Does Tradition 3 in the AA 12 & 12 and the Responsibility Declaration tell us that SA must accommodate anyone with a sexual addiction?
Key quotes from AA literature are:
- ‘When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.’ A.A.’s Responsibility Declaration
- “neither punish nor deprive any A.A. of membership, that we must never compel anyone to pay anything, believe anything, or conform to anything?” AA 12 & 12 p 141
- “You are an A.A. member if you say so.” AA 12 & 12 p 139
Even in AA anyone doesn’t mean just anyone
AA’s Third Tradition talks about a requirement for membership. Any requirement will by definition exclude some people. In context, the above quotes apply after the 3rd tradition requirement has been met, not as a replacement for it! Those who have an alcohol problem but who don’t want to stop drinking completely can sit in on open AA meetings but not closed meetings. They are not AA members because they “don’t have the Third Tradition”. Same with SA if you want SA sobriety you are in!
SA literature explicitly states that SA is not for just anyone
SA’s Third Tradition states that the “only requirement for SA membership is a desire to stop lusting and become sexually sober”. SA has a marvellous record of inclusion of all who want SA sobriety.
Even those against the Cleveland Statement don’t mean just anyone
Many would still be excluded from SA even under the “spouse as understand spouse” approach
- Those who want to ‘lovingly masturbate’: some say they are “sexually oriented” only to themselves
- Those who want to have sex after just a few dates
- Those in sexually open relationships who only want to stop using pornography
- Those in polygamous marriages, legally recognised in some countries, who want to stop using pornography
- Those in relationships who do not relate to the term spouse or marriage, preferring terms like lover, partner and relationship.
Referral to other S programs, professionals and agencies
The AA pamphlet on Cooperating with outside bodies asks the question: “Do A.A. groups, intergroups, or service committees ever refer alcoholics or their families to non-A.A. agencies?”. The answer is “Of course” and goes on to discuss
“A.A. cooperation with others in the field of alcoholism” including referral “to competent professionals and agencies that provide such service.” and Alanon for issues “beyond the scope of the A.A. program”.
Anyone who wants other than SA sobriety has an issue ” beyond the scope” of the SA program. Referring such people to the other S programs and agencies is not just SA’s duty but right!
The Responsibility Declaration does not replace the 12 Traditions. It sits along side the Traditions and all the other Conference Approved SA Literature. Prooftexting, selectively quoting the literature out of context, creates a glib campaign slogan, but is not the totality of the Program.