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Charlize

" The God Word, AA for Atheists and Agnostics"

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Charlize

As a member of AA i know when i first saw the steps i had no trouble admitting that i was powerless over alcohol but the idea of giving my life over to a power greater than myself seemed impossible.  I've kept on with the program but unfortunately have seen too many leave when they see the word God mentioned so often.  It is often difficult to remember that the Big Book Of AA was written in 1939 by a predominately christian group of straight, white christian men who over time began to become more and more accepting of every person with an addiction to alcohol.  The book has never been rewritten but literature like this shows that AA is not a Christian or religious cult except for it's desire to reach out and help others find sobriety.

 

AA recently published this pamphlet which includes the stories of atheists and agnostics who have found sobriety in the fellowship with their own conceptions of a higher power.

 

https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-86_theGodWord.pdf

 

Enjoy,

 

Charlize

 

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Ellora

Years ago when I used to attend AA groups to support friends, ( I am a “normy “). 

Some groups would tell their member that the higher power does not have to be “god” or a god, but something that will help them in their Journey. I know a lot of people that would not attend groups that were very god heavy. It is very important for everyone that needs help in aa and other sobriety groups to have choices. Not everyone believes in the same thing(s). 

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VickySGV

I am a Christian, but as I have warned other such, I do not speak the same dialect they do.  The "God Of My Understanding"  is not confined in a 2 or 3 inch thick pile of super thin sheets of wood pulp and an ink substance between two pieces of imitation cow hide which you can throw at other people who do not see eye to eye with you.   GOMU has small pieces of them revealed in each and every book of science, every book of art and poetry, every sheet of music, and yes, every human and animal face I encounter in my journey of life.  Contrariwise our chemicals took our views from the vast expanse and complex beauty of life and created a False God limited to our abuse chemical, and it became the most powerful force in our lives even to our death.  We had given our lives to False God as heartily as any Pentecostal Christian or Islamic Jihadist or Cultist of any religion even if we claimed we did not believe in a god of any sort.  That was one of all of our greatest delusions.  We built a Temple in our lives for that FG, so what do we fill it with when we kick out FG since that temple will be open and inviting and we need to see that other falsities do not claim it.  Filling that temple responsibly is the goal of our program and with sobriety we can make a better choices with what comes into it.

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Charlize

I certainly did make drugs and alcohol my higher power.  Acid trips, mescaline and mushrooms seemingly made “god” closer.  Alcohol took their place as life inserted its demands.  At first I felt a kind of peace or thought I did.  Later it turned against me.  I found only more pain and depression.  Today I try to get closer to life, love and my higher power each day.   The journey gives me peace.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Jani

I've read some of the link (and I'll finish) but this line at the beginning stuck out as being important.

 

"Whatever you do, please don’t let someone else’s religious beliefs prevent you from finding the solution that is available to you through Alcoholics Anonymous."

 

I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition and my wife and I raised our son that way.  He's now married to a "nice Jewish girl" and they are raising their daughters in that tradition.  We're happy for them.   I fell away from the church years ago when scandal and division seemed to carry the day.  That said I am comfortable with my personal belief in Peace, Love and Harmony.  I can't say I believe in Heaven or Hell.  We can find both here on Earth if we look hard enough.  I certainly do not begrudge anyone of their beliefs.  

 

That said, I have friends and a few relatives that belong to AA and I think it is a good organization for what it does, and from what I've seen, what it doesn't do.  I don't see it at preaching about God, or a god.   Whether we know it or not we all have a Higher Power that we look to for strength.  Sometimes its not the "right" power as Charlize has described.  I think AA opens peoples minds to the possibilities and I know its helped many that I love. 

 

Hugs, Jani

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MiraM

That is a really good pamphlet.  My Sponsor gave me a copy when we were at our State Convention in July.

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Regn

Interesting read. The reason AA feels cultish to me isn’t its use of the God word - people use that word to mean a whole lot of very different things. It’s more the way a lot of AA people seem to think (1) it’s the only legitimate path; and (2)  probably the same people, respond to any honest question with an AA slogan and nothing else. 

 

Ive seen this repeatedly in online forums (not so much this one). It really rings alarm bells for me.

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Charlize

I can only hope that these issues don't keep you from getting help if you need it.  My wife worked 17 years as a nurse for a major mental health hospital.  It has a very good reputation in dealing with addictions.  They have AA meetings brought in from outside so that folks can receive help when they leave.  There is AA literature  that asks for acceptance for any methods that might work.  The fact is that i do have affection for a program that offered me a path to sanity.  I hope others find a path.  It seems a miracle that anything could have worked for me.  If you can find another way that works for you go for it.  I hope anyone who has found relief from addiction to alcohol will share in this forum.  It is not called AA.  Instead it's called the "Alcohol Abuse Support Forum".

I'm not here to debate the relative merits of methods to find sobriety but rather to reach out a hand to others who have found they are powerless in handling addiction.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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