If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's prayer?

Got an issue with someone or something? Want to whine a little? Here's the place to do it, or to get to know folks, or ask those questions that don't fit anywhere else.
Soberguy27
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:29 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Soberguy27 » Thu May 31, 2018 9:21 am

Tosh, I understand and get your example of seeing things differently but to me it doesn't hold water. That is like seeing a kkk rally and thinking it is just a bunch of guys who like tp wear pointy white hats. There is a difference. Now I'm not saying that meetings should not be autonomous and that they should not say the lords prayer, only that if they are going to do so that maybe they should be listed in the meeting guide as a christian group that ends with christian prayers.
I am not looking to change aa but aa has to change eventually. Our book was written at a time when the world was a much different place. It's 2018 and not 1939. Things and people are different now and the book needs to reflect those differences. To me the whole program is about change. Changing my behavior, the way I approach life with a clear mind, and the way go forward with a new look on life. So as we change aa also has to change. If aa is to be all inclusive then it must change. Our own book says we still yet know little and that more will be revealed.

Oh and thanks for your comment shebot. I was well said.

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3677
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Blue Moon » Thu May 31, 2018 10:12 am

Soberguy27 wrote: Our book was written at a time when the world was a much different place. It's 2018 and not 1939. Things and people are different now and the book needs to reflect those differences.
The book is a historical document. It is going to change very little, if at all. The stories at the back will change, but the basic text remains.

Even 1 punctuation-mark out of place would be sufficient to get an entire print-run thrown in the bin. "The panda eats, shoots and leaves."
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
Posts: 3766
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Brock » Thu May 31, 2018 10:31 am

I also like what ‘shebot’ said, especially being a practicing Christian herself, when referring to how the saying of the prayer felt to her, “It just feels very fake, forced, and uncomfortable.” And the few times I do attend church, due to old friends kicking the bucket, sometimes everyone holds hands and does it there, and it doesn't feel much different either.

Change will come, but it can’t be rushed, ideas like “maybe they should be listed in the meeting guide as a christian group that ends with christian prayers,” no way, ladies only yes, men respect that and don’t go, LGBT meeting same deal straight folks stay away if it offends you, but because of a prayer and some members who use the word God, that certainly is not separate enough from ‘original’ AA, to be listed separately. The fact that all the meetings view the Big Book as the standard text, which contains lord knows how many references to God, shows the leaning to Christian principles way more than a simple prayer does. And there have been changes over the years, having a bible on the table along with the other literature, was standard practice at one time, people like Dr. Bob I believe might be shocked just how far from the original Christian principles we have drifted, and I agree that these changes were necessary.

I said it before because I have seen it happen in other organizations, give an inch they want a mile, drop the prayer from all groups no problem, but next they will want the word God dropped just like in AA Agnostia, where they changed the steps to suit their lack of belief, and if those meetings were more successful, we wouldn’t be talking about this now.

I have great respect for those seeking change, particularly change which makes newcomers feel more at home, and I don’t agree that this necessarily is a sign of ego in that person, but it simply can’t be rushed, that makes people uneasy and then they push back.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by tomsteve » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:45 pm

Soberguy27 wrote: It's 2018 and not 1939. Things and people are different now and the book needs to reflect those differences. To me the whole program is about change. Changing my behavior, the way I approach life with a clear mind, and the way go forward with a new look on life. So as we change aa also has to change. If aa is to be all inclusive then it must change. Our own book says we still yet know little and that more will be revealed.

Oh and thanks for your comment shebot. I was well said.
heres a great idea:
get pen and paper and write a dam book yourself instead of trying to change one thats been in existence for as long as it has.write a book about what has been revealed.
not one person has done that that i suggest it to.
the way alcoholism effects people hasnt changed in thousands of years.

say it gets changed.
lets say we take out the word God and put "higher power" in its place.
someone will gripe. it doesnt matter HOW the book is written, someone WILL gripe.

it IS about change- like stop trying to say i know whats best for AA and everyone else.
to stop playing God.


if the big book MUST change, then theres THOUSANDS of books that MUST change too.
hows about them ones?


have you taken this up with central office in new york or are you another one that only gripes about it in forums?

User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
Posts: 3766
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Brock » Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:28 pm

When discussing any changes to a program that saved the life of many of us here, it might be expected that some will get a bit upset. But let’s please try to show just how well the program is working in our lives, and maybe keep the conversation civil and let everyone express their views.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3677
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Blue Moon » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:04 pm

Brock wrote: keep the conversation civil
I'm not seeing where it's not civil. When I was drinking, if someone told me I "must change", the response they would have got was very different. The only real difference being, in that situation they might have even been right.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

Soberguy27
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:29 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Soberguy27 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:18 pm

Positrac, it's not an all or nothing thing. I don't expect aa to change for me or do I want it to. I realize that most people in aa are Christian but there are a growing number of people who are not. If we are to be all inclusive then it was just my suggestion that meetings that recite Christian prayers regularly be listed in the meeting guide as Christian meetings. I mean if you went to a meeting that you had not been to before then found out it was an LGBT meeting and you were not LGBT, you would probably feel a bit out of place. That's how a lot of folks feel when they hear all the Christian prayers at meetings especially if they are not religious or if they are atheist, agnostic, humanist or from religions other than Christianity. Should we just turn those people away?

Soberguy27
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:29 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Soberguy27 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:10 pm

I just want to thank those who have tolerated my post. I know this can be a touchy subject but one of the things that I have learned in my 28 years of sobriety is to thine own self be true. So I speak my truth. So what I have said is only one mans opinion. Will it change anyones mind? Probably not, at least by the reaction I have seen here. So I appreciate everyone's input even when our opinions differed.

User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
Posts: 5017
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by avaneesh912 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:24 am

As a person coming from a different religion, I looked at it as just a prayer. You see most religions point to this oneness. There is a particular sect in my religion which will fight that there is only one God and all others are demi-gods. I am glad that I didnt distance myself from the groups because of this branding/prayers. Eventually I realized that working the 12 steps, I could become a better person, I could loose the identity, mind created/conditioned ones. So many of them. I have seen many walk out of the rooms once the meeting is over, they dont even want hold hands. Some do stick around and not say the prayer. Nobody is going to force anyone to do anything. Its very personal. In some groups they have the set aside prayer to open and end with the serenity prayer. I actually have great respect for the atheist who have to face lot more dilemma than the people who are agnostic or men of belief. Their thirst to recover was for more greater than their idea of God.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by tomsteve » Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:35 am

Soberguy27 wrote: If we are to be all inclusive then it was just my suggestion that meetings that recite Christian prayers regularly be listed in the meeting guide as Christian meetings.
have you taken this to central office- where decisions are made for AA- or just in forums?

Soberguy27
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:29 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Soberguy27 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:05 pm

I have spoken to my local central office but my suggestion fell on deaf ears. It's sad that so many here and even at some local meetings would suggest that I start my own meeting or write my own dam book. I never said to take God out of the steps only made a suggestion to list meetings with Christian prayers be listed as such. This would be for those who wish to check out aa as a way to make an informed decision. We'll I plan to continue attending my local home group, and being true to myself. When I got sober I had mentioned that I was an atheist and although no one asked me to leave I felt pressured to conform to something I did not believe in meaning God. Luckily I have a great sponsor who helped me through the steps even though I did not believe in God. I am very grateful to him for all the love and tolerance he has showed me. I am over 28years sober and he has played a great part in my sobriety. I am looking forward to helping him celebrate his 36th year of sobriety later this year. I guess the old saying is true. The reason we are here is because we are not all there. Although by some of the responces this has brought up, I think that some would think it is me who is not all there. In any case, I am still sober over 28 years. Not bad for this godless alcoholic!

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1301
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by positrac » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:59 am

Soberguy27 wrote:Positrac, it's not an all or nothing thing. I don't expect aa to change for me or do I want it to. I realize that most people in aa are Christian but there are a growing number of people who are not. If we are to be all inclusive then it was just my suggestion that meetings that recite Christian prayers regularly be listed in the meeting guide as Christian meetings. I mean if you went to a meeting that you had not been to before then found out it was an LGBT meeting and you were not LGBT, you would probably feel a bit out of place. That's how a lot of folks feel when they hear all the Christian prayers at meetings especially if they are not religious or if they are atheist, agnostic, humanist or from religions other than Christianity. Should we just turn those people away?
Good point and I've got a counter on you gay meeting I attended in 1994 on Chestnut street in Philly. I was in town over night and I wanted to attend a meeting. So I called the local AA office and per my location this meeting was available and easy access and low and behold it was very gay and quite eye opening because they stuck to the point of the foundation of AA. Just because it is 2018 is not a reason to change everything to make it fit this new majority. I have attended meetings all over the world as I lived overseas for 7 years and the Lord's Prayer was said and in these countries outside of Australia were not of the Christian faith because I was in southeast/west Asia.

Learning to follow is hard and yet can train us to be prepared for anything when the day doesn't go our way. Looking at things openly instead of with self gratification can be humbling. I am not a fan of many of these ideas that I have to give up my beliefs in order to make them feel comfortable. When I don't feel comfortable and I speak up I am then labeled because I spoke up and so they aren't very willing to be open minded on my feelings of acceptance.

BTW if the Lord's Prayer is the only thing out of place then get up and leave and you aren't out of place......just saying!
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

tomsteve
Forums Contributor
Posts: 431
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by tomsteve » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:16 am

heres some good reading that has helped me quite often:

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems
today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some
person, place, thing, or situation—some fact of my life
—unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until
I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being
exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world
by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I
could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely
on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate
not so much on what needs to be changed in the
world as on what needs to be changed in me and in
my attitudes.
Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage, and all
the men and women merely players.” He forgot to
mention that I was the chief critic. I was always able
to see the flaw in every person, every situation. And I
was always glad to point it out, because I knew you
wanted perfection, just as I did. A.A. and acceptance
have taught me that there is a bit of good in the worst
of us and a bit of bad in the best of us; that we are all
children of God and we each have a right to be here.
When I complain about me or about you, I am complaining
about God’s handiwork. I am saying that I
know better than God.
For years I was sure the worst thing that could
happen to a nice guy like me would be that I would
turn out to be an alcoholic. Today I find it’s the best
thing that has ever happened to me. This proves I
don’t know what’s good for me. And if I don’t know
what’s good for me, then I don’t know what’s good or
bad for you or for anyone. So I’m better off if I don’t
give advice, don’t figure I know what’s best, and just
accept life on life’s terms, as it is today—especially my
own life, as it actually is. Before A.A. I judged myself
by my intentions, while the world was judging me by
my actions.

Then, one day in A.A., I was told that I had the
lenses in my glasses backwards; “the courage to
change” in the Serenity Prayer meant not that I
should change my marriage, but rather that I should
change myself and learn to accept my spouse as she
was. A.A. has given me a new pair of glasses. I can
again focus on my wife’s good qualities and watch
them grow and grow and grow.
I can do the same thing with an A.A. meeting. The
more I focus my mind on its defects—late start, long
drunkalogs, cigarette smoke—the worse the meeting
becomes. But when I try to see what I can add to the
meeting, rather than what I can get out of it, and when
I focus my mind on what’s good about it, rather than
what’s wrong with it, the meeting keeps getting better
and better. When I focus on what’s good today, I have
a good day, and when I focus on what’s bad, I have a
bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases;
if I focus on the answer, the answer increases.

Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember
that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations.
The higher my expectations of Max and other
people are, the lower is my serenity. I can watch my
serenity level rise when I discard my expectations.
But then my “rights” try to move in, and they too can
force my serenity level down. I have to discard my
“rights,” as well as my expectations, by asking myself,
How important is it, really? How important is it compared
to my serenity, my emotional sobriety? And
when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety
than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher
level—at least for the time being.
Acceptance is the key to my relationship with God
today. I never just sit and do nothing while waiting
for Him to tell me what to do. Rather, I do whatever
is in front of me to be done, and I leave the results up
to Him; however it turns out, that’s God’s will for me.
I must keep my magic magnifying mind on my acceptance
and off my expectations, for my serenity is
directly proportional to my level of acceptance. When
I remember this, I can see I’ve never had it so good.
Thank God for A.A.!

Soberguy27
Forums Enthusiast
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:29 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by Soberguy27 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:20 pm

Well you all have provided some good food for thought. I just know it took a long time for me to be ok with it. And it's not just the lord's prayer that's the issue but the heavy if you don't believe in God thing meaning the Christian God (at least in some meetings in my area) that is a bit much. My concern is not for myself as having a good amount of time I have dealt with it in my head but for the new Comer this may be the only representation of AA he or she is exposed to and that may be a big turn off and they may never return. Anyway, I do appreciate all the responses even where we may have differed in opinion.
Thanks everyone

User avatar
positrac
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1301
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: If AA is not religious then why do we say the lord's pra

Post by positrac » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:53 am

I think you've made a mountain out of a mole hill with all of this stuff. Like I've stated before is that those who have a desire to stop drinking will go to any length and if the Lords Prayer is too much to handle then they aren't really ready to get sober. Honesty in the rooms is important because it separates those who will and who won't.

Almost get the feeling that stirring the pot is fun instead of being honest and actually taking the message to those who are struggling since you have some time (Assuming that is in the rooms and sober while working the steps)


Higher power is God, stone, fish, cow turd or whatever gives that individual peace of mind, but you knew that already and still asked a question you knew the answer too.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

Post Reply