The core of the Alcoholics Anonymous program is abstaining from booze one day at a time with one alcoholic helping another. All other parts of the program are suggestions. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
If you are interested in a secular AA meeting for atheists and agnostics, please see the message about the upcoming meeting in Charlottesville.
Many AA groups choose to promote certain Judeo-Christian beliefs and concepts through prayers and readings included in their meeting formats, creating the impression that the entire fellowship and program of AA are religious.
Many AA members are not Christian and many do not belong to any religion. Each group is autonomous, deciding their own meeting format. Some groups use a completely secular format. Some specifically support atheists and agnostics.
The AA program for recovery includes many suggestions, tools, and concepts that require no religious or spiritual beliefs. For example:
- One day at a time. We aim to not take the first drink, just for today.
- Meetings. We gather to provide encouragement, shared experience, accountability, guidance, and support to each other.
- Fellowship. Together we can do what we cannot do alone. We make connections with people who understand and support our new path in life.
- Listening to stories. When we listen to the honesty of others who have overcome denial, we see more clearly and accept ourselves as we are.
- Remembering where we came from. Rather than focusing on the times when drinking was still fun, we remember where it took us and the problems it caused so that we are less likely to end up back there.
- Sponsorship. We seek experience and guidance from those who have achieved some of the changes we’d like to emulate.
- Acceptance. We practice accepting reality and learn to deal with it.
- Gratitude. Regular practice of gratitude gives us release from the powerful grip and convincing voice of alcoholic thinking.
If you want to stop drinking, the We Agnostics meeting of AA is here for you.
For more tools and suggestions, read AA’s book on Living Sober.