The first secular AA group was founded in Chicago in 1975, and the groups, known as AAAA or Quad A (Atheists and Agnostics Alcoholics Anonymous) are still going strong today.
In 1980, the first group known as We Agnostics was formed in Los Angeles, and soon those groups were flourishing in Austin, Texas and New York City.
The Internet has made it easier for secular people in AA to find one another and organize to start new meetings, so we have seen an explosion of secular AA groups since the start of the new millennium. Today, there are more than 250 secular AA meetings the world over.
In the Kansas City area, our story begins in 2012 with the founding of the We Agnostics Group in Lawrence, Kansas.
Questions with Answers from an Atheist in AA
By Eric C. from Lake Leelanau, Michigan
Question: How could anyone possibly work the 12 steps of A.A. without believing in a God of their own understanding?
Answer: Atheists and agnostics in A.A. work the 12 suggested steps in exactly the same manner as everybody else: imperfectly and to the best of their ability and understanding. As useful as the steps may be, the steps are only a part of what makes A.A. so great. Alcoholics Anonymous is more than what’s contained in a 75-year-old book. And A.A. is not really a “program” even though we do have a program of 12 suggested steps.
In fact, Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other. The human spirit evident in the fellowship of A.A. is far more powerful than any individual, and there’s nothing supernatural about that kind of higher power. There is compelling and verifiable evidence that human power does indeed relieve our alcoholism. Every one of the people we see around us at the tables of A.A. is human. We human beings help each other stay sober whether or not we believe in God. The “we” part of A.A is likely the most powerful asset we have.