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Struggling with Step 2...

Old 05-14-2013, 05:51 AM
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Struggling with Step 2...

I live in Oklahoma, my group as a whole is really pushing Christianity on me. They mean well, I am trying to go at my own pace though. I DO have an open heart and I have the willingness. The more they push, the more angry I become. I am Agnostic, how do I forget the science books and theories for a second to see if their god is right for me?
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Arbigyle View Post
I live in Oklahoma, my group as a whole is really pushing Christianity on me. They mean well, I am trying to go at my own pace though. I DO have an open heart and I have the willingness. The more they push, the more angry I become. I am Agnostic, how do I forget the science books and theories for a second to see if their god is right for me?
first and foremost NO ONE Should be "Pushing" anything on you in AA.. and Welcome to SR Arbigyle! this is a Great site..
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:07 AM
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In Chapter, "We Agnostics" is a good read.
I agree with 24hrsAday and if I could add to this, if possible for you, search out more meetings and find one you are comfortable with.
It's your journey.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:12 AM
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Hi. I might suggest a group your more comfortable with. AA seems to have differently based ideas from where I am. Sure we talk about praying for help to stay away from the first drink etc., but I don't recall any religious organizations mentioned at meetings except occasionally when someone says in passing that they returned to their House Of Worship. This is part of what's read before every meeting around here and it's a short version of AAs traditions which is the foundation of AA. So to me what's happening is against the traditions:
"The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self supporting
through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with
any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does
not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor
opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and
help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety." BE WELL
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:17 AM
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A greater power can be very personal. I have to agree that no one at AA should push any greater power. Do you have other meetings that you can attend?
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete55 View Post
In Chapter, "We Agnostics" is a good read.
I agree with 24hrsAday and if I could add to this, if possible for you, search out more meetings and find one you are comfortable with.
It's your journey.

I have read it many times, another meeting isn't an option I go to all 4 in my area, even drive 30 miles to one in Texas.

I get so defensive in the meetings...I told them I was an agnostic and every time the subject comes up I feel like I am being preached to.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by terribob View Post
A greater power can be very personal. I have to agree that no one at AA should push any greater power. Do you have other meetings that you can attend?
No, I have tried them all in a 30 mile radius. They mean well, they seem as though they are not remembering what the big book says. They just pick and choose the suggestions they like. It makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes.

Example: I said something to the effect of, "How do I forget or unlearn science and theory? I need proof there is a god or power greater than me."

A gentleman told a story of a guy like me. He said the guy was a skeptic and said he would just try this praying thing for a while...he said "I will pray for the sunglasses I lost." So this guy goes to a gas station and the the attendant found his sunglasses and returned them.

He is now a Christian. I said, "The only thing I want from this story is proof, I wanna talk to these two men."

Then another gentleman butted in and said(in redneck voice), "You know humans wrote those science books, worms and dirt did not make man, GOD did." I replied, "Humans wrote the bible as well." I cross-talked :/

So another gentleman told me to make a list of things that I would want from a higher power and pray to that piece of paper. The worm and dirt gentleman, coughed and said "********".

A week later they had a talk with this guy about respecting others belief or non-belief.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:52 AM
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Perhaps you might mention it's against the Traditions and at a discussion have the preamble discussed, gad it's as plain as daylight. BE WELL
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:58 AM
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It's one of the issue that I can't do AA myself, as an atheist. Have you ever try SOS or Rational Recovery? It maybe more for you good luck.
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:17 AM
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I agree that no one should be pushing religion on you. But you say you are willing. The Book says that is all that is necessary to make your beginning. You need not know, or understand what it is you believe in as long as you are willing to believe that there is something greater than you that can help you. THis willingness is sufficient regardless of how limited your understanding of a Higher Power may be at this time. Through working the steps you grow and come to know more of what or who your higher power is.

Anyone that says different is not talking AA IMO. The steps, although rooted in Christianity, are not a religion. They are quite broad and open to anyone who wishes to explore.

Do you have a sponsor in this group?
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Old 05-14-2013, 10:50 AM
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I'm sorry you are dealing with this but it IS awesome that you are dealing, not letting it keep you from meetings, etc.

One thing that is often heard in meeting is "more will be revealed", so when they start pushing or making pointed suggestions, rather than argue or even defend your own beliefs, maybe point out that you are confident that more will be revealed as you work the steps, and that your HP will become more clear to you.

For most of us that has been the case. We trust there is SOMETHING that can keep us sober. We accept that we don't have to define it and we move forward. At some point what that something is may start to make sense for us. But we don't need to define it, in fact it's better if we DON'T define it because that can shut us off from the realm of possibility.

It seems my beliefs are more along the line of yours. I had many people say or hint, with a wink and a knowing nod that in a short time I'd come round to their HP. It bothered me a great deal in the beginning, but there were always those that did tell me to keep an open mind, not bother about those folks and trust that more will be revealed and the only HP I needed to bother with was the one of my own understanding, or as the case might be my own uncertainty!

Since step 2 asks that I come to believe that something can save me from insanity, and I saw a lot of people before me get sober, I was able to allow that there is something that can help people stay sober. I was able to move forward. I've had to come back to step 3 several times when I stalled later on down the road and saw that was a sticky place for me. But it's been worth it and I have made real and purposeful progress.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:41 PM
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The reason why I quit AA is because I am agnostic also. There are other ways to overcome addiction. I am doing it largely by myself, but I live with my dad and he's a recovering alcoholic also. We give each other support.

The 12 steps don't work for everyone.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Arbigyle View Post
I live in Oklahoma, my group as a whole is really pushing Christianity on me.
Tell them that you are starting to get a higher power and that Islam really interests you
It would be interesting then to see what they do and if they keep on with AA or come out of the closet as a Christian group. My home group has a gamut of all faiths and not including two African born Muslims. We work the steps,we do not proselytize for our personal religions.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:15 PM
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I can really relate Arbigyle, this is a big hangup of mine to with AA. I have read the chapter to the agnostics several times too. I have also read/watched/heard a lot of science stuff. I am agnostic, and probably lean a little more towards the atheist side. I have a really hard time with step 2, and then step 3 too.

My sister, who is in AA, will talk about how she KNOWS there's a God, etc. You can't even have a discussion about it. I think a lot of people are like that. Fortunately, I go to meetings where people don't talk about God a lot and don't force it on you. There are definitely other people in AA that have doubts, unfortunately it just doesn't sound like they are at your meeting.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Arbigyle View Post
I live in Oklahoma, my group as a whole is really pushing Christianity on me. They mean well, I am trying to go at my own pace though. I DO have an open heart and I have the willingness. The more they push, the more angry I become. I am Agnostic, how do I forget the science books and theories for a second to see if their god is right for me?
What does your sponsor say about this?

All the best.

Bob R
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:35 PM
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The important thing, arguably the only thing, is to stop drinking. And AA clearly says that
"the only requirement for membership is the willingness to stop drinking." And the preamble clearly states that AA is not affiliated with any creed, etc. AA is available to Buddhists, followers of Islam, and, yes, Agnostics and even Atheists. The Big Book says this even though it does seem to contradict itself a bit when it refers to a "Higher Power, which is God".
There are AA groups for Agnostics and Atheists, but often only in metropolitan areas. I found one particularly helpful for myself although I am not an agnostic or atheist. It's a pity that you have not access to one of these. Anyway, why not try this. When they go on about how religious they are, why not smile and practice tolerance, understanding, forgiveness, humility, the way that the Buddha might respond to this challenge. Smile, nod your head and, perhaps with a sad look, say that you understand, that you are so glad that they have found a faith. When they ask if the same is true for you say, "Perhaps. Thank you for your loving concern. May your God bless you for that." Respond with love, understanding and sad forbearance. Follow your path. There are many paths up Mt. Fuji. You need not follow theirs. Seek out your own and climb into the sunlight.

W.
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:38 PM
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Bob R, just curious, what do you think about it? You're in AA, right?
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Old 05-14-2013, 02:59 PM
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Cool

Originally Posted by bbthumper View Post
I agree that no one should be pushing religion on you. But you say you are willing. The Book says that is all that is necessary to make your beginning. You need not know, or understand what it is you believe in as long as you are willing to believe that there is something greater than you that can help you. THis willingness is sufficient regardless of how limited your understanding of a Higher Power may be at this time. Through working the steps you grow and come to know more of what or who your higher power is.

Anyone that says different is not talking AA IMO. The steps, although rooted in Christianity, are not a religion. They are quite broad and open to anyone who wishes to explore.

Do you have a sponsor in this group?
I have a temporary sponsor, there are not many woman. I haven't found anyone.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by zalfa View Post
The reason why I quit AA is because I am agnostic also. There are other ways to overcome addiction. I am doing it largely by myself, but I live with my dad and he's a recovering alcoholic also. We give each other support.

The 12 steps don't work for everyone.
What do you guys study literature-wise?
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 2granddaughters View Post
What does your sponsor say about this?

All the best.

Bob R
Where in the first 164 pages of the Big Book does it say to get a sponsor?


Enjoy!
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