Atheists in AA

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Atheists in AA

Post by Soberguy27 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:08 am

Just thought I would post this in hope that it helps those who are atheist and are in or considering joining aa. First know that I am an atheist and have been sober for over 28 years. I know that people like myself and possibly those who are just not religious may find aa a bit much especially when they hear the god talk. Let me assure you that aa can work for you too. First off aa does not demand you to believe in anything and no one is going to try to convert you to any religion. There is a reason that the big book always underlines "god as we understood him". A god or a higher power is left to each person to their own conception even if they do not believe in any gods. What helped me when the god word was brought up at meetings was that whenever someone mentioned it while sharing that they were sharing their own lexperience, strength and hope and that I had to look for the similarities and not the differences. No one person speaks for aa so each prrson who shares at meetings is sharing their own experience. Your experience may be different.

The fact that I am not a believer of any religious gods or any gods what so ever did not keep me from getting and staying sober. AA has a proven way to get sober. The steps can work for even us atheists if we keep an open mind. Some atheists replace the word god to something more palatable for them and when some meeting close their meeting with a prayer I stay silent but participate in the holding of hands ( something done at the meetings I attend )
So if you are like me and had trouble with the god thing at meetings, just know that you can still get sober through aa and there are even meetings for the atheist. I don't attend those meetings as there are not any close to where I live.
Bottom Line is that aa works whether you belive in god or not.
Been working for this atheist for over 28 years now so I know it can work for people who are like me. I hope this helps anyone of like mind who wants to get sober.

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Re: Atheists in AA

Post by PaigeB » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:50 am

ME TOO! I practically BEGGED people I asked to tell me that an atheist would never make it - but they just said, "Keep coming back." And "Find a Higher Power you can work with." And "Good! Don't change! I know a lot of newcomers that need to hear from you!" :? I stuck around and kept coming back, but no one would argue with me. I have had very few, like 3 people, who have said things like, "Don't you think you are a little arrogant to think you got sober without God?" to which I was able to grit my teeth and smile and say, "Don't you think it is a bit arrogant to think that God helps you find your car keys?" No argument between us, just a couple of difficult questions, one difficult moment.

I have only 8 years of sobriety but it has been pretty comfortable, even as an atheist hearing all the god talk. I was told early on to "practice semantics". When they say "god" ~ I heard "AA" or "Good Orderly Direction" or just "Good". Eventually, Love & AA became my Higher Powers. I meditated a lot more than I prayed, but I am now quite fond of prayer - mostly quick prayers like, "Save me from being angry!" But I recite the 3rd and 7th Step Prayers in the morning and at night... I mean, they are AA literature, not unlike reciting the Steps. But I also like the Thomas Merton Prayer and the 11th Step Prayer - which is the Saint Francis Prayer... Let me be a channel of Love and Peace. Yeah - I usually mash up portions to suit me and a poor memory helps in that too. The point is that I DID THE WORK... I STILL DO and DO and DO. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice like Mozart!

Scientifically ~ Everything action has an equal and opposite reaction. When I am working my program without expectation, I tend to find that I have changed before I recognize the change. The harder I surrender the freer I am. LOL I see that "hard surrender" is another oxymoron of my journey. Either way, I "ceased fighting" and made "Love & Tolerance of others" as my own personal Code of Integrity - stuff from page 84 of the Big Book. Keep reading and find the 10th Step Promises there. "We will react sanely and normally..."

Go to work, do the job and get an auto-deposit payday. Working the Program is not different. Work the Steps. :mrgreen:
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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