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Mon 17 Sep 12 #1 
kevg
The Grumpinator


Talking to a chum we were discussing alcoholism so I looked up AA meetings in UK and was astounded to see this. The 12 Steps.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I'm not an alcoholic but I know a guy who is and this would put him off going. First of all you have to believe in God or a God at least. I cannot for the life of me see why this is a requirement. AA is the recognised first call over here, surely there are other programs ? I'm very disappointed to learn this. Does anyone else have an opinion ??


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Mon 17 Sep 12 #2 
Ajax
Contributor

Hadn't thought of that before. Good point.


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Mon 17 Sep 12 #3 
southshoregirl

I am ssg and I am not an alcoholic. I think one's belief in God, and I am only guessing, is so you aren't placing total blame upon yourself for being an alcoholic nor taking credit for stopping. I believe the AA has a motto "one day at a time". Or something to that effect.

That's all I can say because it is just steam blowing out of me release valve.
Interestingly, nobody in my family on either side has ever been alcoholic except for my father's eldest brother. He's dead.

I actually dislike the taste of alcoholic drinks very much.


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Mon 17 Sep 12 #4 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

If you were looking at the same place I'm looking (the AA web site) then you must've missed the bit below...

"Newcomers are not asked to accept or follow these Twelve Steps in their entirety if they feel unwilling or unable to do so."

So, it isn't actually a requirement - there are no requirements except (as it says elsewhere on the site) "a desire to stop drinking".

Still - it'd put me off. Of the 12 steps, 7 are religious or spiritual in nature. That's not really me.

Why it is set up this way, though? Well, because the founders of AA believed in God. The temperance movement has long had close associations with the church, after all. They found something which worked for them and they stuck to it. It mightn't be for everyone but for those it suits, it appears to be beneficial. I can't see anything wrong with that, personally. It's a self-funding organisation, after all.

There are other alternatives - Drinkline and Addaction, for example. They just haven't got the same profile as the AA. Plus their roadside assistance is awful.


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Mon 17 Sep 12 #5 
Ajax
Contributor

There may be an Alcoholic Atheists.

ssg, I think they pray to God for strength in overcoming their addiction.


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Mon 17 Sep 12 #6 
southshoregirl

I suppose so, you two. I am just coming from a different place. I think it is too presumtuous to expect people to sudddenly embrace god. I couldn't do it. I didn't bother to look up the AA site. I just have a lot of alcoholic friends who spew this stuff out.


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Mon 17 Sep 12 #7 
Doctor Factenstein
Evil Genius

Who says anyone is expecting people to suddenly embrace God?

They've got their Twelve Steps. They're there for anyone who is interested to see. They aren't secret. If you don't figure they're for you then nobody forces you to go to the AA.

Even if you do go you're not expected to embrace god. There's no presumption.


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Tue 18 Sep 12 #8 
sally906 (online)
Contributor

I think you can be directed to attend AA meetings by court if you have a drinking problem.

My husband is an atheist and he would have real problems with this - doesn't even believe in a higher power. I am sure there are non-believing people with alcohol problems and only being able RO relate to a few of the steps would not be useful surely?


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Tue 18 Sep 12 #9 
sally906 (online)
Contributor

Just gone googling. There are 12 step atheist groups but few and far between and mostly in the USA at this stage.


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Tue 18 Sep 12 #10 
kevg
The Grumpinator

Thanks Sally, that is my point I think.


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Tue 18 Sep 12 #11 
sally906 (online)
Contributor

I'm here to help :)


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Wed 19 Sep 12 #12 
Proofreader
Member

I know several people who are in AA...they don't seem very godly, but I think the meetings are what help them....It sounds something like group therapy. People tell their stories, and everyone there can probably identify with them....and support one another in trying to stay sober. Some go regularly for years and years; others go for a while, then drop out; and of course some fall off the wagon...but they know they can go back any time.


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Wed 19 Sep 12 #13 
Ajax
Contributor

They don't say, but Paulie is kind of autistic. He likes the rules. A lot.




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