The Second Step of AA: A Softer take on Spirituality



“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” There is a great deal of ingenuity and cleverness to be found in the way the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are composed and ordered. The second step is a great example of the brilliance of Bill W., founder of AA. It asks not that an addict or alcoholic immediately accept the idea that there is a power greater than oneself who can restore our mental clarity and perspective. Instead, it only asks us to seek a belief in a higher power, to make an honest effort to accept the idea of a higher power in our lives.


This softer stance on spirituality has opened the door to hundreds of thousands of addicts who begin their journey in recovery firmly rooted in the belief that there is no god. If you count yourself among the millions of atheists in the United States today, you need not