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Aug 28 2011

Headline Muse 8/28

“Keep the rum, give me straight Dr Pepper”
Said the decade-long-sober 12-stepper
She’s an atheist, too,
Which may counter the view
That A.A. sees the godless as leper

Headline: My Faithlessness: The atheist way through AA

Ok, not a headline, but from CNN’s Belief Blog. Hey, I only just got power back; any port in a storm.

AA (that’s Alcoholics Anonymous, not American Atheists) has never quite seen eye to eye with AA (that’s American Atheists, not Alcoholics Anonymous) due to the former’s explicit references to a god or higher power. This article is a really nice, if brief, story of an atheist who decided not to throw away a source of help just because she disagreed fundamentally with their axiomatic assumptions.

I like this. It views AA (the first) functionally, by what it does, rather than by what it claims. By the same token, we can see the social functions of many nominally religious institutions (hospitals, kitchens, etc.). Yes, the good that they do is due to their hard work, like it is for all of us. They can pray like theists, so long as they work like atheists.

4 comments

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  1. 1
    eddie

    If I were hurt in an accident, I wouldn’t turn the ambulance away for having a red cross on it.

  2. 2
    zackoz

    All well now in Cuttleville? No further power outages, trees falling on houses, etc? You won’t see Irene in your febrile dreams?

  3. 3
    Cuttlefish

    All well, zackoz–now it’s just the chaos of the returning semester, which may be worse.

  4. 4
    Cosmic Snark

    When I quit drinking 7 years ago, I attended AA (that’s Alcoholics Anonymous, not American Atheists) for my first year of sobriety. The religious overtones were not overbearing by any means and did not bother me; I was simply there to find strength in others who were going through the same thing I was going through (especially through those first difficult days and weeks of sobriety). AA did help me, without question. I even led meetings on occasion, which required me to lead the group in the Serenity Prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. I didn’t even burst into flames! Seven years later, I’m still an atheist, still sober, and still appreciate the help the people at AA provide for each other. People helping people was the emphasis, not godbothering.

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