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Chaplins Suck!

The Daffodil Lion

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I live in a youth hostel. I've lived there for a year. There are many things that aren't perfect here but the building is old, they have limited resources, and the staff are usually understanding and helpful if you can talk to the right person.

One massive exception to this is a lady who comes in every week from a church with the title of Chaplain. What her purpose is I have no idea. But every week she comes and initiates conversation to anyone who is living here (as opposed to temporally staying).

Its frustrating for a vast majority of reasons:

1 If you have a problem you have a member of staff in the Y who will be more than happy to listen and help sort it for you, and that is part of their job and they are trained to do so.

2 Very few people actually want to talk about there problems publicly. By this I mean at a dinner table, or in a corridor.

3 In this area few people are that religious, especially in my age group. My age group by the way is in the middle of most permeant residents.

4 There are bound to be others from other faiths here. Why exclude their religions?

5 When being asked for the 60th week how I am by the Chaplain, it is so difficult to answer. I don't want to be rude to her, I don't want to insult her, but I really don't think praying to Jesus is really going to sort my life out.

6 The most recent polls show that overall, the majority of people in Britian belong to "no religion". Therefore surely it would be better to have someone who is not from a religion if it is believed that residents need extra support.

I am seriously considering emailing this to my hostel. Its getting so tiring. No one ever really talks to her, and theres probably good reason, they don't want to!

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You refer to the Y????

Well, in the states the YMCA or YWCA stands for Young Men's (or Woman's) Christian Association.

Thus the pastor, it is part of the mission.

It is not the Young Men's Atheist Association. lol lol

All you need to do is smile and decline.

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You can't assume that everyone who lives there isn't interested in talking to the chaplin. There might be people who speak to her every week and look forward to seeing her. Even non-religious people might just want to talk to someone and know that they're listening.


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Chaplin was a comedian who twirled a cane and wore a bowler hat. His comedic style is dated, but I do not think he "sucked", i.e.objectionable or inadequate in his role/roles/

Chaplain(s) maybe the descriptor your were aiming for; a clergyperson who is usually associated with an institution or cause...not all of them suck... in fact some few of them are are marvelous at what they do

Broad generalizations are neither correct nor adequate. Chaplains, plural, do not suck, however it seem that may have encountered one chaplain that you perceive as inadequate or objectionable. On the other hand there are are uncountable chaplains, and at least a few Chaplins, who are not only adequate, but exceptional at what they offer.

Semantics do count...

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I get the feeling half of you didn't read what I said..

Believe me, Im not the stereotypical athiest that goes around talking down religion constantly. It sure does have a propose in society, and is helpful for "true believers", and social believers.

The deal here is she approaches from dinner to late evening and from everything Ive seen no one talks to her. She spends her time here either trying to initiate conversion while people are eating, or coming in/out. And Ive yet to hear someone say anything positive about her help.

Also yes, it is the YMCA, and I know what it stands for, but believe me things change. If it was just men, theyd lose a third of guests/customers. If it was only young I wouldnt have met a lot of people who live here. When I asked someone about this and the C and how Christian things are, I was told that it's a brand thing, and it doesnt telly mean what the letters say.

Yes, its fair to say that if it's in the title it should be expected, but if you look at the rest of the title half the people who live here shouldnt be here. And it even says "you dont have to be young, male, or of any faith to stay here" on their website.

It might be a part of a Christian charity, and also it may have been the norm to push for Christian faith once upon a tomr, but that shouldn't mean today it pushes for Christian view point as I have said previously.

Also for the future, despite what you might think the US doesnt run the world. Clicking on someones profile to know where theyre from dosnt take long.

As for "generalizations" -you do have a point, and Im sure there are plenty of Chaplains that do a good job, but just look at the other titles of other threads in this area...

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CynicalReality - this is actually what happens to me and the other 8 people sitting on my table, as well as many others who no longer live here. One of whom goes to church to volunteer most Sundays..

Bluelikejazz - thats what Ive been doing. Any questions, very small reply. But after 6 months or so you'd think she wouldnt keep trying

Olga - Im really sorry to back chat staff here, but Im not assuming. Yes, there may be people who do want to talk to her (despite everyone having a qualified member of staff they can talk to throughout the week and a free counciling service that is available through the Y), but from what I have observed (not assumed) in living here for a year, if that group exists they must either be about 2% of everyone in the building, or must have previously been spies, as Ive never ever seen anyone do it. If those 2% exsist and do talk to her maybe shes okay, but surely there are easier ways to do what she does than whats happening at the moment

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Titania - I don't know how that advice came to you, but that reply was perfect. It gives justification as to why I don't want to speak to her without attacking her. Will do this when she approaches me next.

The problem I was having is I sometimes feel guilty or that Im being rude to give such short answers, because with most other people Id give be more talkative/polite to. But I feel its her choice to try and initiate "conversation" with me, as its my choice as to whether I "converse" with her, as such I don't. But a much more direct approach will probably help a lot.

Anyways Im glad the situation was understood so well by you Titania :)

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You might want to be careful of your tone. You sound kind of like asshat at the moment, and you should avoid sounding so defensive and hostile in your email. You can't expect an evangelist not to evangelize at a Christian organization if you don't (politely) say point blank that you don't want to hear it. Believe me, as a Jew, I know this. And of course, as an atheist, as well.

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