I am not sure if the article was written by a male or a female, not as if gender has anything to do with it (that’s where my mind went for some reason), but what I did get from it was that whoever wrote it has a huge misunderstanding of what AA is. Or maybe they don’t. I can’t see inside their brain or thinking any better than I can see into my own really (I mean I am still an alcoholic, even though I have recovered-in some ways ha!). What I do know though is that AA has helped me to get sober and stay sober. And as for this article I felt a little iffy after reading it.
One of the first lines, or actually, the first line, reads like this, “I might rather suffer the consequences of abusing drugs or alcohol than pretend that the required verbal ablutions in AA meant anything at all.” Okay, I get it. You would rather drink or use drugs than pretend you are with it. I get it, kind of, actually, no I don’t. Nothing is worth feeling the way that I did when I drank and used drugs and if that means pretending for a bit, I would be cool with that.
The next line goes like this, “Six or seven of the famous twelves steps refer to God or to prayer. The final step is to achieve sobriety and experience it as a “spiritual awakening.” Through it all prayer is a staple at almost every AA meeting.” I am just going to leave this line alone. My ego wants to pick apart this line and call it out for what I SEE IT AS. But does it really matter? For those who are in AA they already know and as for myself I do as well, don’t really need to fight or debate or even explain this one. You believe and perceive as you believe and you perceive.
The finishing line is this, “No thanks. The only AA I’ll every going willingly is this one.”
AA without God. As the New York Times has talked about, there has apparently been a boom in “nonreligious” AA. It represents another manifestation of a more visible and confident humanist movement in the United States, one that has featured public figures such as Bill Maher, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Yet this recent trend within AA also marks a departure from the organization’s traditional emphasis on “religion.” Okay what your thoughts on the New York Times and the whole AA without God.
“A.A. starts at its core with honesty,” said Dorothy, 39, who heads the steering committee for the We Agnostics and Freethinkers International A.A. Convention. “And how can you be honest in recovery if you’re not honest in your own beliefs? If you don’t believe in the God they’re praying to, that’s not honest practice.”
[A] religious tone [had become] the norm within A.A. What it meant for alcoholics like Vic was an anguishing choice between sobriety and hypocrisy. To participate in a typical A.A. meeting felt to them like hiding, if not violating, deeply held secular beliefs.
Over the past dozen years, non-religious AA groups have begun to mushroom. Another AA member, Glenn, found
… “a fellowship of concerned, loving people,” … a secular version of the “Higher Power” to which A.A. literature refers. Humanist A.A. groups also have drafted their own nontheistic versions of the 12 steps. Instead of needing divine assistance for recovery, for example, one step states that “we needed strengths beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.”
I am not sure at all what any of this means. What I do know, is my experience in AA. And to describe it would simply be, that it works and that I was never led to feel or felt like I was hiding even when I disagreed or didn’t believe in something. I never once felt like I was violating anything. But then again I supposed I didn’t have deeply held secular beliefs. All in all, whatever helps the alcoholic to get sober is great. It should be mushrooming if it offers people the relief they need from the spiritual (whoops) I mean pain they are feeling and their drink problem. If it works, that is the point. For me, AA and my higher power/prayer/mediation works for me. And that is all that really matters in the end. Today I am happy, sober, and free of alcohol and drugs. If you are too, that’s amazing.
Want to see the article I am talking about? Just go HERE.
Want to see the New York Times article? GO HERE
Want to see AGNOSTIC AA NYC? GO HERE