Can anything be a Religion?

The article I came across is from the New York Times and is titled ‘The Last Jedi’? In Real Life, Jedi Can Be a Religion. I instantly was intrigued by the title because in one of our first classes you mentioned that because of the complexity of defining religion, some people have written things like Jedi on their census’. Even though for many it was a joke to identify as a Jedi there were many people who took that seriously and decided to actively start expressing their religion. This article focused specifically on talking to directors for the Jedi church, Temple of the Jedi Order where they practice Jediism. For them the religion is just the same as any other. I researched the religion just a bit more to discover that in fact they do see themselves as having similar connections to other mainline religions. They say in the article that Jediism is all about “taking a journey” and having “a better life and a better death.” When you read about some of their key beliefs it seems to be a serious and concrete religion. This all ties back to what we have been trying so hard to do in class, define religion. It’s extremely difficult to try and tell someone else what religion is because you may never be able to see eye to eye. For example, I myself would never identify as practicing Jediism, I would identify as practicing Christianity. If practicing Jediism makes someone comfortable and its fulfilling to their life then I have no right to tell them their viewpoint is wrong. Like Chapter 5 in McGuire’s book stated, the dynamic in all religions is going to differ. Putting all religions together is taking a risk because they aren’t all the same but it is also empowering individuals to feel comfort in the decisions they make.