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Grapevine : August 2011
I am an atheist. I am also a sober mem- ber of AA, and have been for over four years. The first AA meeting I attended, in Buffalo, N.Y., was one of the most unique and powerful experiences of my life. I have no interest in either promot- ing or condemning AA. I have seen a good number of people find help in AA. I have also seen a good many peo- ple come to AA in desperation, only to walk away frustrated that they could not find the help they needed. As the years go by, and as I con- tinue attending meetings regularly, I have become aware of certain prevail- ing attitudes which I believe do con- siderable harm to AA's main purpose. I feel compelled to oppose such harm- ful ideas and pronouncements which, WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND? Is our primary purpose to stay sober---or to find faith in a Higher Power? I believe, stand in the way of an hon- est, open and healing dialogue. I've been able to find help in AA because I was raised with an under- standing of many concepts which AA takes for granted. The use of the word God, for instance. The book Alcohol- ics Anonymous goes to great lengths to appear accepting and inclusive of all who suffer from alcohol addiction. However, the book is clearly written in a moral tone, more Christian than anything, and its very language seems An atheist asks: As a member of AA, I believe that this is a "we" program. aagrapevine.org 53