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Old 06-02-2010, 02:40 PM   #26
Keith Larman
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
On a side note (if I'm not wrong and memory serves)... the current president or advisor to Aikikai Indonesia was a direct student of Osensei. He is also a muslim. And he didn't bow to shomen. Osensei did not berate him or throw him out for his 'unbudolike' behaviour...

Say what you will about japanese culture or beliefs or whatever, Osensei understood religion and faith. He did not discriminate against it.

Men... and their zeal...
No one said anything about berating anyone for not bowing to shomen. Or about throwing anyone out. And the original poster mentioned things beyond bowing (bowing I would personally be flexible on). They talked also of refusal to train with students of the opposite gender. Well, if someone wants to come and pay for private lessons in order to have classes done how they like, schedule permitting, I would be fine with that too. But I personally would not alter the schools schedule, essentially excluding one gender from classes solely to accommodate a group that had a problem with contact with the opposite sex. Classes are open to all students. If a student has a problem with who might get on the mat, they can choose to stay off the mat themselves. I would not restrict a student due to someone else's religious views.

My views and my views only...

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Old 06-02-2010, 02:43 PM   #27
Keith Larman
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Re: more religious issues

I'm reminded of an expression -- "Your freedom ends where my nose begins."

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Old 06-02-2010, 02:52 PM   #28
David Maidment
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
So let me get this straight. They are choosing not to train because part of the training is against their perceived religious convictions which prohibit interaction with other genders.
This really hits the nail on the head. Although the sensei may be saying "go away [insert X group here]" (though hopefully he isn't), it seems more like them choosing not to participate because they don't like a certain aspect of it. Which is fine. I think pottery would be great if it wasn't for all the damned mess. So I take it upon myself not to do it.

It puts you in mind of the kind of people who would sue a dairy farm because their allergies stop them drinking milk. No one is forcing you to do Aikido, so if you don't like what it involves then don't do it. Other activities such as work (which arguably is a daily requirement for life) then sure, make allowances for reasonable religious customs. But a hobby? Why would you choose to go out of your way to do something which is blasphemous to your religion?

Although... when God gives you lemons, you get a new god!

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
The way you train is adjusted to your beliefs, they want to train according to their beliefs.
Then surely what they want isn't what's on offer?

Let us not forget that most sensei give up their free time to teach us Aikido for nothing other than the pleasure of doing so. Martial arts (especially Aikido) are very much rooted in Japanese culture. To learn Aikido is to accept that you're learning and practicing East-Asian customs. That is what the instructor has chosen to teach. If you don't like it then find someone who's willing to teach you whatever it is exactly that meets your requirements, or play ball long enough to be that person yourself. Sensei doesn't have to keep coming every night; they could just as easily pack it in and teach no one, if their students think they know better about what constitutes Japanese customs. You simply cannot say that you want to learn something Japanese but not be okay with something as fundamentally Japanese as bowing.

My God, I wouldn't go into a Hindu temple upon my own volition and insist they let me read the Bible.

"Never escalate a battle unless forced to do so by your enemy" - Zordon
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:56 PM   #29
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
On a side note (if I'm not wrong and memory serves)... the current president or advisor to Aikikai Indonesia was a direct student of Osensei. He is also a muslim. And he didn't bow to shomen. Osensei did not berate him or throw him out for his 'unbudolike' behaviour...

Say what you will about japanese culture or beliefs or whatever, Osensei understood religion and faith. He did not discriminate against it.

Men... and their zeal...
Ahmad:

After WWII, O'Sensei pretty much came and went as he pleased, training when and how he wanted to. His son and some advisers were really in charge of running the dojo. Without the ability to ask him directly about how he would or did interpret and/or feel about someone not bowing to shomen is simply conjecture on our part. When you say that O'Sensei understood religion and faith and did not discriminate against it, what exactly are you basing this statement upon. I would assume that this is simply your assumption.

If those teachers asked that students follow particular rules in order to VOLUNTARILY train at that school, then so be it. The poster talked about what a wonderful school it was! Once again note that it was those people who did not want to abide by the dojo rules who sought to frame the school in a discriminatory manner. Why is it that these religious people seek to impose their standards on everybody else and cry wolf about discrimination when other people do not choose to live by those standards? I frankly have heard nothing to date that describes the teachers as anything less than sincere in leading a wonderful dojo.

The Rabbi of the temple that I use to belong to once asked my why my wife and I trained at a dojo on Friday nights, rather than attend services for the Sabbath. My response was, and remains simple. I go to the dojo to practice what religion preaches yet fails to live up to.

Marc Abrams
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #30
Hellis
Dojo: Ellis Schools of Traditional Aikido
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Re: more religious issues

For me Marc Abrams makes so many valid points that are too many to list... I faced this issue just a few years ago. A guy came into my dojo and after watching awhile said he was interested in joining, before I could answer him he said " I am not doing any bowing, Allah said we should bow to no man !! " I explained that we do not bow in submission but in mutual respect..he stated flatly that he would not bow....To cut the story short, I told him that I had been teaching for 50 years and no one comes in my dojo and tells me they will do whatever they want to do. Imagine a dojo where indvidual students do their own thing ? I personally escorted him
out of the dojo....I have good students of the same faith and there has never been an issue.....
Henry Ellis
www.british-aikido.com
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:03 PM   #31
Jonathan Guzzo
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Re: more religious issues

You know, I think something very important and special gets lost when we start down this road. Our art is handed down to us from new and old martial traditions that evolved in a very specific context. Anyone entering that context is going to be challenged, particularly if they insist that accommodations have to made for their preconceived notions, whether religious or cultural. Dave Lowry speaks to this very eloquently in an essay Moving Toward Stillness.

He says that true teachers, true sensei, will tell you that they can in no way accommodate your baggage. That, even if you have physical health issues that limit your ability to train, you have to try and put in the effort. I think the same goes for these cultural idiosyncrasies. If you're always accommodated, you're never challenged. And aikido, at its best challenges everything we know about how to respond to aggression and what constitutes violence. It challenges us to walk a very specific, very profound path with integrity and clarity.

So, if it were my dojo, you'd have to bow or you'd be out. You'd have to train with women or you'd be out. I'd apply to same rubric to people of any religion. You conform to the art. The art does not conform to you. And this is coming from a pinko civil libertarian.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:57 PM   #32
RED
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Re: more religious issues

I don't get the big deal. If you enter a private organization you are adhering to their rules and regulations. Who would visit a place that didn't a line with their personal beliefs, then demand the organization conform? Not logical, and very arrogant.

MM
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:16 PM   #33
Buck
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Re: more religious issues

What would happen if you go to a Muslim temple and not bow when you prayed. You stood erect with hands stretched out in the air, what would happen? There is a certain level of respect people have to understand.

A student may not bow because he is Jewish, Christian, or Muslim not bowing (to false idols) and O'Sensei may have allowed it, but that doesn't reflect upon his opinion. Bowing is a sign of respect, just as a hand shake. There allot behind a bow, a show of civility, respect, etc. In fact non-Asians, such as the English have employed bowing as a greeting and show of respect. Bowing is a not verbal communication of respect, civility, and good sportsmanship and friendship, in context to the object being bowed to. If you don't bow that agreement of behavior and attitude you are sending a message not of peace but of war.

I see bowing no different than a handshake, and in my book if you don't do either you are saying you will not respect me, be friendly, courteous, a gentlemen or a lady, etc. I don't want to train with those kind of people or have them in the dojo. They are not interested in Aikido's message of peace.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:22 PM   #34
jss
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Re: more religious issues

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Although... when God gives you lemons, you get a new god!
Or...
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:56 PM   #35
RED
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Re: more religious issues

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David Maidment wrote: View Post
Although... when God gives you lemons, you get a new god!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-3qncy5Qfk

MM
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:03 PM   #36
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: more religious issues

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
What would happen if you go to a Muslim temple and not bow when you prayed. You stood erect with hands stretched out in the air, what would happen?

Nothing would happen. If you're not Muslim, then you would not be expected to pray along with the worshippers.

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Old 06-03-2010, 12:45 AM   #37
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: more religious issues

Nafis,

You left out the next line about having respect for the environment you're in and that's the key. I wouldn't expect anything to happen to a person visiting a mosque and not praying the first time, but I don't think the individual would be welcome there more than once if he continued with that behavior. Of course I don't understand why one would visit someone else's house of worship and then try to maintain his own religious practices there.

There are rules in every organization that must be followed to be a part of that group. I can't enter the Morman Temple in Salt Lake City and I can't visit the holy city of Mecca since I don't follow either faith. While I'd like to do both, I'm not willing to convert to either religion for the privilege. I'm not offended and don't feel that I'm being discriminated against. I'm sure that I would be welcome if I were willing to convert. This isn't the same as the dojo situation that started this thread, but awfully similar in nature.

We bow to each other, we train with everyone present without regard to their sex, their sexual orientation, their race, their national origin, their politics, or their religion. Heck, we'll even train with BJJ guys - and you know how THEY are. Seriously, we are inclusive and if you don't wish to share that inclusive spirit, train somewhere more to your liking. We don't have to be disagreeable or antagonistic.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:22 AM   #38
Janet Rosen
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Heck, we'll even train with BJJ guys - and you know how THEY are. .
Oh, man....do we HAVE to ??? ;-)

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:26 AM   #39
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
Nafis,

You left out the next line about having respect for the environment you're in and that's the key. I wouldn't expect anything to happen to a person visiting a mosque and not praying the first time, but I don't think the individual would be welcome there more than once if he continued with that behavior. Of course I don't understand why one would visit someone else's house of worship and then try to maintain his own religious practices there.

There are rules in every organization that must be followed to be a part of that group. I can't enter the Morman Temple in Salt Lake City and I can't visit the holy city of Mecca since I don't follow either faith. While I'd like to do both, I'm not willing to convert to either religion for the privilege. I'm not offended and don't feel that I'm being discriminated against. I'm sure that I would be welcome if I were willing to convert. This isn't the same as the dojo situation that started this thread, but awfully similar in nature.

We bow to each other, we train with everyone present without regard to their sex, their sexual orientation, their race, their national origin, their politics, or their religion. Heck, we'll even train with BJJ guys - and you know how THEY are. Seriously, we are inclusive and if you don't wish to share that inclusive spirit, train somewhere more to your liking. We don't have to be disagreeable or antagonistic.

I can respect your opinion, but why is this subject such a big deal? Accomodating someone's religious preferences is not the same as changing the rules just for that one person. It really is not that big of a deal. And it really is something that is not hard to do.

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Old 06-03-2010, 02:06 AM   #40
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: more religious issues

I'll grant that a dojo can make accomodations for an individual - we do that all the time. We have people who can't perform suwari waza because of bad knees and so forth. The bowing to the shomen at the start and end of class is another simple example. I've seen people who didn't and that wasn't a problem. Where this becomes a big deal to me is when an individual won't train with other dojo members on the basis of gender. That's where the world becomes a damned slippery slope in my estimation - if I'm a fundamentalist Christian, would it be acceptable to refuse to train with a gay or lesbian member? An unreconstructed southerner who refuses to train with african-americans? A conservative Republican who refuses to train with a leftie anarchist? My answer is simply no, it isn't acceptable and is discrimination in any of those cases. I would choose not to be a member of a dojo that allowed or encouraged that kind of conduct. In the same manner, those who are adamant about their beliefs to the contrary can choose to train somewhere where they can maintain the integrity of their beliefs. I think we can treat each other with respect and can live very well on either side of the threshold to a dojo not of our liking.

This reminds me of an old friend, a Marine staff sergeant, who once said "I went to Vietnam to support your right to spit on the American Flag and my right to salute it." I fully support Keith Larman's new religious practice to slaughter animals, but won't allow him to do so in my living room. I don't agree with his practices and won't allow my family or guests to be offended by his conduct in my home. Keith can choose not to visit me or choose to change his religious practices. He can tell his friends what a hard-headed jerk I am and he can even boycott my neighborhood. The choices are his to make.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:00 AM   #41
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
I'll grant that a dojo can make accomodations for an individual - we do that all the time. We have people who can't perform suwari waza because of bad knees and so forth. The bowing to the shomen at the start and end of class is another simple example. I've seen people who didn't and that wasn't a problem. Where this becomes a big deal to me is when an individual won't train with other dojo members on the basis of gender. That's where the world becomes a damned slippery slope in my estimation - if I'm a fundamentalist Christian, would it be acceptable to refuse to train with a gay or lesbian member? An unreconstructed southerner who refuses to train with african-americans? A conservative Republican who refuses to train with a leftie anarchist? My answer is simply no, it isn't acceptable and is discrimination in any of those cases. I would choose not to be a member of a dojo that allowed or encouraged that kind of conduct. In the same manner, those who are adamant about their beliefs to the contrary can choose to train somewhere where they can maintain the integrity of their beliefs. I think we can treat each other with respect and can live very well on either side of the threshold to a dojo not of our liking.

Some of your examples make no sense. Political and racial preferences are not the same thing as religious preferences. I amy not agree with your religion, but I would respect it. So if you were a practicing Christian and didn't want to practice with someone you knew was gay, then that would be your choice. Why? Just like gay people want to be treated like everyone else and respected as people and want you to respect their choice of lifestyle, then likewise, it is not unreasonable for them to do the same. Funny thing is, if men decided to open a dojo for men only, as to avoid such a problem as this, then someone else would have a problem with that.

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Old 06-03-2010, 03:13 AM   #42
Flintstone
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
Some of your examples make no sense. Political and racial preferences are not the same thing as religious preferences.
That's the point and it's what I say all the time. That's called "laicism" is as such is just another fundamentalism. They won't change their mind, Nafis.
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:54 AM   #43
Abasan
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Re: more religious issues

No, it wasn't conjecture. The student told me, he told Osensei that he wouldn't bow low because it's against his faith as he interpreted it and Osensei told him, that's ok.

Then, some other time, Osensei talked a lot about kami waza, spiritual stuff and etc etc... The student told him, that what Osensei taught sounded familiar and similar to what is taught in Islam. Then Osensei said...please excuse the paraphrase "Yes, you understand. And then pointing to the japanese students... but they don't".

Keith,

That's all I'm saying... bowing, its not the outward form that matters. Its the rei in our spirit that's more important. To exclude someone because of this... well that's shallow.

As for cross gender/cross sexual preference training. Training is training. To me that's the end of it. But honestly, its the dojo's right to discriminate against potentially harmful pairings. I.e. disease, bad intentions and etc.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Ahmad:

After WWII, O'Sensei pretty much came and went as he pleased, training when and how he wanted to. His son and some advisers were really in charge of running the dojo. Without the ability to ask him directly about how he would or did interpret and/or feel about someone not bowing to shomen is simply conjecture on our part. When you say that O'Sensei understood religion and faith and did not discriminate against it, what exactly are you basing this statement upon. I would assume that this is simply your assumption.

If those teachers asked that students follow particular rules in order to VOLUNTARILY train at that school, then so be it. The poster talked about what a wonderful school it was! Once again note that it was those people who did not want to abide by the dojo rules who sought to frame the school in a discriminatory manner. Why is it that these religious people seek to impose their standards on everybody else and cry wolf about discrimination when other people do not choose to live by those standards? I frankly have heard nothing to date that describes the teachers as anything less than sincere in leading a wonderful dojo.

The Rabbi of the temple that I use to belong to once asked my why my wife and I trained at a dojo on Friday nights, rather than attend services for the Sabbath. My response was, and remains simple. I go to the dojo to practice what religion preaches yet fails to live up to.

Marc Abrams

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 06-03-2010, 06:36 AM   #44
dps
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Re: more religious issues

These people who want to join a dojo but are not willing to practice with certain students due to whatever reason, are they okay if the rest of the students in the class decide to ignore them?

David
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:41 AM   #45
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: more religious issues

Ahmad:

O'Sensei was NOT in charge of running the dojo after WWII. O'Sensei seemed to be acknowledging that religious people can understand the spirituality that he was connected to. That is a FAR cry from explicit acceptance of Islamic practices (or any religious practices for that matter). Would you like to comment on what O'Sensei would say about child marriages, Jihad, floggings and some other distasteful practices common within the Islamic faith?

Being spiritual is entirely different from interpreting and enacting religious dogma that is discriminatory. The people who were/are running the dojo that was mentioned by this poster ran a "wonderful" dojo that explicitly required bowing to shomen and training with everybody regardless of gender.

About 1.5 years ago, a Muslim gentleman wanted to join my dojo. I made it a point to talk to him at length about the history behind bowing and the handshakes (which comes from the battlefields). I placed this in context of bowing to shomen, bowing to the teacher and bowing to each other as part of the practice in the cultural milieu of training at my school. This gentleman did not seem to have a problem with that. He did seem to have a problem with my also offering his wife the opportunity to train here as well. I went on to explain that women did train at my dojo and that my wife was the assistant instructor. He chose not to join my school. I did not discriminate against him and he did not discriminate against me. Neither one of us (to the best of my knowledge) felt bad, wronged or insulted by the actions or inactions of the other person. The US is a wonderful country in which tolerance and acceptance of differences are encouraged (sadly not enough!). In many countries of the world that are dominated/run by a fundamentalist religious belief, this openness does not exist. That is why I speak of the gross hypocrisy that these religious people engage in when they accuse societies and people of discriminating against them, while knowing that they would never reciprocate in kind.

Marc Abrams

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
No, it wasn't conjecture. The student told me, he told Osensei that he wouldn't bow low because it's against his faith as he interpreted it and Osensei told him, that's ok.

Then, some other time, Osensei talked a lot about kami waza, spiritual stuff and etc etc... The student told him, that what Osensei taught sounded familiar and similar to what is taught in Islam. Then Osensei said...please excuse the paraphrase "Yes, you understand. And then pointing to the japanese students... but they don't".

Keith,

That's all I'm saying... bowing, its not the outward form that matters. Its the rei in our spirit that's more important. To exclude someone because of this... well that's shallow.

As for cross gender/cross sexual preference training. Training is training. To me that's the end of it. But honestly, its the dojo's right to discriminate against potentially harmful pairings. I.e. disease, bad intentions and etc.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:37 AM   #46
Keith Larman
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Keith,

That's all I'm saying... bowing, its not the outward form that matters. Its the rei in our spirit that's more important. To exclude someone because of this... well that's shallow.
Gee, thanks for that, but I've been called worse. If you read what I've written that isn't what I said. I think I was quite clear in my posts above differentiating among a series of issues. Adherence to Rei is a issue that varies from location to location. Some are more flexible than others. And we can disagree over what is "reasonable", but... It is *still* the sole decision of the individual sensei. It would be nice if people would be more flexible about things, especially given what you said about the spirit above. However, that is the choice of the person running the dojo.

But... If a person says they can't train with women, well, they may need to find somewhere else to train. Or else they can pay to have their own private classes. If there is no time/desire to offer up private classes to accommodate someone's particular needs then those needs may not be meant. That is not discriminatory. Discriminatory in *my* world is refusing to work with women. That means I'd be offering classes that women cannot attend solely due to their gender. And that is morally reprehensible to *my* sensibilities. Often we are faced with competing moral issues. Why should I have to bend to accommodate your moral beliefs when you refuse to do the same?

So, turning this around, how shallow is someone who thinks it is somehow wrong for me to refuse to discriminate against my women students, colleagues and friends? I should tell them they can't train in classes I teach just because someone else might have an issue? Just because they're women? Talk about shallow.

This is the point I think most of us are trying to get at. There *is* a conflict here between two ideologies. Some religions have rather strict prohibitions on certain things. I'm fine with that. I won't ask someone else to change their religion to train. But I also won't change the training to fit their religion *if* that change involves something I find morally reprehensible. At least have the courtesy to treat convictions against sexual discrimination with the same respect as you are demanding for those with convictions against training with women.

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Old 06-03-2010, 09:38 AM   #47
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: more religious issues

I find I now agree with both Nafis and Alejandro. Political and racial preferences are not the same as religious preferences, and what I espouse IS liaicism. The effect of political, racial and religious preferences is the same on the excluded however. And I choose to live in a secular society rather than in a theocracy - admittedly I was born and raised in a secular world and knew no better, but now that I am adult it is a matter of choice.

I have no real problem with a religious based all-male dojo or an all-female dojo as long as it is a private organization and not operated with tax dollars or with government sanction.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:59 AM   #48
Chris Covington
 
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Re: more religious issues

When people come into my dojo (well the dojo I rent... it's mine while I'm there) they follow the rules I have or they leave. It is very simple. If someone doesn't like the rules I have, go somewhere else. I don't care why you won't follow the rules I have. That is between you and whoever. My rules are between you and me. No one is forcing anyone to train with me. I don't charge anything when I teach, hell, it costs me money to rent the space. If you don't like it you can get your money back

Just like many people here I don't want Keith killing a baby seal in my living room. If God tells him to do it, God needs to send carpet cleaners, too.

Chris Covington
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Old 06-03-2010, 10:05 AM   #49
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Malaysia
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Re: more religious issues

Keith,

What I meant was, I agree with what you said earlier. The fact is, bowing is meaningless without the spirit behind it. I subscribe to the need for mixed gender training. When I said shallow, I meant disallowing someone to practice in the dojo because they won't bow.

Marc,

Well I've no idea what Osensei would have said about those things you pointed out about Islam. Mainly because its apparent that you're intent on focusing on negativity without context. (edit: Though, if I'm reading you wrong then I sincerely apologise, you know how it is when reading posts without facial, tonal and body language indicators.). Similarly, I won't be able to think what Osensei would have said about the Jews killing unarmed activists on aid boats, manhandling old men, women and child, sexually abusing children in prison and the other stuff going about right now... I see both points as being nothing relevant to the religion of Islam or Judaism and I don't think Osensei would see its relevance to his spiritual pursuit either way.

Last edited by Abasan : 06-03-2010 at 10:08 AM.

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Old 06-03-2010, 10:18 AM   #50
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,828
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Re: more religious issues

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
I can respect your opinion, but why is this subject such a big deal?
It's a big deal when (as in the example that began this thread) accommodating someone's religious beliefs means denying access to another student. If you step onto the mat, you must train with all students, not just students of your gender. If you refuse to train with students of the opposite gender, and that refusal is accommodated, you are depriving those students of practice partners, others as well as yourself.

Use a simple example: Bob wants to join a dojo. Because of his religious beliefs, Bob will not train with women. He steps onto the mat with Jeff, Steve and Ann. Not only can Ann not train with Bob, but she also is deprived of practicing with whoever Bob is paired up with because he "needs" this special accommodation. If the class consists only of Bob, Jeff and Ann, what then? Jeff is okay training with everyone. Ann is okay training with everyone. Bob insists that he will only train with Jeff. Should Ann have to sit out so that Bob's beliefs can be accommodated?

Insisting on accommodations like this is the kind of big-elbows, "you're not letting me practice my religion" behavior that gives religion a truly deserved bad name.
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