Burning Desire to Share
On 5/18/2013 someone posted on this thread Bill’s warning about the danger of AA becoming some sort of new religion. The author tries to make it sound as it was so important that he wrote about it three times. Looks to me he said it once during a speech when AA was twenty years old and he was turning over control to an elected board. In a Grapevine article in 1963 he suggested re-reading it and Language of the Heart is simply a compilation of Bill W’s Grapevine writings. In total, that’s once. I suppose a person could multiply it times the number of copies in print but I don’t. It’s once. The poster goes on to say that AA has become some kind of religion. I don’t know what the mean by that and it is certainly not my experience.
The actual text supposedly referred to in Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age is in two parts. First on the bottom of p 231, “As a society we must never be so vain as to suppose that we have been the authors and inventors of a new religion. We will humbly reflect that each of AA’s principles, every one of them, have been borrowed from ancient sources.” The second is in the footnote on 232, “…Nothing, however, could be so unfortunate for AA’s future as to attempt to incorporate any of our personal theological views into AA’s teachings, or tradition…”
Taken together Bills saying AA is not a new religion and it is not limited by his or Dr Bob’s personal denominational beliefs. By the time the chapter concludes two pages later Bill has made reference to God eight more times. He just includes God mater-of-factly, he doesn’t explain or justify. For Bill Wilson belief in God in AA is simply a given. Something calling itself AA that doesn’t include God is outside of his mindset. If someone thinks they can develop some kind of secular version of AA, I don’t see them getting any justification or encouragement from AA founders because it simply isn’t there.
If you don’t want hear it from AA founders then take it from the New York Court of Appeals:
“..the religious-oriented practices and precepts of Alcoholics Anonymous …”
“…the state has exercised coercive power to advance religion by denying benefits … to atheist and agnostic inmates who object and refuse to participate in religious activity (AA)."
AA is is about God ladies and gentleman. In the words of the Eagle’s Don Henley and Glen Fry “Get over it”.
Please tell me why you use the names like, Dr. Bob and Bill W in the today's Quotes for Today, when their teacher was Jesus. I guess what I really want to know is why is Jesus's name like a bad word around A.A.
For me He has all the answers. Is it because there might be a New Comer in the room and we don't want to scare him or her away, I don't think so, or else we wouldn't mention God. If you never read about what Jesus said ? Please check it out for your self and please don't listen to close mined people, sorry I mean don't take to heart what some people say about Jesus
I can relate to what you've said about your relapse / slip. I too had a pretty long time of sobriety and then, like you, "at a totally, surprising time" I had a couple of glasses of wine. Gradually, like you, I went "back to my ways, slowly but surely."
One thing I found helpful was the essay Slips and Human Nature by Dr. Silkworth (the doctor who wrote The Doctor's Opinion in the Big Book) which the AA Grapevine published in 1947.
Dr. Silkworth compares an alcoholic's relapse / slip to a cardiac patient's and a tuberculosus patient's relapse / slip. What I found most interesting is Dr. Silkworth's comments on the thinking that occurs before the relapse / slip. I liked how Dr. Silkworth ended the essay:
"In any event, the psychology of the alcoholic is not as different as some people try to make it. The disease has certain physical differences, yes, and the alcoholic has problems peculiar to him, perhaps, in that he has been put on the defensive and consequently has developed frustrations. But in many instances, there is no more reason to be talking about "the alcoholic mind" than there is to try to describe something called 'the cardiac mind' or the 'TB mind.' I think we'll help the alcoholic more if we can first recognize that he is primarily a human being - afflicted with human nature."
Reading Dr. Silkworth's essay after my own relapse / slip helped me to stop beating myself up and feeling like such a loser.
Dreamed one night that I passed away and left the world behind. Started on down that lonesome trail, some of my friends to find.
Came to a sign on that trail; directions it did tell: Turn right to go to heaven; keep left to go to hell.
Well, I hadn’t been too good on earth, just a hopeless boozing rake. Knew there at the cross roads the path I’d have to take.
So I started down that rocky road. Yeah, the one that leads to Satan’s place. I shook within, not knowing, just who or what I would have to face.
Satan said, “What’s your name, my friend?”
I said, “Joe…who came to a sad end.”
He glanced through some files. “You made a mistake I fear. You’re listed here as an alcoholic, and we don’t even want you here.”
I said I was looking for some friends, and a smile stole on his face. He said, “If your friends are alcoholics, you can find them in that other place.”
So I rushed back up that rocky path till the crossroads I did see. Turned right to go to heaven, as happy as can be.
Saint Peter said, “Come in, my friend, for you and I have a birth. You’re listed here as an alcoholic, and you’ve been through h*ll on earth.”
I saw Kristen, Mark, and you all know our brother, Bill. Brothers and sisters, I was tickled. I thought you had all gone to h*ll.
So, brothers, and sisters, take warning. Learn something from this trip: You got a place in heaven if you try hard not to slip.
If someone tempts you with a drink when you’re not feeling well, just tell them you’re going to heaven, and they can go to h*ll! LOL
Joe R Wild Ones Group Wildomar, Calif
Whenever I'm feeling good/bad, etc., or otherwise, there is now a necessary reason to drink.
I had 10 wonderful years of sobriety and at a totally, surprising time, decided to have a little shot of schnapps.
In my whole career as a drinker, I "never" drank schnapps. Who Knows why I picked up the little shot as part of an unprepared, unrehearsed, relapse. I can only say this - it is because I am and will always be an "Alcoholic"
Since that day, I have gone back to my ways, slowly but surely. I have gained some moments of sobriety but feel there is always something lacking. I can't seem to fill the VOID in my chest - and drinking will never allow me to do such a thing.
I have lost many things during my career as an alcoholic but never this much. I have now lost the respect of family and friends (my phone doesn't ring much) as well as my mate.
I knew these things would happen - as per the many, many, stories told by my friends in the rooms, but I truly thought my friendly, compassionate personality would save me - WRONG!!!!!!!
I am desperately trying to crawl my way back but would dearly love to hear some friendly advice (I have a
terrific sponsor and a great friend in the program but would appreciate hearing something else as well}.
Your fellow AA alumni friend, Deborah
You will be OK !
When I came into AA 21 years ago in Dublin,Ireland, I thought I had a million problems. Then a sober member of our fellowship held up his index finger and asked me if I could count..... I said "sure thats ONE".....
"Never forget it my friend, It's the most important thing you'll ever have to remember in your life"
"Don't take one sip out of one drink"
This has been my experience and I prey I never forget this most important fact in my life today !
Everything else sorts itself out............
Congratulations for posting here! Your story is quite scary to me because I have double digit sobriety and I feel like it could happen to me. I try to insure against that possibility of picking up the drink by staying close to the program.
Your sponsor may already have given you this advice, but my advice to you is to go to a meeting every day for 90 days. During those ninety meetings, someone is going to say, "we need someone to bring cake next week" or some such. Say yes. In other words, pick up any little service commitment you can. And here's the big piece of advice (and something I have trouble with myself)...don't worry about tomorrow, just stay sober today and everything is going to work out. Hang in there and be sure to write back here.
Tom in Chicago
try going to meetings and sharing. get honest with yourself. this disease is very deadly and the only way to beat it is get to meetings and get honest with yourself
What worked for me was a spiritual experience as a result of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and intensive work with other alcoholics.
But there are some things that meeting relationships be suffering with in common. Some relationships take stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without truly relating to each. While it may earmarks of firm on the surface, require of involvement and communication increases distance.
In the 11 lines of your statement: "I" eleven times, "me" two times, "my" one time. WE do understand how you feel. Please get back to meetings and follow the directions - Get A Home Group, make friends, Get A Sponsor. Do SERVICE, Help someone else, etc. WE'll be waiting for You. If you have trouble, for nany reason, getting to a meeting ,You might try Sober Voices, 1-712-4320075 access code is 654443# If you still have trouble connecting to God, try praying for someone else. that works for us. Yours in love and service, joe h Pennsylvania
I quit drinking two months ago. Again. Before that, I drank for five months. Before that, I didn't drink for a year. Before that, I drank for two years. Before that, I didnt drink for a year and a half. Before that, I would not drink three to nine monthes at a time but always go back to drinking for three to nine monthes at a time. This lasted five years. Before the three to nine month drinking / not drinking period started, I did not drink for six years. Prior to that I drank steadily for 20+ years.
The end of my 20+ years of steady drinking came in 1996 with an "ah ha" moment where I realized that drinking had taken over my life. I obsessed about it, I craved it. During the next 16 years, I was often free of it, sometimes for extented periods (11 years total). However, any time that I started drinking again I always got caught in the obsession and craving (five years total). I was on the merry go round.
Now I am at the point were I "know" that the obsession and craving will come back if I drink. I didn't know that after my first six years of not drinking. I really thought that after such an extended period of time not drinking, that I could start drinking in moderation. It didn't seem unreasonable to believe that I would now be able to take it or leave it. I was wrong. The ensuing years demonstrated that any time I decided to drink, I would end up drinking too much, too often. My thoughts would become dominated by the desire for the next drink and my actions and life revolved around seeking out and having the next drink.
The notion of "doing more research" is sometimes spoken of in a dispariging way. As if knowledge of one's condition should be self evident and only a fool wouldn't see it. I guess I'm that fool. Once I figured out that the length of time away from alcohol didn't change anything, I tried everything else. For instance, I tried changing what I was drinking. I thought the volume of beer I had to drink to get drunk would limit me. Wrong. It didn't work. I would go to the ligour store time and again telling myslf that this time I would drink less and make it last for the week. I would be back at the liquor store in two days for more.
I'm at the point now that I want to quit for good. Not pick up another drink. Ever. My experience tells me that I haven't been able to moderate my drinking. When I don't drink, the promises come true -- not because God has finally decided to hand them out to me in asnswer to my prayers -- but because life gets better when not drinking. Whenever I drink, the drinking takes over, along with all the crap that goes with it. I want to take the necessary actions to get alcohol out of my life permanently.
I'm writing this post because I just need to say it in writing. I guess that's why it's called the Burning Desire to Share forum. I assume that by posting here there will be advice and "suggestions" that will come my way. I'm OK with that, although I think it's more effective when AA'ers share their own experience, streghth and hope instead of quoting literature. Please try not to bang the Big Book and the 12 Steps on my head. I'm agnostic. I doubt that there is a God, whether "He" is of your understanding or mine. I'm not willing to say for sure that I know there is not a God, so I'm agnostic rather than atheist. I definitely don't think I'm God, nor have ever thought that I was God. I'm always amazed that there are people in AA who say they thought they were God and the revelation that they are not has some relevance to believing in God. I don't think I'm the Queen of Sheba, but that doesn't prove anything about her existence. I've read the "We Agnostics" chapter multiple times and don't find Wilson's arguments convincing. I've sincerely attempted to believe in God and divine intervention through prayer. I've tried the "fake it till you make it" concept. Ive tried believing in God substitutes (higher powers). It seems like trying over and over with the same results is the definition of insanity. Yet, even without a God or a God substitute, I'm not willing to give up on getting sober.
I have a lot of uncertainty and anxiety about the future but I feel better after writng this post.
Spiritual axioms are never proven; they are defined by this lack.
axiom (noun) a statement or idea that people accept as self-evidently true.
When dealing in unknown, unknowable areas, the rules of proof are of no value. On the other hand accepting that “all that can be” must be within “what I can understand” doesn’t hold up under much scrutiny, does it?
By accident, when I started AA I landed at a table that studied steps 1, 2, 3 in rotation. The other meting I happened into was a gratitude meeting on Friday night. (Good combination by the way) I didn’t know anything else so this was AA to me. 1, 2, 3, G over and over. Despite being a devout non-believer the thing in step two about how our “Faith” in electricity keeping my food in the refrigerator cold, made life easier for me. I had been to Paris a few years before and saw how the rest of the world carried their groceries home twice a day on their bicycles. I’m busy; I like my refrigerator, thank you. Point 1. Faith, in some cases, opens up choices, improves the quality of my life. Surprisingly for some I’m sure; my reasoning did not jump from this small insight to the whole Christian-walks-on-water-heaven-hell-rapture package. Still hasn’t. However with some effort seeking, reading, listening, observing, discarding (yes, mainly discarding) and reasoning I have come up with an image that answers life’s otherwise unanswerable questions, meets AA’s requirements for a higher power, helps keep me sober, improves the quality of my life. That takes care of two. Three, God’s will for me? Steps four through twelve and enjoy my new life. No-brainer, it’s spelled out in the manual.
One of my A.A. friends pointed out that gravity is
also a power that I cannot see or touch. But gravity
can be overcome. I am grateful that belief in God
is not required for sobriety or membership in A.A.
Far too many alcoholics would not approach us in the
first place. I believe many alcoholics blame God for
their dilemma. When they hear: Find God and find Him
now, they walk away. Away from what may be their
last chance for recovery and life. ANONYMOUS
Hallo,i am for 6 years in aa and relapsed many times.I know that i can not drink normaly.When i pick up the first drink i can´t stop. an real alcoholic can never drink save for the rest of his live. And with god or your Higher Power;fake it till you make it.So do I.
I wish you a lot off succes!
A member of AA in Holland.
Thank you for posting a message.
I live in the middle of the United States and my first job out of University was in Delft, Holland in a training center for an oil service company. Beyond my greatest dream. I couldn't see the difference between the other men's drinking and mine. They could have a couple of Amstel's after work and study what we were to learn. You know what happened after I drank the first beer.
My dream job lasted about 3 months. I never came close to as good of a job and certainly not in such a beautiful place. I had every excuse but I really didn't see my alcoholism had caused losing that job until years later when I got sober.
I don't like fake it until you make it. Sounds exactly opposite from "half measures availed us nothing" from chapter five of Alcoholics Anonymous. The closer I stay to that book the better my life is.
Have a great day and enjoy your beautiful country.
Thank you for posting your reacting and your story.Nice to read that your first job was in Delft.It's a nice place.
You 're riht;half measures availed us nothing!So i do my prayer every day altough i am agnostic.Read my Big Book every day.I see a lot of people in AA with a long sobriety,so i know that it's works.Now i am for three month's sober and every day i feel better and enjoy my life.
Have a nice day and greets from Holland.
When I first saw your message I almost just scrolled
past it, as just another drunk-a-log. Taking a good look,
my mind changed. First of all I would like to extend a
sincere apology for our failure. Many will say A.A. didn't
fail, you failed. If a treatment fails, we blame it on the
You are an alcoholic. You have the typical obvious
signs and symptoms. I have the same condition. When I
drink anything containing alcohol, something happens to
me that does not occur in a normal social drinker. They
can take it or leave it alone, even after having one or
two drinks. We almost never stop until we reach a point
today I see as dangerous.
I see reference to "we agnostic" meetings being formed
in some parts of the country. Try to find one. They seem
to be trying to separate religion from our fellowship.
Bill W. wrote that nothing could be so unfortunate
for A.A. future, as becoming some sort of new religion.
We have done that. I certainly did my part in bring my
own religious belief into A.A. tradition. You can read
Bill W.'s warning to us on page 345 in The Language of the
Heart, LOTH, beginning at the bottom of the page. Bill
repeats a warning he had first written in Alcoholics
Anonymous Comes of Age. I think it is around page 232
in AACA. Bill wrote the first warning in 1957 in AACA.
He repeated the warning in an article for the AA Grapevine
in 1963. Bill must have seen the religious element
creeping into A.A. tradition.
I identify with you as an alcoholic. I am grateful that
the treatment, remedy, solution, technique, method that
I found at my first meetings worked for me. I am convinced
that today's A.A. would have failed me, the same as it
is failing you. Look for a meeting that is not some kind
of religious cult, with everyone pushing their own agenda.
You may not find one, but if you keep your eyes and ears
open, maybe you can start such a meeting yourself. Like-
minded A.A. members can form "we agnostics" group. But
please do not call it an agnostic group. Just call it an
A.A. group. I am a believer but don't want to be excluded
from any A.A. meeting.
Thanks for writing. I also feel better after writing
this post. I believe this is "How It Works". ANONYMOUS
"But please do not call it an agnostic group. Just call it an
But please don't call it an AA group. Just call it an agnostic group.
Thank you for your answer and suggetions.
In my fellowship were told me it's not possible to stay sober when you don't believe in a Higher Power.So i'm a litttle bit scared for relapsing again.I go to meetings,have a sponsor and doing my steps.
I don't know what fellowship you are in, But I am in Alcoholics Anonymous, a non-sectarian fellowship. I
personally would not tell anyone that it is not possible
to stay sober if She/he does not believe in a higher
power. An article appeared in the AAGrapevine a few
years ago title "Without a Higher Power". I don't think
he capitalized hp. I believe that article ought to be
required reading for all A.A. members, atheist, agnostic
or born again Christian such as myself. We have lost
millions of sufferers in the past twenty years by
limiting membership in A.A. We are not a God Program.
We are a fellowship of men and women as defined by our
A.A. preamble. Thanks for adding a little more light to the
"What's on your Mind Forum. ANONYMOUS
Thanks for not scrolling past. Thanks for noticing I was trying to describe how I fundamentally "qualify" as an alcoholic -- but not by the drunk-a-log method, describing lost jobs, broken relationships, financial difficulties, crappy childhoods, etc. Non-alcoholics have these things happen to them too but these events don't mean they are alcoholic. Writing it out helped me to re-confirm that I am an alcoholic.
Thank you too for taking the time to talk about the religious element in AA. There is one "We Agnostics" meeting in the city where I live. It's somewhat of a long drive to get there and is just once a week, but I've made the effort to attend it. I agree with you that no AA meeting should require that the attendees be agnostic. This would be as inappropriate as requiring attendees at an AA meeting to be believers.
The main difference I see with the "We Agnostics" meetings is that the attendees don't preach the Big Book formula that a belief in God is required to stay sober. Back in the 90's when I originally got sober, it didn't seem like there was the same degree of preaching that there is now and there was a greater degree of acceptance of the non-believer. I am grateful that AA did work for me at that time(without being a believer) and am hoping to find some meetings where there is less testimony about the benefits of God and more testimony about the benefits of sobriety.
Again, thanks for the encouragement.
If your reaching out for help.
Grab ahold Your about to experience a new way of living w/o alcohol or drugs.
Read the big book.
Get a sponsor.
Get busy trusting God.
What can be done about a group member who keeps chatting about Al-Anon as the solution and doing so while in an Open AA meeting?
I keep wondering why no one pays any attention to my explanation of our money problem.
We are paying salaries and benefits to individuals who ought not have been given the jobs
in the first place. This practice is in violation of the Powerful Tradition Bill wrote
on page S72 in the Service Manual. "The makeup..." "If it wishes".
These salaries and benefits are being paid for with money that we are not even supposed
to have: Profit from the sales of books and literature.
If we sell books and literature without profit (this has always been our goal), and only
spend money contributed by A.A. members, everything will be fine. "Spend What We Send".
Keep A.A. simple. quoting one of our co-founders. ANONYMOUS
I guess I’m a skeptic. I get suspicious when I see someone wanting something done just for the sake of having it done. There is a problem convincing alcoholics, trying or try to hide a bad motive under a good one or trying to keep an agenda secret. We used to do that kind of stuff, practiced it, rehearsed it, and thought we perfected it. Then we had it brought out in the daylight in steps four and five and saw it for what it really was and became willing to have it thrown in the trash with the rest. I’m grateful that the twelve steps are in the front of the book so I have a better perspective on the twelve traditions on the back.
For about thirty years my belief was this: The steps may
be labeled as suggestions, but for anyone who wants to get sober and stay sober, they are damned-well-betters. I just
thought that I knew better than our A.A. pioneers. I not only held this belief; I would offer it to anyone who was
polite enough to listen, individually or in meetings.
To say that the steps are free; the only ones you pay
for are the ones you don't take, distorts the meaning of
"suggestion". I regret that I stayed ignorant for so long.
How many suffering alcoholics did I push away? I don't
even like to think about it.
Today I believe that the Twelve Traditions are the
damn-well-betters. These were first called Twelve Points
to assure our future. Bill later wrote a thirteenth
tradition which he called a Powerful Tradition. The
violation of this tradition has harmed our fellowship
like no other. This Powerful Tradition can be found in
our Service Manual. Page S72. It surprises me that it is still there. "They" have removed the "in 1986" paragraph
from the Manual. Next, the powerful tradition paragraph
will disappear. Sure, there is some feeble explanation,
on page 17 under Concept IV. in the "For example" paragraph.
It also reads "if it wishes" the General Service Board
can legally do anything it wishes to do.
Concept Seven tells us what we must do. ANONYMOUS
The poster’s attempt to make AA World Service finances sound like some off-course, secret, nefarious plot is ridiculous. All of the financial decisions (in fact ALL decisions) are made with representation of members from all over the country with layer after layer of oversight built in. If anyone in interested in any of the details of how it is done just buy an AA Service manual and get ready for some really boring reading. It is only the poster’s opinion that using a small amount of profit from literature sales to supplement the General Service Office’s budget violates tradition Seven. To see this as accepting outside contributions we have to believe non-members MIGHT be buying some of our literature and the profit from THOSE sales is being used for something besides publishing expense.
When I buy a book, I buy it because I want the book. I don’t buy it because I want to make a contribution to Tom Clancy or Random House or whoever and thereby influence their decision making. Do you?
If influence from outside has ever been a problem, there have been thousands of trusted servants over the years to deal with it. If it ever does become a problem there will be hundreds more rising to the top service positions every year to meet the challenge. Something that isn’t broken, and shows no signs of becoming broken doesn’t need to be fixed today.
I think there is some economic theory left over from the early industrial revolution to the effect that there is a perfect and unvarying relationship between price of goods and demand. That is, lowering the price always causes a corresponding increase in sales. That theory fell down a long, long time ago. People aren’t failing to buy AA literature because it’s too expensive. Just like the items on the 90% off sales rack, they don’t buy it because they don’t want it. (I like it, I buy it, but I’m not everybody). His suggestion would not put literature in the hands of those who need it. It would cut the services offered by the General Service office where about seventy staff members serve about two million of us now and about twenty million more that need it.
I have a copy of my delegates report. It states that for the year 2012 total operating expenses were $14,283,552.
Contributions for the year totaled $6,557,608. Where do
you suppose the rest of the money came from? ANONYMOUS
I have a document in my hand from Ward B. Ewing Chair, General Service Board. It is titled: Trustees AgendaItem E
Background Doc 1. Under Finances he Writes:" Approximately 50% of the net income for the General Service Office comes
from the sale of literature", etc. So it is not just my
opinion, but, in my opinion 50% is not a small amount.
How accurate is our Service Manual, when it is
contantly being changed. Of course these changes are
approved by representation of members from all over the
country. Our delegates (representatives) are kept so
busy at the General Service Conference they don't know
what they are approving. How many of them knew that the
"In 1986" paragraph was being deleted from Page S74 of
the 2011 manual?
On page S72 read the paragraph beginning with "In the
makeup, it appears that the meaning of "never" has been
changed. An explanation is offered, but I believe never
If anyone, anywhere is interested in any of this, I
also ask you to buy a Service Manual. Keep an eye on
it. In the next decade we will be accepting outside
money from anywhere we can get it. "For the sake of
the poor suffering alcoholic who has never heard of
A.A." Nonsense! Everyone in the world today has heard
of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The twenty million suffering is probably closer to
thirty million, and that doesn't include our friends
and loved ones who suffer even more than the alcoholic
does. But they are not getting the help from our New
York office. The alcoholic shows up at our local doorstep.
There we tell her/him they must find God and find Him NOW!
I can hear someone say: There you go again. Jimmy Carter lost the election on that one. ANONYMOUS Note: the real
secret is how much of our money goes to the top ten
positions in our service structure. That secret I would
At our last group conscious meeting, I recommended changing our format in order to better reflect our mission. My idea was to discard reading “How it Works” at the beginning of the meeting and also to stop saying the “Lord’s Prayer” at the end of the meeting; in order to not muddle up our primary purpose or bamboozle the newcomer into thinking “I must do this or die.” I proposed we should open up with the “AA Preamble” and close the meeting with the “Responsibility Statement” I was greeted harshly by the gurus but, to my surprise there were more “yeas” than “nays”! Many members had felt this way in the past but were afraid to speak up because they did not want to rock the boat. All it took was one person to do so. After much discussion the “yeas” came to believe that these writings clarify our mission better and provide a stronger foundation for our fellowship’s future. Does anyone else have a similar format? Thanks
I don't think that the Lord's prayer has any business in AA because it is uniquely Christian, excluding all others. Referring to finding a Higher Power to solve one's drinking problem does belong because that's what AA is. p45.
Bill W. wrote in the "Dear Russ Letter" the reasons
why using the Lords Prayer to close an A.A. meeting is OK.
Bill W. was no saint and made many mistakes before and
after sobriety. Some of them were serious.
Does anyone have any information indicating that Bill
changed his mind on this one?
I personally don't see anything wrong with it as long
as the majority of the group members approve it. It is
the coercion or forcing everyone to join in that I feel
harms A.A. as a whole. ANONYMOUS
"I don't think that the Lord's prayer has any business in AA because it is uniquely Christian, excluding all others."
As a matter of historical fact, the author of 'Lord's Prayer'
was a Jewish rabbi who taught the prayer to his Jewish disciples. There were no Christians at the time, no Christianity,there is no mention of Christ, God or Jesus in it so how can you pretend it's a uniquely Christian prayer.
The Serenity prayer, on the other hand, was written by a Protestant Theologian, yet no one seems to have a problem with saying it.
And please stop trying to convert AA into an Atheist sect.
Looks to me like the Lord’s Prayer came from Jesus at the Sermon on the Mount, Mathew 6:9 -13. Maybe he got it from a rabbi, but it’s certainly looks like his instructions on how to pray to me. Instructions from Jesus = Christian? Sounds like it to me.
Atheist? You better read my post again.
Check again. Jesus was not a "Christian", He was a rabbi and his disciples were all Jews. Christianity didn't exist when He lived.
You may not be an atheist, but you certainly seem to have a resentment against anything even remotely 'Christian'.
Over the years I have sponsored a Jew, an Iranian immigrant who is Muslim, a Laotian immigrant who is a Buddhist and a Catholic priest. Not a single one of these complained about the Lord's Prayer, the Serenity Prayer or any of the other prayers found in our literature.
I challenge anyone to show me where in the Lord's prayer God, Jesus, Christ, or Lord is found. Calling the word "Father" strictly Christian is stretching the point, isn't it?
I don't think the issue about the Lord’s Prayer has anything to do with where it came from. It's religious in nature and although I do not have a problem with it, I have to accept the fact that some people do. It can mislead the newcomer into thinking we are a bunch of religious fanatics. I am not better or healthier because I’m okay with the prayer and anyways, it’s good to stand in another’s shoes. Try a little compassion. In many areas, groups are moving away from using it. Some guy mentioned the Responsibility Statement as a better option. I personally think it does more harm than good but, our group votes to keep it. Each group is autonomous. If you don’t like it, start your own group. You just need a good resentment and a coffee pot as they say and its sounds like one is brewing (no pun intended) In my area for instance, there are agnostic and atheist AA groups and groups that recognize Jesus Christ as their higher power. All approved to boot! If we can co-exist together in providing more options in reaching out to the still suffering alcoholic then I should think Bill and Bob would be pleased. Some people see AA as a perfect and finished program ever since it was created in the 30’s. Others see AA as a growing and changing program that honor its humble roots but, believe it needs a tune-up from time to time. What if we still believed the world was flat and trees can turn into fairies?
I'd like to hear more about this step-less program of recovery. With about two hundred people in the US dying of alcoholism and at least that many more going to prison for using their best drinking thinking, I'm sure there are a lot more that would too.
You posted, "I'd like to hear about this step-less program.” After reading that, I didn’t arrive at the same conclusion. I understood it to be just a member writing about their group’s decision to change the format to the reading of the Preamble and Responsibility Statement. I personally didn’t get they were trying to suggest AA should be a step-less program but, through this new format, it might better serve the sick and suffering alcoholic and AA as a whole. I think the group’s decision to change the meeting format was an importance choice and demonstrates the democratic element of the group conscious. Our group opens with the Preamble and closes with the Serenity prayer. From time to time we vote on changing our format. It took us a few years to stop reading the Lord’s Prayer. Not because we were against it but, we have to be more sensitive to the ever changing demographics in these rooms.
Your message means more to me than you will never know.
I do hope you and other groups will read Bill W's "Dear
Russ letter about closing with the Lords Prayer. The
group conscience (fully informed) must decide. It is the
holding hands and praying that I strongly object to.
I agree with Bill W. that it is OK to use the Lords
Prayer to close the meeting, if the majority of members
vote to do so, at a real group conscience meeting.
Don't let the loud mouth gurus control the group.
It is hard to believe that so many of us have remained
silent for so long. Reading HIW at meetings aloud, was
a tragic mistake. We must stop reading it at all meetings.
We may be in the minority now but keep spreading the
warning. Thank you again for your courage. ANONYMOUS
I've been a member of AA for many years and of course getting along better with some than others.
I try to stay cordial with everyone but prefer to have socialized with some more than others.
Now...there is one member I have known for years who has started to work with me. I consider him an AA friend and don't mind having coffee with him as long as it's with a group but not alone.
However, he greets me at work with a big smile as if we're long lost friends.
I've tried making it clear I don't want to socialize with him by avoiding the break room but he continues to look around for me.
This is becoming a drag because this guy (20 plus years of sobriety) doesn't have much sense of humor but does have a bit of a temper.
I have avoided going to my Sat. meeting because he oftens corners me after the meeting on when can we have lunch together at work.
What's a good way to get this guy off my back?
How about "I know it's scary for you being new here but my idea of a break from work is different from yours, now you need to excuse me."
If we are in a fit spiritual condition to receive it, we are given all the courage we need.
when you live with the demon of fear so shall your life be filled with the whirl winds of calamity. unable to take the first step beyond the fog of the mind. But also so shall fear be your friend it can motivate you to the hieghts of life to change the world in which you live in. which do you live with ?
The Grapevine I-Poll this month has to do with whether or not your group allows discussion of "other substances" and how that fits in with our primary purpose. It would seem that the majority of A.A.'s would have a problem with Bill W. And Dr. Bob sharing their stories in an A.A. meeting because of their insistence of mentioning "other substances". Has anybody ever read "Bill's Story" and "Doctor Bob's Nightmare" in the Big Book? Both of them mention substances other than alcohol. On pages 6 & 7 of the Big Book, Bill states "A doctor came with a heavy sedative. Next day found me drinking both gin and sedative. The combination soon landed me on the rocks...." and on page 177, Dr. Bob states "It was a really horrible nightmare, this earning money, getting liquor, smuggling it home, getting drunk, morning jitters, taking large doses of sedatives to make it possible for me to earn more money, and so on ad nauseam...." How dare they! Don't they know this is A.A.?
Some might say it isn't the same thing. But try substituting meth for sedative in Dr. Bob's story and you get "...taking large doses of meth to make it possible for me to earn more money...." See what I mean? I think the real problem is fear. We really shouldn't allow fear to cause us to close our ears (or our doors) to those we possibly may be able to help. Didn't we learn in the fear inventory part of our Fourth Step that "Perhaps there is a better way--we think so. For now we are on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves."
Like many others you don't seem to know the difference between mentioning something and focusing on it.
The quotes you shared are single sentences taken out of complete stories. Yet you and so many others use these single sentences to justify turning your alcoholism story into a drug addiction story.
I was told many years ago that apologizing before you do something and then doing it is arrogance at its highest. Admitting, as so many do, "I know this is Alcoholics Anonymous but drugs are part of my story" simply tells everyone present that you realize you should keep your share focused on alcoholism but you are so egotistical you're going to talk about drugs anyway.
I have yet to meet an AA member who didn't have another issue or issues, including myself. However, those who practice the AA program and adhere to its Traditions stick to what the Preamble refers to as "our common problem". those who insist on being different by talking about other problems purposely ignore those who didn't use drugs, who come to AA in hopes of identifying with other alcoholics. You may as well say, "I know this is Alcoholics Anonymous, but I'm going to talk abut what I want to talk about and to h--- with anyone who didn't use drugs."
my grandfather was one of the original AA founders in Tulsa ok. he was in AA for 32 years until he passed away in 2000. i have a t-shirt that says original group AA tulsa, OK 1990. i am only 18 i have no drinking history, but i can feel my addictive personality. so i use parts of the twelve step recovery when i am at my weakest. my grandfather gave me alot, patience, a great sense of humor and many words of wisdom to live on with. although i didnt kno him for long, i was only 5 when he passed but my mother tells me many stories of him and hilarious jokes. he was the greatest man i know and if you didnt know him, you should have! his name was Delbert.
the reason i am writing this is to see if anyone knows or has heard of him?
my mother tells me, he couldnt even go out of the state without someone saying "hey, Delbert..."
he was many things, a husband, a father, a grandpa/"cowpa" as i called him, a true man of wisdom, a friend, an attorney, but what he would call himself was powerless.
i hopw that if you read this you will know that my granpa is on your side. fighting by your side head to head with your addiction also. me aswell. your not alone and dont ever give up!
My sponsee drank 1 beer 3 different times...last time he felt the craving but could stop he didn't get drunk...he asked me to help him now to work the steps..did he relapsed or he didn't???
Truthfully and out of respect, if you have to ask a question like this perhaps, you should reconsider sponsoring someone.
Some would call it relapse, some would say he hadn't stopped drinking yet. The 12 steps will arrest either.