Religion does not require faith, which is perhaps one of its blessings for those who doubt they will ever find any. Indeed, a particular religion may be practiced without much faith at all to speak of. Amongst modern Jewry this is not uncommon, and an atheist Jew is not a contradiction in terms in today's world.
Now I'm confused here Erick, Religion does not require faith, and an atheist Jew is not a contradiction in terms. I realise you are a lawyer, and from your posts a very erudite and eloquent one at that, so I'm sure you will advise me further on how you can be a fully functioning and practicing member of a religious community and not believe in the reason for the religion existing in ther first place? And if faith is not required to believe in the existence of God ( in light of there not being any evidence that the atheists of the world can see ) then what is?
Aikido is just such a practice. If try to avoid the word "religious", we fear a vibration in the air. To fear a word is mere superstition of magic. Aikido helps to bind and connect us to one another in an exceedingly concrete way. I agree that faith is not required, but I disagree that religion is not involved.
I agree that the practice of aikido helps to bind and connect us to one another as does belonging to a religion (your own), but so does supporting a sports team.
I have no fear of magic, and I do see how parellels can be drawn between aikido and religious practice. However, I'm sure my problem is that I have so many views of fundamentalist religion and all the negative actions that are carried out in the name of it, that I would rather like to continue my aikido practice and develop my own mind body and spirit, without any connection to even the idea of it being 'religious'. There is no reason for me not to.
I like the passages from Tolkien, thanks, I never expected to see him quoted on an Aikido forum.
My experience in the past, has led me to realise, that a discussion between a believer and a non believer is one destined to be long, drawn out, and usually frustrating for both sides. So I wish you well in both your aikido and religious practice. You seem to be from the moderate and reasonable end of the spectrum, but probably not as far to the left as an atheist catholic though!