Karen Wolek wrote:
But a dojo isn't a church or place of worship.
Agreed, but it is still a place where humans congregate to practice their 'way'. Any 'organisation' has agreed rules that the 'members' abide by.
The only difference with a 'church' in respect to other 'organisations' is that the rules of the church are were written by men for men/women but attributed to a god. All other organisations have rules written by men/women for men/women, these rules can evolve over time.
The interesting thing with churches is that they also change the rules over time, depending on who's in charge at the time. God rarely gets consulted when the rules are altered. As far as I'm aware, celibacy for the catholic priestood was put in place around the 11th Century. Nothing to do with god, alot to do with the Pope at that time. The US branch of the Anglican church have caused a schism with the more conservative (and more populous) branch by allowing the ordination of homosexual Bishops.
So when I read in one of the posts above that the man in question in this thread is under a Directive from god, I wonder which of the mish mash of religious dogma is god made and which of it is man made, and therefore open to alteration.
So respect to all, and all should be free to worship whatever they choose.
If someone comes to an aikido dojo they are free to practice, if their beliefs restrict them that should be their issue, it should not impact on others who follow (worship?) the way of O Sensei - aikido is for everyone, and is to be practiced with no regards to race,creed,age or gender. One of the reasons you are more likely to find me on the mat than at an alter.
Aikido is not a religion and the dojo is not a church, thank god for that!