"I think the 'words' people use to express things can be different even when the internal understanding is the same; and the words are less important than the understanding."
This is a very good point, and the question I find myself asking, which god are you actually referring to when you mention His (or to some, Her) name?
As a christian, my aikido practice (ok, I'm a beginner, but that never stopped anyone having an opinion
), must be devoid of any 'paganistic' practices, and must be an opportunity to glorify God (I need to discuss with my sensei his attitudes towards bowing to the Shomen - can't serve two masters....). Learning how to turn others into human pretzels is a side bonus. Besides, I've been to Rome. Too many pickpockets, and the food is all weird
(you know, they don't have deep pan pizzas over there - the pizzas I had could be used as frisbees, or even body armor).