Area 49 got behind District 404’s proposal – we’ll be asking the General Service Conference for the US & Canada for a pamphlet for atheist & agnostic AA members! Click here for more info.
As far back as 1976, a subcommittee of the Trustees’ Literature Committee concluded that “this pamphlet is vitally needed to carry the message to both newcomers and old timers.” Their reasons included:
- “The number of non-believers in the program, or who need the A.A. program but are discouraged by its theism, may be more substantial than is probably realized.”
- “The chapter ‘To The Agnostic’ in the Big Book is fine as a start but more material is needed to assure non-believers that they are not merely deviants, but full, participating members in the A.A. Fellowship without qualification.”
- “This pamphlet will probably also help the God believer in A.A. to understand his/her own spiritual values better, as well as to develop tolerance and understanding of many newcomers to A.A.”
Five years ago the Conference Literature Committee went to work on an pamphlet for atheists & agnostics, gathering approximately 200 stories. A few small excerpts were eventually included in a 2014 pamphlet “Many Paths to Spirituality”. It has received mixed reviews from all corners of AA and it doesn’t fulfill its original intent. It’s not something you’re likely to find at any of the agnostic or secular groups in NYC.
AA has created all sorts of “3rd Tradition literature”. These are pamphlets written by and for minority groups to welcome newcomers and help educate our fellowship at large: “Too Young?”, “A Message to Teenagers”, and “Young People in A.A.”; “A.A. for the Older Alcoholic—Never Too Late”; “A.A. for the Woman”; “A.A. and the Gay/Lesbian Alcoholic”; “A.A. for the Black and African American Alcoholic”; “A.A. for the Native North American; and “A.A. for the Alcoholic with Special Needs”.
While we don’t expect this pamphlet to be a best-seller, for those for whom it matters, it matters a lot. To hear from AAs with the same experience that AA is always inclusive, never exclusive is so important – regardless of what we do or do not believe