A reader going through an AA class sent me a note she wrote while listening to the Chaplain. He noticed that she was taking notes a bit more fervently than the others, and he asked her to share (ie read) her notes to the class. Apparently this is common. What was not common was what she had written. She tried to talk him out of it, but he insisted he liked to hear all the views the students have. Here is what she wrote:
Step 2: Come to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
What about atheists? Are they left behind? Are they doomed to remain addicts or alcoholics without hope for recovery? AA says it does not pressure us to "believe in God". Then what of Step 3: "Make a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of God as we understood him".
God said "judge not lest ye be judged". Why then, are Christians quick to judge one who does not believe? Who are they to doom another to be "unrecoverable"? Can't we just want to be healed fr ourselves, and not to please the omnipotent?
The Chaplain states that until we turn our lives over to God, we will not be given the power to overcome our addiction. That is to me, an attempt to brainwash and at the very least, coerce patients into religion. To me, it is almost a cruel manipulative trick, to choose the weakest, most vulnerable subjects to spread their propaganda. We will not ask questions, only follow blindly, searching for hope somewhere, anywhere, to help us "get better".
How does believing in God affect the chemicals in my brain? If I believe, will he magically fix the problems that are scientifically proven to be caused by alcohol, and proven to be controllable through abstinence? If I don't have religion, will my body and brain be an exception to the scientific rule? If so, where is the proof to back up that belief?"
Indeed, where? Where is AA's evidence that any of what they claim is true? They are long on assertions, and short on science. As people ponder whether discrimination against atheists exists, consider the people forced to attend AA meetings as a condition of probation or parole. They are basically forced to claim to believe things without evidence to earn their freedom. If that isn't discrimination, what is? If those of you who claim discrimination against atheists doesn't exist cannot hear the cry from the patient above, what would you hear?