Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published October 2013.

What Are the Requirements?

An AA considers religion in meetings in the context of the Third Tradition

Sometimes, it seems that the Third Tradition has been amended to "The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking and a belief in God. In many meetings, as well as Grapevine articles, I hear that unless I profess a belief in God, I am doomed to drink again. This God is usually not a God of my understanding but a God of their understanding.

I have been sober in AA for well over 30 years. For the first 10 years or so, I tried to believe and I made believe that I believed. At my sponsor's suggestion, I prayed daily and worked the Steps. The more I studied religion and God, the more convinced I became that this was not for me. Yet, I continued going to meetings, sponsoring others (if they believed in God I did nothing to discourage them), engaging in service work, and stayed sober.

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