One of this blog’s readers sent me an email (slightly edited by me):
I received a disturbing phone call from my sister-in-law yesterday about her husband, my brother-in-law.
Seems that my bro-in-law is experiencing difficulty with alcoholism, but he is reluctant to attend AA meetings because of their insistence that in order to be successful in the AA program, you must submit to a higher power – a power greater than yourself – God. Of course, you are permitted to define God anyway you choose, yet you are reminded in the chapter “We Agnostics” from the “Big Book” that “As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps.”
Seriously, is AA the only non-profit group out there that addresses alcoholism? Is there no god-free group that is focused on addiction? Surely there must be someplace an addicted atheist or agnostic (or secular humanist, pagan, or other) can turn to for assistance with addiction.
I am hoping that perhaps you or one of your readers can offer some advice on what I might communicate to my bro-in-law and his wife about such a support group… one that preferably doesn’t have a huge fee attached to their services.
The brother-in-law has a good point. AA’s solution to alcoholism involves a lot of submission to God.
The only group I know that is similar to AA, but gives secular advice, is Save Our Selves (SOS). I don’t know much about them, though.
Maybe someone else can offer some better suggestions?
[tags]atheist, atheism, Alcoholics Anonymous, God, Save Our Selves, Pagan, Agnostic[/tags]