The Last Post on AA Agnostica – Eleven Years Old!
By Roger C
This is the 747th article posted on AA Agnostica and it is the last – the very last – article to be shared on this website.
While the website will remain online and accessible to all, there will not be any new articles.
That’s it, that’s all!
Launched in mid-June of 2011, what was the purpose of AA Agnostica? Well, there were two of them.
A comfort zone
As we learned back then, AA Agnostica was a comfort for those in recovery who couldn’t stand all of the God stuff at traditional AA meetings. You know, meetings that end with the Lord’s Prayer and then pretend there’s nothing religious about that.
Here is a recent comment (by Larry G.):
AA Agnostica has been the most important part of my recovery in the last five years. It’s been immensely satisfying to read open minded and well reasoned articles on non faith based recovery. Its been really helpful to disentangle the AA God belief from my recovery.
I totally understand. When I first got sober back in 2010, I had the same experience. I personally was treated with disrespect at traditional AA meetings for not believing in a God – you know, a supernatural, male, interventionist deity – and I was told that without a God I would be a drunk again.
To put it simply: BS, that stuff. And that’s how AA Agnostica turned out to be a comfort zone for non-God believers in recovery. As part of all of that, in 2015 it was a treat to publish a book, Do Tell! Stories by Atheists and Agnostics in AA, which contains fifteen stories by women and fifteen by men. Each one of these people found AA Agnostica to be a comfort zone. Just as do many of the thousand or more people who visit the site each and every day.
Comfort is obviously an important and very helpful part of recovery.
The other purpose of AA Agnostica has been to make AA more inclusive.
Hard to do, that. Traditional AA is rather dogmatic. Bill Wilson once talked about that, suggesting that AA was indeed moving in that direction. As he put it:
Whenever this brand of arrogance develops we are sure to become aggressive. We demand agreement with us. We play God. This isn’t good dogma. This is very bad dogma. It could be especially destructive for us of AA to indulge in this sort of thing.
AA can be indulgent. Only literature that is published – and sold – by AA is “conference-approved”. All other books and pamphlets about recovery are by and large banned or ignored by AA Intergroups, Central Offices and at the literature tables at traditional AA meetings. That is indeed a form of arrogance and bad dogma, as Bill put it.
The goal of this website has always been to make AA less dogmatic and more inclusive. Has that worked? Here are the posts and pages viewed on AA Agnostica on May 27th of this year:
Secular 12 Steps have always been a major interest of those visiting AA Agnostica. On that day in May, 213 people went to the Alternative 12 Steps, where there are six non-Godly versions of the Steps. Roughly 150,000 people have been there over the last eleven years.
And, as you can also see in the above image, people are also interested in Step Interpretations, Secular Group Websites and The Little Book, which contains 20 secular versions of the Steps and 4 interpretations of each.
So yes indeed AA Agnostica has made every effort to make Alcoholics Anonymous more inclusive. Here is a quote from Bill Wilson shared in a Grapevine article, Responsibility is Our Theme, in 1965:
Newcomers are approaching us at the rate of tens of thousands yearly. They represent almost every belief and attitude imaginable. We have atheists and agnostics. We have people of nearly every race, culture and religion. In AA we are supposed to be bound together in the kinship of a universal suffering. Therefore the full liberty to practice any creed or principle or therapy should be a first consideration. Hence let us not pressure anyone with individual or even collective views. Let us instead accord to each other the respect that is due to every human being as he tries to make his way towards the light. Let us always try to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Let us remember that each alcoholic among us is a member of AA, so long as he or she so declares.
So has AA Agnostica achieved – at least a little bit – its goal of making AA more inclusive?
We’ll let you decide.
And we will see what happens over the next years…
So this is it: the final article!
Our very best wishes to all you folks in recovery.