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Old 09-04-2009, 04:23 AM   #251
Walter Martindale
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi folks,

Request #4:

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun
Sorry Jun. I unnerstand the goal of keeping on topic but for a whole lot of the world 501(c)(3) means diddly, but religion (no matter which) is just superstition, and the restrictions on whether or not a person can practice aikido with a member of the opposite sex is just plain silly and a part of that superstition...
W
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:44 AM   #252
Flintstone
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Disgust Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Sorry Jun. I unnerstand the goal of keeping on topic but for a whole lot of the world 501(c)(3) means diddly, but religion (no matter which) is just superstition, and the restrictions on whether or not a person can practice aikido with a member of the opposite sex is just plain silly and a part of that superstition...
W
Silly according to you. Not silly at all for about half the world's population. Roughly. Of course you are right, they are right. I am right. Everyone's right according to their own (sub)set of beliefs. You tell me I'm wrong, we have an issue. You tell me my culture's wrong, we have an issue. You tell me your beliefs are better and higher than mine, we have an issue.

Nothing productive can come from this lane.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:15 AM   #253
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi folks,

Request #4:

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun
Well, you can consider the matter closed then. It seems fairly straight forward that many tax-exempt 501(c)(3) orgs discriminate based on sex and sexual preference everyday, why would religious preference be any different? To me, the question shouldn't be can they, because it seems obvious they can. The question to me is should they? So I will bow out.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:46 AM   #254
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Yes, it is a documented fact upheld by the court system that 501(c)(3) organizations are have the ability to "protect" their religious practices and customs. They cannot "discriminate", but they can be have their ideals, beliefs, and practices intact.

That is, the Boy Scouts can be made up of "Boys only". They can exclude Homosexuals, and Atheist.

However, they cannot "Discriminate" against someone because of race, color, or religous preferences. Why? because it is not in their charter and basic doctrine/dogma or what not.

These are private groups that are semi-religous in nature which are protected under the freedom of religion, speech, and expression under the constitution.

You also have the "freedom" to choose not to be apart of such groups and form your own.

Their really is no problems I believe until you start espousing hatred, or projecting harm or bigotry towards other groups. Or you agenda becomes to incite violence, hate, or supression of others...then I believe Ethically, we have a problem and the group should lose their status. I am betting the law backs that up as well.

How do you prove that? Probably difficult in alot of cases.

I think it becomes discrimination if you have not codified your beliefs and you choose to arbitrarily do what you want on an inconsistent basis. I think codification and consistency are what make it NOT discrimination.

Although, you still might personally and ethically believe that the policies are discriminatory such as the BSA not allowing Homosexuals or Atheist. Yup, I agree, but it is still the organizations right to do that according to current law.

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Old 09-04-2009, 07:50 AM   #255
Fred Little
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi folks,

Request #4:

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun
Jun,

Is the matter of potential aikido students who have such religious issues at a university club operating in a university facility governed by the full range of state and federal non-discriminatory practices laws relevant?

I certainly hope so, as that would give me an opportunity to share this little nugget: I am considering changing the name of my group to the NJIT Coed Aikido Club. The thought here is that such a name change or the simple inclusion (or for existing groups, a simple insertion) of a phrase regarding "our commitment to coed martial arts training without regard for race, creed, or national origin of participants" in the mission statement of a 501(c)3 organization ought to address the issue quite squarely and fairly.

Best,

FL

Last edited by Fred Little : 09-04-2009 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Copyediting. It's a baseline skill more people should develop.

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Old 09-04-2009, 07:58 AM   #256
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Fred Little wrote: View Post
I am considering changing the name of my group to the NJIT Coed Aikido Club. The thought here is that such a name change or the simple inclusion (or for existing groups, a simple insertion) of a phrase regarding "our commitment to coed martial arts training without regard for race, creed, or national origin of participants" in the mission statement of a 501(c)3 organization ought to address the issue quite squarely and fairly.
This is a contradiction in terms.

Ops, sorry, I forgot I already bowed out of the thread... Back to my cave.
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Old 10-17-2009, 05:58 PM   #257
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
A man has visited my dojo and is interested in practicing. His religion prohibits him from touching a woman who is not his wife. My dojo is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization, and thus may not discriminate based on religion.

Has anyone else faced this issue? Any suggestions?
Tell him not to train at your place.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:17 AM   #258
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Thumbs down Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Tell him not to train at your place.
Yessss!! That's the solution, Sensei ! And then tell him to go back to his cave.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:39 AM   #259
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Straight Face Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
The Sensei has to make a decision, is he interested in accepting all interested students, or is he going to discriminate against those for whom the Dojo rules must change?

Any decision is legitimate. But please, be honest, if you insist a student must transgress basic rules of his religion, you may as well ask him to change religion. This type of requirement is discriminatory.

I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam due to your living and being brought up in a Protestant Christian environment (or a secular post Protestant Christian environment). I do not know of equivalent fundamental rules in Christianity. Though I am sure there are some. Growing in a secular post Jewish community, I find a huge distinction between the Orthodox Judaism concept of opposite sexes segregation and discrimination against women.

This might be the legal side. Yet, this is discriminatory in the moral sense.

True, but are all the rules equally important?

Sorry, but this example is misleading. You compare a person with no respect to tradition, to a person who follows one tradition and is interested in practicing and honoring another.

I agree, this does make a poor training environment. Yet, not traveling and not turning the lights on one day a week seems much more harmful of life quality, and religious Jews do it one full day (>24 hours) every week.

The difference is the matter of cause\motive. If one is dismissive of other peoples, and a racist, you are right. But if one only follows his religion, and is willing to do the most his religion allows him to, it is not the same.

WE respect Japanese tradition while practicing Aikido, are we bound to disrespect any other tradition (most of which pre-date Aikido by many hundreds of years)? Can one not find a way to respect both?

Ahmed never said men and women are not equal, this is your interpretation.
I do not know his explanation (the Islamic one), but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy, and her honor should therefore be kept inside.
Ahmed (and many religious Islamic and Jews) may train with women -- these are the rules of his religion -- you can either accept him or discriminate against him, period.
Actually Religious Jews are only allowed to touch women, after both have gone to purify in the Mikve (special water pool), are you willing to create on in your dojo and ask all women and men to go there prior to training?

Amir
So then, it's morally acceptable for the religion to be discriminatory, but not the art?
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:26 PM   #260
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
So then, it's morally acceptable for the religion to be discriminatory, but not the art?
Discriminatory is not the word when talking religion. It is when talking the art (unless you see Aikido as a religion).
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:26 PM   #261
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Thumbs down Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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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).
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.)
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:27 PM   #262
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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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?
Because a "religious person" doesn't discriminate based on gender. Just to follow the example along the thread, Judaism and Islam don't discriminate against women. Read the Torah and the Al Quram? Read the Bible? What's the difference in them? It is the people who discriminate, not the religion. The people's misinterpretation of the doctrines is who discriminate. The "ad pedem litterae" thingy.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
What of the religious rights of the female half of the population?
What of them? Please, elaborate.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
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?
Because religion is a special category. You know, you cannot fight agains faith.

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
And, yes, some people do view Aikido as a religion. (Not me, however.)
Those are the dangers of mixing budo and religion. Is like mixing maths and religion or computer science and judo. There's no link between them. Oh, wait, I swear I read a book about the mathematical prove of God's existence... Uffff...
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:49 PM   #263
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Because a "religious person" doesn't discriminate based on gender. Just to follow the example along the thread, Judaism and Islam don't discriminate against women. Read the Torah and the Al Quram? Read the Bible? What's the difference in them? It is the people who discriminate, not the religion. The people's misinterpretation of the doctrines is who discriminate. The "ad pedem litterae" thingy.
The people whom this thread references will state, quite clearly, that it is against their religion to touch women. Not that they, personally, choose not to touch women, but that their religion forbids it.

Quote:
Because religion is a special category. You know, you cannot fight agains faith.
Why not? If someone wants to treat me as a second-class citizen, why should I care why they are doing it? A person's faith is absolutely their own until they start behaving in ways that have real-world consequences. When they start making claims about the physical world, their claims enter the realm of testing by science; when they start behaving in a way that impacts others, their behavior enters the realm of social or even legal regulation.

Freedom of speech means that you get to say what you want, not that you're free of the social consequences of what you've said; freedom of religion means that you get to believe what you want, not that you're free from the social consequences of your beliefs.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:40 AM   #264
Flintstone
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote: View Post
The people whom this thread references will state, quite clearly, that it is against their religion to touch women. Not that they, personally, choose not to touch women, but that their religion forbids it.
And the word for it is... "discrimination"?

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote: View Post
Why not? If someone wants to treat me as a second-class citizen, why should I care why they are doing it?
Second class what? Did you ever read the books I mentioned before? Or just talking prejudices?
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:47 PM   #265
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Due respect, but I'm not going to go out and buy and read a book in order to bolster someone else's argument on an internet forum. I have a stack of books literally three feet tall that I'm working on, and I feel no need to add to it for your sake. Try making the argument on your own rather than insisting that others pick up your indoctrination material.

Second class citizen? Yes. Treating someone else like they are too dirty to touch does 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.

Last edited by Lorien Lowe : 10-24-2009 at 11:59 PM. Reason: additional commentary added
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:56 AM   #266
Flintstone
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

It's amazing when people argument about hings they do not know about. You boast you did not read the books, and you try to discuss about it? Oh c'mon.

It's not the book, but the people. It's not the "doctrine", but the people. Mindless people are there in any religion, like there are mindless atheists and agnostics. Remark my words once again: it is the people, not the religion.

My indoctrination material? What are you talking about? Do you know me, my lady?

Too dirty to touch? Who told you that? Oh, maybe some stupid people? Or is it just your (once again) prejucides?

Demand? No. They don't demand. If they do, please, show them the way out. Most probably they "ask".

Pfffffff.........
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #267
akiy
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Please watch your tone, folks.

-- Jun

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Old 10-26-2009, 01:31 AM   #268
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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.

Fwiw:
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).

Last edited by Lorien Lowe : 10-26-2009 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:11 AM   #269
Abasan
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

For clarification:

2:222 is about a husband having intercourse with a menstruating wife. Don't do it because its not hygienic.

4:43 and 5:6 applies to not being able to Pray after amongst others having had sexual intercourse (this applies to both man and woman) until you have bath (hadath) to purify yourself.

So I don't see a valid argument about discrimination to women or not being able to touch women in practice. We certainly don't believe women have cooties. And here's a religion that frequently espouses that the door to heaven is under the mothers feet. When asked who is more noble, the Prophet answered 'your mother' thrice before 'your father'.

At the end of it all, some people believe in the material and the base value. Others have faith that God knows our true intentions. If you believe that in practice, touching women will illicit sexual connotations, then you are wise to prohibit that hidden desire. But if your intentions are noble and it hasn't cross your mind, why shouldn't you train with the opposite gender.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 10-26-2009, 03:32 AM   #270
Flintstone
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Thank you, Ahmad, for your input. What do these Suras have to do about discrimination to women or about that "second class" thingy?

When I say "read the book(s)" it's just to make you understand that "what mindless people do/say" is NOT the same that "Islam do/say". I'm sorry that you find my suggestion inappropiate or you belive that I do want to indoctrinate you. Nothing further from my intentions.

You have a lot of prejudices; that's fact. I touch women in keiko all the time, since my intentions are not sexual; and that IS the spirit of the Suras.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:28 AM   #271
Amir Krause
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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.

Quote:
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!

Quote:
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.)
Quote:
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).
Quote:
Lorien Lowe;243922
Second class citizen? Yes. Treating someone else like they are too dirty to touch [I
wrote:
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!

Quote:
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.

Fwiw:
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.

Amir
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:25 AM   #272
sorokod
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Ummm... I know a bit about Judaism
Quote:
. Then again, they are not second class citizens either.
One could probably have a very long argument about second, third or maybe some fractional class that women occupy in Judiasm.

As an non numeric illustration consider this: every Jewish male is required to give thanks to god every morning and in particular "Baruch atah…she lo asani isha." that is "Thank you god ... for not making me a woman".

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Old 10-26-2009, 11:13 AM   #273
Amir Krause
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
As an non numeric illustration consider this: every Jewish male is required to give thanks to god every morning and in particular "Baruch atah…she lo asani isha." that is "Thank you god ... for not making me a woman".
True, but I am not sure this should be considered as discriminatory, this is a recognition of reality : women lives were and still are more difficult, definitly true for 2,000 uears ago (when most prayers were set) and still true today This is a matter of intention. Note the women say "blessed he who made me as he wishes" (hope my translation is sufficient).

If you are looking for discrimination, you could note that women are disallowed from being a reliable witnesses (toghether with the fools and the blinds). There many other issues, just not of the top of my head right now

Amir
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:20 AM   #274
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

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True, but I am not sure this should be considered as discriminatory,
I'll leave it to the reader.

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Old 10-26-2009, 12:13 PM   #275
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Hi folks,

Request #5:

Hi folks,

I just wanted to step in and ask that the subject matter in this thread be focused on the matter of aikido students at an aikido dojo who have a religious prohibition against touching women.

If you feel the need to move this subject to a broader context outside of aikido, please take it to the Open Discussions forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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