I read Shawn Macomber’s interview with Steve Salerno (author of SHAM) with interest. While I agreed with many of his observations, on Oprah, or self-esteem being granted as a right instead of something to be earned, or the elevation of emotions over logic, I saw one sentence that I could not let pass unchallenged.
Salerno said “The ‘diseasing of America,’ too, can be traced to AA’s successful crusade to de-stigmatize alcoholism.”
AA has never undertaken such a campaign. This statement shows a basic lack of familiarity with the fundamental tenets of the “Big Book” and the companion “12 Steps” edition. AA has a single goal and that is to help the alcoholic who wants to stop drinking.
I am an alcoholic and AA has helped me. I never went to formal treatment but rather just started attending meetings and began working the program. It has been many years since I have taken a drink or felt the need to do so.
AA “gives” self-esteem to no one. You earn it by learning what you need to do daily to stay sober. And anyone who has actually been successful in AA knows that self-absorption and self-pity are the mortal enemies of sobriety. You help yourself by getting out of yourself and helping others. Putting yourself first is not an AA mantra. The closest AA comes to that sentiment is to point out that you are no good to anyone when drunk. As such, sobriety comes first but that is not based on selfishness but rather the opposite.
It is sad that others have glommed onto the 12 steps for their own purposes. Many of these are warped, pale imitations of the original and are indeed guilty of the sins Salerno describes.
I realize many people have a distorted view of what Alcoholics Anonymous is and isn’t. Prior to finding myself in need of their help, my own view of AA was based on stereotypes that proved to be wildly off base.p>Thank you for this opportunity to offer an inside br> view.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online