The “God” Word

A.A. Pamphlet: The "God" Word

Agnostic and Atheist Members in A.A. Share their Perspectives of the "God" Word

Twelve step programmes are not religious. There is room in every 12-Step programme for people of all shades of belief and non-belief.
Many members believe in some sort of god, and 12-Step groups have members who come from and practice all sorts of religions, but many are also atheist or agnostic.

Twelve step programs helps us find an inner strength that we were previously unaware of — where we differ is in how we identify the source. Members have a diverse range of perspectives of what the word "God" means to them.

As Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, wrote in 1965:

We have atheists and agnostics. We have people of nearly every race, culture and religion. In A.A. we are supposed to be bound together in the kinship of a common suffering. Consequently, the full individual liberty to practice any creed or principle or therapy whatever should be a first consideration for us all. Let us not, therefore, pressure anyone with our individual or even our collective views. Let us instead accord each other the respect and love that is due to every human being as he tries to make his way toward the light. Let us always try to be inclusive rather than exclusive; let us remember that each alcoholic among us is a member of A.A., so long as he or she declares.

Please don’t let someone else’s religious beliefs prevent you from finding the solution that is available to you through any 12 Step programme.

Ten agnostic/atheist members share their experience of finding meaningful recovery in A.A., showing there is room in the Fellowship for believers and non-believers alike.