Vital Force

Non-Theists in Alcoholics Anonymous

“God” is mentioned a little over one hundred and thirty times in the AA Twelve-and-Twelve book, a book that lays out all the steps with in-depth commentary about the meaning of those steps.

There can be little doubt that the co-founders of AA, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, were deeply steeped in the 1930s orthodox Christian notion of that God.

In all of the AA literature, God is always male. And “He” is portrayed as an intervener, a grace-giver, a miracle-worker, a creator, and a caring, non-judgmental patriarch. Hell and Heaven may be absent from the literature, but an activist, intervening divinity is vividly present as a kind of divine co-partner and activist healer of the recovering alcoholic and addict. Continue reading

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