Ray Smith thoughts on Agnostics in AA


::From The Serenity Bible by Robert Helmfelt:

"We may start as agnostics. We may then come to view the group or the recovery process as our Higher Power, looking to other people for strength. Gradually, we accept a vague notion of God, which grows to a more specific monotheistic God. Eventually we come to know the One True God. Unless we are growing spiritually in recovery, we are going backwards."

::Answer from Ray Smith

This is one of the best descriptions of the religious nature of the program that I've seen. A "Higher Power", always capitalized in AA literature, is God with training wheels. Something to get you into the habit of praying and when your life starts getting better, you are to believe that it came from prayer and letting God into your life rather than the fact that you've quit drinking for awhile. Brainwashing 101. Read your 12 & 12. In Step Two atheists and agnostics are called belligerent, savage, defiant; it is said that they 'worship' science, that they are 'too smart for their own good', that all this was merely an 'ego-feeding' proposition. It gives a play-by-play description on how a sponsor goes about CONVERTING his charges to belief in the God of AA. And no, the God of AA, is not the Christian God I grew up with or studied in Bible school, but I'd prefer not to get into a lengthy theological debate here. I would cite a lack of Free Will, expecting miracles on demand, the idea that God cannot cure alcoholism only arrest it on a daily basis, the involvement of Bill & Dr. Bob with spiritualism, but there are Christians on the internet that argue objections from a Christian perspective better than me.

A Higher Power, especially capitalized, especially as used by any 12step program refers to something that you pray to that answers prayers. Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate, commonly with a sequence of words, with a deity or spirit for the purpose of worshiping, requesting guidance, requesting assistance, confessing sins or to express ones thoughts and emotions.

I certainly would not pray to an AA group (especially some of the groups I've been involved with).

Many people CLAIM to have been atheists (Bill W went back and forth on this one), agnostics, or even pagans (Victor Kitchen's I was a Pagan). The overwhelming majority of AA members are lapsed Christians. They never made a conscious decision about God, they drifted away and when they weren't struck down by lightening, they stopped thinking about it.


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