I have one week of sobriety. I am glad that I found this group. I went to an AA meeting and hated it because of the talk of a higher power. Being brand new at sobriety I could use any support and friendship that I can find.
A while back, a group of Canadian atheists tried to set up a god-free (higher-power-free) AA meeting,but were disallowed, or disaffiliated by the "main stream" organization.
Welcome, AA tends to be that way more than NA, but it is pretty heavy in both. There is a number of people like us, you will see this more often the longer you stick around. Most keep it to themselves. If there is anything you may need help with, I am here, and will do my best to relay my experience thus far in a program, that most people believe is "god-centered", when that is very far from the truth of why this works. I have an alternate version of the steps if you are interested. You may contact me through my email-Hornedgod19145@yahoo.com, if you want to talk directly.
Please reach out, the help is out here.
There is a chaper in the 6th edition of the NA basic text that is called :"Atheists do Recover". You may want to look into it. you can got to NA.org and find it im sure.
We are here, those of us who have no god, and yes, we do recover. Anything you would like to know about how to apply the program with out the use of a god, please ask, I will give you my experience thus far.
I am a member of one of these Canadian AA groups that was kicked to the curb by the local Intergroup. In fact, we still aren't in the Toronto meeting list or have a voice on the Toronto Intergroup floor. The same game-playing is now going on for the Vancouver groups.
First of all, Intergroup can't kick a group out of AA. We are still part of the General Service Structure and recognized as legitimate groups by GSO down to the Area and district. Intergroup decides if the group can be in the list and have say on local issues. Should Intergroups do this? According to the AA Service Manual that sets parameters on how GSO serves our groups. If you're very interested in this, go to aa.org, click on literature and you can read a PDF version of the A.A. Service Manual Combined with Twelve Concepts of World Service, by Bill W.
If you're in a hurry, start from the back, Concept XII, Warranty Six,"...the Conference may act for the service of AA, it shall never perform any act of government; and that, like the Society of Alcoholics Anonymous which it serves, the Conference itself will always remain democratic in action and in spirit. In preceding Concepts, much attention has been drawn to the extraordinary liberties which the AA Traditions accord to the individual member and his group; no penalties to be inflicted for nonconformity to AA principles; no fees or dues to be levied; no members to be expelled from AA ... each group to conduct its internal affairs asit wishes--it being merely requested to abstain from acts that might injure AA as a whole' and finally, that any group of alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group provided that, as a group they have no other purpose or affiliation... no action ought to be taken in anger, haste, or recklessness; that care will be observed to respect and protect all minorities... our Conference will ever be prudent to guard against tyrannies, great or small, whether these be found in a majority or minority... "
So in the issue of taking God out of the Steps, The majority who want God can't dictate to the minority who don't what they can and can't do. Furthermore the minority can't insist that all of AA be more sensitive and change the Steps everywhere (no tyranny of the majority or minority).
There is an issue of Human Rights law, too. In Canada, minority rights are not subject to a popularity contest. Both Vancouver and Toronto Intergroups, while they don't have (as they ought to) a Human Rights Policy and Policies & Procedures for making a complaint about either discrimination or harassment, Intergroup is still bound by the law of the land.
Human Rights law, Intergroup, as a service provider, has an obligation to accommodate minorities and their group, be they defined by race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. According to the Ministry of the Attorney General, Intergroup has “a duty to accommodate the special needs of people who may require changes to the usual ways in which something is done. “
Ignorance of the law is no defense. “Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be against the law. “
"The Code aims at creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person, so that each person feels a part of the community and feels able to contribute to the community.
"Creed is a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Code. Every person has the right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods, facilities, employment, the occupancy of accommodation, the right to enter into contracts and the right to join trade unions or other vocational associations, without discrimination because of creed."
According to the Ontario Human Rights Commission which would oversee the Toronto Issue if an AA member was to complain, it is their "position that every person has the right to be free from discriminatory or harassing behaviour that is based on religion or which arises because the person who is the target of the behaviour does not share the same faith. This principle extends to situations where the person who is the target of such behaviour has no religious beliefs whatsoever, including atheists and agnostics who may, in these circumstances, benefit from the protection set out in the Code.
In either situation, creed must be involved – either because the person who is the subject of the discrimination is seeking to practice his or her own religion, or because the person who is harassing or discriminating is trying to impose their creed on someone else. In both cases, creed must be involved."
More information about the duty to accommodate, which Intergroup is obligated to adhere to can be found here:
Now that's a lot of dirty laundry for a sting that is called "New in Recovery" but someone else referenced the Canadian situation. AA has always backslid when dealing with women, African Americans, young people, the LGBTQ community but AA has always, despite resistance, done the right thing.
Hopefully one day in any 12 Step fellowship atheists and a secular language to describe addiction and recovery will be matter-of-fact. We're not there yet.