here is my truth. you may or may not agree with it, but hopefully, if you feel inclined to respond, you can do so with tact and dignity. my post frome yesterday ("the truth about alcoholism") and all the vicious infighting that occured as a result of it has given me pause to do some very deep reflecting on my experience with aa and its members. it strikes me as odd that i should feel so much intense resentment, bordering on actual hatred at times, towards a movement which at one point was such a big and important part of my life, for there was a time, more than a decade ago, when i was attending a meeting every day, sometimes two or three times a day, reading the big book daily, and actively involved in working the steps. i took on service positions, volunteered to speak, and also attended social functions such as dances and conventions. in spite of this intense commitment, however, i never quite felt at home with the aa crowd. to be honest, they were people who, though very affable and welcoming, i never quite trusted or respected. at this time i was working full-time as a teacher and also attending mass (though not catholic myself) on a daily basis. i noticed that outside of aa meetings, with the kids at school and and the others at church, i felt perfectly comfortable and at ease, but as soon as i walked into an aa meeting there was always a strange feeling of being detached and seperate from real life, regardless of which city, state, or country i was in. it was always as if there were a dark cloud hanging over the meeting, so that, no matter how good the meeting may have been, it was always a relief to leave and be back out on the street with other so-called "normal" people. this, of course, was always very confusing--here was a group of people, similar to me in so many respects and who seemed to be having a very profound effect on my life and yet whom i very deeply distrusted and whom i was always very glad to get away from. i guess at this point i should mention that during my first year in recovery i experienced a spiritual awakening and turned my life over not just to God but to Jesus Christ as well. it was a profound experience for me, as i'm sure it is with all people who are born again, and, interestingly enough, since then i have never felt alone or anxious again, two feelings which had always plagued me throughout my pre-recovery life. i guess this rebirth really forms the crux of the problem here, for try as i might, i've never been able to reconcile my life as a good christian with my life as a member of aa. i've made a few minor compromises here and there to try to fit in with the aa crowd, but try as i might i've never been able to escape the nagging feeling that our value systems are very much at odds. whereas today i live out a bible-based set of values--inflexible and universal, aa seems very much inclined to embrace a much more fluid and relativistic set of values, which is to say it really seems to have no values at all, just as long as you're committed to quitting drinking and being a part of the group. in spite of all the talk at meetings of turning things over to god and overcoming character defects and making amends, aa really doesn't seem to have any morals at all, and this i've always found to be disturbing in the extreme. beyond a very self-centered commitment to relieving themselves of guilt and shame, there is no pressure whatsoever within aa to make any kind of real and meaningful stand in life, and without that pressure it's impossible to build any kind of real and meaningful character, at least as far as i see it. we are currently in the midst of an unprecedented assault on basice ideals and morality within our country (i.e., drugs, alcohol, greed, pornography, prostitution, gambling, crime, etc.), and grown men and woman must take a stand. to sit by idly without saying or doing something is immoral--it's a slap in the face to all those who came before you who worked so hard to build a safe and decent society, and it's a slap in the face as well to future generations who will no longer be able to enjoy that society because a generation of men and women failed to speak up. i suppose it's this lack of character and commitment within aa that is really behind all the resentment i feel and which, of course, is so palpable in some of my posts. reading some of the posts here, i often wonder to myself how people who are so morally lazy and irresponsible can justify being so arrogant and self-satisfied. i realize that's quite a judgement call to make, but it comes only after having had more than fourteen year's worth of experience with aa, which is to say, it's not something that is easy to say or which gives me any pleasure but which needs to be said nonetheless. admit it or not, there is a war currently being waged, for your soul and the souls of your children and your children's children. it's not being fought by devils and demons either, but by ordinary people like you and me who have decided that today's world is a free-for-all and we human beings can be mined, used, and discarded like so much worthless fodder. that means it's time to take a stand, beyond simply staying clean and sober. your commitment to sobriety may keep you out of jails, institutions, and death, but, unfortunately, it's not nearly enough to save society and the human race. in spite of its desire to remain anonymous, aa doesn't exist within a vacuum. it's a part of this larger thing called life, and life demands that you take a stand, a stand for what is right and good and just. as i see it, until aa is willing to take that stand, it's guilty of one of the worst sins of all--apathy, and this, to me at least, is unexcusable. well, thanks for taking the time to read this. hopefully, rather than feel attacked, it gives you pause to think and reflect, which was its sole purpose.
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