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Old 10-26-2009, 10:28 AM   #271
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 688
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

While I am a Jew by nationality (and therefore religion) . Personnaly, I am an Atheist and do not believe in any God. Further, I can not understand if such an entity existed, why would it care about us minor mortalls?

Having said that, I do believe one should be honest of his own doings and the implications of his actions.

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
So then, it's morally acceptable for the religion to be discriminatory, but not the art?
Who-ever said that?? Not me!

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Why is religion elevated above the art? Why may a "religious person" who discriminates based on gender (and it is discrimination) offend another person, who may also be religious, of the opposite gender? What of the religious rights of the female half of the population?

And why create a special category for religion whereby the concept of discrimination does not apply? Especially against the historical evidence of discrimination by religions of all sorts?

And, yes, some people do view Aikido as a religion. (Not me, however.)
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Discriminatory is not the word when talking religion. It is when talking the art (unless you see Aikido as a religion).
Lorien Lowe;243922
Second class citizen? Yes. Treating someone else like they are too dirty to touch [I
does[/i] have an impact. Humans are social organisms; one would have to be a sociopath to be unaffected by treatment like that.

My dojo recently became non-profit; we've had Jewish and Muslim students in the past, and this hasn't been a problem for them. The only thing that was different was that the muslim students wouldn't do a full bow - no biggie. Refusing to train with women would be a much bigger problem, especially given that half of our teachers are women and a not insignificant proportion of the students are women. It would take a huge amount of gall for someone to come in and demand that the structure of the dojo be remade to accommodate their particular religious interpretation.
Many religions are discriminatory. As far as Judaism, to my understadnign, it was one of the most socially progressive religions of its time. Presenting an ideal back then. Still, women are definitly not held as having equal rights. Then again, they are not second class citizens either.
In the Judaic order of things, each has his own very minor and inequal place - husband and wife. Some of the rules you rage aabout today were actually aimed at protecting the women from abusive men.

Nobody is asking you to change the structure of your Dojo. Least of all, me. I would expect you to be honest - say you have this set of vlaues and you will not accept any who does not follow them, even though it creates a de-facto discrimination!

Lorien Lowe wrote: View Post
This thread is not about not a debate about books; its about non-profit dojos accomodating, or failing to accomodate, special religious requests (specifically whether or not to allow students to discriminate whom they will train with based on sex) by potential students. I have personal experience training in a non-profit dojo with people of various religions, and none of them have ever had a problem here with the rules set down by my dojo - even those whose religion is explicitely antagonistic towards women in its witten texts; I also have opinions on religious restrictions, and I don't need to read your books in order to legitimately express those opinions. Other people responding to this thread also have valid experiences and opinions without necessarily having read in their entirety any holy book(s). We are talking about behavior, not about texts.

So, please, chill. You don't get to set the parameters of the discussion all by your idiosyncratic self.

p.s. yes, I agree that considering women 'too dirty to touch' is silly. Unfortunately, that does not prevent people, even potential aikido students, from making that claim based on their religion. Those who do generally can cite chapter and verse of the Koran or the Old Testament to back themselves up.

Sura 5:6, Sura 4:43, Sura 2:222; Leviticus 12:2-8, Leviticus 15:19-28, Leviticus 18:19, Job 14:4, Esther 2:9-12, pretty much all of proverbs, Jeremiah 3:1 (just to confine oneself to some of the 'women are dirty' parts; the 'second-class' parts would take too much room if one cited them all).
I took a look at the Leviticus quotes (was too strange to me to read the bible in English, so at the end, I found some way of locating these passages in Hebrew). Both are about a women's blood, either after birth or after ministration. In both the women and anyone touching her during this period are required to purify themselves (current custom is washing in a "Mikve")
Anyone thinking this means "women are dirty" is simply distorting the text.
P.S. if you look for pure & real discriminations in the Tora, next to the last quote there was another sentence clarifying homosexual relations are banned and people having them should be stoned to death.

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