Episode 37 – Atheism and AA, Part 1

This week we talk with Marc Baker about his experiences as a atheist who is also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.  In something new for us, we recorded with next week’s guest Zach Nyhus in the room because he is also a recovering alcoholic.  Marc shares his feelings about the way AA pushes god as a part of the twelve steps and how he manages to make it work for him.  Then, because we read his answers on our Left Behind episode, Marc gets to ask us five questions!

Show notes below the fold:

Here’s a link to the Twelve Steps of AA.

The name of the South Park episode we mention is Bloody Mary.  You can watch it here.

Marc asks us about our favorite Dregs song.  In case you don’t know, The Dregs is Tim’s band.


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4 Responses to Episode 37 – Atheism and AA, Part 1

  1. Pingback: Geeks Without God tackles Alcoholism, part 1 | Grail Diary

  2. I know a few people who are in a semi-secular AA and they redefine “higher power” as a “power outside of yourself.” There still are the god-fevered people, but there are also substitutes. The point is, as it’s been described to me, is to believe in *something* – your friends, your family, the program itself, etc. – and use that to draw strength from when the urge for another drink comes up again. The “surrendering to a hire power” bit kind of goes to the sidelines, although it’s still apart of the program. They do all of the steps, but – well, it’s almost like a retelling. You’re not admitting you’re powerless to alcohol, you’re admitting that your addiction has taken over your life. As stated before, the higher power is something outside of you that you can look to for strength. You still need to make an inventory of your wrong doings and admit them to others/ask for forgiveness from them. Instead of asking for your short coming to be removed, you have to fix them, with the help of your higher power and your sponsor. And the “spiritual awakening” is more of a “come to a point where you realize you’re stronger than the addiction.”

    It almost approaches a middle-ground. In one meeting, there’s people who are saying, “God helped me,” and then there are people who are saying, “I wouldn’t have gotten through last night if my family hadn’t helped me.” When the secular people talk, the god-fevered people politely listen, and then the secular people do the same for the other group. Everyone there realizes that it’s more important to over come the addiction than it is to proclaim that God/this higher power is the thing that helped you over come it. Now, I say “almost approaches a middle-ground” because they still do encourage you to seek a higher power and it’s clear that while there are other acceptable form of the higher power, they want you to think of God first.