I am always amazed when something claims to be the do-all-end-all for all your struggles and strife and people just gobble that up. No one, I guess, has been as successful at that as the Church. That is all the world religions; Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Sikhism, and others; claim to be the end to all your problems.
“Sick of smoking? Come to the church!”
“Having trouble connecting with your teenager? Get together for some bible study!”
“Feeling bad that your dad never said ‘I love you’? Jesus always loves you!”
It’s a little frightening if you think about it. There are literally people who put in their time and keep moving along their way so that every week they can rotely go into synagogue or temple or church and say their prayers and recite their songs and pay the plate a couple of bucks and think that this is their ticket to everlasting paradise.
The church has mastered this art and I was assaulted with these theatrics the other day in midtown near Bryant Park. I happened upon the window dressings of the Seventh Day Adventist Center offices in midtown. The Seventh Day Adventist offices hadn’t “assaulted” me, per se, as their offices were closed even though it was a weekday during the day when their offices are supposed to be open. Maybe the Church goes on summer vacation.
Anyway the propaganda in their windows was what was most distressing about my experiences here. “Stop Smoking for Life!” “Keys to Better Parenting” and “Making Marriage Work,” were just some of the titles here on display in their Key to Happiness publications.
If you go to the Key to Happiness (unofficial) World Wide Adventist Forum, logical people may be even more distressed. According to the first poster on this forum, the answer to the question “what is the key to happiness” is five-fold:
“Ignoring evil and focusing only on the positive aspects of life”
“Enjoying the present and not worrying about the future”
“Avoiding disappointment and unhappiness by not investing emotions too much in hope and high expectations”
“Living by a code or religious creed”
“Becoming one with nature.”
Well I don’t know too many human beings who don’t feel emotion, aren’t bothered by negative things, don’t ponder their future, and don’t have expectations for their life. I wonder how the Adventist forum leader would feel if their funding for their website fell through and they had to get a job hauling trash or serving fast food? I hope they wouldn’t be too disappointed.
I guess if you work in the Seventh Day Adventist offices in Manhattan, at least you get parts of your summer off.
Seventh Day Adventist Center is located at 12 W 40th Street, NYC. 212-840-2534.