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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 06 Apr 2018, 07:53 
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I think the main point of the scene was to show Kathie that the CS girls were all deep thinkers, and that the school was therefore infinitely superior to the one she'd gone to, where the girls talked about usual teenage girl stuff (and which sounds like much more fun, especially as the dance was so good that Kathie refused to go home when she had a nosebleed!), rather than to make a point about Mary-Lou's piety, but it doesn't quite come across like that.

Also, doesn't Mary-Lou pray for inspiration before telling Margot off? And go to church to pray for inspiration before butting in with Joan? We never see Gisela or anyone else doing that. Maybe they did, but it isn't mentioned. Jo does offer to pray for Juliet and Donal to kiss and make up, but praying for someone who's ill or having a bad time is a more generally done thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 06 Apr 2018, 19:53 
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Alison H wrote:
Jo does offer to pray for Juliet and Donal to kiss and make up, but praying for someone who's ill or having a bad time is a more generally done thing.

Perhaps so, Alison, but for many of us, turning to the Lord for help and answers each and every day, even every moment, is quite normal and natural. Not in a pi way, but because I need His strength and His peace.

'I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.' (Phillipians4:13)

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2018, 12:27 
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MaryR wrote:
Alison H wrote:
Jo does offer to pray for Juliet and Donal to kiss and make up, but praying for someone who's ill or having a bad time is a more generally done thing.

Perhaps so, Alison, but for many of us, turning to the Lord for help and answers each and every day, even every moment, is quite normal and natural. Not in a pi way, but because I need His strength and His peace.

'I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.' (Phillipians4:13)


I completely agree with Mary on this one, although sadly in today's increasingly secular world, it's becoming less common. Living on my own, I often ask the Lord to help me find things I've mislaid, two recent examples, which both received unexpected but accurate* answers within a short time, are the charger for my old mobile and only this morning the SIM card for my (very new) smartphone.

*By this I mean that in both cases they were in places which came into my mind, but I would not have thought of myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 04:47 
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My parents say grace before meals and sometimes, at a restaurant, the waiter is coming back with another dish or he has a question, and it's quite amusing to see the taken aback look on their face as they try to decide whether to interrupt.

Alison H wrote:
Jo does offer to pray for Juliet and Donal to kiss and make up, but praying for someone who's ill or having a bad time is a more generally done thing.


My mother says that a lot - "I'll pray for you" and she found out the hard way that some people get offended or upset by that comment.

It comes from a good place and most people accept that, but one person said to her "Why? I didn't ask you to" and she was left dumbfounded.

I guess it's the same feeling when politicians tweet out 'thoughts and prayers" following horrific happenings like school shootings and it's seen as at best, meaningless, and at worst, hypocritical.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 07:59 
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That scene between Jo and Juliet is so lovely, though. The CS isn't an Angela Brazil school where girls go around saying how much they love each other, and Jo isn't a soppy person, so for her to tell Juliet that she loves her, after hearing about Juliet's broken romance, shows how close they are. And Juliet's taken aback, because Jo - unlike various people in the later books - doesn't usually speak openly about religion, and the fact that she does on this occasion shows how important Juliet's happiness is to her.

The juxtaposition of the trip to Oberammergau and Juliet's heartbreak just works so well. Jo gets all romantic over it and goes on about how wonderful it must be to be part of it all, and Juliet points out that the people acting in the Play have their problems just like everyone else does. I can't think of anything in the later books that compares to that.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 14:20 
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Joyce wrote:
My parents say grace before meals and sometimes, at a restaurant, the waiter is coming back with another dish or he has a question, and it's quite amusing to see the taken aback look on their face as they try to decide whether to interrupt.

Alison H wrote:
Jo does offer to pray for Juliet and Donal to kiss and make up, but praying for someone who's ill or having a bad time is a more generally done thing.


My mother says that a lot - "I'll pray for you" and she found out the hard way that some people get offended or upset by that comment.

It comes from a good place and most people accept that, but one person said to her "Why? I didn't ask you to" and she was left dumbfounded.

I guess it's the same feeling when politicians tweet out 'thoughts and prayers" following horrific happenings like school shootings and it's seen as at best, meaningless, and at worst, hypocritical.


I think that person was very rude to your mother! They should have accepted her comment in the spirit in which she meant it, as a kind and thoughtful gesture, rather than rebuff her like that. I'm not particularly religious and am quite uncomfortable with public displays and declarations of faith, but I thank people who tell me they'll pray for me because their intentions are good and that's all that matters.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 17:12 
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Although we know both Hilda and Nell have strong faiths I cannot recall any times where one or the other discusses that faith, or says something like I will pray for you. I may well be wrong of course but nothing is coming to mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2018, 17:48 
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Offhand, I remember them both demonstrating their faith in Highland Twins when Jack has supposedly drowned.

Hilda reads the story of Lazarus to Joey and Nell says that saying the rosary will do much more good than Fiona trying to "second sight".


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 02:28 
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mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
I think that person was very rude to your mother! They should have accepted her comment in the spirit in which she meant it, as a kind and thoughtful gesture, rather than rebuff her like that.


Thank you! Mum was quite upset because she does say it quite often to people (including me) and it does come from a good place.

I guess it says more about the person she said it to that she was unable to see the good intent behind the gesture.

But it honestly can be regarded as a meaningless thing to say rather than the person offering you some practical help.

For instance, if you were suddenly homeless and talking to a friend who has a massive house with five empty rooms and they offer to pray for you rather than offer you one of those rooms, you would think "ok then ..."

Which (taking it back to the CS) is why I like the way religion is portrayed.

The girls do pray for help before taking on a difficult task but they don't leave it at that. They then take action. So praying is seen as seeking help and comfort from God before proceeding, rather than "I'll leave it at that then."

The only time I have an issue with the praying in CS is when the girls pray enmasse for Leila. EBD then says "they got their reward" when Leila gets better.

God is not a jukebox, you don't ask and then automatically get. What if Leila had died or gotten worse? Does that mean all that praying was a waste of time? I hope not!

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 08:38 
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Joyce wrote:
mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
I think that person was very rude to your mother! They should have accepted her comment in the spirit in which she meant it, as a kind and thoughtful gesture, rather than rebuff her like that.


Thank you! Mum was quite upset because she does say it quite often to people (including me) and it does come from a good place.

I guess it says more about the person she said it to that she was unable to see the good intent behind the gesture.

But it honestly can be regarded as a meaningless thing to say rather than the person offering you some practical help.


I'm afraid I lean in the other direction, that I feel like offering prayers when they are neither wanted nor asked for may be a little tone-deaf. However I feel like this is a conversation topic best avoided as it is certain to lead to hurt feelings.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 11 Apr 2018, 09:44 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Offhand, I remember them both demonstrating their faith in Highland Twins when Jack has supposedly drowned.

Hilda reads the story of Lazarus to Joey and Nell says that saying the rosary will do much more good than Fiona trying to "second sight".


The second sight episode is interesting. There was a lot of interest in the supernatural in Victorian times, linked to the popularity of Gothic novels – think Jane Eyre "hearing" Mr Rochester calling her name, even though they were miles apart – and also to the revival of interest in folklore and tradition. Then, because of people being desperate to try to contact loved ones whom they'd had no chance to say goodbye to, there was a lot of interest in spiritualism in the inter-war period.

EBD was generally quite scathing of beliefs outside conventional religion, in the books, and Joey is used as a mouthpiece to call fortune telling "silly" (as a teenager) and to mock Len and Con for following superstitions (in one of the Swiss-era holiday books), but she obviously did have an interest in the supernatural, because it comes up in both Highland Twins and The Maids of La Rochelle. I try to be open-minded about things, because there are a lot of unexplained happenings, but I'm not convinced that it was appropriate to have a second sight storyline involving someone in such a vulnerable state (it's interesting that Madge and Jem weren't consulted, because I think they would have been so concerned lest Jo be given false hope, and also lest Fiona be upset, that they'd've said absolutely not), especially in the middle of the war when a lot of readers would also have had relatives and friends who were missing, presumed dead. It would've been better if Fiona had seen a fellow pupil who'd fallen and hurt herself, for example.

Anyway, to get back to the point :lol: , it's interesting because it's about the only time that we see Hilda and Nell have a significant disagreement: Nell feels that they shouldn't be meddling with the unknown, whereas Hilda thinks it's worth a try. And I think EBD got herself in a tangle with it, and ended up trying to merge the supernatural with conventional religion by Fiona "seeing" Jack alive but only whilst she was holding his rosary.

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2018, 20:22 
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Joyce wrote:
mynameisdumbnuts wrote:
I think that person was very rude to your mother! They should have accepted her comment in the spirit in which she meant it, as a kind and thoughtful gesture, rather than rebuff her like that.


Thank you! Mum was quite upset because she does say it quite often to people (including me) and it does come from a good place.

I guess it says more about the person she said it to that she was unable to see the good intent behind the gesture.

But it honestly can be regarded as a meaningless thing to say rather than the person offering you some practical help.

For instance, if you were suddenly homeless and talking to a friend who has a massive house with five empty rooms and they offer to pray for you rather than offer you one of those rooms, you would think "ok then ..."

Which (taking it back to the CS) is why I like the way religion is portrayed.

The girls do pray for help before taking on a difficult task but they don't leave it at that. They then take action. So praying is seen as seeking help and comfort from God before proceeding, rather than "I'll leave it at that then."

The only time I have an issue with the praying in CS is when the girls pray enmasse for Leila. EBD then says "they got their reward" when Leila gets better.

God is not a jukebox, you don't ask and then automatically get. What if Leila had died or gotten worse? Does that mean all that praying was a waste of time? I hope not!




While I don't think there's anything wrong with just saying you'll pray for someone and then going off and doing that privately, I read an article written by a woman with a disability who has had worse experiences: people ask if they can pray for her, or say that they will, and do it there and then, in public, out loud, praying for her to be cured. She then often finds that the same people are angry with her when they meet her again and see that she still has the disability - she must not have prayed/believed hard enough. Something like this is extremely rude and hurtful - I'm sure your mother has never even thought of it, but maybe that woman had encountered something similar and thought she might do it out loud?

I suppose it comes down to considering how you would feel if someone offered to pray to a deity other than yours for you - would you be comfortable with that? Someone who wouldn't probably shouldn't be offering to pray for other people. Everyone else is probably fine. And yes, practical help should also be offered, if possible!


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2018, 21:33 
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I don't mind praying for friends who do believe in G-d, Jewish or otherwise, but I'm not comfortable doing it for atheist friends because I don't think they'd be OK with it.

I also find the idea of G-d as a slot machine a bit uncomfortable.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 03:40 
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whitequeen wrote:
She then often finds that the same people are angry with her when they meet her again and see that she still has the disability - she must not have prayed/believed hard enough. Something like this is extremely rude and hurtful - I'm sure your mother has never even thought of it, but maybe that woman had encountered something similar and thought she might do it out loud?


That's just weird! Who gets angry at someone because they have not been cured? I think they are taking the 'ask and you shall receive' a little too literally.

I think the woman mum was talking to thought mum was being a bit flippant. And she was doing something that made HER feel better but did nothing to change that woman's life.

And I see her point of view - people often feel better and comforted when they pray. And that's great, but how does that really help the person you are praying for?

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 07:37 
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Two of the many reasons I feel uncomfortable about Trials is that attending Chalet School prayers apparently immediately begins to "untwist" Naomi's character, and that Mary-Lou feels that she has to change Naomi's beliefs because she thinks Naomi needs God's help. I'm sure Mary-Lou - as EBD's mouthpiece - meant well, but she just cannot seem to see that it is not for her to decide what Naomi should or shouldn't believe. I think this is what goes wrong: some people can't see that what is right for them isn't necessarily right for someone else.

It'd be interesting to know what would've happened in the early books. I can't imagine young Madge or young Jo having that sort of attitude: surely they would have respected another person's views? Or would they?

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 09:38 
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I'm an atheist but if my friends, regardless of religion, offer to pray for me I will gratefully accept. They are doing the best they can for me, and theirs prayers won't do me any harm. To me that's an entirely different issue from trying to convert me, which I would find very offensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 16:37 
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That's interesting, Exile, as some people have actually refused my prayers, or been rather angry that I would offer such a thing. Others, like you, have been grateful. No, :twisted: our prayers certainly won't harm you!

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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 20:40 
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In Highland Twins when it is thought Jack has drowned, I find some of the attitudes hard to take. It is as if Jack should not have drowned because he was too valuable a person to lose.

I think it is Daisy who says look at all he did for other people through his doctoring skills and they all say how will Jo manage without him.

It is not like that though. Jack was only a human being like any other. Many fine doctors have died at an early age as have much loved people.

What rankles with me though are two points.

1 Some of EBD's readers of that time might have lost fathers/brothers/even boyfriends. Had the person they loved died because they were not so worthy as Jack?

2 Joey - I think - was meant to have started to improve slightly after Hilda read her the Bible story of Lazarus.
She really started to improve though after she was given hope by Fiona that Jack was still alive when Fiona "saw" Jack.

Should Joey have been let off the hook though so to speak? Others in her position were not. I am not condeming Jo. I fall apart at the least thing.

My points are that many people as worthy (or more so) than Jack died who were also greatly loved and that EBD gave Joey hope whereas a lot of people never had this.

Maybe though it was written as such because EBD was writing for schoolgirls some of whom could already have suffered tragedy or needed hope themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 21:12 
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Audrey25 wrote:
Maybe though it was written as such because EBD was writing for schoolgirls some of whom could already have suffered tragedy or needed hope themselves.
I think that that's very likely - and as a young reader I had no problem at all with the 'second sight' storyline, rather the contrary. But as an adult I find it quite disturbing, in that it's a high-risk course of action to pursue - what if Jack had not survived after all, even if only because some other mishap had subsequently happened to him, as was not unlikely in wartime? It seems to me that it says a lot about the mind-sets of different age-groups - teenagers in particular are inclined to think that they (and their loved ones) are immortal, unless they have very good evidence to the contrary, whereas adults are much more cautious. And that's understandable.


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 Post subject: Re: Religion: changes through the series
PostPosted: 14 Apr 2018, 22:03 
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My great-uncle was reported presumed killed in action during the D-Day Landings, and then turned up alive in a French hospital. It made the national press, so it was obviously incredibly rare for something like that to happen.

Michelle Magorian has a back-from-the-dead storyline in Back Home, but, in her book, the man concerned doesn't reappear - I forget if he'd been in a POW camp or had amnesia or what - for a few years, by which time his wife has remarried and is expecting a baby with her new husband, so it's an absolute mess :( .

I do think it's telling that Madge and Jem weren't involved, because I don't think they'd have wanted Joey put through that. I wish the second sight storyline had been kept for something less emotive - maybe Fiona could have seen Rosalie collapsed outside the school. I'm not overly comfortable with the Naomi Elton storyline either: there's a definite sense of a trade-off between Naomi changing her mind about being agnostic and her getting a miracle cure.

I'm much better with descriptions of "gentle" Sundays, or Herr Braun saying that he's not stressing about the storm damage to his hotel because it's the way God's willed it!

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