Is Alcoholics Anonymous legally considered to be a religion?

Have some thoughts on this, leave them below!

Share

Comments

  1. Mr. Know It All says:

    No.

  2. ulagam says:

    No. It is not a religious institution at all. It is a organisation doing social service doing service in the field of de-addiction of the alcoholics.

  3. miabella says:

    Dont be daft, if drink had been their God before then going to the AA would be to lose that.
    So no.

  4. Wiccan Rider says:

    It is a religious cult. Those who say it is not consider this read the 12 steps. How many times is god mentioned. In AA you have to admit you are powerless over alcohol, you must take a personal spiritual invetory and you must submit yourself to a higher power they call god. You must pray for a daily reprieve from you spiritual malady.

    I was thworn out of AA by my sponsor because I refused to work it as a spiritual religious program. I was told you cannot take the spiritual out of AA. it claims it is not a religion but it has all the idenifying marks of a religion.
    )0(

  5. DoorKnob says:

    Three Federal Courts of Appeals (Second, Seventh, and Ninth circuits) and Two State Supreme Courts (New York and Tennessee) have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are religious and that nobody can be coerced by government authority into attending these organizations (as that would violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against the state establishment of religion). No Federal Court of Appeals and no State Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. To date, the United States Supreme Court has declined to consider any of these rulings, thus letting these ruling stand. For more on these court rulings:

    Court rulings other than the 9th Circuit
    http://www.angelfire.com/journal/forcedaa/courtopinions.html

  6. raysny says:

    The Second, the Seventh, and the Ninth Federal District courts and the Supreme Court of Tennessee have made legal decisions that AA is at least “religious in nature”; Religious enough that mandated AA is considered a violation of the Establishment Clause.

    AA claims to be non-religious, but the best they might be able to argue for would be non-denominational. However, the God of AA has enough specific qualities that make Him differ from other religions, it should be considered a stand apart religion. The court cases have only been to determine whether or not AA is religious, not if it is a religion. It would be an interesting case, but there wouldn’t be a purpose to such a case, so I doubt it will happen.

    How can they call themselves non-religious when half of the 12 Steps talk about God or a Higher Power, and their program is dependant on God granting a person a daily reprieve from alcohol?

    Their God cannot CURE alcoholism, there is no free will, and they have their own prayers that are to be said daily so that God will grant that reprieve? Not religious?

    AA is a splinter group that came out of the Oxford Group, a Christian sect:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Group

  7. progree says:

    If a program is about finding a favor-dispensing deity (one who restores us to sanity, removes our shortcomings, manages our lives, cares for us, LISTENS TO OUR PRAYERS, loves us, gives us power, and guides our groups), then it is religious. (This list comes from the 12 Steps, Tradition 2, and the Three Pertinent Ideas of How It Works, Big Book p. 60)

    If the program’s book has quotes like “We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, he provided what we needed if we kept close to Him and performed His work well” (Big Book p. 63), then it is religious.

    If none of the A.A. people can come up with a non-deity possible meaning for God in the steps, such as Step 11, then it is religious.

    It does NOT have to be about a specific religion such as Christianity or Islam to be religious. Please check the dictionary.

    Again, take Step 11 — “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand HIM, praying only for knowledge of HIS will for us and the power to carry that out.”

    What non-religious non-deistic concept of “GOD” makes sense in the above? Who do you pray to and meditate on His will for you if not some kind of deity? Do you pray to The Group? To A Light Bulb? Do you really?

    For those who say A.A. is not religious — Please read Step 11 in the Big Book and especially the 12 X 12. Its impossible to substitute some secular non-deistic interpretation for God and have it make any sense. Its blatant proselytization to some prayer-answering favor-dispensing deity.

    Please explain the last 2 Pertinent Ideas in How It Works (“(b) that probably no HUMAN power could have relieved our alcoholism” “(c) that God could and would if He were sought”). If not a Human power and not a deity, then what? Some inanimate force of nature or object? How do you pray to that and meditate on its will for you and the power to carry it out?

    Please explain how its not religious to bash non-believers in an entire chapter of the Big Book — Chapter 4 “We Agnostics” (“vain”, “fooling ourselves” etc.).

    Three Federal Courts of Appeals (Second, Seventh, and Ninth circuits) and Two State Supreme Courts (New York and Tennessee) have ruled that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are religious and that nobody can be coerced by government authority into attending these organizations (as that would violate the First Amendment’s prohibition against the state establishment of religion). No Federal Court of Appeals and no State Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. To date, the United States Supreme Court has declined to consider any of these rulings, thus letting these ruling stand. For more on these court rulings:

    Court rulings other than the 9th Circuit
    http://www.angelfire.com/journal/forcedaa/courtopinions.html

    9th Circuit Court Of Appeals Ruling (Inouye v. Kemna)
    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/09/08/BA99S1AKQ.DTL

    ———————————————

    Here is a Duke Law Journal article that discusses the religious aspects of A.A. and the definition of religion for constitutional purposes (first amendment establishment clause).

    Cited: 47 Duke L. J. 785
    [*pg 785]
    RELIGION AND REHABILITATION: THE REQUISITION OF GOD BY THE STATE
    DEREK P. APANOVITCH

    http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?47+Duke+L.+J.+785

    ———————————————–

    To experience non-religious A.A., visit http://www.agnosticaa.org

    To experience non-A.A. secular chemical dependency support groups, see
    http://members.aol.com/r2135/alternat.htm

    == Recovery Without Proselytization About A Supernatural Loving Personal Favor-Dispensing Entity Called “God” ==

    To the person below who observed that catsup has legally been declared a vegetable — is that the best you can do? Once again, can you tell me that praying to a favor-dispensing prayer-answering deity and meditating on His will for us and the power to carry it out (Step 11) is not religious? What besides a deity does one pray too? The group? The program? A light bulb?

  8. Mona Lisa says:

    It has been held so, yes.

    The New York Court of Appeals ruled in 1999 that mandating attendance at AA meetings compromises the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment right of those sentenced not to have religion dictated to them by government – because AA practices and doctrine are (in the words of the judge who wrote Griffin v. Coughlin) “unequivocally religious”. In that ruling it was also noted that “adherence to the AA fellowship entails engagement in religious activity and religious proselytization.” In “working” the Twelve Steps, participants become actively involved in seeking God through prayer, confessing wrongs and asking for “removal of shortcomings.” The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari and let this decision stand.

    Grandberg v. Ashland County is another example concerning judicially-mandated AA attendance and the Establishment Clause. In that case the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled, “Alcoholics Anonymous materials and the testimony of the witness established beyond a doubt that religious activities, as defined in constitutional law, were a part of the treatment program. The distinction between religion and spirituality is meaningless, and serves merely to confuse the issue.” In Warner v. Orange County Department of Probation a man convicted of drunk driving was sentenced to AA. The court found that the county was guilty of “coercing the plaintiff into participating in religious exercises, an act which tends toward the establishment of a state religious faith.”

  9. Danny S says:

    Yes, and ketchup is legally considered to be a vegetable too.

    Danny S – RLRA

    Real Live Recovered Alcoholic
    http://recoveredalcoholic.blogspot.com/

Speak Your Mind

*