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Fri Nov 7, 2014, 01:44 PM

 

A Conference for Atheist and Agnostic Alcoholics is Taking Place in California This Weekend

Cross-post from Religion

November 6, 2014
by Hemant Mehta

This weekend, in Santa Monica, California, the We Agnostics & Free Thinkers International AA Convention is taking place for non-religious people who struggle with alcoholism:



It’s fascinating for a few reasons: Alcoholics Anonymous is a theistic group (forcing atheists who use the program to make adjustments to the Twelve Steps). The speakers are (mostly) anonymous, using the typical first name, last initial designation.

The topics are interesting, too. Among them: “Is spirituality compatible with Agnostic AA?,” “The importance of having the WAFT voice in AA literature,” “Reaching WAFTs in the Digital Age,” and “LGBT WAFT.”

While it may not be possible, especially since this is the first conference of its kind — organizers plan to hold a conference every two years — I hope there’s a way to make these speeches and discussions available to the public. I’m sure they could help a lot of people who would shy away from AA’s religious program but who are unable to make it to California this weekend.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/11/06/a-conference-for-atheist-and-agnostic-alcoholics-is-taking-place-in-california-this-weekend/

8 replies, 1479 views

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Conference for Atheist and Agnostic Alcoholics is Taking Place in California This Weekend (Original post)
rug Nov 2014 OP
TygrBright Nov 2014 #1
pablo_marmol Nov 2014 #2
rug Nov 2014 #3
pablo_marmol Nov 2014 #4
demosincebirth Jul 2015 #5
progree Jul 2015 #6
demosincebirth Jul 2015 #7
progree Jul 2015 #8

Response to rug (Original post)

Fri Nov 7, 2014, 05:25 PM

1. I'm so glad to see this movement growing and organizing!

It's been needed within AA for a long while, now.

hopefully,
Bright

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Response to rug (Original post)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 02:46 AM

2. I was there........it was GREAT!

Spent a lot of the weekend volunteering, but still managed to get in some provocative workshops and talks. I've almost finished two of the three books I bought from authors at the event, and they're fantastic resources......especially for sponsoring newcomers who are stymied by 'the God bit'.

I'll post some more links to agnostic/atheist resources when I get a chance on a separate thread. Kicked my ass for not thinking about posting here prior to the event, but not surprised that someone else did. Good job rug!

Edited to add: This will be a bi-annual event. The next one will be in Austin Texas in '16. Check out the AA Agnostica website for reviews of the event, and books for sale.

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Response to pablo_marmol (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 13, 2014, 03:28 PM

3. Thanks for the report.

 

I'll add your link.

http://aaagnostica.org/

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 14, 2014, 03:13 AM

4. Thanks for linking to AA Agnostica.


I met the webmaster at the conference. Great guy, and his book 'Don't Tell' is solid!

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Response to rug (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:46 AM

5. AA is not a religious program, it's a spiritual one.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #5)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 02:20 AM

6. Distressingly, it is both spiritual and religious to me

Last edited Wed Jul 1, 2015, 05:25 AM - Edit history (2)

All the state supreme courts and federal appeals courts that have heard these cases about A.A./N.A. religiosity agree (that's 6 out of 6), and that therefore, on First Amendment Establishment Clause grounds, government cannot coerce any inmate or parolee to attend A.A./N.A. meetings. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear one of these appeals court rulings, letting this ruling stand.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1144174#post32

Not just my opinion, not just the courts' opinions, please check out aaagnostica.org which is spearheading a rapidly growing agnostics in AA movement, most by people who don't fit in with regular A.A. and who find the proselytization about a prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity unhelpful and alienating.

Some people think it is religious, some not, and hopefully we can leave it at that and hopefully avoid a rehash of all that is in that http://www.democraticunderground.com/1144174 thread, in which every imaginable point pro and con has been made and dissected.

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Response to progree (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 05:37 PM

7. It's in the by-laws if they every want to read them.

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #7)

Thu Jul 2, 2015, 06:01 PM

8. A.A. declaring itself to be not religious doesn't make that true

Last edited Fri Jul 3, 2015, 08:26 PM - Edit history (2)

according to all the state supreme courts and federal appeals courts that have heard these cases.

Or any definition of religious / religion that I've ever seen.

[font color = red]On Edit:[/font]

On the other hand, it would not affect me one iota if A.A. were declared by the courts to be NON-religious and even if A.A. didn't match any dictionary definitions of religious. I still find it highly religious, and court decisions and dictionary definitions don't change my perception of it.

But it is up to each person to go to the meetings of several different groups and decide for himself/herself whether or not it is or isn't, and whether or not it matters to him/her or not.

For example, many atheists think it is religious but aren't all that bothered about it, and manage to get a lot out of other aspects of the program (association with others battling the same disease, and accountability for example).

For me, thankfully there are a couple of local agnostic A.A. groups where I can get the good without the religiosity.

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