Non-believers and the Census

In the UK it’s census time again, just like it will be here at the end of the year. I’m just wondering what options there are on the census forms here when it comes to categorising religion? In the UK we can even tick Jedi!!!

This is the current campaign - I wondered whether there are any pressure groups etc. here for this kind of thing?

I don’t know about you poor non-believers, but I hope we can get Pikkiwokiism onto our next census forms here in SA. I mean, I’d not like to have to tick the “Other” or “Primitive Animist” block for Religious Affiliation on the form - so impersonal and imprecise, y’know. Is there somewhere we could apply? Get it Guffermint Gazetted? We need to stand up for our rights, and demand the proper respect for Pikkiwoki ( May His Name Be Mud ).

More seriously, in the UK it’s an offence not to comply with census taking, not so? (On this, a YouTube video: Census Compliance Officers ~50 MB.)

Here in SA, one still has the right to refuse being counted, weighed, measured and pigeonholed. Perhaps the “Other” slot in the “Religious Affiliation” section also gives a “Specify” or “Describe” space, in which case “Apigeonholeist” would be apt.


Yes it would appear it is illegal not to complete and return your census, but since the UK has 974,000 illegal immigrants it’s unable to account for…/Number-illegal-immigrants-Britain-nearing-1million.htm- they may be a little more lax - I’m not sure how you count illegal immigrants if you don’t technically know they are there??? Maybe it’s the same as the 21% of Americans who don’t know they have HIV - you think it would be courteous to tell them?? Anyway I digress… there is also a campaign to boycott the census as it’s under the administration of Lockheed Martin who are arms dealers and have accusations of spying.

I like that here you can refuse to have your information collected :slight_smile: Either way as with anything at home it will result in protests and police brutality…

There is a certain threshold in the UK above which a religion is officially recognised. At the last census in 2000 (I think, I was living in Birmingham at the time) there was a push for atheists to put ‘Jedi’ down for their religion. Enough did it for it to now be an officially recognised religion.

There isn’t too much info on the process that Statssa are following for the Census 2011. I just sent them a mail asking if I could get access to the questionnaire to see how they phrase the questions relating to religion. Maybe we could have some input that will ensure that the questions are fair?

I have so far nevertaken part in a census but yes that’s right Jedi was the main alternative, which is a problem for me because I hate Star wars and also it insinuates that a person must still have a identity with an organised/ coherent idea or something with which people can be labelled - but such is the nature of humanity. I am pretty ignorant of what Jedi-ism involves but in it says - “The Jedi Church believes that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together. The Jedi religion is something innate inside everyone of us, the Jedi Church believes that our sense of morality is innate. So quiet your mind and listen to the force within you”

I am not going to tick any boxes that relate to a movement however 'alternative" they claim to be - it has a church and still purports to “an all powerful force”, they have wars and if we look at it it’s still a bunch of weirdos in cloaks talking kak so you know I might as well tick catholic.

On my last census form I listed 15 kids (I do my bit for the white afrikaner’s survival, they urge us to breed like bunny rabbits) and put my occupation as astronaut. My house went from double story to two rooms and my husband as “absent”(which he was, he left with his mistress). I cant remember all the crap I filled in, it was memorable though…

i have never filled in one of these, and i would suspect my landlord wont even open the gate fot them in the first place, and my dogs would bark their heads off if they try and holler to get someone’s attention.
i have a huuuuge issue with big brother being all up in my business. Rica/Fica is allready getting on my tits. I don’t want every corrupt govament official and his dogs being in posession of my personals.

We filled in our names and address. The remaining questions all got a “MYOB.” We used a fat black cokie pen, too.


They’ve got a dress rehearsal questionnaire on the site:

I dont see anything on religion, however, I’m seriously insulted with the fertility questions, (out of principle), the rest is the normal mumbo jumbo, and I had the usual smirk at the population group Q - "How would (name) describe him/herself in terms of population group? A - Black African/Coloured/Indian or Asian/White/Other.

So I do wonder what “Other” would consist of?

I especially like this:

Maybe John Edwards will be employed by stats SA?

In spite of the shortcomings and the illusion/ possibility that it pries to an unnecessary degree, a census form is still important because it at least provide some data of actuarial importance. What alternative to a census would you recommend the government (hey, shut up at the back!) use to estimate the population that it needs to feed, house and clothe?

I think responsible citizens should do two things: vote, and be counted.


Government has no business feeding, housing or clothing the population. People are supposed to do that for themselves. Government wants the information to determine how many people there are from whom to steal. Then they can figure out how do divvie up the spoils; which cabinet minister gets what.

Then I would be classed as irresponsible, I have no faith in this governments’ false claims that they have MY wellbeing at heart, I belong to an unpopular minority who co-incidently also support around 10 or so of the majority via my taxes. They already know far too much of my personal business via FICA and RICA, to go all out and tell them exactly how many toilets I happen to be able to afford is pushing the boundaries to a whole new level. Stating my yearly income (and that of my S/O’s), and slapping all this together into a regional statistic, will open possibilities that my rates and taxes will increase exponentially, along with the added tolls that will also eat into my budget. The possibilities of being further marginalised because of this is endless, and if I sound like a conspiratist by stating my doubts, then its most likely not far from the truth.

Vote I do, counted I will not.

I fully agree. Without numbers, any organisation or government (This one or any other, good or bad) will have no clue. You can’t make informed decisions without information, à la The Good Wife - in my opinion.

they should add Pastafarianism under religions. I insist upon it.

As an aside, I note on the website that they will be visiting schools and get children to complete the forms as well.

Lovely, another argument with the school coming up after a snotty letter denying permission sent.

I would like to know why they ask your name? Voting is anonymous, why can’t census be as well? In practice they would be able to establish who “the person who lives in that house” is, but doing that for the entire population would be rather cumbersome. Why do they need names?

What st0nes said. This kind of “irresponsible” is still responsible. It sends a message — an uncomfortable one perhaps, but a message nonetheless. Ask yourself why censuses are most prevalent and highly valued in welfare states. Then understand that this government is actively fostering a culture of free handouts for the lazy and feckless (for the sleazy purpose of collecting votes, no doubt). There are almost three times as many social grant recipients in this country as there are income tax payers, and the number of the former continues to rise. Almost 40% of this country’s population is under the age of 25, and many of them will be wanting jobs and income soon.

The situation is not sustainable, certainly not over any protracted length of time. The census will only measure slightly more accurately the magnitude of the potential disaster we’re being driven towards by our myopic and self-absorbed government.