O'Sensei wasn't just a great martial artist; he was an apologist or missionary to some respect in the power of Budo and his Aikido in particular to help bring peace to the world. Now Aikido isn't a religion but it does have similar values and goals. To develop character, morality, temperance, forgiveness and peace. Budo is a lifestyle. Aikido therefore sees itself as a positive force or influence within the world.
Do you have the research to show all of this? That Ueshiba was an (1)apologist, (2)a missionary, (3)that his aikido was meant to bring peace to the world, (4)that his aikido had similar values and goals as religion, (5a-e)that his aikido was meant to develop character/morality/temperance/forgiveness/peace, and (6)finally that he saw his aikido as a positive force or influence within the world?
Personally, I think, maybe, you could make an argument for a couple of those, but not all of them. If we talk Kisshomaru Ueshiba, I think you could make an argument for nearly all of them. But, I'd like to see your research comparing both men as I think it'd be a very interesting compare/contrast.