I’m curious as to why the Star Phoenix slapped this story in its sports tab as opposed to the news one but I found it anyway, and that’s the main thing.
Janet, who asked that her last name not be used, is organizing the local SOS chapter. She attended AA for several months but the spiritual content of the meetings left her feeling uncomfortable.
“If addiction is a disability, why is it being treated with faith?” Janet said. “I quit smoking 15 years ago and I didn’t need God’s help to do it.”
When she expressed her concern in an AA meeting, several others in the group approached Janet and said they had similar feelings about the faithbased approach of AA.
She discovered the SOS Toronto chapter and decided to start the group in Saskatoon. The group plans to meet every other Sunday at 8: 30 p.m. at the Avenue Community Centre on 21st Street West.
“This is not a treatment. It’s a support group,” Janet said.
“The thing is it puts sobriety first on the list, not finding God or atoning for your sins. You’re not handing responsibility for your addiction to a higher power. You’re taking responsibility for it yourself.”
I suppose there’s some possibly logical reason why the author of the piece never mentioned it was set up through the Saskatoon Freethinkers. Maybe because “Freethinker” isn’t always a term people understand or because the paper didn’t want to discourage readers from looking it up by announcing that a pile of anti-God freaks are running this thing? We aren’t freaks, obviously. The ones who are working on putting this together simply want to offer something additional (and god free) to the pool of available support resources in the city. I think it’s a good idea and I hope they find success with it.
The first meeting was this weekend and if it sounds like something you’d like to try, or you know someone who might benefit from this approach, here’s more information.