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Grapevine : October 2011
aagrapevine.org 33 heightened without add- ingfueltothefire.Itisa clear-cut example of why outside issues belong outside. If this was going on during my first-ever AA meeting, I may not have come back. I also am grateful that when I came into Alcohol- ics Anonymous the group did not ask me about my religious beliefs. At that point, I felt I had tried religion, and it did not work. Over my years of sobriety I have personally ventured out in all kinds of di erent directions around religion, but I don't bring the details into my AA groups, and it has never been a topic at any of my meetings. Wouldn't it be downright dangerous if we had an opinion either way regard- ing the use of doctor-pre- scribed medications such as anti-depressants? Tradi- tion Ten saves us again! e risk of having an opinion in all of these examples is that the newcomer might think the entire movement of Alcoholics Anonymous believes this way, and we will lose them. I pray to re- member that I represent my AA group and not "the world according to Cheryl group." Our Traditions are the glue that holds us togeth- er. Without this Tradition I would die as the group would die because we would no longer be talking about alcoholism---the reason we are here in the first place. Cheryl B. North Riverside, Ill. goofed. e Traditions are so important because they are the core that keeps AA strong. Many sobriety groups have split up because of di erent or personal opinions. e Washing- tonian Society was a movement among alcoholics before AA began, which started in Baltimore over a century ago, and almost discovered the answer to alco- holism. At first the society was com- posed entirely of alcoholics trying to help one another. e Washingto- nians permitted politicians and reformers, both alcoholics and non-alcoholics, to use the society for their own purposes. Aboli- tion of slavery was a stormy po- litical issue then. Washingtonian speakers publicly and violently took sides on this ques- tion. Within a very few years they had completely lost their e ective- ness in helping alcoholics. I had also broken another tradition---Tradi- tion Five, which says that AA has but "one primary purpose"---to carry its message to the alcoholic who still su ers. I definitely do not want to be the reason that up- sets a member to become agitated and go out in the drinking world again. Sobriety is too important. Naomi M. Terra Haute, Ind. I didn't realize what I had done until the meeting was over. No one chastened me, but I realized I had goofed.