Agnostic views & images I like

Thoughts about things on the web

A linking of bars, a church and A. A.

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I must recognize that this is the first time I have invoked the Cheever name in this blog and it’s not the father, but he is in the story. It’s the daughter, Susan Cheever, who contributes to a NY Times blog about drink et al.

So I’ll get down to cases right here. Here’s an excerpt of Susan’s views about this “triad” to test your interest level:

For some drinkers it turns out that God is not in the bars of their drinking days, nor at church, but in another set of rituals, those practiced in the 12 step rooms of A.A. even though the program is not officially religious and has no prescribed God. In the last years of his life my father took me to A.A. meetings, as he had taken me to bars, as he had often taken me to the early communion service at All Saints church.

On the surface these three places — an Irish bar, an Episcopal Church and an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting — don’t seem

A regional service center for Alcoholics Anony...
Image via Wikipedia

too similar. They are not even sympathetic to each other. In bars they don’t like to hear about A.A., and in A.A. they don’t like to hear about church. But in many ways they are the same, whether we pass a plate or a basket, whether we sit in uncomfortable pews or on uncomfortable folding chairs, whether we share our experiences, tell our troubles to the bartender, or confess to our minister. They are all part of our human search for the divine, places where through ritual and community we reach for transcendence and sometimes find it.

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