I am responding to Belton Mobley’s letter about AA and NA being religious organizations and encouraging clergy not to allow their meetings in their buildings.
First no matter what the lower courts have said, twelve step programs are spiritual and not religious. Here are the differences. Religion is about saving someone from hell and spirituality is about someone who was already been through hell. Religion is about trying to save your soul, while spirituality is about awakening your soul.
In order to allow a large opening for anyone to become a member of a 12 step program they only have to believe in a power greater than themselves. You can take the group to start with 2 people are stronger than one. In the 2nd step we talk of a power greater than ourselves. In the 3rd step we call it the God of your understanding. In the 5th and 6th steps we use just plain “God” and in the 7th step, the very personal “Him”. “Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings. As we grow in spirituality, our souls are winging its way back to our maker. With every step worked, no matter the step, two things happen. One, more acceptance of my Higher Power and two, more humility.
The disease of addiction responds well to its primary therapy, the twelve steps. What clergyman would not encourage powerlessness, surrender to God, asking God to remove character defects, making amends to those we hurt, praying and meditating and in the 12th step, helping others? What clergyman would not want to see people saved from a fatal disease and to be restored to health, physically, emotionally and mentally? To see a family reunited to see a transformation of hopeless and helpless people to being happy, joyous and free, let alone taking impaired drivers off the road and the trending reduction in crime. There are estimated to be 28 million people in the U.S. in 12-step programs. They must be doing something right. Belton Mobley may have gone to a few meetings but has never understood the amazing spiritual happening of the 12 steps.
I have been sober for 31 years and owe my life to the 12 step programs. I am also a Christian and allow my religion to enhance my spirituality and my spirituality to enhance my religion. By the way, 85% of people in 12-step programs in America are also Christian. The entire 12 steps are totally based on Biblical and Christian tenets. Some people do get sober through their church, but 12-step programs are the best for most. Because of AA’s 12 traditions, I am not allowed to break my anonymity in news print, so can only sign as…
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