I shared the following recently with my online EA group:
When I heard from a respected member, who questioned my judgment, I was first taken aback. I so wanted their understanding. But because the told me in no uncertain terms that I was breaching a program boundary by speaking so acceptingly of religious expression, I decided a careful amends was in order:I am very grateful when folks share about their faith, the details, even their [religious] denominations. I am not threatened by this, even as my own religious beliefs are extremely eclectic. If I were an atheist, I would still want to know how others believe. I am inspired by the courage you all express.I hope the sharing of these 11th step flavors is never banned. I guess it won't be unless the privilege is abused.
I value others beliefs and find it helpful to know the details of how real people do Step Eleven. It was my humble opinion that several members today were gracious enough to share their Step Eleven practices. It helped me to read and begin to model my own spiritual practices after some of what you shared. Reading books only goes so far.
Sometimes I get excited when it looks like we might be creating a place where we can use each others unique spiritual strengths, while being mutually respective of our differences.
However, it was brought to my attention that I was advocating we violate a boundary... that I may have given a grand welcome to religious disclosure on our list serve, which is not what our program actually advocates. I don't want to be in trouble there.
There are good reasons why we don't talk specific religions in our Twelve Step programs. But I wondered if sometimes it is helpful to others, to KNOW the occasional detail that makes a person's faith real for them? Which could be of help to members who are rebuilding our faith? Without trying to convert anyone else, of course. Or create any "shoulds," which only make recovery harder. (It can be a fine line. And that is why we err on the side of caution, here.)
We are all valuable and smart people here, and I want to express that I think speaking up is a good thing! But I may have mislead in my earlier post (above).
I welcome correspondence on this issue. I make it my own practice NOT to correct others, but to look for the good first, and then to offer a "contrasting" thought. Please consider the same approach in your feedback.