This is on the back of every AA medallion, and as the years go by, I really see the wisdom of it.
I struggle with the endings of meetings down here, as it is the South, and heavily Christian, and each and every meeting ends with the Lord’s Prayer. Now that is straight from the Bible, which says to kill witches, and I just can’t say a prayer from a book that says to destroy me and my kind. But others don’t understand that as they are Christian and they feel it’s the norm. But what if they were forced to say a pagan prayer, and one from a source that condemns them? I know that would be a whole different can of worms.
So through the years I have dealt with this in various ways, standing in or out of the circle, chanting another prayer, staying silent, leaving the room, going to to ladies’ room, etc. etc. Well recently I started standing in the circle again. I just stayed silent and stared straight ahead (I bow my head to no god, I honor but do not grovel). I did this to try to not be too ‘weird’ or ‘controversial’.
Well this guy comes up to me after the meeting (a newly born again Christian) and says “Oh wow I’m so proud of you, you’ve really come a long way and matured.”
Now I saw this guy when he came into AA several years ago, all beat up. I saw him change, and was happy for him. But honestly I had no clue why he was saying this to me, I had been sober for a decade already when he came in. So I asked him what he was talking about.
“You have obviously accepted the one true god now that you stand in circle and say the prayer. You have matured.”
I looked that jerk straight in the eye and said:
“I will never say a prayer from a book that says that witches should be killed. I totally accept you embrace your religion and that it is good and helpful for you. But don’t you dare patronize me and think I have forsaken my gods because I stand in the circle. And your smug remarks that becoming Christian is maturing for me shows that you know nothing about true spirituality, which can embrace all religions, or none at all.”
And now I know I will never stand in an AA circle where they say that prayer again. I will never place myself in a position in AA when people can surmise I have abandoned my gods, who are instrumental to my sobriety. And I will stand outside that circle, if they choose to keep saying that prayer, to show that freedom of choice is alive and well, and groupthink will not intimidate me.
So it is lonely sometimes on the outside, but like the Constitution of the United States, I design my program not for the will of the majority to be imposed on me, but for the rights of the minorities to be protected.
To Thine Own Self Be True! 3 years ago