A church for me
AA is more or less a church. If you were to have asked me 6 months ago if I would ever join a church, I’d have said no. But if you had then said to me, “imagine a reality in which you do join a church, in which you undergo a conversion, what would that church look like?” I think I might have answered something like this:
1. It would have to be inclusive and take all comers. It would have to be highly tolerant of dissent, or it else it would immediately kick me out.
2. It would have to leave God undefined, because I could never buy into any specific God, though I might be open to the concept of divinity in general.
3. It couldn’t include discussions of the afterlife because the only people who could possibly know are dead.
4. It would need to produce a substantive and concrete positive impact in my life, otherwise what’s the point?
5. It would have to have no hierarchy. Nobody could be in charge of the place, because what makes that guy so special?
6. There’d have to be no profit motivation – nobody could make money off it.
7. It couldn’t be involved in politics at all (unless it had exactly my politics, which change, so that’s not really possible).
8. It should be very diverse, but also filled with a bunch of basically like-minded iconoclasts.
9. There could be no evangelism of any sort. If you want it, come on in. No seeking out of converts.
10. I don’t want to fed a bunch of rules. Suggestions, maybe. Rules? Hell no.
11. To the extent that there were “preachers” the position would need to be rotating. I don’t want to hear the same guy’s understanding of things over and over again.
12. And I’d need a pretty damn good reason to walk in the door in the first place.
That sounds an awful lot like AA.