Church Stuff-More or less

Does the church make sense or do we make it too hard for people to come in? I think yes and yes and the task then is to make it easier. Maybe for someone out there, this will be the case. I write as a Lutheran (or, perhaps a Lutherpalian) although I might seem out of the mainstream from time to time. That's okay, isn't it? Let's blog on.

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Location: Northport, Long Island, United States

Contrary to what Google will tell you, I have been blogging for several year, right here. Look for Churchstuff-moreorless. life was a hell of a lot easier when you could talk to someone to get help. Now, you can't do it on the telephone, you can't do it on the internet. Life was easier and made more sense because people actually cared. Now they will screw you as quickly as they will help you. Unfuck the world.

Friday, November 18, 2011

"It Gets Better" for the Trevor Project

I recently made an "It gets better" video or the Trevor Project and posted it on youtube. This is what I said.

I am John Dornheim and I am speaking to you from my office on the C W
Post campus of Long Island University where I work as the Protestant
Campus Pastor. I grew up about 35 miles from here in a small suburban
community called Northport. Back then, we didn’t know too much about
bullying. Being New Yorkers, we could be tough on each other but most
of us gave as good as we took.

We also didn’t know much about homosexuality or same sex
relationships. I say this even though, on one side of my house, two
men lived together and on the other, two or three women. As far as I
knew or cared, they were just neighbors.

When I was a freshman in college, I worked with a gay Lutheran pastor.
Due to the times, he was forced to stay in the closet where he
consoled himself with alcohol. Ultimately, that led to his early
death. As my last year in seminary began, a classmate came to me and
said that he was not going to be approved to be a pastor because he
was gay. Our class held a special meeting and told the administration
that if Kevin wasn’t good enough, then none of us were. We all
graduated together in May. Now, in my church, gays, lesbians, and
transgendered folk can be pastors and, if they choose, be married.

Times, I believe, have changed. We are now much more public about our
sexuality or orientation but for many gay and lesbian youth, life can
be very difficult.

Shortly before I started in this position at C. W. Post, a young man,
Tyler Clemente, took his own life in New Jersey. It was one of many
such events that took place last year and I believe it was what led to
the creation of this “It gets better project.” Another young man,
Jamey Rodemeyer, posted his own video this past May. At 14, he had
been the subject of bullying for several years. For a few minutes at
least, Jamey believed that it would get better. Not too long ago,
Jamey ended his life.

If you are watching this video because you are being bullied, do not
suffer in silence. Tell someone about it. Tell your friends. You do
have friends and they do care. If it is happening at school, tell your
favorite teacher, guidance counselor and principal. Tell your family
even if it means also telling them that you are gay. Tell your
clergyperson, many of us are supportive even if we don’t talk about it
very much. If it is hard for you to tell others, bring a friend with
you. But whatever you do, don’t do nothing.

Does your school have a GSA, a gay straight alliance? If so, join it.
If not, start it. You will find that there are both gay and straight
students willing to work together. There are several websites that
will help you, maybe even a local organization for lgbt youth like

If you are being cyber bullied on places like Facebook, Formspring or
Twitter, report that person. Block that person. Do not respond to
them. It will only encourage them.

Bullying is not about you, it is about the bully and when they realize
that you are stronger than they are, they will stop. And you are
stronger than they are. Unfortunately, it won’t change them, they will
look for someone else. That is why it is so important to tell others
about the bullying, about the bullies. With every person who stands
up, there is one less target.

I wish that we could change things in life as easy as we turn on a
light switch. I wish that I could tell you that it will get better
today or tomorrow or next week. Change takes time but I believe in my
heart of hearts that things do get better, things will get better. Be
patient. Be strong. Be whatever you have to be to get through this but
just don’t be alone. Together we can make a difference. Together we
will conquer those who bully and hate. Together we will build a world
in which you will flourish and grow. It is not too late.

You are in this world for a reason. You may not yet know what that
reason is, but there is one. Whatever you do with your life is
important. It may seem insignificant but it is important that you do
it because no one else will.

If you need someone to talk to, please call the Trevor Project at 1
866 488 7386. Someone is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week to
talk with you.