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Old 03-02-2018, 03:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Athiests in AA


While AA claims it is not bound to a sect, which is ********, it's clearly Christian. I have found that there are some groups that won't make you feel left out if you are an atheist. It's comforting to know that there is a place where I can belong.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Oxford,
you might find some like minded souls here in our Secular 12 step forum:

https://www.soberrecovery.com/forums...step-recovery/

You might also want to google around for a group called 'AA Agnostica', which is pretty much what it sounds like.

there's also any number of meeting based groups that don't require belief in a Higher Power - SMART LifeRing, SOS, Sobriety for Women....

There's a Buddhist approach in Refuge Recovery. There's even groups like Rational Recovery which don't even require meetings; and groups like Celebrate Recovery for those who don't think AA is religious enough.

There's really no excuse for anyone else to stay in a recovery method they don't find meets their needs.

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Old 03-02-2018, 03:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm glad you found some groups that seem to be working for you, Oxford.

I've been in AA for many years and I'm (definitely) not a Christian. I've never felt pressured or compelled to become one.

Best wishes in your journey.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Doesn’t matter what they claim to be.
If you can glean some information it’s all good.
I find atheists are looked down upon but so are Muslims, Christians, catholics, Scientologists and AA.
I think it’s better not to be judgmental.
These ways of life are here to stay.
Take care
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm glad you found some groups that seem to be working for you, Oxford.

I've been in AA for many years and I'm (definitely) not a Christian. I've never felt pressured or compelled to become one.

Best wishes in your journey.
It is better to be able to be honest about who you are before going into recovery. I feel if I had to pretend that there was a god, I'd have challenges
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It is better to be able to be honest about who you are before going into recovery. I feel if I had to pretend that there was a god, I'd have challenges
Yes you do have to be honest about who you are.

It’s taken me nearly a year to find out who i am after bashing myself with the booze.

Stay on track life’s sooo much better sober.
I promise
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
Reality...what a concept!
 
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I am an atheist and if I am really being honest I have never been anything else. That being said, I LOVE my AA home group/recovery club! I have always been open about it, replace the word "god" with "universe" or "higher power", and no one has ever expressed concern or offense. In early sobriety I travelled far and wide to attend different meetings and types that are not "god based". Agree there are AA groups out there that are very heavy into the god thing and big book thumping, which is why I stick to my home group that is very diverse and accepting of all views.
Glad you seem to have found something similar for yourself that just happens to not be AS, but just wanted to share my experience in the event that you or another reader find yourself in a new location, keep searching for a group that you feel comfortable with and don't discount it because its AA/12 step, as the make up of the group can be quite different wherever you go.
Congrats on your sobriety and best to you!
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:15 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi Oxford, like you I'm an atheist. A week ago when I decided to get serious about recovery, I started to do a ton of reading and research. I have a ton of respect for AA, as I have family members whose lives were totally turned around by it. That said, I had similar thoughts as you re. being completely honest with and about ourselves as we enter recovery. Like others have said, there are options out there - I just went to my first Smart Recovery meeting yesterday, and I found it very valuable. I'd encourage you to check a group like Smart out, for that vital community and support. What Snowydelrico said also resonates for me - at this point I'm more than happy to take tools from wherever I can get them. I'm reading the AA Big Book and looking at the Steps in some detail, because I feel there are important elements there that can aid me in my recovery. Best of luck!

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Old 03-02-2018, 05:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can only offer you my experience with AA. My sponsor is an atheist. I'm not. We get along quite well. To me AA is a spiritual program but I recognize that a lot of AA members treat AA as an extension of their Christian faith. If you live in an urban/suburban area you probably can find an AA group that suits your needs.
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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There are dedicated atheists meetings you can look into, also the high power is different for everyone, though many choose religion. Many are the types with the big book in one hand, and the bible in the other, while others simply find spirituality.
Everyone has their own path and I would not let others bother you in this way.
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:04 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am an Atheist and have used AA. I have trouble with the whole 'higher power' concept, not just God. I love the meetings and community but sometimes it's hard to take the program seriously when people talk about their 'higher power' as if it really exists. AA has been highly beneficial for me though and there is never any mention of religion.
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I am an Atheist and have used AA. I have trouble with the whole 'higher power' concept, not just God. I love the meetings and community but sometimes it's hard to take the program seriously when people talk about their 'higher power' as if it really exists. AA has been highly beneficial for me though and there is never any mention of religion.
I haven’t been to any AA meetings but I hear of this ‘higher power’ and see it as another way of saying ‘just let it go’
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Was at a meeting the other week where the person who set the meeting up was sober for 42 years through AA and was an atheist. Had a good chat to him at the end of the meeting and gained some great wisdom. If you want to get sober and stay happily sober AA is there for you and works. Besides, the program of action doesn’t require any meetings per Se.

“The spiritual life is not a theory, we have to live it”- this is what removes the drinking problem and gives peace and serenity in my experience.

If you’ve found a meeting with likeminded people that’s great but there can also be a lot learned from people who are very different; even if it’s that you know you don’t want to end up like them! Haha.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Atheist here as well. I have never used AA, but I have certainly rebelled against the concept of God many times. Until I read up on awareness and decided that this was really resentment on my part and impacted my recovery.
Alcohol is a mighty foe and we must use all the tools at our disposal. AA stepwork seems like a great methodology, try it and see if it works for you. If references to God or a Higher Power get you riled up, either just take a deep breath and let it go or, if so inclined, ponder what it is inside of you that gets triggered by such notions. It is not the external stimulus, it is how you react internally that causes you stress. Change how you perceive it and boom, you’re free.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Open your mind

Atheist is someone that emphatically denies god. Agnostic is someone that is not sure if there is a higher power. How does this relate to sobriety? I think that if we find something in ourselves or outside our interests, that helps us to cope and change, it will be the right path to follow.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:28 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I wish you all well and hope your debate brings a little wisdom that helps with your recovery .
Me ~ I think i,ll just read on .
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Old 03-02-2018, 10:13 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi Oxford,

I would say believe whatever you want to believe to keep you sober but other people religion should not be discounted as they help, like Christianity I sometimes go to confession to get the past sins of my chest there is two way,s to look at this confess to God or as I see it you are getting your problems out by talking to a person behind a wooden wall cheaper and less intimidating than a psychologist.I also use some Buddhist teachings that happiness is within, it comes when we do not intoxicate our bodies and meditation brings peace to the mind.
We accept in society that people are born different and we accept different race's and people with disabilities this is the morality we as a society believe.So my point is you can pick useful practises out a relgion that does not mean you have to accept the worship idiol.Good luck with your Goals
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Old 03-02-2018, 11:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If a 'higher power' in the form of a bicycle gets/keeps someone sober..GREAT! I am far from religious and the thought of god/Hp,ect..kept me away from AA. The courts nudged me through the door soon enough. I'm still not religious and really don't attend regular meetings often anymore,but I'm sober. I'm now in the 'camp' of use ALL the methods if you want/need to. Whatever it takes.

I do implement the steps of AA into my days/thoughts now though. Sure beats the crazy AV/booze thought and drunken actions that had ahold of me for several years.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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There are things about 12 Step programs that I like. I don't like this aspect of AA. To me, giving yourself to a Higher Power and saying that your Higher Power controls everything is too much like religious faith. I am a stone-cold agnostic and I find that belief or disbelief in God is speculation beyond the data.

I find the idea that "You can use a doorknob as your Higher Power" to be ridiculous. Who actually DOES that? I find the To the Agnostic chapter to be condescending, and the roots of AA are clearly firmly entrenched in Christianity.

I used AA extensively in early recovery, I loved the sense of community and a roomful of people that wouldn't be freaked out when you'd share about staying drunk in a room that smelled like vomit for 3 weeks, for example. HUGELY important to me, it allowed me to cement Step 1.

I tried to work the steps. I really did. I couldn't get through Steps 2 and 3. I'm still working a modified version of Step 4. Tried agnostic groups and a pantheistic sponsor. Still felt wrong for me.

Continuing AA in my sobriety just feels like trying to fit a square peg (me) in a round hole.

BUT

1. I really tried to make it work.
2. Parts of it were extremely useful, and I would never say "No AA ever." It is a hugely available program with a ton of resources.
3. It's worked for a ton of people, and continues to do so.
4. I don't plan on relapsing, but I think very few do. If it happened, you can bet I'd be back at AA in a flash and trying the steps again.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, this is MY experience, and mine alone. I would never presume to say that AA isn't effective for a lot of people, or that religious faith doesn't help a lot of people as well. Because the facts state otherwise.

I would strongly encourage any newcomers or anyone new to sobriety to check out ALL tools available to you, most emphatically including 12 Step.
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Old 03-02-2018, 01:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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While AA claims it is not bound to a sect, which is ********, it's clearly Christian. I have found that there are some groups that won't make you feel left out if you are an atheist. It's comforting to know that there is a place where I can belong.
Interesting... In certain part of the US where I live it's all about football, baseball, college sport, pro sport. Maybe venture out a bit more and find another area meeting. Ones in churches might have a higher percentage of Christians. Just saying...
IMO is AA based out of principles in the bible? Yes. Is it bible teaching? NO!
Take what you want and leave the rest.
It's funny, about 50% of my friends who have been sober 20+ years are not Christian..
Maybe try to peek outside your own 'thinking' box... See what happens.

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