any man do anything, sincerely believing that thereby he is worshipping
the Great Spirit, he is worshipping the Great Spirit, and his worship must
be treated with respect, so long as he is not trespassing on the rights of
Still dubious, he demanded, "Do you really mean the only reason you
are here is to try and help me and to help
"Yes," I said. That's absolutely all there is to it. There's no
Then, hesitantly, I ventured to talk about the spiritual side of
our program. What a freeze that drunk gave me! I'd no sooner got the word
'spiritual' out of my mouth than he pounced. 'Oh!' he said. 'Now I get it!
You're here proselytizing for some damn religious sect or other. Where do
you get that "no angle" stuff? I belong to a great church that means
everything to me. You've got a nerve to come in here talking
Thank heaven I came up with the right answer for that one. It was
based foursquare on the single purpose of A.A. 'You have faith,' I said.
'Perhaps far deeper faith than mine. No doubt you're better taught in
religious matters than I. So I can't tell you anything about religion. I
don't even want to try. I'll bet, too, that you could give me a
letter-perfect definition of humility. But from what you've told me
about yourself and your problems and how you propose to lick them, I think
I know what's wrong.'
"Okay," he said. "Give me the
"Well," said I, "I think you're just a conceited Irishman who
thinks he can run the whole show."
This really rocked him. But as soon as he calmed down, he
began to listen while I tried to show him humility was the main key
to sobriety. Finally, he saw that I wasn't attempting to change his
religious views, that I wanted him to find the grace in his own
religion that would aid his recovery. From there on we got along
Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions pgs. 152 &
Great Spirit help us to respect others’ beliefs.