Jul 22, 2010

The Faith Club - Chapters 9 & 10

Well, I'd said on the fan page that chapter 10 got me all riled up --- I was wrong, it's chapter 11, and it deserves it's own post however, as far as 9 and 10 goes...yawn fest for me.

In high school (oh, who am I kidding?) throughout my entire school career, social studies/history has been my least favourite subject.  I did well in in throughout Jr. high because if you earned an average of 85% or higher, you didn't have to write the final exams.  I hated it so much that I refused to let my mark go below that!  I suffered through it in high school -- I just hate the memorizing, the boring, boring, BORING repetition and facts and blah, blah, blah.  I hate it.

Chapter 9 was like an entire social studies class in chapter form.  My notes at the end of this chapter are following:
  • Giant history lesson
  • snore
That's it.  No word of  a lie!  All in all, I feel that this chapter gave the facts and information to what I said about the Israel/Palestine issues here.  I think my 1 paragraph statement was much better though -- it didn't drone you to sleep (I hope).

Chapter 10 was just as uninteresting to me.  Granted, it didn't put me into a sleepy stupor like the last chapter, but it was still pretty meh to me.  Here again, are my pitiful notes on it:
  • A nice read with flowery passages, but in the end, very typical "prayer" stuff that we all do regardless of whether or not we call it prayer.
Oh...and the midwife analogy was a little creepy to me.  Okay, more than a little.


Erin said...

See, I'm the opposite. I love love love history, ancient history and WW2 especially. I like to know the root of where ideas, beliefs came to be, and how each era overlaps the last. I like seeing things from every POV.( I can argue both sides of most arguments)
I do find Ranya's "battle" with Priscilla a bit contrived. Like a tag-back in a playground game.
Chapter 10....meh, no big revelations for me here. The midwife analogy....weird.
I was surprised that at this point in the book they've been at this for 2 years....slow evolution.

Keahn said...

Summation of my "margin notes," underlinings, and highlights.

CHAPTER 9 – The Promised Land

Ranya: “...People can no longer express an opinion, even if in the long run that opinion is in the interest of the survival of the Israeli state, without being accused of anti-Semitism” (126).

Just like people can not say anything to, or about, any person of color -- even if it's relevant to the situation -- without it being taken as racist. This concept is, sadly, not new to the world at large. :(

Ranya: “But you laughed a while back and said, ‘Okay, Ranya, I’ll give it to you...you can be a victim!’ I wonder if that wasn’t just a flippant response, because, after all, Jews have the Holocaust as justification for that claim, while Muslims don’t. Maybe you don’t think we have legitimate claim of persecution” (128).

Note: This reminds me of my thesis – and the validation of PTSD between war victims and victims of poverty. War victims suffering from trauma are validated because everyone knows about the war(s) -- through history and the news. The events that lead a person downward into poverty from a middleclass life, are complicated and numerous, and far less tangible, so they are harder for the person experiencing it to validate that they are suffering from PTSD.

Priscilla: “I was, after all, the only Jew in the room” (129). And Ranya was the only Muslim and Suzanne was the only Christian – and her point?

Ranya: “The connection between politics and religion is closer than you think” (131).

***Religious texts in ALL religions are misused by some of their followers for their own gain – not just the Quran.

Priscilla – talking about the Arab shepherd is proof of how life and people are complex.

CHAPTER 10 – Prayer

When Suzanne is talking about Priscilla’s faith flight after 9/11 – “The evil was just closer to home” (148). I’m always telling people who say , "I want to move to a safer place," that sooner or later every city is Detroit (my hometown). There are no safe haven's -- it's a myth -- get used to it.

When Ranya was describing how, as a child in school, she would write “Bis millah,” or “In the name of God” on her examinations (152). It made me think to when I’d write J+M+J+ on my papers when I attend St. Stephen's Catholic Elementary and how much I wish I could have written it across my thesis when I turned it into Grad Studies on Monday for it’s first review.

Sorry, but when she went on to say, “That fear made me...worry about falling asleep and not waking up” (152), I started thinking of Freddy Kruger in “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Whatever you do, DON'T FALL ASLEEP!!!! Sorry,my bad. I guess you could say I pulled a NanLT. :)

Keahn said...

I agree that the whole history thing, though interesting at first, witnessed my interest wanning after 2 pages of reading.

And I agree with Erin, that it was surprising that this is as far as the group has come in understanding and sharing in the time they've been meeting.

NanLT said...

I've been racking my brain the past week thinking on this and previous chapters, trying to sort out why there is such hostility felt towards the three woman in this book.

I think I've figured it out.

It's because they're just regular women. Something clicked into place when I read a comment posted on another blog about the book -- she'd expected the book to be filled with deeper conversations. Instead it was filled with conversations form women who could have been any one of us.

They had doubts and worries about their beliefs, they sometimes doubted the existence of G_d, however His name might be spelled. Dammit! These women are supposed to be providing answers. How DARE they be human just like the rest of us.

But they are. And can't we take inspiration from that.

Who among us has not been so close to a situation that we did not see any way out of it, like Rayna in her search for a Mosque where she could feel she belonged.

Who among us has not, during times of adversity, found ourselves doubting the existence of Jehovah.

I know that when I was dealing with fertility issues I spent a lot of time telling the Gods to just back off and get the f*** out of my life because dammit if they weren't going to give me a child, what good were they!

Could it be, perhaps, that we felt such anger towards these women not because of who they were, but because they reminded us too much of ourselves?

Hethr said...

No, not in my case anyhow. I was personally suffering from a slump in my faith. I don't look for perfection in others. But I do look for accountability and ownership.

These women whine and bitch and moan about things that they have 100% power to change. I have ZERO tolerance for whining. Sure..rant away, but then, DO something about it. Ranya and Priscilla have been whining for TWO YEARS at this point.

I can't tolerate it.

I'll admit that I was a little shocked that these weren't women who were strong and steadfast in their respective faiths (who writes a book about faith when they have no faith??) -- but I can look over that...they are growing and learning...but they're STILL WHINING.

I sure hope they serve cheese at each little session they hold -- becuase it'll go excellently with all the whine.

Erin said...

I don't dislike them because they're like me. I rant, I get mad, but then I pull up my big-girl panties and get on with things.
I think, that like Heather, I was surprised that they aren't sure of themselves in their Faith. I realize that most people have times when they have doubts, but after 2 years ( in the book) I thought maybe they would have done a little more book writing and a little less whining about their place in the world.

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