A.A.'s long form of the Tenth Tradition:
No A.A. group or individual should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on on outside controversial issues – particularly those of politics, alcohol reform or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.
When asked by the Supreme Court of the United States whether it was a religion or not, the office of their World Service Organization of Alcoholics Anonymous responded by saying, “We have no opinion.” After the Supreme Court ruled on the issue, they were asked again to make a statement about that ruling. Their response was, again, “We have no opinion.”
Any healthy Twelve Step Fellowship is merely a collection of men and women who once suffered from a common problem and have also found a common solution. That solution is the program called the Twelve Steps. These Steps are a list of actions that we take in order to initiate and grow a relationship with that which each of us sees as most high in existence. Many of our members call that “God” or a “Higher Power.” The actions of the Twelve Steps do not even require our members to believe in God or a Higher Power. To be successful in the program of S.A.A. we will only be required to be willing to believe.
This is the point from which most of the confusion stems. Because we depend on a “Higher Power” for our sobriety, many think that we are a religion. We assure all who come to us for help, that no dogma or doctrine of any religion will be forced on any member or potential member of our fellowship. We only suggest that an individual work the program of recovery outlined by the Twelve Steps if he or she wishes to recover (which, by the way, is the only requirement for membership). In fact, most of us still practice the religious faith we had when we first came to S.A.A. What we have now is a simple system or discipline for living in relationship with the God of our individual religions. That system is called the Twelve Steps.