WAFT IAAC Report from the Field
I was late to the first day of the conference. Though, my plan arrived in L.A. at 11:30, my choice of transport to Santa Monica wasn’t the speediest. By the time I got to the hotel I was dehydrated and feeling ill, so I got some rest and headed to the conference sometime around 3:30. I was fortunate enough to be able to hear the key note speaker Marya Hornbacher.
Marya’s talk was excellent. She was sharp, honest, funny and put across a message which to me was well received. Towards the end of her talk she said something to the effect that our challenge is to “broaden the circle without breaking the bond”. In other words, we want to make A.A. a place where everyone can find fellowship and recovery regardless of what beliefs they do or do not hold. All of the WAFTs that I have spoken with over the past few months all love the fellowship, these are A.A.s don’t be mistaken about that. We aren’t rebels, not trying to upset the cart or break away from A.A. or start our own thing. We are here in the fellowship as we have always been from the very beginning, but we are now finding each other, connecting and creating a framework that will help support atheists, agnostics and freethinkers in A.A.
After Marya’s talk, there was a business meeting. Again, I couldn’t stay for the entire thing as I was feeling sick again and had to get the the motel. The purpose of the meeting was to elect trusted servants for WAFT IAAC and to find a location for the next conference. Trusted Servants (board members) were elected and though I don’t have the details, I will get them later as they are posted on the WAFT site. My roommate R.J., told me that a suggestion was thrown out to include the atheists in the title of We Agnostics and Freethinkers International AA Convention. I always wondered why the word “atheist” wasn’t used but I never thought to ask anyone about it. Well, anyway everyone agreed that the name should be changed to the We Agnostics, Atheists and Freethinkers International AA convention and so it is.
I consider myself to be an atheist more than an agnostic and I’m not quite sure what a freethinker is though I plan on learning. It’s good that we include the word “atheist” in our name to make it clear to people like myself that we are included in this thing too. Also, the stigma of the word needs to be removed. I have seen people get angry and defensive when the word is used and there’s no reason for that.
So that’s the news from Santa Monica. We are all having a wonderful time here. In the short time that I was at the convention yesterday, I saw Cathy from the Happy Heathens of Colorado Springs, and met some of her Happy Heathen friends. I met a man about my age who has been in AA for some 17 years is a lifelong atheist and never knew that agnostic AA meetings existed, and he’s from California not too far from here. I also met Ken originally from London England but now living in Spain. What a nice guy it was so much fun to chat with him. Another guy I met came from Australia. He said they don’t have any agnostic meetings near him. I told him we didn’t have one in Kansas City either until we started one up. Who knows maybe he’ll do the same one day.
I will sign off for now. Today, I believe that I will be hosting a meeting for the We Agnostics Kansas City group and I am on the Midwestern founders panel and I’m very much looking forward to that.
From Sunny California, I bid you a good day.