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Must We Believe in God For AA to Work?

I do not believe in God. And have been sober for six years, The last year and half without a meeting. I do not want to offend other members. But taking part in the lords prayer, is one part I don't like to be forced into.

I recently started back to check out different groups. I made some good friends in AA before. It's difficult to keep saying that the group is my
higher power.


Hey Curtis

Not at all. Remember AA is not a religious group, but a spiritual one, where irrespective of your beliefs they have a program that will work for you - if you work the program.

I think they simply use the word God because that's the word most people can relate to when thinking of their Higher Power - but remember they also say 'God or however you understand God.' So your understanding of God may be another Higher Power that works for you, whether it be Nature, The Universe, Energy, whatever. Don't let man-made labels get in the way of what you believe or don't believe.

The fact is you've done really well getting to 6 years sober, so use what works for you and don't use what doesn't. If you're not comfortable saying the Lords prayer then then don't say it. You obviously enjoy the community and friends you can make at AA, so if that's what keeps you going and helps keep you sober, don't let one thing stop you from going.

There are also loads of people that manage sobriety and happiness without working a formal 12 step program - but have basically put together their own recovery program based on what works for them.

So simply focus on what works for you and the bits you can use and like. The main thing is your sobriety, so if that always remains your focus you'll be fine.

Take Care

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Athiesm and sobriety
by: Anonymous


I'm an athiest who has been attending AA and remained sober for over twelve years now. I don't have a Higher Power (with capital letters)at all, but regard the people of the AA fellowship as a source of encouragement and support. I understand when people in AA make a distinction between (organised) religion and (free flowing personal) spirituality but see little difference myself. The part of religion I don't accept is the idea of a higher power so the religion/spiritual divide is really a distinction without a difference as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, most people are tolerant of my views and I remain respectful of theirs. My only irritation is the presumption by some people of faith that their position is somehow 'right' and that I will eventually 'get it'! I just try to steer clear of resentment and more obviously religious meetings. My experience of AA and sobriety has been very positive after three decades of alcoholic drinking andI'm pleased and grateful to be sober. Good luck to you.


Dont have to believe
by: Anonymous

Hey Curtis,
My wife has been home from rehab now 3 weeks, while she was in there one of the speakers they had said that he didnt believe in god either. His higher power was a Bondi Tram (Sydney, Australia) because it could go past a pub and he couldnt, so thats what worked for him. He had bee sober I think for about 10 years.
I have been to AA myself with my wife so that I can get an appreciation of what the addicition is about and have listened to quite a few people who also dont believe in god and they have all got their own different higher powers, this has worked so far for them and I hope it continues. So I dont see that you should necessarily worry about god as such.
My wife is also quite vehement in her disbelief in God and trying her best to work this side out for herself, I myself do believe in God and I can tell you that it does work for me in that it gives me the strength to keep going forward.
So I hope you find something that works for you and continue on your road to maintaining sobriety.
Goodluck & Best Regards, Peter

Thanks for your comments
by: curtis

I guess I was making too big a deal about God
in AA. But the appeals court ruled that AA is
Sanctioned Religion for the purpose of the
first Amendment. I thought that it was a little
funny that AA is the only religion that I know of
that you can smoke and drink coffee and meet
a lot of interesting people and usually don't
have to listen to preaching.

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