From the February 1999 magazine.

A Contradiction in Terms?

In most meetings, the Lord's Prayer is the official close of the meeting. I think that the recitation of a prayer from a specific religion is a violation of tradition, and diverts us from our singleness of purpose. I also believe it is disrespectful to persons of other faiths for us to assume that everybody sitting in the room is a Christian. I wonder how many newcomers of other religions (or those having none at all) are uncomfortable with the Christian ritual, and perhaps do not come back.

Page xiv of the Big Book states: "The only requirement for membership is an honest desire to stop drinking. We are not allied with any particular faith, sect or denomination,. . ." Page xx says: "Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization." Page 12 says: "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?. . . It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning." Page 46 says that "the Realm of Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men." Page 47 says: "When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God."

-- Donna F.

Roswell, Georgia

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