A.A. and “The God Thing”
AN A.A. meeting I go to, maybe 4-5 times a week, is continually discussing “the God thing” — people talk about how, when they came into the rooms of A.A., they had trouble with recognizing that “a power greater than ourselves” could help them. Typically, they go on to talk about how they came to be estranged from and resistant to anything to do with God. Amazing what a sizable number of people have been wounded by church (and perhaps their families’ insistence on attendance\participation\membership in church).
First thing that comes to mind is, A.A.’s 2nd Step specifies “a power greater than ourselves,” not God. And in A.A.’s originating document, Alcoholics Anonymous (aka The Big Book), first published in 1938, the program’s co-founder, Bill Wilson, deals with “the God thing” once for all, when he has his friend Ebby respond to his own resistance to “the God thing” by suggesting, “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?” (page 12).
When I hear the same people at meetings tell the same stories about their God problem, I’m hearing denial and resistance. If a person doesn’t want to admit he’s powerless over alcohol, doesn’t want to come to meetings and say, “My name is Brendan, and I’m an alcoholic,” doesn’t want to do all the rest of it — then A PERFECT STRATEGY is to attack A.A.
A.A. is a Christian cult!!! And worse, it’s a sneaky and hypocritical Christian cult — they get you in the door and then insist you have to be a Christian. How devious, how hypocritical!! Yes it would be, if it were true.
Most of A.A.’s founders were Christian Protestants, a few Catholics, however nominal their religious connection was. Of course, in the 1930’s, the majority of Americans were Christian Protestants. But, back to page 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous — “why don’t you choose your own conception of God?”
In my experience with A.A. in Gainesville, Florida, where I know literally hundreds of people, I have no idea what their religious affiliation or practice is, and I don’t care. Nor, I think, does anyone else in the program.
Doesn’t keep the topic from coming up in the meeting I referred to every week, twice last week.