View Full Version : Alcoholics Anonymous -- America's State Religion??
11-13-2006, 08:01 PM
N.Y. Court Lets Inmate Refuse Alcohol Program -- by James Barron.
Ruling that Alcoholics Anonymous "engages in religious activity and religious proselytization," New York state's highest court declared Tuesday that state prison officials were wrong to penalize an inmate who stopped attending the organization's self-help meetings because he said he was an atheist or an agnostic.....
...the high court, in a 5-2 ruling, said that state prison officials violated the constitutional rights of the inmate who brought the case, David Griffin, a former heroin addict who complained that he found the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings objectionable because of agnostic or atheistic views he has held since the 1950s....
...."A fair reading of the fundamental AA doctrinal writings discloses that their dominant theme is unequivocally religious," the court said. "Adherence to the AA fellowship entails engagement in religious activity and religious proselytization."...
....God is mentioned in five of the 12 steps that are the cornerstone of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, the Court of Appeals said the Appellate Division had wrongly applied "too narrow a concept of religion or religious activity." The high court said that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were "heavily laced with at least general religious content."...
...."It's very difficult for the state to show there is a legitimate state interest in forcing someone into a rehab program when there's no evidence it works in the first place," ..... New York Times.
11-13-2006, 08:51 PM
Of course it works,I know people who have been attending meetings for forty years,or more.
11-13-2006, 10:03 PM
1. We admitted we were powerless over pool—that our game had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to dead stroke.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Scot Lee, or Randy G as we understood them.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our actual skills at the table.
5. Admitted to the pool gods, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have Scot Lee or Randy G remove all the defects of our game.
7. Humbly asked them to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had been beaten by, and became willing to beat the living crap out of them all.
9. Directed our woofing to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure us.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it, and worked our drills till we dropped.
11. Sought through instruction, practice, and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the pool gods as we understood them, praying only for knowledge of their will for us and the stroke to carry that out.
12. Having had a poolistic awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to keep this message from others less they got hip, and to practice these principles in all our money games, league nights, and tournaments.
Fats < "Hi, I'm Fats and I am a Poolaholic."
11-13-2006, 10:06 PM
Yeah, it does work...replaces the dependency and addiction for alcohol, with a dependency and addiction to AA meetings.
I attended a few myself as a "guest worker"....but it was so depressing, I couldn't wait for the meeting to end, so I could get a drink.
I was a member long enough to spend a raucous New Year's Eve drinking teas, and eating cookies.
Actually the "God" that is mentioned is just your "higher power"...which could be????
I got to go with the courts though on that ruling....now the one in England where prisoners who were heroin addicts, and were forced to go cold turkey....sued and won a settlement...even the ACLU couldn't top that.....
11-14-2006, 01:39 AM
wow, I can't believe a court made that ruling! I attended AA for a long time and really do feel it helps a lot of people and also did a ton of good for me. But at the same time there were a lot of things I didn't like, and can easily see how many people feel it simply isn't for them. And (as in the case described by the OP) I don't feel anyone should be forced to attend meetings... I think it actually defeats the purpose in many ways. But that is another topic entirely.
As far as what the ruling says, well they obviously didn't look into it at all (which surprises me that out of however many people in the legas system looked it over obviously knew nothing about it... cheap shot /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif ) While the use of the word "god" is used repeatedly in AA, it is also stressed to be a "god of your understanding" or a higher power, as wolfdancer mentioned. That can be God, or it can be the inmates soap on a rope... whatever he feels is greater than him. Beyond that, entire sections of the Big Book and discussion topics are written directly to the agnostic and athiest population. So I really don't see how such a ruling was made.
And above those things, I also am concerned with the fact that this was an inmate, who in being jailed forfeits his rights and freedoms anyway, so how can his constitutional rights be violated?
eh, so much more I wanna say, but I've rambled enough for 3 in the morning here... have a great day all!
11-14-2006, 06:29 AM
Sack316 The state probably didn't use your line of thinking in defending their right to make the inmate attend the meetings.
I have to agree with if you have no rights you have no rights but then inhuman treatment would be allowed because you have no rights then you might have rights when you have no rights. This premise needs more thinking.####
11-14-2006, 08:20 AM
No it dosen't /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
11-14-2006, 08:34 AM
Dick, you're sounding a bit like Donald Rumsfeld??? You have to stop tuning in to Fox for the news.
(Dick)f you have no rights you have no rights but then inhuman treatment would be allowed because you have no rights then you might have rights when you have no rights. This premise needs more thinking
(Donald)As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.....There was no thinking behind that premise
Now that the Donald has resigned....there's only one Rummy left in Washington...Ted Kennedy
11-14-2006, 02:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote DickLeonard:</font><hr> Sack316 The state probably didn't use your line of thinking in defending their right to make the inmate attend the meetings.
I have to agree with if you have no rights you have no rights but then inhuman treatment would be allowed because you have no rights then you might have rights when you have no rights. This premise needs more thinking.#### <hr /></blockquote>
Very true on one hand, and in this case on some levels the ruling can and does make some sense. But the problem with rulings such as this is the possibility of that can of worms opening up.
For example: so this guys first amendment rights were protected... go constitution! Well what if I'm locked up and have my weapons permit? Under the courts line of reasoning then couldn't I still have the right to bear arms? How about the random cell searches and fourth amendment rights? And what if I personally feel that being locked in a cell block with 40 or 50 other inmantes sharing my quarters is cruel and unusual? Apparently I can then petition a NY court to live my sentence a little better off?
Yes of course those are all extreme examples, but in theory if one right is protected in that case then wouldn't all rights be protected in some way? And therein lies one of my main problems in the ruling.
Back when I was getting in some trouble and got DUI's, I had a certain amount of AA meetings I had to attend, fines to pay, a few days in jail, and an officer to report to regularly. Should I have been able to assert my 1st amendment right and not attend those AA meetings? then use the 8th amendment saying my fines were excessive (because a millionaire pays the same amount I do... since I am not a millionaire obviously me paying such a fine as a millionaire would is excessive). After that I think being locked up with a bunch of people is cruel and unusual, so I'll go spend a few days in my specially made cell and then walk off basically scott free.
Obviously none of that makes any sense... which quite frankly is kind of the point...
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