From the September 1999 magazine.

Your Move

Invitation to discussion

 

Responses from readers to the February and May 1999 issues on the topic of using the Lord's Prayer at AA meetings.

I found it interesting that your May issue contained both a letter objecting to the pernicious chantings at the close of meetings and an article objecting to the recitation of the Lord's Prayer at the end of meetings. I do not participate in the chanting, and it gives me a resentment, but I do participate in the Lord's Prayer. As any other alcoholic, I have always had a problem with alienation--feeling different, special, superior, inferior--and encountering the Lord's Prayer at my first few meetings certainly reinforced my feelings of alienation. I refused to recite it. I remained respectfully silent, but felt apart and different. At an earlier stage of my disease I might have bolted out of the room and I might well be dead today instead of ten years sober. But I quickly realized that my feelings of resistance to the Lord's Prayer could easily be extended to other aspects of the program I couldn't understand, or to individuals' ideas and personalities I didn't like; I knew I had a problem with intolerance. These feelings were a threat to my hopes of getting sober and finding spirituality, so I decided to participate in the Lord's Prayer, though it has no meaning for me. I notice others in the room, however, remaining silent, with expressions of discomfort on their faces. I know how they feel.

-- Anonymous

Hampton, New Jersey

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