From the February 1953 magazine.

Tradition Ten

The tenth of a new series of articles explaining The Twelve Traditions

NEVER since it began has Alcoholics Anonymous been divided by a major controversial issue. Nor has our fellowship ever publicly taken sides on any question in an embattled world. This, however, has been no earned virtue. It could almost be said that we were born with it, for as one old-timer recently declared, "Practically never have I heard a heated religious, political or reform argument among AA members. So long as we don't argue these matters privately, it's a cinch we never shall publicly."

As by some deep instinct, we AAs have known from the very beginning that we must never, no matter what the provocation, publicly take sides in any fight, even a worthy one. All history affords us the spectacle of striving nations and groups finally torn asunder because they were designed for, or tempted into, controversy. Others fell apart because of sheer self-righteousness while trying to enforce upon the rest of mankind some millennium of their own specification. In our own times we have seen millions die in political and economic wars often spurred by religious and racial difference. We live in the imminent possibility of a fresh holocaust to determine how men shall be governed, and how the products of nature and toil shall be divided among them. That is the spiritual climate in which AA was born, and by God's grace has nevertheless flourished.

-- Bill W.

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