The Traditions are designed to keep the GROUP from destroying ITSELF; the Steps are designed to keep US from destroying OURSELVES.
Tradition Ten: “Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.”
I know I say this all the time, that the Traditions are a miracle, and “How did we ever come up with this stuff?” et cetera, et cetera.
But… it kind of looks as though it wasn’t that tough to come up with this one. Almost a no-brainer really, if, that is, you happened to be paying attention to history. Okay, maybe it is a miracle.
Anyway, there was a movement prior to AA that had the right idea, mostly. Wikipedia has this info on it:
The Washingtonian movement (Washingtonians, Washingtonian Temperance Society or Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society) was a 19th-century temperance fellowship founded on April 2, 1840. The idea was that by relying on each other, sharing their alcoholic experiences and creating an atmosphere of conviviality, they could keep each other sober. Total abstinence from alcohol (teetotalism) was their goal. The group taught sobriety and preceded Alcoholics Anonymous by almost a century.
“Washingtonian Movement, Wikipedia Contributors, Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia.”
There was, however, one major problem that the Washingtonian Movement was unable to survive; they got their name involved in a few of the “outside issues” of the day. The temperance movement was one, and the other was slavery!
I know! But, believe it or not, what took them down between the two issues was PROHIBITION! That’s right! They took the public position that booze should be illegal, which did not fly with most people for obvious reasons which are too numerous to go into here. Anyway, to anyone paying attention to history (which, by the way, is hardly anyone), it was easy to see that involvement in any outside issues could be potentially fatal to AA.
This is a fact: AA has not been involved in one controversy and has been in existence for over 84 years!
And because of this Tradition, it is very rare to hear people in AA meetings argue about those issues that plague Thanksgiving dinners everywhere: politics, religion or reform of any kind.
I gotta remember that, next time I’m at the meeting where I see that guy wearing that stupid hat with that saying on it that drives me crazy!
I hate fishing.