The woke never sleep
The preternaturally offended are ever on the alert to find reasons to be offended, even within a benign, politically unaffiliated organization like Alcoholics Anonymous.
In April, the 71st General Service Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous recommended that the first sentence of the AA Preamble be changed from a "fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope" to a "fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope."
Alcoholics Anonymous is a worldwide, benevolent, nonpolitical organization. Its preamble declares both what it is ("the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking") and is not ("allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes").
No organization on Earth works harder not to offend than Alcoholics Anonymous. Even so, the woke are offended.
I do not speak for AA, nor do I wish to embroil its members in an imbroglio unrelated to its primary purpose. It's simply to warn that if the woke can infiltrate AA's culture, they can and will infiltrate yours.
To my ear, the sound of this revised socially conscious Preamble is like fingernails on a chalkboard.
Among my several issues with the recommended change is the fact that it introduces politics and controversy into an organization that abjures both.
Like those who consider the U.S. Constitution a "living document" that must adapt to evolving cultural and societal mores and circumstances, proponents of the change argue that the revision simply reflects changing cultural and societal mores involving identity and sexuality among AA members.
I would counter that these newly evolving social and cultural mores are yet unresolved political questions. Social and cultural mores and fashion are in a constant state of flux. Does this portend a revised preamble every 5,10, or 20 years? Or next year?
By immersing AA in a political controversy, the committee is implicitly endorsing (and arguably opposing) a cause. Consciously or unconsciously, its members are choosing sides in an unsettled, contentious, political controversy.
There are other proposed changes to AA literature, most times with euphemisms substituting for unpalatable truths. For example, the committee recommends that to protect criminals' fragile psyches, "inmate" and "offender" be replaced with "persons in custody."
With progressives, the past is always prologue. The beginning is never the end. It's simply the prologue to another beginning.
If the goal is to never offend, where do revisions end?
The opening paragraphs of AA's Step One refer to "men" several times. Should all reference to men (and women) in the organization's literature be changed to accommodate a preternaturally offended few?
There is not a more inclusive term for human beings, alcoholic or otherwise, than a " fellowship of men and women."
Whether Black, White, Native American, straight, gay, LGBT, young or old, by definition, we are all "men and women," including those men and women who identify as members of the opposite sex.
The recommended change is pointless change for the sake of change.
If most members concur that AA is a friendly association of people who share common interests (and I believe they do), then the insertion of "people" is grammatically redundant and aesthetically jarring.
If change is in the air, revise the Preamble thus: "AA is a fellowship of those who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism."
Purported problem solved.
Image: Screen shot, Twitter, meme.
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