In All Our Affairs

If you’ve ever found yourself in an exasperating political argument with a fellow AA member during the “meeting after the meeting” or on Facebook, you can appreciate the need for Tradition Ten, the AA Tradition that enjoins us to avoid outside issues. However, agreeing on a definitive understanding of just what constitutes an outside issue is not so simple.

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The Sinclair Method

One of the things we AAs read from the Big Book as if it were an ever-lasting truth, though it was written in 1939: “Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.” And it has been a well kept secret that science began to do just that around 1978.

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The resistance of free-thinking newcomers to the religious language of the literature is one of the principal concerns facing the secularist in AA, in pursuing the goal of helping others. Some authors, notably Gabriel Segal (Twelve Steps To Psychological Good Health)*, and Adam N. (Common Sense Recovery)*, for example, wade through the religious language to explore the philosophical merit and common sense value that lies beneath.


Another Level of Service

I have been sober in AA for a long time, since July 20, 1988 to be exact, and I’ve been pretty active in the program. I’ve always had a home group where I would attend meetings regularly. I worked with a sponsor and I’ve sponsored others. I have spoken at other groups, and I have taken meetings to treatment centers, jails and the state penitentiary. I have been on 12th step calls and I’ve taken drunks to the emergency room many times. I have also attended more than my share of funerals for those who didn’t make it.

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What to Say at Regular AA Meetings

A little over a year ago, a group of atheist AAs from San Antonio got together with the help of AA Agnostica to form a new group – Mostly Agnostics AA of San Antonio. It has been, by my standards, very successful. We meet twice a week and have somewhere between 5 and 15 at each meeting, usually with some newbies. We don’t have a single member that appreciates the godliness of regular meetings, but most of us go to regular meetings, and occasionally, we talk about how to deal with our fundamentalist brothers and sisters in regular AA.

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No God

What if there is no God? This question has come back to haunt me periodically throughout my sobriety. What if my sobriety depends on belief in and access to a power greater than myself, and there is no God? Some say I can use a doorknob, or a lamppost, for a God, but I don’t think so. How can I turn my life and will over to a doorknob? How can a lamppost remove the character defects that the book says will lead me back to drinking?

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AA Spiritual and Religious

It is quite often stated by AA members that the fellowship is “spiritual not religious.” I do not think that this statement is entirely accurate and would suggest that in a broad sense it can be validly described as both. It can certainly be related to in this way by individual members if they are inclined to do so.

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