Nonreligious Alcoholics Anonymous groups on the rise

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The New York Times published a piece last week about a Manhattan A.A. group founded in 2002 that has rewritten the famous 12 steps to remove references to a deity and language like “spiritual awakening.” It makes me happy that groups like these exist, because in my experience religious exclusion is one of the more powerful generators of anxiety and feelings of isolation. Neither of those seem like they would be helpful to recovering alcoholics.

To quote the NYT article:

“A.A. starts at its core with honesty,” said Dorothy, 39, who heads the steering committee for the We Agnostics and Freethinkers International A.A. Convention. “And how can you be honest in recovery if you’re not honest in your own beliefs? If you don’t believe in the God they’re praying to, that’s not honest practice.”

I really like the way they end their sessions, too — “Live and let live.”

via The Friendly Atheist | Alcoholics Anonymous, Now Available Without God

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