Over at James Randi…

There’s a thread in the forums called “Why do people insist that AA is not religious.” I thought yall might be interested.

  • SoberPJ

    Gawd, what a mess. I read through most of the posts and if that passes for critical thinking, I'm a frickin genius! There's a persistent Aussie dude that doesn't seem to be bothered by evidence and keeps saying the steps are suggested, period. It seems down under they have no problem with AA being anything you want it to be. No hang ups on religion, the steps or anything. Do whatever you want and everybody gets treated the same. He says AA has evolved. Just because Bill and Bob wanted it their specific way, well, get over it, that was then, this is now and we do it our way. No rules, no requirements, just purely suggestions and if you don't want to follow them, then don't. I genuinely don't know what to think of that approach, but it doesn't seem to be AA at that point. It has evolved into something entirely different if the gospel of Bill and Bob is rejected as antiquated, inappropriate rhetoric. The entire thread also reinforced how nebulous the whole AA ecosystem is. You can't define what AA really is, what it really represents or who controls anything but the publishing business. It's like an amorphous blob that looks different to each observer…

  • humanspirit

    I read the first few pages of it. That the OP quoted someone saying that the Lord's Prayer is not religious really cracked me up. Try telling that to all the people who have practiced Christianity over the past couple of millennia. This was apparently Jesus's answer to someone who asked "How should we pray to God?" and has been the main prayer of the Christian faith ever since. And somehow some stepper can construe this as not being religious? Interesting.

    I get really frustrated with these discussions about the higher power, though, because no-one ever seems to ask the right questions about it (maybe they did further on in that thread, and if so, apologies). There was a stepper saying that it's OK to have the planet Jupiter as your higher power if that's what you want. OK, but the next obvious question should have been, "So I must turn my life my life and will over to the care of the planet Jupiter, and ask it to remove all my faults and defects of character, and is the planet Jupiter going to deliver this?" And then another obvious question might be, "So I should pray and meditate daily for knowledge of the planet Jupiter's will for me?" Now, no offense to the planet Jupiter – it's a pretty awesome planet – but I don't think it is remotely interested in some earthling's problems with addiction, even that of an AA member.

    Steppers always try to pretend to newcomers that the last nine steps don't exist, and do not encourage people to think their choice of higher power through to its logical conclusion. Just another example of their fundamental dishonesty.

  • true believer

    Bait and switch, then switch back?

    Who cares what AA says, the courts say it is a religion.

  • Z

    Fundamental dishonesty, is this why they keep going on about "getting honest" … ?

  • Sarah

    When I got to the point of "turning my will and life" (brain) they told me my concept of a higher power was no longer good enough and I would need someone/something that could actually help me.