The Responsibility Pledge borders on a breach in the principle that AA was built on “there are no dues or fees for AA membership”.
The pledge though well-meaning is a contradiction to our AA founding principle of no dues and especially NO HIDDEN FEES!
The advantages and core level recovery that doing service work gives us is vital for us to stay sober. Telling our story and chairing meetings, going to jails and institutions to carry the message, sponsorship, helping others all these things carve out our very self worth and emotional healing that we desperately need in recovery.
I am all for Service Work and have done it for years but NEVER by obligation or because I am in debt to AA. It’s a fine line from the gift of sobriety into a lapse in spiritual ideas by stamping my old “strings-attached” manipulative attitude onto a program that was set-up to be spiritual and free.
I do service because it keeps me sober, it builds self worth, and it helps heal me and emotionally builds up my confidence and esteem. I do not OWE AA. AA is not given to us with strings attached. Does God give to us with strings attached? The program and carrying the message is not by obligation it’s by necessity and then it’s a choice. It’s not “stealing” to-not do service work. Come on this is a spiritual principle. AA is not built with manipulation and hidden fees.
“The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; (THERE ARE NO HIDDEN FEES AND THAT INCLUDES SERVICE WORK) we are self supporting through our own contributions.”
The reason the responsibility pledge is so controversial and has been omitted from the readings in many groups is because 1. It’s not in the Big Book and 2. It makes for the idea that we OWE AA and we don’t. I am NOT RESPONSIBLE for the entire Earth of drunks reaching out for the hand of AA. That is far too vast of a burden for me to carry. When I give to AA it’s because I either need to do it or I choose to do it. I am no longer bathing in the codependent illness that has me thinking I am God and the world won’t survive without my service. Nor will anyone put a guilt trip on me saying I am obligated to do anything except “do no harm” and help others when I choose. And again the only person I am responsible for is me.