Friday, 14 August 2015

May one profess religious belief in AA?

Sometimes people get very upset if someone talks about God or Jesus in AA, saying that religion has nothing to do with AA.

Fair enough, but the difficulty is this: if one bars discussion of what one believes in a theological or metaphysical sense, one must bar all such discussions, not just those one disagrees with or finds distasteful or rebarbative.

Professions of atheism, agnosticism, humanism, materialism, hedonism, in whatsoever form, and certainly expressions of anti-clericalism, would also have to be silenced.

It makes no more sense to ban the word 'Jesus' or reference to the Bible if one is permitted still to drone on about doubting the existence of God or the latest koan practised at the local Buddhist centre. Either the domain is out of bounds or it is not. One cannot legislate that this topic from the domain is fair game, but the other is not.

One caveat: discussion of religion (or lack of) should really be limited to one's own belief and experience and not be extended to generalities about the topics of religion or lack thereof.

It is not religion per se that is an outside issue but the discussion thereof in a universal sense. One's own personal beliefs can and must be valid topics for discussion in AA: these are without a doubt 'inside' (not outside) issues.

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