Conclusion: Who We Are

Conclusion: Who We Are

One of the favorite quotes I came across in early recovery was the following: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” (Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782) Jefferson might … Continue reading

Chapter 16: A Growing Secular Movement

Chapter 16: A Growing Secular Movement

Riding the Tide We are a rapidly growing and evolving secular movement within Alcoholics Anonymous. Our “godfather”, if you will, was Jim Burwell, back in the 1930s. That’s where we all – I trust – learned the importance of “widening our gateway”. There were the first agnostic AA … Continue reading

Chapter 15: Austin Convention

Chapter 15: Austin Convention

by life-j I missed out on the Santa Monica Convention, and I almost didn’t make this one either, but the tooth fairy came through at the last moment. And now I’m really stoked. I had met a few of the people at a regional conference in Olympia, Washington, … Continue reading

Chapter 14: Progress not Perfection

Chapter 14: Progress not Perfection

There were, however, controversies that emerged in the preparation of the Santa Monica, and the next, Austin, convention. For the first secular AA convention, the problem was sometimes trying too hard to be acceptable to all in AA. To conform, as it were, to conventional AA. One of … Continue reading

Chapter 13: Santa Monica Convention

Chapter 13: Santa Monica Convention

Word about a plan to hold a first international convention for agnostics, atheists and freethinkers in AA began to circulate in early April 2013. The plan had originated with two alcoholic women, Dorothy H and Pam W, both members of We Agnostics, the meeting started in Hollywood in … Continue reading

Chapter 11: Conference-approved Literature

Chapter 11: Conference-approved Literature

More than forty years ago, Ed and Paula, two members of an AA trustees Literature Sub-Committee, wrote that a pamphlet written by and for agnostics and atheists in AA was “needed to assure non-believers that they are not merely deviants, but full, participating members in the AA Fellowship … Continue reading

Chapter 10: Conformity and Conventional AA

Chapter 10: Conformity and Conventional AA

Conventional AA meetings can be both religious and conformist. Religiosity: There can be a lot of God on placards and in readings and in Conference-approved pamphlets and books on literature tables. And meetings can end with the Lord’s Prayer (even though AA claims to be “spiritual not religious”). … Continue reading

Chapter 8: Accepting Special Composition Groups

Chapter 8: Accepting Special Composition Groups

Since the very beginning, there have been special composition groups in Alcoholics Anonymous. And their acceptance, sadly, has always posed a problem. “‘Special’ groups have always been viewed with suspicion, alarm and sometimes outright hostility within AA.” (Special Composition Groups in AA1) We nonbelievers are thus not alone … Continue reading