Reminder: Why We
Won't Waste Time With
Letters From Alcoholics
I just discovered your site, and for the most part love it. I am what I choose to call a militant agnostic.... I don't know about god, and neither does anyone else (I assume that your definition of atheist is that THERE IS NO GOD AND THAT IS A PROVEN FACT, whereas an agnostic doesn't know, and realizes that it is irrelavent to life.I am appalled, however, at your stance vis. alcoholics anonymous. there are many agnostics in a.a., and while individuals in it are often christian, many of us go to great lengths to make sure that aa IS NOT a church. I'm sorry that apparently your editor on recovery had a bad experience somewhere along the line, but that is like saying that cars are evil if you know someone who was injured in a crash... the only phrase that is repeated and underlined in the 12 steps is 'god as we understood him'. and by this point in the steps, 'god' implicitly means ' a power greater than myself'. well, trust me, to a person who is an addict, ANYTHING is more powerful than her/himself, proven by the fact that s/he can't not drink. I don't really see the point of bashing sobriety; you come off like those right-wingers who think that all liberals are flag burning commies.
(ps NO ONE speaks for aa, and anyone who claims to is a fool. there IS no policy in aa dealing w/ god)
From: "Positive Atheism" <email@example.com>
To: "william fitzhugh"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: September 02, 2002 8:28 PM
and for the most part love it
Hark! What is that I sense coming down the pike? Could it be --
(I assume that your definition of atheist is that THERE IS NO GOD AND THAT IS A PROVEN FACT,
That's what's so neat about FAQ sections: you don't need to make abjectly embarrassing blunders in all caps unless you want to.
Judging by the totality of the letters written to this Forum by each group, I would say that only two types of people are consistently more bigoted than Fundamentalist Christians, and that's neo-Agnostics and Twelve-Steppers. The main difference is that we have had a couple of cool Steppers write in. Not enough to make a dent, but they do exist. The very existence of neo-Agnostics, however, depends entirely upon the neo-Agnostics' warped misrepresentation of atheism. Given the traditional understanding of atheism that both atheists and traditional agnostics have had since the enlightenment and Huxley respectively, neo-Agnosticism simply vaporizes.
What a way to go: to have your very identity depend entirely upon a false representation of somebody else's self-definition -- false representations of two groups' self-definition, actually, because as the vast majority of atheists do not fit into your little world, neither do the vast majority of theists adhere to the neo-Agnostics' misrepresentations of theism.
That's what happens, I guess, when it suddenly dawns on you that you're the only one, and the entire rest of the world has their heads up their asses. As I said, what a way to go!
I am appalled, however, at your stance vis. alcoholics anonymous.
We also mention in our Guidelines that we have stopped accepting e-mail from Alcoholics who wish to bludgeon us over their own misrepresentation of our position. We don't fit into the narrow little mold that you have created for us, so all that's left for you is to go ahead and hiss and spit and jump up and down and lie and basically try to force us into that little mold nonetheless.
Hey, guess what? The world is a lot bigger than either the bottle or the cork.
I'm sorry that apparently your editor on recovery had a bad experience somewhere along the line, but that is like saying that cars are evil if you know someone who was injured in a crash...
Again, we do not accept or comment on the misrepresentations that Alcoholics make about our position. Anybody who has bothered to actually read what we have to say about Alcoholics Anonymous can plainly see that we're not talking about one bad experience, but rather, a thoroughly corrupt institution that has exploited hundreds of thousands of impaired people while their backs were against the wall.
True, human nature can come alive (occasionally) even in spite of Alcoholics Anonymous's attempts to kill the human spirit and replace that spirit with its own crippling ideology. Dishonest AA members will point to the handful of people who can transcend even the AA atmosphere and walk away from it a bit frayed but otherwise virtually unscathed. Yes, dishonest AA members will point to the five percent who stick around for a year, ignoring the 95 percent who "stop coming back," and then look you straight in the eye and tell you that "It works! See? It worked for these people!" But next time a "newcomer" takes his first-year chip, just speak up and ask about the other 95 percent of last year's newcomers -- Whatever happened to them? -- and see what the "old-timers" start saying about you, both behind your back as well as to your face.
the only phrase that is repeated and underlined in the 12 steps is 'god as we understood him'.
I can see you making an "innocent mistake" about me (though I doubt that's what happened); however, you have no excuse for making a blunder such as this about AA!
The phrase spells the word God with a capital "G," indicating the name of a person. The "God" which they describe in their literature and on the walls is a "person" who is a "Him" (capital "H") who can be prayed to, a "Him" who will answer those prayers (see Step 6). That is what the AA literature says.
What you describe is, again, a misrepresentation.
First you misrepresent us for the purpose of tarnishing our reputation (without just cause), and then you misrepresent AA for the purpose of making it appear to be something that does not conform to our direct criticism of AA.
I don't really see the point of bashing sobriety;
We don't either, as you can see by what we have written and posted.
So why did you bring it up?
Oh, I get it! You're misrepresenting our position again! Just like virtually ALL the other Twelve Steppers who have written to us before.
It is for this reason that we no longer field tirades and lies from Twelve Steppers. Of all the people from various groups who write to this Forum, the Twelve Steppers have shown themselves to be the group that most consistently lacks candor. Worse, the Steppers have shown themselves more likely to have LIED ABOUT US than any other group. (The neo-Agnostics do run a close second: they're so rare, though, that we hardly ever hear from them.)
Please do not write back. You have made your statement and we have replied to it with ours.
If you don't understand what this means, then we strongly recommend that you go back to our Guidelines for Submission and read them again. As it is with any journal, by your act of submitting this to our Editorial Desk, you have stated to us that you agree to adhere to those guidelines.
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