Tuesday, November 15, 2005

ptsd, aa and christianity

Well, yesterday's post got me looking around for other bloggers writing on ptsd, and I found some doozies. Apparently, there is a whole movement afoot to basically take over aa and replace tolerance for all sorts of spirituality and even atheism with a narrowly evangelical, homophobic, misogynist christianity. For example, Ted W., who basically gives his last name and thus breaks his anonoymity at the level of publishing, argues that
I guess its an undeniable truth that some people get sober in Gay AA and then later face up to the truth of the sin of homosexualtiy. Nevertheless, I still believe AA would be better off if it didnt publish pro-homosexual literature.

One of the key messages of a program of recovery is tolerance, something that seems to be missing here. In another entry, Ted preaches that hate is the root of addiction...not his any more of course, but others toward him. I wrote back that:

Pretty amazing that you can preach that hate is the root of addictions at one spot in your blog and then go off on this homophobic nonsense here...Anybody can get together and call themselves an aa group as long as their primary purpose is to get sober. There are lots of homophobic, racist, misogynist straight white guy meetings (you can just call them real meetings, because you don't see the privilege you are taking and denying others by forcing your morals and standards on them). And don't give me that "love the sinner, hate the sin" nonsense and expect me or anyone with a whit of sense in their heads to take seriously your hypocritical rejection of hate. There need to be gay meetings and other special interest meetings precisely because of people like you and your intolerance.

My experience is that there are haters of all kinds in aa, cloaking their hate in 12-speak or god-talk but somehow the most vocal are always straight white men who don't understand why the Blacks (they'll often use other terms in the parking lot) and homosexuals need to have there own meetings because aa is for everybody, and if they don't like the white straight male hateful version of it they just don't want to get sober. I've watched this sort of thing clear the room of the people named and make meetings whiter and straighter. De facto, that is a special interest meeting in itself, a white straight male one. I don't like those meetings even though I happen to be a white straight male. They do damage and drive people away who otherwise might have a shot at recovery then and there were it not for intolerance. In fact, if it were not for this type of intolerance, special interest meetings for people other than racist homophobic white straight males wouldn't be necessary. So if they want to get rid of special meetings, Ted, why don't you just show some tolerance for people who are different from you?

Then there are the wing-nuts who are trying to make aa into a evangelical, religious, christian organization. They are pretty straight up about it, arguing that it comes directly from christianity and therefore that is how it should be now. Sort of like the argument for original or framers' intent on the constitution, to which the late Thurgood Marshall noted that if the case of original intent was sound, he would be a slave to the white judges rather than a fellow jurist. "We know only a little" the Big Book says in one of the last paragraphs, so why do these people want to limit that to the little bit that they knew when they wrote it? Probably because any thing, practice, or person that is different from them scares them. One of the chief responses to fear is to lash out, and that is what I think is going on.

So what does all this have to do with ptsd? Well Ted argues that his alcoholism was the result of unaddressed ptsd. Did he ever stop and think that his addiction to hate and intolerance might be too? The people I read today are good examples of what I was calling yesterday "Type A" addicts. Well it is time for us "Type B"s to speak up.


  1. hope youd be ok... after all God is with you all the time

  2. Good example of how somebody twists what I say. I dont encourage anybody to hate.

    Ted W


  3. Thank goodness NA's basic text at least overtly states that atheists (I'm one) are welcome. I'm back to finding meetings terrible triggers for my C-PTSD though. Warning. NEVER share your deepest most shame filled experiences (especially not abuse related ones) with 'sponsors' or anyone else in 12 step fellowships. It will be all over the gossip hotline (in a grossly exaggerated fashion which you will not be able to defend yourself from without FURTHER exposure to inappropriate judgement, criticism & invasion of privacy) within minutes & a decade & half later, you will STILL be paying the price! From an NA member of 25 years standing. Still hoping to eventually one day leave & move on :(

  4. AnonymousJuly 19, 2012

    wow only three comments... I think anonymous is right.. sounds like AA isn't anonymous...