Tradition Ten

No AA group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate AA, express any opinion on outside controversial issues–particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion.  The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one.  Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.

implicate –

1. to show to be also involved, usually in an incriminating manner: to be implicated in a crime.
2. to imply as a necessary circumstance, or as something to be inferred or understood.
3. to connect or relate to intimately; affect as a consequence: The malfunctioning of one part of the nervous system implicates another part.

So here’s the thing.  I’m a Democrat.  I’m a Lutheran.  I have opinions and I express them.  My political life and my religious life are informed by AA, they are made possible by AA, they are intimately tied to AA.  For me, only.

I understand that there are bloggers who take this tradition to mean that they should not, while identifying as an AA member, express views on politics.  Some express views on religion but not politics.  Some do both.  Some neither.  Some one or the other.

It is the word implicate in the tradition that leads me to conclude that I can express these views as part of my personal story and my personal journey.  I do not now, nor have I ever ever, spoken for Alcoholics Anonymous in any way shape or form.  I have no degree or certificate.  I am not in contact with AA officials.  More than that, in all my time in AA including everything I’ve read and everything I’ve heard there are no official AA positions on politics, religion or any other matter.  AA is no way implicated in any opinion I express.

If I thought these things violated the tradition, I would quickly take them out of this blog.  I would not break a tradition or denigrate AA in any way, ever.  I truly believe that they do no harm being here, and that they are important to my story.  There’s a bit more about this here.

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