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Old 12-14-2002, 03:02 PM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
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chasing away the mormons, the baptists, etc.

Three young ladies who were sent out into the neighborhood of Barnegat, going door to door to testify to the glory of god just got blown off with one of my lessons of God is the Universe, not the writings of men who will be here and gone, while the universe goes on.

I tried to be somewhat polite, but after years of having various wide eyed stupid wandering children sent out to testify for their church or religion, I pretty much have had enough.

Not very Aiki, was it?

Since this thread is lying here dead, what you do when these wide eyed empty headed testifiers come to your door?

I really would like all of you who wrap yourselves in that blanket of religion to wake up to the fact that we are all trying to describe what our purpose is in this life, this universe, while trying to come to terms with death.

That is the short of it.

The real long hard question is ... how can we come to terms with our religion, and our lives, and still provide the lessons of what we should be, our children should be to understand our small existence in this universe?

In terms of balancing our Aikido, balancing our lives with religion, lessons learned ... should we blow off these wandering crazys, or let the dog chase them off as most dog's instincts are as right as they are wrong ... or something more Aiki?

I go with my instincts, but I would like to hear some other ways to deal with it.

Might be a more aiki solution than mine out there.

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 12-14-2002 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-14-2002, 05:03 PM   #2
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
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Try this:

"No Thank you!"

The "Aiki" way is respect for others, and there is also this thing called "freedom of speach!" ...

... "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend your right to say it!"

Don't worry about what others say. Worry when they are not allowed to say it!

Osu!
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Old 12-14-2002, 09:42 PM   #3
Arianah
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You know, I sometimes wonder if (and hope that) you're kidding when you say some of the things you do.

I don't have a religion, but your post still knotted my stomach (and I very rarely get truly offended). I don't believe in "religion." But I do believe in the divine/god/universal, the essence/soul/self, and that there is a connection between the two. I don't have a religion, but I do study any and every religion I can, and take the tenets I think are meaningful and apply them to my own philosophy. I see religion as a guide, a structure for those that wish to have it; a way to connect to the divine, making the spiritual meaningful to we who cannot understand it. If you don't need that guide to connect, then good. Fine. However, that does not mean that what you think you know is correct, and what "they" (insert your own "they" of choice here) think they know is incorrect. You don't have the answers, they don't have them, I don't have them. That is the curse of mortal existence: ignorance of anything but that mortal existence.

On my way to work, I pass by a library, outside of which, I have seen many times a sad, frightened looking woman who passes out tiny pamphlets, while a confident old man preaches. I pass by with a smile for both of them, and a very polite "no thank you" to the pamphlets, having taking it and skimming it once. I even stopped and listened to the man when I was particularly early for work one day. What he had to say didn't interest me. I smiled at him (since I was the only one who had stopped, so he was preaching directly to me) and went on my way. Some of the things he was saying were pretty out there, so what did I do? How did I deal with them? I moved on. If people come to my door, I take their literature, say that I'll read it and that if I feel that it is something that interests me, I'll follow up on it. They leave me with a smile; a sense of accomplishment. Whether or not I show up at their church doesn't matter to them. They were probably just happy not to have someone yell at them and slam the door in their face.

So next time those "wandering crazies" come to your door, maybe chat with them. Learn something from them, even if it is just that their approach is not for you. How do you know that they aren't the ones who really have all the answers?

Sarah, serious this time

Last edited by Arianah : 12-14-2002 at 09:50 PM.

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 12-14-2002, 11:20 PM   #4
Kevin Wilbanks
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I just don't answer the door. I don't answer telemarketer calls either, or, if I answer, I hang up the instant I'm certain it's a solicitor, and put the event out of my mind as soon as possible. My response is to waste as little time, energy, and thought as possible on parasites of all types.

I usually don't agree with Bruce, or even read more than about 10% of his meandering posts, but I think both of you others are off your nut. I don't see how anyone can see intrusion upon one's property and time to proselytize and challenge one's deepest and most personal values as anything but an affront.

It has nothing to do with the constitution or free speech - no one has suggested banning them or putting them in jail.

I also don't see how some wishy-washy relativistic philosophy excuses this kind of behavior. Although, if you choose to believe in relativism to such an extreme that you don't even believe what you believe strongly enough to act upon it, I suppose that's your business, but it seems like a pretty limp way to live. In fact, the extremely "relative", subjective, and personal nature of the beliefs and values they are coming around and sticking their noses into is precisely why most find their agressive prosyletizing is offensive.

On the other hand, if the people are coming to your door simply to invite you to church, and nothing more, I see no reason to be rude. Then again, I see no reason to pay attention to them either.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 12-14-2002 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 12-15-2002, 12:18 AM   #5
Williamross77
 
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I being Catholic have always been extra scowerd by the Jehova witnesses, at which point my AIki source assumes control of by being and I simple state, "your absolutely right about everything, you better get to my neighbors' house quick, they are all going to hell!"

then i jiggle like a child as they scurrey off down the street with the water i offered them...

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 12-15-2002, 08:44 AM   #6
Arianah
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
... but I think both of you others are off your nut.
Um...
Quote:
I also don't see how some wishy-washy relativistic philosophy excuses this kind of behavior.
Er...
Quote:
Although, if you choose to believe in relativism to such an extreme that you don't even believe what you believe strongly enough to act upon it, I suppose that's your business, but it seems like a pretty limp way to live.
Now just a minute. I may sound like a reincarnation of Protagoras, but I just can't believe that you can know with certainty the truth about everything in the afterlife (if you even believe in such) or god/the divine/the universal (all right, I'm not typing that out again. From now on it's "god"). We deduce things by applying what we know to an unknown to try to figure the unknown out. We apply what we know of the physical world (erm, I think I'm starting to sound a little too newagey, but bear with me) to the spiritual world. However, you can't really apply your knowledge of peeling an orange to learn how to play the piano. If we only understand the material world, and if the spiritual world is completely different, then how can we hope to know anything about it, since we've only experienced the physical world? I mean, we haven't even figured out much of this world. *shrug*

It seems pretty arrogant to think that you've got it all figured out while everyone else is simply a parasite. Those who go door to door to talk about their beliefs aren't like solicitors. Solicitors get paid for calling you up; they get commissions on everything they sell when they come to your door. People who talk to you about religion believe that they are "saving" you. Yeah, that's a pretty arrogant mindset, too. No wonder it's so offensive to you. How dare they think that they know everything, and tell you that your beliefs are wrong (or wishy-washy and limp, if you prefer )

To address this in particular:
Quote:
… that you don't even believe what you believe strongly enough to act upon it…
Act upon it? What would you have me do? Run out to my door with a shotgun and chase them down the road screaming, "Even though I think truth is relative and beliefs are personal, because you don't agree with that I'm going to slit you from groin to gullet! Get out! Get out! GET OUT!" Doesn't seem very in line with my beliefs, now does it?
Quote:
I don't see how anyone can see intrusion upon one's property and time to proselytize and challenge one's deepest and most personal values as anything but an affront.
Hmm... ok. I was once friends with a Jehovah's Witness, who was very intent on his beliefs, and argued very well. I used to battle with him constantly on the subject of religion (I was born into Christianity, so that's what I was at the time). He would always win because he argued well and I was not secure in my beliefs at the time. A few years later, when my ideas on relgion and spirituality had changed, I ran into him. We started talking and one of our old battles flared up again. I had asked him who he was going to vote for, and he told me that Jehovah's Witnesses didn't believe in voting, because if they choose a politician, and s/he starts a war, let's say, the voters would be responsible for every death in that war. He argued it well, and I simply listened to him. He finally said, "Do you agree?" And I said, "I don't agree, but I see what you're saying." He had nothing more to say to me about it, because I had seen his point, and it had just not been for me. That was the only argument he hadn't "won" with me, and it is because you can't fight with someone who has respectfully listened to you, and simply disagreed. Hint...

Sarah, who's got to stop responding to threads, because it takes so damn long

Out of clutter, find simplicity.
From discord, find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.
-Albert Einstein
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Old 12-15-2002, 09:20 AM   #7
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Sarah Fowler (Arianah) wrote:
It seems pretty arrogant to think that you've got it all figured out while everyone else is simply a parasite. Those who go door to door to talk about their beliefs aren't like solicitors...
I disagree. What makes the proselytizers parasites is not whether they are correct or incorrect, but the fact that they are making uninvited intrusions on a person's time, property, energy, and, most heinously, their privacy. The subject of religion is more private and sensitive for most folk than discussion of their own genitalia. How would you like it if people banged on your door and started challenging your sexual practices or tried very hard to convince you to pierce your clitoris?

The fact that they don't get paid in money doesn't exempt them from solicitor status. They think they are earning brownie points with God or whomever, which is a currency of sorts. Moreover, they get 'paid' in terms enriching their own sense of righteousness, which is something I definitely don't want to contribute to.
Quote:
Sarah Fowler (Arianah) wrote:
Act upon it? What would you have me do? Run out to my door with a shotgun and chase them down the road screaming, "Even though I think truth is relative and beliefs are personal, because you don't agree with that I'm going to slit you from groin to gullet! Get out! Get out! GET OUT!" Doesn't seem very in line with my beliefs, now does it?
I think you could take an active role in not letting them suck up any of your time and energy. I do. (Except this conversation, of course... DOHH!)

I agree that there are no certain answers to questions about dieties and alternate planes of existence - which is why I find most of what religion is about simply irrelevant to my life. Lack of certainty about such things doesn't imply that people with other points of view are entitled to my time and attention. If they come around demanding it, they will get little from me in the way of consideration.
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Old 12-15-2002, 10:21 AM   #8
SeiserL
 
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I actually have a small sign in my window that says, "Please, no solitictors or handbills, thank you." Works quite nicely. To the rest I just say, "no thanks".

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-15-2002, 10:28 AM   #9
akiy
 
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Hi folks,

Please keep it civil here.

Despite the fact that this is the "Open Discussions" forum, please keep from inciting each other into divisiveness. We've already had people leave over such things in the "Open Discussions" forum and I'd rather not have such repeated.

As always, the first rule of the AikiWeb Forums is, "Treat your fellow AikiWeb Forums members with respect."

Thank you.

-- Jun

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Old 12-15-2002, 02:31 PM   #10
Brian H
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I can be a very out going person, but I agree completely with Kevin's assessment of the privacy of religious and sexual matters. I rarely will discuss either topic, even with the closest of friends. I also do not like any intrusion into my personal space and will go to great lengths to maintain my privacy in most matters.

That being said, I treat those who come to me with the sole interest in saving my soul with respect. A simple "Thank you for your time, but I am very busy," is not to much.

I must confess to answering the door in my police uniform, as I was getting ready for work, and telling a group, "This guy is going to be very busy for the next twenty years. If you have a prison ministry, I will give him your card." They declined and took off.

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing
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Old 12-15-2002, 02:44 PM   #11
siwilson
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No-one should condone invasions of privacy, but no-one should invade anyones right to their opinion -- misguided or not!

Osu!
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Old 12-15-2002, 04:56 PM   #12
Jim ashby
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Anyone who comes to my door wishing to inflict his/her world view on me is a waste of oxygen. I tend not to spend time with people who are trying to get me to believe in their imaginary friend.

Have fun

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 12-16-2002, 07:46 AM   #13
Kevin Masters
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Answer the door in your underpants and chainmaile shirt.

Make eye-contact.

Insist that they are "transmitting".

Back away slowly and close the door.

They haven't been back since!

I have a worse problem with my mailman. He comes almost every dang day. He leaves me bills, drops a spent fag off in my yard, and leaves tire tracks in my grass. The God of the Mailman is way eviler.
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Old 12-16-2002, 10:56 PM   #14
Bronson
 
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Once while I was at a friends house some Jehova's Witnesses came a'knockin'. My friends father, a devout catholic, politely explained to them that he would be more than willing to listen to them, attentively and without interruption if they would then give him equal time and the same courtesy. They politely said "no thank-you" and walked away.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 12-17-2002, 08:11 AM   #15
Bruce Baker
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Am I kidding? Maybe.

Dear Sarah,

Am I kidding? Mostly.

Life is as real as the ironys of life's situations, and although there is comedy in life, so too the pathos of life's drama turns to irony as we try to make sense of it.

The dark humor of breaking some fingers when they toot the horn, but not their legs so they can still push the pedals of the automobile to get to work, are funny when said in jest and yet sad when played out in real life. That knot in your stomach is your own failings to come to grips with things in your mind that you have to deal with, but are afraid to. Once you do, that knot will disappear, and you will see the practical reality as well as the comedy for situations in life.

My wife tells me to behave all the time. I am just a bear who growls, but that is instinct not the actions of the bear. School of hard knocks and all that.

As far as poor little wandering Mormons ... if I had dressed in the fine clothes these three young women were dressed in with more than adequete thickness to endure the weather, I would be put in jail as a traveling salesman soliciting door to door.

They were neither poor, nor uneducated, but sent door to door to be educated in the school of hard knocks. What they didn't expect was to be told they were being told the partial truth of despots, and crazys who wanted them to be sheep, when the answer to what they were seeking was their existence of life, and lessons we are to learn from the world around us, translated as life's lessons in the universe, not the universe bent to learn from us or be imposed upon by our will to change the universe.

Lood outside. Observe how humanity trys to bend the universe to their will, and yet that little blade of grass grows in the cracks of the sidewalk ... what's up with that?

It means ... we are transitory, our religion, our lives, our very race is but a wink in the eye of the universe, but it is a piece of life in the universe so in that context we are the life of the universe for that wink of an eye, its power for energy.

Humanity creates its own religions, not a bad thing, it creates continuity in social structure, calms the mind, creates peace ... mostly.

Chase away the poor little babbling mormons? That is exactly what was supposed to happen. In most cases that was the planned strategy of who sent them out to testify so that when they get back to the fold they can feel all warm and fuzzy about being the chosen few who will live forever in their religious closness to their God.

Ow! Now I am giving myself a knot in my own stomach. That kind of thinking is narrow, the creation of men seeking power.

Aikido teaches us to find the harmony of the universe. The peace within the disharmony.

Well, before you can do that, you have to understand how you are manipulated, if you like being part of that kind of thinking, don't think, don't rock the boat. Stay where you are and do what you can do to be in or out of those particular clubs. Churches are clubs, aren't they? Never mind.

Within the teachings of your Christianity, find the origins of the teachings, becoming closer to the One God, how it changes over the centurys as men redefine those teachings, and what is goal of humanity in trying to find the best of our moral consciousness for society.

Once you get that house in order, then talking to the babbling idiots on the street is much clearer in the context of their own mental problems, physical situation, and what you can do with either a kind word, or disgruntled word to continue the precepts set up within your society of maintain social order.

Disharmony create order?

Sometimes disharmony is the harmony of a situation, or the resolution to a situation. Hopefully you will learn when to use it or not with finding the harmony of disharmony in Aikido practice.

Take a look at practice some time. Sit and watch two weeks instead of physically practicing. Take notes on the interaction, the resolutions to harmony through disharmony, the methods to resolve variations in practice. See if it doesn't enlighten you to the same scenarios in your everyday life?

Am I kidding? You profess to "GET" Aikido. Well, how about its social teachings for handling interactions beyond a physical level also?

Them mormon's got more money than you suspect, and they keep it that way too.

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 12-17-2002 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:22 PM   #16
Darrell Aquino
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I once heard someone say, "Never let your religion or anyone's religion get in the way of your relationship with God." Think about it.
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Old 12-19-2002, 04:02 PM   #17
udoka1
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just invite em in and tell them the sacrifice will begin shortly....lol. that will scare em away.
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Old 12-19-2002, 11:02 PM   #18
warriorwoman
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chasing away the mormons, the baptists, etc.

This reminds me of an incident which occurred to me years ago when I was living in Thailand:

Some Thai friends asked me to participate in a fund-raising effort to repair the roof of a temple in a poorer village on the outskirts of the town where I lived at the time. Basically, you get a truck with a bunch of young guys playing drums, some pretty women and then anyone else who wants to participate and create a parade. As the parade progresses through the streets, the bystanders donate money in bowls carried by the paraders. As our "parade" progressed through the town, my friends spied a Western young man dressed in black slacks, white shirt, black tye and carrying a briefcase and asked me to go by and offer my bowl to him for a donation. When I went over, the guy looked at me with more hatred than I had experienced in a long time and said loathingly, "You should be ashamed of yourself!". When my Thai friends asked me what he said, I told them and they didn't understand his anger. I then realized this guy was one of the hundreds of Mormon missionaries that are given visas each year by the Thai government as guests in this Buddhist country and in effect, given permission to proselitize their own religion. I've thought about this incident many times since then and wondered what kind of respect this guy's religion was teaching him. Here was a guest who was not merely oblivious to the hospitality of his hosts by granting him permission to spread his propaganda, but who obviously was affronted by the suggestion that he might want to contribute to another religion. In the intervening years, I've used this incident to remind me that these misguided people aren't interested in a dialogue. They want merely for you to listen to them. To respect their religion. To hear what they have to say. But please, don't expect the same courtesy from them.

janet dtantirojanarat

www.warriorwoman.org

janet dtantirojanarat
www.warriorwoman.org
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Old 12-20-2002, 08:21 AM   #19
Kevin Wilbanks
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I wonder if that was a representative case of Mormonism (incidentally, I think they are all required to do missionary work). I've read a little about the history of Mormons, and they were definitely a hard, authoritarian bunch, but I think they've softened up some these days - the stories I've heard have been all over the map. My dad tells stories of Mormons he has known that portray them in an almost opposite light: generous, honest, trustworthy, and non-proselytizing to him, even after he told them he had no interest in converting. On the other hand, it wasn't too many years ago that they would routinely expel dissenters from their midst or even kill them. We had a Mormon kid in my high school who would get into a fist fight with anyone who said anything critical of his religion. Weird.
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Old 12-21-2002, 06:22 PM   #20
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Funny thing I have had a few mormon friends and they are wonderful people.

I don't particularly subscribe to their views and they can be fundamentalist, which I consider all forms of fundamentalism with a great deal of caution. It can be very dangerous.

Anyway, to answer Bruce's orginal question...

I agree with Janet's assessment above.

As a buddhist, I tend to not really feel threatened by anothers beliefs.

Basically I think they simply want to spread the joy and happiness that they feel to others.

While it can be sometimes annoying to be interrupted by a door bell or a telephone, in a way it is another chance to great another fellow human being who has found something that they are excited about and want to share.

Other than being anoying, what harm are they doing?

What is disappointing to me is when people use religion or dogma to put down other people or to oppress them with it. History is chocked full of examples of this. Fundamentalist can use religion as a tool to leverage and coerce people...that is wrong.

To me fundamentalism (following without thinking)...is just one step above cultism (following without questioning). both are dangerous and need to be checked.

In my philosophy, you should question everything you hear and know constantly...but you should also be compassionate and see the good in people as well...that means being tolerant of those that ring your door bell from time to time. Smile and say "no thank you".

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Old 12-22-2002, 03:40 PM   #21
Bruce Baker
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Wish I could smile and send them on their way, but I can't.

Learning about the origins of Mormons, their intent, their religious programs that seem to border upon fanatical... well ... I would rather hear the storys of how the angels guide their lives and watch over all people of the Mormon faith than have these kids walking the street.

Oh well.

I suspect they will continue their education until they start popping out the babys and being the good mothers of a new generation.

I guess it is time to write that thesis paper that prescibes the basis of religions and the ways we interpret religion from nature.

Better not ... bad idea. Don't want them coming to save me

How about some barbed wire, or a light sensitive alarm that comes on with movement and warns them off?

I kind of like the way my grandfather used to shoot dogs and wise acre kids with rock salt, but them days are gone... or are they?
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Old 12-22-2002, 06:01 PM   #22
JPT
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Take an extra 1/2 minute to answer the door, Cold callers, preachers, beggers, sales men (& trick or treaters ?), will all assume you are not in & wandered off onto the next door, but friends will keep on waiting.

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Old 12-23-2002, 09:38 AM   #23
Bruce Baker
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Very good Jay!

Of course, maybe some old mats out in the front yard or a tarp on the leaves will suffice to " .. . you tell me about your god, and I will show you Aikido .... is that a deal?"

Definitely a lot more fun than a moot argument about religion.
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Old 12-24-2002, 10:00 AM   #24
jeda
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I'm mormon. Does anyone have a problem with me?
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Old 12-24-2002, 10:13 AM   #25
Williamross77
 
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Great to have you here, I love the diversity!

I don't have a problem with you and i am sure that the above descriptions were anologies not directly intended towards the average religious person of any faith, keep comming back., i love your signiture "the other guys" that's great!

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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