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“Outside issues”

Hanging on many an AA room’s wall is the Twelve Traditions. The Tenth may be the most frequently cited: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy. To understand what this means, one might consult Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Wilson notesContinue reading ““Outside issues””

“Rigorous Honesty”

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; theyContinue reading ““Rigorous Honesty””

Social Contract, Classical Liberalism, and the Ideology of Individualism in AA

Sorta part 2 I previously wrote that Alcoholics Anonymous can be understood on the model of classic liberal social contract theory, as a society composed by the free act of individual persons. An obvious problem with a social contract is that if it is a democratic society, the majority has a tendency to rule asContinue reading “Social Contract, Classical Liberalism, and the Ideology of Individualism in AA”

Beyond belief

What I do in this blog is think through things that are bothering me. I’m not trying to solve problems. I’m certainly not trying to solicit advice. It’s fine with me if people respond that way, but I’m really just thinking. If what I’m thinking is interesting, fruitful, helpful, or provoking to you, you couldContinue reading “Beyond belief”

On the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in AA meetings

To many in traditional AA fellowships, it is perplexing when secular, agnostic, or atheist members object to reciting the Lord’s Prayer in meetings. The basis of my own objections are that reciting the Lord’s Prayer allies the fellowship with a particular denomination and religion, and that it excludes and therefore oppresses me as a member.Continue reading “On the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in AA meetings”

“Making amends”

The accountancy model of morality and one alternative The book of Alcoholics Anonymous says about the 9th step: “Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the showContinue reading ““Making amends””

Traditional AA, Repression, Oppression, and Alienation

How’s that for a title? A discussion of a traditional AA fellowship’s repetition of God language turned up today on Facebook. The poster was upset by the repeated references, and not only references but worshipful statements about God, Jesus, etc. (not to be confused with the Wilco song “Jesus, Etc.”). Some of the comments struckContinue reading “Traditional AA, Repression, Oppression, and Alienation”

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