea part? Well, the ancients didn’t know, so they said a guy named Moses did it. Why did the sea get angry? Well, the ancients didn’t know, so they said a dude named Poseidon got pissed off because Zeus stole his lady or something. You have to view the inception of religion before you can compare Christianity to Jedi, for example.

  21. b33fj3rky says:

    @Shadowfirebird

    “No, no matter how silly or insane or disingenuous we think the guy is, *we* do not get to choose whether what he believes gets treated as a “real religion”. Because that would be bigotry.”

    Yes, yes we *do* get to choose whether or not it’s a real religion. Because his religion is based on a story which has this express disclaimer:

    “The events depicted in this movie are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.”

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Because his religion is based on a story which has this express disclaimer: “The events depicted in this movie are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental.”

      Dharmic religions commonly believe that everything is illusion.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Also, Tesco has started opening stores in the US called Fresh & Easy. I have yet to meet an American who hears those words without thinking of feminine hygiene products.

  22. Xopher says:

    Call me crazy, but I think the founder of a religion should be able to explain the basis for the rules he made up for himself.

    But Brainspore, that isn’t what they did. They told him his interpretation of the religion he founded, which is only partly based on the Lucas movies, was wrong based on what they saw in the Lucas movies. I think my analogy is closer.

    Noen 69: It is a cult, not a religion.

    Care to give us a definition of that distinction that separates the two where they should be separated, yet doesn’t classify as a “cult” any religion that happens to be new and/or practiced by a tiny minority? If you can, you’d be the first one ever to do that.

    I suspect you may think a cult is a religion that’s new and practiced by a tiny minority, but unless you admit that or demonstrate it with more evidence than I’ve seen so far I’m not going to make that accusation.

    Traditional religions are not based on books.

    Suddenly you’re talking about “traditional” religions. Does that mean the ones that have the Noen seal of approval as “real” religions as opposed to “cults”? If not, what does it mean? Also, what does this have to do with anything? The poster you’re responding to said “several of the world’s current religions.”

    Their sacred texts codify cultural practices that in many cases precede any written record by centuries.

    So for you a “traditional” religion is one that imposes the culture of a preliterate society on a modern one? In what possible way is that a good thing?

    While trad. religion may feature prominent figures like Jesus or Buddha they are not strictly speaking personality cults.

    Nonsense. If Jesus and his disciples started going around today doing and saying similarly-disruptive things, we’d call them a cult. Probably Homeland Security would raid them, and they’d be tried for terrorism because they had some wine (in water jugs!) in the house they shared.

    Today in our multicultural society things appear to be different but for 99.999% of human history one’s religion IS one’s culture.

    Not only nonsense, but ignorant nonsense in this case. Just as one uncharged example, most people would count food styles as one aspect of culture; yet the food eaten in Moslem-dominated Iran is more like the food eaten in Hindu-majority India than it is like the food eaten in Moslem-dominated Saudi Arabia. Roman Catholic Ireland of a hundred years ago did not eat the same food as Roman Catholic Italy, and anyone who cannot see the profound differences in those two cultures even ignoring food, and going back hundreds of years, is just not looking.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The Jedi (whats the plural form of ‘Jedi’ anyway?)in question may be a couple of geeky fanboys, but I don’t see why employees would be so concerned about their appearance other than to express a dislike or to ridicule them. Were customers offended or concerned by their actions? Were they shoplifting or threatening customers? It seems we had some really bored workers with too much time on their hands. “Hmm, I dont want to work the produce section. Ooh- I think I’ll go hassle those fanboys!”

    Their religion may be an over glorified fan club, and not an officially recognised religion. So what? What happened to simply ignoring someone you do not agree with? If they aren’t actually doing anything illegal, why bother them?

    Oh- this is in the UK where no one knows how to mind their own business. This is where police hassle photographers despite the fact that they conduct extreme levels of video surveillance on the public. This is where malls ban grandparents for taking family photos in a place with security cameras. This is a place that targets people suspected of ‘antisocial behavior’ by refusing service, or public humiliation by displaying posters warning others that these persons are ‘anti-social’. This is a place that encourages people to report ‘suspicious’ neighbors.

    In America for the most part we give you the benefit of the doubt. Here we don’t care how you dress or what galaxy you claim to be from, so long as you can pay for your merchandise. Businesses do have a right to make policies, rules, or to refuse service. But then customers reserve the right to take their money elsewhere. To be fair people are discriminated against or refused service here, but ultimately businesses often regret it due to legal action. For the most part- I’ve been in supermarkets where customers wear all sorts of things. Other than a few double takes nothing really happens. They are usually extended the same level of service as others.

    Here the reaction might be- “So you’re supposed to be a Jedi? Cool. So did you make that costume yourself? Do you go to conventions? My kid loves Star Wars. Dude- please tell me you have a girlfriend. Say hi to Yoda for me. Hey, you might like the Star Wars stuff we have in the toy dept. OK-That’ll be $67.96. Thank You, Sir for shopping at Wal Mart! Next, Please!”

    Here you have to usually do something truly disruptive to be banned- and even then it seldom comes to that. The person might reconsider their choice of wardrobe, and people may laugh, but they are seldom asked to leave. Making a scene and turning away customers is bad for business. Or do they not care about this in the UK?

  24. Bender says:

    A corporation that displays a sense of humor? It’s like a computer becoming self-aware.

    We are in a new age.

  25. shadowfirebird says:

    ::Sigh:: Are we better or worse informed than Guardian readers here? Or are we just all the same people?

    Yes, it’s really, really funny that this guy has a silly religion that appears to be based on Star Wars. Gosh yes. Please lets all do the lame jokes about Jedi mind tricks.

    No, no matter how silly or insane or disingenuous we think the guy is, *we* do not get to choose whether what he believes gets treated as a “real religion”. Because that would be bigotry.

    If you have evidence that the guy is taking the piss, please share it here. But being silly is not that.

  26. MadMolecule says:

    Excellent use of humor to deflate self-importance, I’d say.

  27. Xopher says:

    Wow, Arkizzle. What a bunch of assholes. It’s SO not OK to be sorry you made a 58-year-old dehood while still thinking it’s OK to make an 18-year-old dehood.

    The UK: where freedom decreases day by day.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what their policy is on burqas?

  29. Xopher says:

    No, no matter how silly or insane or disingenuous we think the guy is, *we* do not get to choose whether what he believes gets treated as a “real religion”. Because that would be bigotry.

    Hear, hear. That’s what I was trying to say above, but you said it better. Thank you.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Daniel Jones, a 23-year-old Jedi in England…

    Clarification, he and the Tesco are both ~Welsh~, not English. The Welsh are the cosmic buttmonkeys of the British Isles and are our equivalent to Florida when it comes to outlandish news stories.

    “What? That’s absurd! Who in their right mind would… Oh, he was from Aberystwyth. Why didn’t you *say* it happened in Wales?”

    That said, the Tesco spokesman won this round. :)

  31. John Napsterista says:

    Sure, funny response from Tesco, just swell. But a larger, serious issue remains: If Tesco can force Jedis (Jedii) to remove their sacred coverings if they want to shop there, can they also force Moslems, Sikhs, followers of some Christian sects, etc. to remove their coverings?

    We can’t have one standard of religious liberty for say, Muslims and followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and another standard for, say, Mormons and Jedii and everyone else.

    In a just society, either everyone gets to wear the clothes mandated by their personal religious beliefs, or no one gets to.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Yes, the Tesco PR person is pretty funny, but the humor is based on the idea of questioning the reasonably of a person’s stated religious beliefs. Many of us would agree that basing one’s religion on a fictional fantasy story where some key people have magical powers is silly, but somehow I doubt Tesco’s PR person would mock a Muslim woman’s veil on the same basis, even though the Koran never, never calls specifically for woman to be veiled.

  33. siliconsunset says:

    *gesture* “it’s okay for me to wear the hood”

    “it’s not okay for you to wear the hood”

    “:(“

  34. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    Pesco, on Tesco.

  35. Trent Hawkins says:

    #45 – Actually, didn’t the stories found in the bible originate as a sort of traveling theater group?

    I’m pretty sure that the crucifixion was a performance piece before it was part of the bible.

  36. ab3a says:

    @#1: Bender, we’re in a new age all right. We’re in an age when people make MOVIES and others still decide be believe in it as a religion. I had no idea there were so many silly people in this world.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Gilbert Anonymous here:

    Clearly, the Farce is strong in this one.

  38. Brainspore says:

    Trust me, this guy doesn’t want to be treated like a “real” religion. That would involve a century or two of violent persecution. Surely a few lightsaber jokes are preferable to being sold into slavery or fed to the lions?

    Name me someone who started their own religion and I’ll name you someone who was mocked by society.

  39. Paul Smart says:

    Jones has the right to wear a hood as part of his belief.

    The fact that people think it’s a big joke, does not dismiss the real fact that Jedi(ism) is a recognised form of belief.

    The reference to the Sci-Film (in which the Jedi way of life found its roots), is insulting.

    Jedi who follow this religion also follow a dedicated doctrine which is not that far from other faith belief systems.

    Imagine what would have happened if it was a muslim woman being told the same thing.

    Why should relgious tolerence not extend to the further beliefs such as the Church of Jedi?

    Tesco should read this and take not!

  40. Paul Smart says:

    AB3A you are making assumptions… Suggest you read about the Jedi Religion before opening your mouth!

  41. Xopher says:

    And if I say “Siddartha Gautama,” you’ll say “L. Ron Hubbard!” Right? (Actually, you could say “Nicola Tesla,” since your formula doesn’t even require you to name someone who was mocked by society AND founded a religion.)

    Nah, your game’s no fun.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      And if I say “Siddartha Gautama,” you’ll say “L. Ron Hubbard!”

      You can tell a lot about a religion by guessing how horrified the founder would be if she/he could see what’s done in his/her name.

  42. dculberson says:

    In what way is Jedi not based on the movies? Saying it’s “insulting” is, itself, insulting to our intelligence.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Sikhs, for example, in the UK, are exempt from the requirement to wear crash helmets (or “safety helmets” as we are now required to call them) on motorcycles. Interestingly, Muslims (many of whom wear somewhat less imposing turbans) aren’t.

    This is a statutory provision which offends me for about seventeen different reasons, simultaneously.

  44. Architexas says:

    #47 – Drat, you’re right! The Palestinian Players put on a rousing version of “Moses and the Deep Red Sea” just before the Bible’s first publication. Just found the review in the NYT archives…

  45. Xopher says:

    In other words, Brainspore, I refuse to take you seriously when you’re taking the piss, as they say over yonder *gestures at the Atlantic*

  46. Brainspore says:

    And if I say “Siddartha Gautama,” you’ll say “L. Ron Hubbard!” Right?

    No need. Wikipedia:

    …He was also subject to attack from opposition religious groups, including attempted murders and framings.

    You don’t think some of those people said disrespectful things about the Buddha? Starting your own religion has always involved putting yourself on the line.

  47. Paul Smart says:

    @dculberson: please re-read my post.
    I never said that it was NOT based on the movies… In fact I said that is where the religion found it’s roots.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Interesting. Tesco must now require Moslems to remove any head coverings and perhaps Sikhs to remove their turbans. This could get messy.

  49. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    John@3

    Muslim, not Moslem..

    http://hnn.us/articles/524.html

  50. Anonymous says:

    Would Tesco presume to interpret the religious texts of Islam, Christianity, etc. in determining that head scarves are not really necessary?

  51. Brainspore says:

    Xopher:

    Don’t worry, you’re under no obligation to take me seriously. Just as I am under no obligation to take a grown man who dresses like Obi-Wan seriously.

  52. Moriarty says:

    In a just society, either everyone gets to wear the clothes mandated by their personal religious beliefs, or no one gets to.

    I disagree. Rules which incidentally contradict some religious practice are not inherently discriminatory. It is necessary not to consider it so, as religious practice can include literally anything, so any rule whatsoever is potentially contradictory. Extreme example, religiously mandated human sacrifice is still considered murder.

    Also bear in mind that this is a policy of a privately owned business, which is a bit different than an actual law passed by a government.

  53. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    The reference to the Sci-Film (in which the Jedi way of life found its roots), is insulting.

    Huh?

    That’s kind of like saying, quoting from the Torah is insulting to Jews.

  54. Brainspore says:

    Actually, didn’t the stories found in the bible originate as a sort of traveling theater group?

    The New Testament is clearly just a thinly disguised adaptation of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

  55. acrocker says:

    I’m never one to defend any religion, but I’m disturbed (not really) by the double standard displayed here:

    We have some commentators defending a religion based on scifi movies; when usually there’s unanimous jeering of one based on a scifi book.

    I’m talking, of course, of Scientology.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Daniel should have used the Jedi Mind Trick.

  57. redstarr says:

    It doesn’t make sense to me why the store would have a problem with hoods in general. A hood doesn’t seem that big a disruption to the other shoppers. Hooded sweatshirts are very popular in my area and no one is too distracted or threatened by them to shop comfortably. A hooded Jedi outfit doesn’t seem too much worse than that from the retail perspective.

    If they’re worried about shoplifting, they’re worried needlessly. Shoplifters don’t want to be noticed. They want to get in, steal their stuff, and get out with as little acknowledgement and interaction with the staff and other customers as possible. Wearing a Jedi outfit isn’t an attempt to hide anything. It’s the opposite. If you’re in a store in a Jedi hood, it’s because you want to draw attention to yourself. No one wears that to commit a crime. If he were trying to conceal his identity from security cameras with the hood, he would have chosen a head covering that was a LOT less likely to draw attention like a baseball cap or some other more common looking hat.

    It doesn’t matter if you consider Jedi a real religion or not or if the hood is a real requirement for the faith or not, or if you’re wearing it for your religious beliefs or a fashion statement or just for kicks. A hood is no big deal no matter what.

  58. arkizzle / Moderator says:

    You guys don’t say “taking the piss”?

    I never knew that.

    I’ve got a hot line in slightly used British-isms and Irish-isms for anyone deficient in the Anglo-Celtic-archipelagic brand of idiomatic phrasology.

    One careful owner, going cheap..

  59. Anonymous says:

    It’s a religion alright. Just check out the [url=http://www.jedichurch.org/]crappy website[/url] that looks just as incompetently designed as ALL websites of religious cults I’ve ever seen…

    Got to love Tesco’s reply, even when you don’t agree with it.

  60. Xopher says:

    While I think the Tesco PR people have the edge in humor, I can easily make fun of the silliness of people of any religion. And no, old religions are not automatically better than new ones. And no, religions based on known fiction are not automatically better than ones based on lies. Or even history.

    That is because not all religions teach some version of quasi-history. Some teach ways of behaving instead (something the quasi-history religions are REALLY bad at, in my opinion).

    No, Lucas didn’t intend to found a new religion when he created the three Star Wars movies (I am ignoring, out of courtesy, the three extended toy commercials purported to be part of the same story). Jesus of Nazareth didn’t intend to create a new religion either; that was pretty much Paul’s idea.

    I think it’s silly to require people to go hooded in public. I also think it’s silly to make half your people wear headscarves. But it’s their religion and their choice.

    Note that at no point in the article did Tesco give any reason for their hood rule. Nor is there any evidence in the article that this rule existed before the Jedi guy walked into the store. As far as I can tell, it was just a “you’re too weird for us, so you have to stop being weird or leave” kind of thing.

    Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.

  61. Xenu says:

    @#13 –

    Jedis claim to be able to move things with their mindsj but they’re joking.

    Scientologists make the same claim; but they’re not joking.

  62. kjh says:

    What’s wrong with a religion based on a movie? Several of the world’s current religions are based on books. How is this different?

    As for the burqa thing, what about nuns’ headress? I always wondered if the French laws on headress applied to nuns too.

  63. Lester says:

    The one thing that bothers me about all this is that Tesco questioning the basis of the Jedi religon by suggesting that their interpretation of the Jedi holy books is wrong (i.e., whether or not Yoda and Obi-Wan wore a hood).

    Would Tesco get into a similar debate with a Muslim or Jew regarding headcoverings or beards or what have you? “I’m sorry, you’ve misinterpreted the Koran…”

  64. Gloria says:

    @77: No problem, Redstarr. I’m just another traveller pointing the way.

    Anyway, the specific cultural status of the hoodie in the UK are quite interesting; hope you (and others) find it a good read.

    (Although at this point, I have to admit I’m not even sure when I became aware of the issue. Probably when I saw Hot Fuzz, actually …)

  65. Xopher says:

    KJH, the French think it’s perfectly OK to discriminate on being insufficiently French. Nuns are French; burqa-wearing women are not. Therefore they’d see no contradiction with banning the latter but not the former.

    I don’t much like the French attitude, I must say.

  66. lolbrandon says:

    “Daniel Jones, founder of the religion inspired by the Star Wars films, says he was humiliated…”

    I’ve never known a Jedi to get humiliated over anything. And why not just wave your hand and say, “These are not the Jedis you’re looking for” and make the store manager go away?

    In all seriousness, to make a religion or any type of organization that requires someone to remain hooded at all times in public, in this day and age, is just dumb. Really, really dumb. I hate to say it, but that’s the truth. Maybe that’ll change someday, but not today, and this guy isn’t going to change it. A dude with a robe and a hood comes into YOUR store, and the first thing you think is “What’s he trying to steal?”

  67. Nelson.C says:

    According to the wikipedia article on Jediism:

    The Jedi interpret and use the philosophic teachings found in Star Wars, as well as other inspirational sources. Jediism is a blend of Taoism, Buddhism, and the teachings of Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts. It also shares basic ideals with many other religions, the Code of Chivalry, and spiritual aspects of some martial arts. In spite of holding different views and having different interpretations of the abundant Star Wars material, the Jedi share a set of core values essential to their path; the Force, and the code of conduct similar to the chivalry code, more commonly known as “The Jedi Code”. However, as there is no set path, or no “holy book” in Jediism, the nature of the force is open to interpretation.

    So it’s not as though it’s based solely on George Lucas’ celluloid, but actually has some fairly solid philosphical roots. If it has a fantastic inspirational story, well, as others have pointed out, it’s hardly alone among belief systems in that.

  68. Anonymous says:

    If Tesco can force Jedis (Jedii) to remove their sacred coverings if they want to shop there

    The word “Jedi” is really Japanese. One of many things George Lucas couldn’t spell, such as photon torpedo and mitochondria, it’s really spelled jidai, from jidai-geki, the generic term for the samurai shows George Lucas saw on TV as a tourist in Japan in the early ’70s. Jidai-geki means “period drama,” specifically the 18th century or so.

    Japanese has no grammatical number, so the plural of jidai is jidai. And the minority of Star Wars actors who pronounced it “gee-dye” were the ones who were getting it right the whole time.

    Lucas also obviously saw Uchuu Senkan Yamato while he was there. You can even tell which episodes he must have seen, and in what order. You could basically put Japanese TV in a blender in 1975 and Star Wars would come out.

  69. Brainspore says:

    If you’re going to practice a ridiculous new religion based on some sci-fi movies then at least make an attempt to get the details right. Tesco was clearly paying more attention to the movies than this geek was if he thinks that Jedi aren’t supposed to go hoodless in public.

  70. Brainspore says:

    @ Xopher:

    Note that at no point in the article did Tesco give any reason for their hood rule.

    Not true:

    “If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.”

    I do agree that a no-hoods rule is silly, but private businesses should be allowed the right to enforce their own dress codes. (Public institutions are another matter).

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      private businesses should be allowed the right to enforce their own dress codes.

      Does that apply to women being forced to wear niqab?

  71. Lester says:

    @#5
    We’re in an age when people make MOVIES and others still decide be believe in it as a religion. I had no idea there were so many silly people in this world.

    As opposed to the age where we took the word of shepherds/carpenters/trading warlords that they were the inerrant conduits for word of God? Or the age where we believed a polygamist? Or an anorexic Asian prince? Or the age when we believed gods were petty jerks who hung out on mountaintops? Or the one where we believed a hack sci-fi writer? Or that the Emperor of Ethiopia is the reincarnation of the aforementioned carpenter?

    If anything, creating a religion after a system of philosophy presented on screen — that is itself a “best of” of classical Eastern & Western religious traditions — isn’t such a bad idea. It might even be rational to scrap the past, except for the good parts, and come up with some new stuff.

    What is stupid is the whole Jedi must where head coverings thing. Seriously.

  72. shadowfirebird says:

    @b33fj3rky:

    Name me a religion based on verified historical (and therefore definitely not fictional) events, and I’ll accept your opinion as a valid one.

  73. Neon Tooth says:

    Why didn’t he just use his “Jedi mind tricks”?

    You don’t really need me to remove my hood.

    We don’t really need you to remove your hood…

  74. Xopher says:

    Brainspore, I absolutely take YOU seriously as a person. I don’t take your comments seriously when I know you’re not being serious, as when you said being treated as a real religion involves “a century or two of violent persecution,” since we’re in the 21st Century now (yes, we are, and it amazes me too).

    That, you see, is like saying that I can’t possibly want you to believe I’m a real homosexual, because that would involve being chemically castrated and driven to suicide. I’m supposed to be able to kiss another man on the street without being killed or locked up in a mental hospital, in a free 21C society. So too with founding religions.

    I was forced to conclude that you were a) being maliciously disingenuous, b) much stupider than you look, c) having a DUH moment (“never a DUH moment!”), or d) joking. I rejected b) out of hand, because while it wouldn’t be hard for a person to be stupider than you seem on here, I think my assessment of your intelligence is probably fairly accurate. I rejected a) because we haven’t really gotten to the rude bits here, and I wanted to keep things friendly. I rejected c) out of pure kindness, which left me with d).

    I therefore concluded that you were joking, and behaved accordingly.

    Incidentally, I do know that the Buddhists were persecuted in former times. A religion founded, but no longer found, in India? That didn’t happen because the Buddhists preferred the climate in Tibet!

    Arkizzle, we say “taking a piss,” but we mean what you mean by “having a wee,” that is, urinating.

    I was completely mystified by ‘taking the piss’ until about a year ago when someone finally explained it to me. I still have no idea where that phrase could have come from with the meaning it has.

  75. Brainspore says:

    Lester #53:

    Would Tesco get into a similar debate with a Muslim or Jew regarding headcoverings or beards or what have you? “I’m sorry, you’ve misinterpreted the Koran…”

    Since Jones is the founder of this particular religion, it’s more like confronting Joseph Smith about why he needed all those extra wives.

  76. Xopher says:

    Brainspore, that wasn’t a reason, that was a joke. As you well know.

    And maybe we come from different perspectives, even different continents, but in the US (which is NOT where this happened, admittedly), if a private business is running a public accommodation (like this store), they’re subject to anti-discrimination laws.

    Would you be comfortable with a store (even in the UK) forbidding burqas? How about yarmulkes?

    A bar near me had a sign on the door banning several types of clothing: work boots, baggy pants, I think logo jerseys. I know that if I had walked in there wearing every one of the banned items, the owner would have told me not to worry, because those rules weren’t aimed at me. I know perfectly well that what they were trying to ban wasn’t a style of clothing, but a color of skin.

  77. Brainspore says:

    @ Lester #17:

    A key difference here is that Moses didn’t come down from Mount Sinai and say “check out this fantasy novel I just wrote!” Nor were there numerous documentaries in which he showed the public how he created the special effects for the burning bush and parting of the sea.

    All religions are kind of silly. But a religion based on something that was intended as fictional entertainment from the get-go is triple-silly.

  78. Xopher says:

    Since Jones is the founder of this particular religion, it’s more like confronting Joseph Smith about why he needed all those extra wives.

    No, it’s more like confronting Joseph Smith about the interpretation of the Book of Mormon, and saying “the Bible doesn’t say that.” Well, no, it doesn’t; the Book of Mormon does.

    Similarly, the behavior of exceptional individuals (even among Jedi) in the movies doesn’t dictate the rules for real-world Jedi, who are as much like their movie counterparts as I’m like the Wicked Witch of the West. And if you don’t believe me, I’ll get you and your little dog!

    (Just a point of clarification here: I think founding a religion, even one with solid philosophical underpinnings, and naming it after a Lucasfilmâ„¢ property is pretty dorky. But I also think freedom includes the freedom to be dorky.)

  79. Tdawwg says:

    But do they serve droids, whether hoodless or behoodied?

    “We do serve their kind in here…. but not with hoods!”

  80. Gloria says:

    @50: If you’re not British, then you might not be familiar with the hoodie controversy in Britain. Goes back a few years.

    “If he were trying to conceal his identity from security cameras with the hood, he would have chosen a head covering that was a LOT less likely to draw attention like a baseball cap or some other more common looking hat.”

    The issue here isn’t really the hood; it’s the fact that the hood has been used before, so people are specifically paying attention to it now. If shoplifters started taking your advice en masse, I’m sure eventually stores would want to ban baseball caps too.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Jediism is not a recognised religion in the UK, therefore is not afforded the same protections as Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, etc.

    Besides, the guy obviously doesn’t know much about Jedis if someone at Tesco outsmarted him on the hood issue.

  82. Lester says:

    @27

    I’m fairly certain, as Xenu (heh, almost wrote Xeni) pointed out, that the Jedi know they’re being silly. IIRC, Jedi in Britain was begun to screw with a census.

    Most Jews/Christians/Muslims/Mormons/Scientologists, etc., however, are unaware of how silly the origins of their religion are. Sillier still is that people are killing each other over such nonsense thousands of years later.

    What scares me is that a Jedi religion essentially guarantees a Jedi/Sith split in another 500 years or so. It is human nature: silly belief + time = respected religion.

    If one recognizes the human need for such religions, why not attempt to come up with a new one that you like? Why not a popular movie?

  83. Xopher says:

    Tdawwg, YOMANK.

    I think we can agree that “no blasters” should be part of every store’s dress code!

    Ooops, now the “the Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to bear unlicensed nuclear accelerators!” nuts will be crawling all over me. Ack.

    *sprays legs with nut-be-gone*

  84. Xopher says:

    *is VERY CAREFUL not to spray too high*

  85. Xopher says:

    Ahh, Gloria! I for one was unaware of the hoodie controversy in Britain. Could you elucidate?

    From your post it sounds like a common infringement on personal rights instead of an UNcommon one.

  86. John Napsterista says:

    @10 Arkizzle

    I’m a style geek, thanks for the good link. I use “Moslem” the same way I’d use “marihuana,” i.e., when trying to reference or lampoon the generally assumed sensibilities of those who still find nothing archaic about those spellings, and perhaps that wasn’t apparent here. No offense was intended, and sorry if it seemed otherwise.

  87. godisafiction says:

    @ Brainspore #27:

    I’ve seen documentaries deconstructing the parting of the sea before. The burning bush always makes me think of the singing bush in Three Amigos.

    I don’t think you can say what the bible was intended as from the get go. Seems quite likely that its component stories were intended as fictional or allegorical entertainment at first. Over the retelling of these symbolic stories people got really into them. Over the generations they became the basis of a religion and eventually got written down in a big book. It’s all just entertainment. People draw from it what they will.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the supermaket folks are not weakminded fools. The flying spaghetti monster just cracks me up!!!

  89. Gloria says:

    Well, I’m not an expert, since I’m in Canada, but I figured it was well-known enough if *I* heard about it.

    Stuff I just pulled from Wiki:

    In May 2005, Bluewater shopping centre in Kent caused outrage by launching a code of conduct which bans its shoppers from sporting hoodies or baseball caps, although the garments remain on sale. John Prescott welcomed the move, stating that he had felt threatened by the presence of hooded teenagers at a motorway service station.[8] Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair openly supported this stance and vowed to clamp down on the anti-social behaviour with which hoodie wearers are sometimes associated.

    Look up “hoodie” and you’ll see a section on it.

  90. Brainspore says:

    If one recognizes the human need for such religions, why not attempt to come up with a new one that you like? Why not a popular movie?

    Well, see, that’s where I think we differ. If you know your religion is based on fiction then I don’t see the rationale for having it in the first place.

  91. Nelson.C says:

    Funny, I thought BB had blogged on the hoodie controversy before, but apparently not. The Guardian has an article here.

  92. Lester says:

    Well, see, that’s where I think we differ. If you know your religion is based on fiction then I don’t see the rationale for having it in the first place.

    First off, there isn’t a rationale for most religions. If they were invented today, we’d make fun of them. Like Mormonism, Scientology or Jedism. It doesn’t keep people from believing it, unfortunately.

    It is silly. But at least it is honest. Think of Jedism as more of a system of philosophy or a code of conduct. I mean, what is religion but a code of conduct enforced societal pressure?

  93. Brainspore says:

    To be clear, I don’t like the dress code. In fact I’d probably rethink my patronage of a business that had such a dress code. I just don’t think such a dress code should be illegal. By the same token, I would have no problem with a Jewish-run establishment (for example) requiring all patrons to wear Yarmules.

    None of which makes me feel like a guy who starts his own religion based on a popular film franchise shouldn’t expect a little ribbing now and then.

    @Antinous:
    Does that apply to women being forced to wear niqab?

    I think so, but I certainly wouldn’t patronize that business. If someone organized a picketing campaign against such an establishment I’d back them up.

    @Xopher
    No, it’s more like confronting Joseph Smith about the interpretation of the Book of Mormon, and saying “the Bible doesn’t say that.” Well, no, it doesn’t; the Book of Mormon does.

    Call me crazy, but I think the founder of a religion should be able to explain the basis for the rules he made up for himself.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I think so, but I certainly wouldn’t patronize that business.

      And when every store in the country has that particular dress code?

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