JEDI knights could soon be performing special intergalactic weddings in Scotland, Presbyterians have predicted.
The claim by the Free Church of Scotland raises the prospect of English Star Wars enthusiasts flocking – or possibly flying – to Gretna Green for ceremonies complete with guards of honour wielding light sabres instead of swords.
Other groups which could also soon be in line to host weddings in Scotland include the Flat Earth Society, which rejects evidence that the world is round – a view once held by the Christian church.
The Church's predictions came as it launched an attack on plans by the First Minister, Alex Salmond, for a new class of “belief” ceremonies – alongside traditional religious and civil weddings.
The Scottish Government is currently attempting to overhaul the marriage laws north of the border, primarily to introduce same-sex marriage.
But the bill would also include a wider update of matrimonial laws including plans to create a “third way” to get married, through so-called “belief” ceremonies to accommodate those who do not belief in a deity but do but do promote a belief system.
It follows the popularity of humanist weddings in Scotland, which have outstripped even the Roman Catholic Church in popularity.
The Humanist Society of Scotland has been registered to perform weddings since 2005 on a temporary basis but the new bill would set that on a permanent footing and create a new class of marriage.
But The Rev Iver Martin, spokesman for the Free Church of Scotland, said the plan was “nonsensical” as humanists are already free to conduct weddings in Scotland.
He said: “We are faced with the Scottish Government seeking to create a new category for something which already happens under the current system, which is completely nonsensical.”
“We would also question whether this category only includes humanists or will it allow for any belief?
“Could the Jedi Knights or members of the Flat Earth Society be registered as belief celebrants?
“We believe that once the legislation is passed the issues and complications will not go away.”
In the Star Wars films, Jedis rely on the strength of "The Force" to help them overcome baddies such as Darth Vader.
In the 2001 census almost 400,000 people in England and Wales registered themselves as “Jedi” followers on their census forms.
But it was not because hundreds of thousands of people had succumbed to the power of the Force – it followed an internet campaign to subvert the census findings on religion. An email urging people to write Jedi on their census forms aid: “Do it because you love Star Wars ... or just to annoy people”.
- John Bingham, Telegraph.co.uk