A Dad’s Conversation with His Son’s “School Chaplain” March 23, 2010

A Dad’s Conversation with His Son’s “School Chaplain”

There are times when working with people who are religious is the best way to go.

And there are times when sarcasm is so much more entertaining…

In Australia, public school chaplains don’t exist but “Christian volunteers” are permissible. It’s a loophole. Still, Darryl Robinson identified himself as a “school chaplain” and sent home this letter to a student’s father, David Thorne:

Thorne had a very amusing, snark-laden exchange with Robinson — it’s several emails long, but well worth the read. Good luck reading it without cracking up.

Sarcasm aside, Robinson deserved it. There’s no reason people like him should be advocating religious superstition for grade school children too young to be critical of it. This is pure proselytization and it’s a waste of time. No rational parent should stand for it.

(Thanks to Julie for the link!)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Greg

    I laughed. Hard.

    Does that mean I’m a bad person?


  • GaR

    Very good. The cactus topped it off brilliantly.

  • Hammurabi

    That… was… awesome.

  • Angie

    I LOVE IT!

  • Pony

    Ha! He’s the same guy who tried to pay a bill with a drawing of a seven-legged spider. Tres Amusement.

  • Gosh, Darryl seems a bit thick, doesn’t he?

  • Richard F.

    That… was… amazing. Couldn’t stop laughing.

  • Jeff K.

    While it’s undoubtedly funny, I think he came off as a bit of a jackass in the end… I’m sure Darryl’s a nice enough guy, in spite of his belief in the Purportedly Magic Jew. I think one snarky e-mail was enough…

  • Jake

    This is the greatest thing I will ever read. I don’t know what to do with my life now.

  • ckitching

    “I will pray for you.”

    Read: I wish you’d go away, and stop doing whatever it is that is annoying me.

  • Autumn06

    Dear David Thorne,

    Please move to the States. I think we could be great friends

  • Amber

    That just made my night. Pure awesome.

  • DreamDevil

    Oh man, that was awesome in a can.

  • BC3free

    David Thorne. My hero.

  • Milena

    Sorry, but I think he kinda came off as a dick. The first email was more than enough. The rest were just annoying and rude.

  • That was wonderful.

  • To those saying he came off rude, read some of the other posts on his blog. I’d say this is tame for him – but I’d only be saying that because this person, in particular, deserves some of the mockery.

  • Becky

    This is fake…but a FUNNY fake! Love it 😀

  • Danikajaye

    I laughed harder than I have laughed in ages. That was great. The cactus with a hat thing…. ohhhhhhhh tears.

  • Brian


  • I would agree with the reply almost entirely, but it is clear that rabbit isn’t about to drop the egg on Jesus. Clearly the rabbit is about to throw Jesus a flotation device, because it is obvious that he is drowning under the weight of the cross.
    Sasquatch Jesus

  • The people in the cafe are staring at me because I’m laughing so hard.

    You had me at “a levitating rabbit about to drop an egg on Jesus.”

  • Sorry David came off as someone out of touch with… well… basic skills of human interaction. One email was enough.

    David’s allusion to his own experience of sexual abuse as a child was a bit much. I certainly hope, for the sake of his own children, that he will get help addressing his anger. As an aside, perhaps the cactus with a hat has something to do with his childhood experience?

    And just to be nit-picky, David’s version of cosmology is a bit off. I suggest reading Start’s with a Bang to get a better version.

    The first email was bang on. Also, the bit towards the end, where David points out that Darryl referring to himself as “Chaplin” is illegal, was important.

    The rest, while clever, left me sympathizing with the dead horse.

  • Demonhype

    Darryl was :

    1. Stupid. David was so clearly being snarky, you’d have to be weapons-grade stupid not to realize it right away. And, of course, either join in and respond in kind or just ignore the idiot. You might notice that when he started returning the snarkiness, it kind of fizzled out.

    2. Just as insulting. As he was goaded into further responses, he started insisting that the story of the magic resurrection of the Cosmic Jewish Zombie imparts important ethical values and that “life without religion is life without beauty”, suggesting that beauty only exists when you look at the world through Jesus-colored glasses and that non-religious people live empty, ugly lives. All this after initially insisting–with the typical fake-sweetness that that sort so easily assumes–that there is no indoctrination going on. Oh, wait, I forgot. It’s only indoctrination when the other religions do it–or when the atheists don’t hide the fact of their atheism, leading to unfortunate questions from the small fry.

    Simply put, some people ask for it. I love it when someone like David takes a religioso and goads them outside of their fake smiles. Some people just go through life wearing an invisible sign inviting people to hit them with a pie.

    That said, I couldn’t stop laughing. The cactus drawing was perfect. I love how he revisited some of the snark in his first letter–really tied it all together!

    BTW, I probably sound dumb because I probably ought to know this, but…I’m not sure whose face that is that he taped over Jesus. Little help?

  • Heidi

    BTW, I probably sound dumb because I probably ought to know this, but…I’m not sure whose face that is that he taped over Jesus. Little help?

    Scroll back to the top of the page. It appears to be a picture of Darryl.

    @Becky: What makes you say it’s a fake? Just curious.

  • Matt

    “Purportedly Magic Jew”

    My new favourite expression when I hit my thumb with a hammer ^_^

  • I laughed. Then I spent the next hour looking at other topics and laughing even harder.

    For those who think he’s just being rude I have to say that he didn’t start it. The “Chaplain” started it with his silly invitation to indoctrinate Seb Thorne in his chosen mythology. Yeah, yeah, I know that reacting isn’t always the best option but he deserved it.

    I try to inject a similar amount of snark into letters to my bank or replies to junk mail when I can be bothered.

  • Lisa

    Yeah, it’s the guy with the seven-legged spider.

    This guy writes a humor blog. Unless shown otherwise, I have no reason to believe the e-mails are real.

  • Doug

    that was great. just what I needed this morning. thank you.

  • RPJ

    irl troll’d tbh. Cracked me up.

  • Casimir

    I’m sure Darryl’s a nice enough guy..

    Pre-checking the give permission option is not nice by any definition.

  • Lynn

    There’s a major difference between snark and childishness.

  • plutosdad

    I have never figured out if his website is real or not. Some of those (like the one where his neighbor was having a party) seem so out there that there is no way it could be real, but then again it is really no different than Sacha Baron Cohen without a camera, so maybe he’s really pulling all those stunts.

  • I love David Thorne.

  • Sue D. Nymme

    Where’s the “friendly” part of “friendly atheism”? Is it in the making of snarky comments about other people’s beliefs?

  • Where’s the “friendly” part of “friendly atheism”? Is it in the making of snarky comments about other people’s beliefs?

    No, it precedes the space directly before “atheism.”

  • GribbletheMunchkin

    laughed out loud by the point he was asking god for a car.

    I love the way that some people use “i’ll pray for you” when they mean “fuck you”.

    The emails pretending to be god and the cactus drawing…..genius.

  • Epistaxis

    You know these are fake, right?

  • Sue D. Nymme

    No, it precedes the space directly before “atheism.”

    So… in name only. Gotcha.

  • “…in name only“?

    How did you conclude the absolute of “only“? I didn’t suggest an absolute. There are many examples of Hemants friendliness on this site. You’ve visited and commented on the site before, I would suspect you’d know this. That is unless perhaps you pick and choose what to acknowledge and what not to. So you should know Hemants friendliness is not in name only. Got me now?

  • Brad

    Interesting article… although Australia DOES actually have chaplains in public schools. It was an initiative of the previous federal government.

  • I clicked the link and read the full email exchange, and honestly, the dad sounds like an intolerant, pushy asshole out to prove something. The school volunteer seems like a good person, who really didn’t deserve that.

  • Webreaper

    David Thorne is a well-known satarist and comedian, and has done a number of these in the past. Whilst the exchanges are incredibly funny (I think they’re genius) they’re not real, they’re comedy.

    You should check his Wikipedia page.


  • Demonhype

    Many thanks, Heidi! 🙂

  • Heidi

    Welcome. 🙂

  • Droid

    Why do people always assume David’s stuff is fake?
    And to the people who think he is just an asshole… read the rest of his articles! He is never the one to start it, and he only picks on the people who deserve it.
    Also, the Australian sense of humour is all about sarcasm and making fun of your friends. His stuff is not even close to offencive to us.

  • Andrew, Melbourne Australia

    David bases his blogs on autobiographical events so there’s every chance that it happened. There is also a religious practioner by the name of Daryll Robinson, so…….

    BTW as a jewish catholic (or catholic jew) I know anything is possible!

  • New Ireland

    If you don’t want people to make fun of your beliefs then don’t have funny beliefs!

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