Yesterday, I wrote about the great joy I felt hearing for the first time at age 12 the forbidden pop melody “Sing a Song” by the Carpenters.
Pop music was a sin in my Adventist upbringing, in my home anyway. I loved pop music. It was one of my many conflicts with the religion with which I was raised.
I’m watching the Karen Carpenter Story on Youtube and I feel such jealousy about the Mormons. They could practice their religion and participate fully in American life. They could make pop music and movies. They could play sports. They could eat anything they wanted (so long as they abstained from caffeine).
As an Adventist, I was on the margins of the wider society. I was restricted by the vast corpus of Ellen G. White law so that I was not supposed to play chess or checkers, I was not supposed to enjoy the theater or novels, I was not supposed to watch TV or go to movies. I couldn’t compete with gusto. I couldn’t get into sports. I could only eat vegetarian food.
Both Mormons and Adventists are particularly American religions, having arisen in the United States in the first half of the 19th Century.
The two religions have about the same number of members. They’re both aggressive proselytizers. But Mormons are conquering this world while Adventists are withdrawing from it. It’s inconceivable that there could ever be an Adventist president. Look at the 10,000 most influential people in America and you won’t find one Adventist. You won’t find one Adventist Nobel prize winner. Adventists play no role in economic life or intellectual life or political life or cultural life.