Tempest In A Teapot
I’ve been following a discussion on another forum. The original question in the thread was whether or not AA was a religion, and that is what caught my eye. But get this – the arguments have gone on for more than six months and three thousand posts! That’s huge.
Granted, it is a skeptical forum and anything smelling of religion is usually hit pretty hard. But what’s amazing to me is all the passion and polarization. Each side of the issue seems to have many dogs in the hunt – there’s the original religion question; there’s material about whether or not alcoholism is even a disease; there’s a bunch about AA as an organization; and finally, there are many stories about how AA either helped or hurt someone’s chance at sobriety.
Here, on an anonymous forum, you get all sides of the spectrum. All the way from someone who knows nothing about AA to a guy who used to serve at the national level. People say what they actually think and don’t pull their punches much in the name of politeness.
You can read the thread here: JREF but fair warning, it can be a storm at times. One nice thing about this forum is they seem to value independent research and links to actual documents to support their case.
I guess what interested me was the fact that people can get so upset about the issue and, from my perspective, who cares? The bottom line should be whether AA helps me get and stay sober by whatever means. Suppose it were ridiculous altogether, maybe something like salsa dancing for sobriety. Would it matter one whit? Not if it helped keep someone sober.
So, yes. Alcoholics are a vocal and combative crowd. Opinions are firmly held and expressed strongly. No matter. And to be honest, the statistics don’t matter that much either. If I am helped, and my family is helped in turn, then that’s enough. Does that sound selfish? Sure. I’ll admit that much. But I have one person to take care of before anyone else benefits. That person is me, and that’s good enough to keep at it.