AA and religion etc...

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leejosepho
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by leejosepho »

Tosh wrote:
leejosepho wrote: None of this is about any outside issue -- I am only sharing the original A.A. experience and I do not mean to be presenting any kind of dogma.
How do you know it's the 'original AA experience'?
I take those folks at their word after they had written it down.
Tosh wrote:But rather than share about other people's experience, your own is more than sufficient.
Having done exactly as they have done, mine is the same.
Tosh wrote:I can see why some people get turned off from AA; it's not a religion; it's a spiritual program of recovery; but sometimes it's difficult to convey that to the skeptical newcomer who just sees it as another method for evangelising a faith.
Understood, and that is why even Bill just let alcoholism do all the "evangelizing", so to speak.
Tosh wrote:Ebby Thatcher said to Bill, "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?"
Yes, and that is where/how/why Bill first learned to avoid sectarianism.
Tosh wrote:So, given that you know our literature ...
There we can see a certain fine point you and I have yet to discuss: I share actual experience (just like in the book), and not mere intellectual content. Quoting books has never done much of anything for anyone, and Bill and the others never meant for their book of experience to be a bone of contention:

"Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us." (page 164)

Many people do try to bring in "outside stuff", however, and they do so even while specifically stating it did *not* come from God ...

... and so, we have this:

"Most of us sense that real tolerance of other people's shortcomings and viewpoints and a respect for their [rights to have their own] opinions are attitudes which make us more useful to others ..." (page 19)

... and that amounts to just sharing what we have learned and affording others their own opportunities to do as they please while learning for themselves.
Tosh wrote:I still wonder why you disagree with other concepts of God?
I do not. I simply share (either in practice or in word) that the idea of "a god of your own understanding" cannot be found anywhere within "A.A.", the book.
Tosh wrote:... in one religion, it is said that when God created man, God added a spark of himself inside each man.
Sure. It would seem He has breathed life into each of us.
Tosh wrote:So, if I were to follow that religion (which I don't) ...
... then to you, that is irrelevant, and that is fine with me.
Tosh wrote:And as the Anglican priest and member of my homegroup regularly says in his Texan accent, "Religion don't get you sober, but A.A. does!"
I was actually just thinking about that kind of thing while out on a smoke break -- My wife has asthma and I do not smoke inside our home -- and before returning and finding your post:

God provides permanent recovery and nobody complains when A.A. gets the credit;
Alcoholism drives people toward God and the rest of us get blamed! :wink:
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Tosh
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by Tosh »

leejosepho wrote: God provides permanent recovery and nobody complains when A.A. gets the credit;
Why should they complain? They could be the same thing! :mrgreen:

I like you, Lee, and I've enjoyed our discussion. Thanks.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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leejosepho
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by leejosepho »

Tosh wrote:
leejosepho wrote: God provides permanent recovery and nobody complains when A.A. gets the credit;
Why should they complain? They could be the same thing! :mrgreen:

I like you, Lee, and I've enjoyed our discussion. Thanks.
"Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends - this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives." (page 95)

I thank you for being a great part of my own day.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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marietta
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by marietta »

leejosepho writes: "I do not. I simply share (either in practice or in word) that the idea of "a god of your own understanding" cannot be found anywhere within "A.A.", the book."

What is this, then: "Made a decision to turn out will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him"? Are we now to distinguish between God and a god? Or would it be safe to say that each individual has the right to choose his or her own Higher Power and to then cultivate that relationship? I agree with Tosh - the first 100 alcoholics were certainly as diverse as any given 100 alcoholics we might find today. Your posts, Lee, read as though the first 100's experiences in A.A. were the only authentic ones and the rest of us have bastardized the program to the point that it is unrecognizable. Because this is an online forum and all I see from you is words on a screen, I more often than not come away from your posts feeling judged, as if I haven't done this thing correctly, as if my experience is a mere shadow of the true A.A. gift, as though my years of living by the principles of Alcoholic Anonymous are cheap imitations of the real deal. You can throw that back in my lap, and I believe you will, citing that that is my problem and not yours; but words carry weight and yours are like a freighter-load of pile drivers. Things go smoothly when posters agree with you and support your views; then it turns to sh*t when someone outside that first 100 alkies shares a different view. If I'm counting correctly, you could be Alcoholic Number 101 - that puts you on our side of authenticity. Lighten up. Please. Carry the message. Don't rub our noses in it.

marietta
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde

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leejosepho
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by leejosepho »

marietta wrote:leejosepho writes: "... the idea of "a god of your own understanding" cannot be found anywhere within "A.A.", the book."

What is this, then: "Made a decision to turn out will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him"?
Their own report of having done this they had next suggested for still others:

"Abandon yourself to God as you understand God ..." (page 164), and they were very carefully staying completely away from imposing any kind of specific Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Anglican, Orthodox or other sectarian conception of God.
marietta wrote:Are we now to distinguish between God and a god?
In all sincerity: I would first have to know what you mean by "we" before I could offer any specific answer there.
marietta wrote:... would it be safe to say each individual has the right to choose his or her own Higher Power ...?
I believe this answers that at least relatively well:

"If [your A.A. prospect] is sincerely interested and wants to see you again, ask him to read this book in the interval. After doing that, he must decide for himself whether he wants to go on ...
"If he is to find God, the desire must come from within.
"If he thinks he can do the job in some other way, or prefers some other spiritual approach, encourage him to follow his own conscience ...
"... be friendly. Let it go at that." (page 95)
marietta wrote:Your posts, Lee, read as though the first 100's experiences in A.A. were the only authentic ones and the rest of us have bastardized the program to the point that it is unrecognizable.
I do not accuse anyone of anything, and yet Dr. Bob did once say something along the line of "We wrote the book to keep our message from being twisted and garbled beyond all recognition."
marietta wrote:... I more often than not come away from your posts feeling judged, as if I haven't done this thing correctly, as if my experience is a mere shadow of the true A.A. gift, as though my years of living by the principles of Alcoholic Anonymous are cheap imitations of the real deal. You can throw that back in my lap, and I believe you will, citing that that is my problem and not yours; but words carry weight and yours are like a freighter-load of pile drivers.
It is neither my fault nor yours that the cards occasionally fall as they do, but I will still not hide behind anyone's skirt by saying you should go take your complaint either to alcoholism and its "spirits" :wink: or to God.
marietta wrote:Things go smoothly when posters agree with you and support your views ...
No, no, no, things only go smoothly here:

"Being wrecked in the same vessel, being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned to the welfare of others ..."
"The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism." (pages 161 and 17)
marietta wrote:Lighten up. Please. Carry the message. Don't rub our noses in it.
It has been mentioned to me privately that some of my posts do occasionally seem heavy-handed, and I will do my best to avoid anything like that in the days yet ahead.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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marietta
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by marietta »

Your responses, Lee, in the order in which I read them:

a) grammatical shell game
b) "we" meaning anyone reading what you are writing
c) agreed, particularly the "be friendly" part
d) perhaps you do not "accuse" anyone outright of anything, but your drive-by implications are pretty hard to miss, such as the "AA/A.A." indictment
e) I already took my complaint to a moderator; and we have a responsibility on this forum to try to maintain some semblance of decorum and tolerance. I don't want any fuzzy bunny S***, nor do I want my own sobriety to be denigrated in any way.
f) it is useless to comment here
g) thank you

marietta
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde

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leejosepho
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by leejosepho »

marietta wrote:b) "we" meaning anyone reading what you are writing
...
g) thank you
Distinguishing between "God" and "a god" is most definitely a personal choice to be made if/when personally considered, and A.A. never presumes to influence that choice.

You are welcome.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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Roberth
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by Roberth »

I agree with you Arthur, AA doesn't work for you. I for one won’t try and convince you otherwise. I hope you find or have found something that does works for you. One more thing maybe I am not an atheist just because I don’t believe in god the deity but even with that AA has still worked for me for a long time.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!

TheOrangeCrush
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by TheOrangeCrush »

Tosh that's a load of crap. Your way around the "higher power" is lame. AA is a lot of people trying to pray away the addiction. That's why it only has a 3.8% success rate!

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marietta
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by marietta »

TheOrangeCrush: are you a non-drinker? Are you a recovering alcoholic? It would be nice to know where the vitriol is coming from. If you are recovering/recovered, may I ask what fuels your recovery? I don't believe it has to be a wise old bearded guy on a gilded throne who keeps a checklist of good and bad deeds. There are some alkies who manage to stay stopped without a God of any kind. I'm just curious what you used to get and stay sober, and if your program of recovery also includes open-mindedness or tolerance.

marietta
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde

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Tosh
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by Tosh »

TheOrangeCrush wrote:Tosh that's a load of crap. Your way around the "higher power" is lame. AA is a lot of people trying to pray away the addiction. That's why it only has a 3.8% success rate!
I smell something...

Image

A troll maybe?

:mrgreen:
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by parmm »

It is our own fault. When you pray religious prayers openly like one does in church, when you chant like one does in church, when you have rituals like religions do, it sure causes outsiders to think we are a religion. Even federal judges have ruled that we are a religion. And don't say "the traditions", cause the traditions don't apply to them! I once heard a old timer say that he could not stay sober without the Lord's Prayer. The longer we have and do those things, the more we look like religion and the more difficult our jobs will be. My home group no longer says the Lord's Prayer. But we still have the chanters who will not give up.

parmm
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by parmm »

Tosh wrote:
TheOrangeCrush wrote:Tosh that's a load of crap. Your way around the "higher power" is lame. AA is a lot of people trying to pray away the addiction. That's why it only has a 3.8% success rate!
I smell something...

Image

A troll maybe?

:mrgreen:
But remember our code - Love and tolerance.

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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by jakpar »

lmao tosh!! keep coming back....... :lol:
Jack

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marietta
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Re: AA and religion etc...

Post by marietta »

Man, I don't know whether to pray or apply for credit.

marietta
"There can be nothing more frequent than an occasional drink." ~ Oscar Wilde

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