AA Isn’t Religious

Used 2013-01-12 What Jesus Wouldn't Do Al K Hall recovery sobriety alcoholism

What Wouldn’t Jesus Do

Religion is for people who’re afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who’ve already been there.

-Vine Deloria, Jr

This quote is by Native American Vine Deloria, Jr and parallels my thoughts exactly concerning the difference between God and a Higher Power. This is not to say that God cannot be a Higher Power, it’s more to the point that we in AA don’t have to choose a classic conception of God to get better. We are free to find our own Higher Power outside of organized religion if we like. I’ve defined my own God, and my God giggles.

Click here for my post on how you can create your own Higher Power


About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home.

Posted on January 12, 2013, in AA Step Work, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Word.

    I looked up about Vine Deloria up there, and found out he was a prof at a university very close to me! And he died in my home state, too, in 2005. Sounds like he was a very wise man. An amazing activist and individual…

    I’ve done religion and I have done spirituality, and I have to say that spirituality by my own definition is what works for me, too. I love the quote.


    • I can’t remember where i came across it originally, but that quote is so perfect. Succinct and deep. Pithy, now that i know what that word means!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  2. Dude-another post that requires a “love” button to select. And thank you very much for bringing my attention to Vine Deloria, Jr.

  3. oh and please tell me that is one of those temporary tattoos that wash off in the shower….

  4. BTW, Al, I need to have a word with you. WTH is up with that tattoo? You have no idea what you have done to me with that thing. I innocently asked Celeste what it was, who told me about the movie the Human Centipede, and then I read about that on Wikipedia and now I’m stuck in this endless cycle of being unable to get my brain off that horrifying idea. I feel like I need to pour bleach into my ear, or try to get my toothbrush through my nose up to my brain to try to clean out that horrible concept. Why oh why oh why would you have to go and post that? I’m never going to be the same, and if I’m still having problems with this when you get your three-year-chip, expect a call demanding money for therapy. Ugh.

    • If it’s not too late and you’d really like me to take the image down, i’d do it for you! i must admit i hesitated posting it because i try to be a little better behaved here than elsewhere on the web, but i think i was tempted to see if i could get away with it. Obviously, that seems not to be the case. So, like i said, if you’re still having a hard time and its removal would help, just let me know.

      As for the story behind it… It’s not really a movie but an episode of South Park where Stan doesn’t read the agreement clause before updating his Apple software and it turns out that the fine print states whoever accepts the upgrade agrees to be part of Jobs’ experiment, The Human Centipede. Not saying that makes it OK, just making sure you get your cultural references right. 😉

      Keep coming back and let me know about the picture,

      Al K Hall

      • Al — It **IS** really a movie, a movie called “The Human Centipede” on which the South Park episode “The Human CentiPad” is based, and is from Germany. I found out, Al and Anne, that my eldest actually saw it. Heh. He said it was so horrific in parts it actually went over the top into kind of being stupidhilarious.

        Anyway, Al, you gotta go read the movie description. It might change your mind about the pic (I just kinda ignored it, but then I only knew about the SP epi on it, too, and did not realize it is based on a horror flick from 2010, I think it was).

        Had to add 2 more cents to the discussion here, since I got more info on it myself. Maybe more than I wanted to know, lol.


        • i sit corrected! Even the design she used comes from the movie and not the South Park episode.

          Thanks for clearing that up. Still haven’t decided if i’ll add that to my download list or not, though…

          Keep coming back,

          Al K Hall

  5. Quad A and loving it 🙂 Just wanted to add for all of the non-theist out there, you do not have to feel unwelcome. Al, love that quote, but I would go one step further and say that AA is a program that can be interpreted through a multitude of lenses and still work- even godless ones. Agnostics and Atheists in AA ( 4 A’s, hence Quad A ) are active, sober and just another piece of the 12 step recovery community pie.

    • Hi Astra Starr!

      There is definitely room in the rooms for everyone who has a desire to stop drinking! i have heard the coolest definitions of Higher Power in my 2 years…two nights ago someone said his HP was the Big Book, my own HP are the rooms, one guy i know said it was the 59 Bus because that’s the one he takes to go to the meetings. There is certainly room for everyone!

      Thanks for your comment and sharing your point of view. And keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

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