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March 18, 2010 at 12:43 am #139730JaxKeymaster
Political correctness strikes back: Jedi believer wins apology after being kicked out of Jobcentre for wearing a hood
By ANDREW LEVY
Last updated at 8:48 AM on 17th March 2010
When benefits claimant Chris Jarvis was asked to put down his hood in a Jobcentre, he said he was entitled to wear it because of his Jedi ‘faith’.
When he continued to wear the cowl despite repeated warnings, he was escorted from the premises by security guards.
Yet in a case which sums up the march of political correctness in the public sector, he has now received a grovelling apology saying that the government agency ’embraces diversity and respects a customer’s religion’. ‘Jediism’ was made up for the Star Wars films.
The father of three now plans to sue Jobcentre Plus in Southend for discrimination, despite admitting he took up the ‘faith’ last year only as an excuse to wear hooded tops.
‘I am a Star Wars follower. It means following the way of the Jedi,’ he said yesterday. ‘The main reason is I want to wear my hood up and I have got a religion which allows me to do that.
‘Someone with their own religious views is allowed to wear what their religion says – the Sikhs are able to carry a great big dagger. My religion allows me to wear my hood.’
Mr Jarvis, who has been out of work for two years after fracturing both heels, had visited the Jobcentre to enquire about his disability benefits.
‘I was told by security staff to remove my hood. I was told, not asked. I said, “It’s my religion, I’m a Jedi Knight”,’ said Mr Jarvis, 31.
The ex-builder, who lives in Southend with his girlfriend, who is also unemployed, said a floor manager then asked him to remove the hood.
He eventually agreed but after he put it back up while using a computer to search for jobs he was escorted from the premises.
Mr Jarvis later wrote to complain. In response, manager Wendy Flewers wrote: ‘Jobcentre Plus is committed to provide a customer service which embraces diversity and respects a customer’s religion or beliefs.
‘I would like to apologise… I have spoken to the member of staff and it was not their intention to offend your beliefs.’
A spokesman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness said: ‘This is the problem with the equality and diversity agenda. I’m sure when the legislation was being drawn up people didn’t have in mind a Jedi who would sue because they couldn’t wear their hood.’
In the 2001 census, 390,000 people listed their religion as Jedi, making it the fourth biggest ‘belief’ in the country.March 18, 2010 at 12:47 am #154291JaxKeymaster
This is the second time this ‘church’ has pushed the hood issue that I’ve seen. I worry this is going to be even more common, which isn’t going to increase our acceptance in the world. I just don’t think this group has a good understanding of what it means to be a Jedi. Sueing the job centre does not sound very jedi-like to me. Instead it sounds like an excuse for attention and money.March 18, 2010 at 1:39 am #154292inariParticipant
I was thinking ‘Oh (insert expletive) when I read that. Maybe we should all counter sue for bringing the Jedi into disrepute (I am joking, though about 1% not joking).March 18, 2010 at 2:01 am #154293JaxKeymaster
and there’s a 1% of me agreeing with you. Didn’t someone (Alethea or Moonshadow) talk about writing a letter for trials of this sort where we speak against their position?March 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm #154295MemnoichParticipant
Personally I have to admit that I am offended that we are being drawn out into public by this church and it’s “Belief system” I wish there was something we could do to speak out against this stupidity, especially sueing a governmant agency over this garbage.March 18, 2010 at 9:32 pm #154296Brandel ValicoParticipant
I am at a loss for words here. While I am all for Religious groups being given the right to wear or carry what they need to for their faith. This is just nuts. His only reason for following the path is to wear a hood.
Do we have a contact # for this Agency? I’d like to offer to testify against this guy.March 18, 2010 at 9:36 pm #154297JaxKeymaster
I think I have the email of the ‘master’ of this ‘church’. You can also try Setanaoko who has had organized discussions with this group in the past. Let me know if you want it.March 18, 2010 at 9:40 pm #154298Brandel ValicoParticipant
More interested in locating a contact # for the Agency he is threatening to sue. Offer to help them by testifying in court if they like against this insanity.March 18, 2010 at 9:48 pm #154299JaxKeymaster
I’m not familiar with the UK enough to know, but it should be findable.March 19, 2010 at 12:03 am #154302Anonymous
I am not surprised by this group – and I feel some guilt for not being more “open” myself. I’m not total normal – heh – but it’s pretty hard to want to state “Jedi” against this kind of public image.
However – on the census – I do intend to declare myself “Jedi” in the “spirituality/faith” area. I’d feel dishonest if I did not – and as anyone who has done a family tree – claiming things on a census is a long, long lasting document.
What this group did was to invite reporters by flaunting the costume and weirdness – although I do think society needs to realize that spirituality has grown so far past what most in the media are ready to take seriously…
There is one Delta Pilot (I kid you not) who wear a Star Trek emblem, the full size one, on his lanyard with his uniform. He isn’t kidding around about it either – and as an African American he truly has guts in an industry and position that isn’t as integrated as many racially, in gender, and are basically a conservative bunch.
One day he was in our store and I asked him seriously about his emblem. He told me he believed in the message of Star Trek and the future. I told him that I felt similarly (Trekkie as a kid, old Asta) and that I felt my spirituality was most like that of the Jedi.
We sort of looked at each other, and it was the only time I’ve had the personal one-on-one feeling of fellowship as I’ve never met another Jedi in person.
It isn’t just the Jedi – but some of the other Sci-fi Mythos that should really have more of a place in the public understanding of spirituality. There are a growing number of us…
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