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In the discussion thread: Spirituality vs the "God" idea. [View all]

Response to tavalon (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 3, 2012, 03:05 PM

25. Well, I don't like a generic prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity being crammed down my throat

Last edited Thu Apr 11, 2013, 01:58 AM - Edit history (2)

nor a Christian God being crammed down my throat. Either way it violates A.A.'s "not religious" claim.

The Lord's Prayer is just an added irritant, and yes it is quite prevalent around here in AA and Al-Anon in Minneapolis.

If it is not cramming Chrsitianity down one's throat, is there some reason that A.A. is neutral on groups using the Lord's Prayer (leaving it as a matter of group autonomy)? At least that's what I think their position is. I've had a lengthy discussion about this with the Office Manager of the Minneapolis Intergroup.

On Edit - I can't find anything on A.A.'s website or in the literature that explicitely says the use of the Lord's Prayer is a matter of group autonomy (but obviously in practice it is). But I searched the A.A. website and found this General Service Conference position -- this from http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=287 :

{The recitation of the Lord's Prayer} is continually addressed in articles in Box 459 and the AA Grapevine, and has often been asked about at the General Service Conference. For example, at the 1962 Conference, in one of the Ask-It Basket questions, this subject was broached: “Question: What is the procedure for dealing with individuals who refuse to stand during recitation of the Lord's Prayer? Answer: Participation--or non-participation-in recitals of the Lord's Prayer should be considered a matter of personal conscience and decision.”


Considering that it is straight out of the Bible -- Matthew 6 and Luke 11 -- and the Lord in the Lord's Prayer is clearly Jesus (its his Sermon on the Mount). And it has some explicitely Christian themes -- Thy Kingdom Come (I sure hope not, if you are the genocidal maniac depicted in other parts of the same Bible), Heaven (not a concept in most religions), Give Us this day our daily bread (even as a Democrat this is a bit much). Our Father (not mine, and I know a lot of females that object to some bronze age patriarchal types telling us that God is a male).

It bends, pushes the boundaries, and breaks some of A.A.'s principles and traditions.

* We claim to be not religious, but we are closing with a prayer straight from one religion, and one religion's holy book.

* It comes across as an affiliation or endorsement of Christianity, pushing the boundaries of the spirit of Traditions 3 (Long Form) and Tradition 6.

* It violates the Unity Tradition (Tradition 1), by injecting Christianity into a meeting where not all members or prospective members are Christian (26% of Americans are non-Christian). For the same reason, it interferes with Our Primary Purpose (Tradition 5).

* It is injecting an Outside Issue (a specific religion) into a meeting (Tradition 10),

I wonder how many people who don't think the Lord's Prayer is much/any of a problem would feel the same way if they went to a support group that claimed to be not religious, but then closed with Mohammed's Prayer "Allah, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done...". Or what if the meeting closed with The Atheist's Creed?" You would not object, no, right? Because to object to anything is "Playing God" and we must not have that, no, right?

In my experience, the Lord's Prayer seems to always come up when the issue of A.A.'s religiosity is discussed.

It is often a source of friction and dissension in groups that use it. I have never known it to be such in a group that didn't use it.

Interestingly enough, just 4 verses before the Lord's Prayer in Matthew 6, Jesus admonishes us to pray in secret. (Just the opposite of coercing others into group prayers. So for those of you who are Chrisitian, you might think about that).

For more on the Lord's Prayer, please see http://www.democraticunderground.com/1144174#post34

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Stuart G Jan 2012 OP
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #1
Tripod Jan 2012 #2
Old Codger Jan 2012 #3
tavalon Feb 2012 #15
Old Codger Feb 2012 #20
Stuart G Feb 2012 #21
progree Feb 2012 #23
NMDemDist2 Feb 2012 #27
tavalon Feb 2012 #38
Old Codger Feb 2012 #31
tavalon Feb 2012 #33
tavalon Feb 2012 #36
demosincebirth Feb 2012 #35
tavalon Feb 2012 #37
demosincebirth Feb 2012 #39
progree Jan 2012 #4
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2012 #5
progree Jan 2012 #6
Stuart G Jan 2012 #7
tavalon Feb 2012 #16
progree Feb 2012 #24
tavalon Feb 2012 #26
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #8
progree Jan 2012 #9
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #10
progree Jan 2012 #11
NMDemDist2 Jan 2012 #12
progree Jan 2012 #14
Stuart G Jan 2012 #13
tavalon Feb 2012 #18
Tripod Feb 2012 #22
progree Feb 2012 #32
tavalon Feb 2012 #17
Rhiannon12866 Feb 2012 #19
LineLineLineLineLineReply Well, I don't like a generic prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity being crammed down my throat
progree Feb 2012 #25
NMDemDist2 Feb 2012 #28
Stuart G Feb 2012 #29
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2012 #30
progree Feb 2012 #34
mrjackshuman Apr 2013 #40
NMDemDist2 Apr 2013 #41
cordelia Apr 2013 #42
Lil Missy Apr 2013 #43
Rhiannon12866 Apr 2013 #44
progree Apr 2013 #45
cordelia Apr 2013 #46
Stuart G Apr 2013 #47
Rhiannon12866 Apr 2013 #48
progree Apr 2013 #49
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