What if I Don’t Believe in God?
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is for everyone–whatever your relationship with religion.
Working the OA program of recovery is a highly individual process.
We don’t all think alike. As stated in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous, page ix, “Our common bonds are two: the disease of compulsive eating from which we all have suffered, and the solution that we all are finding as we live by the principles embodied in these Steps.” This is what unites us in OA. As the Third Tradition states, if we have the desire to stop eating compulsively, there is a place for us in OA. Anyone who has this desire is welcome and should never feel like they have to explain their personal beliefs.
Read from some of our literature below and hear from others in quotes below:
“I think we naturally assume people who call themselves atheists or agnostics are not spiritual people. Therein lies the basis for confusion.” —What If I Don’t Believe in “God”?
“Open-mindedness is key to success, as we read in The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous. “OA doesn’t tell us we have to believe in God—only that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
People who find success in OA work this program with their own concept of a Higher Power, regardless of their personal interpretation of that power. Clarity, peace of mind, and growth are some of the many byproducts of OA’s recovery program. When we stay in the program and apply these principles in keeping with a personal understanding of a Higher Power, these rich rewards are ours! These are certainly good reasons to ‘keep coming back’.”(pp. 13-14)
“I no longer believe in a personal god. I did not always believe this way; when I came to OA almost ten years ago, I strongly believed in a Higher Power to whom I could turn over my life. Many incidents occurred in this past year, however, that have banished this belief entirely. But the strange thing is that I still have a deep, if not more profound, spiritual life than I had before. I just don’t depend on a god to do my work for me.
I am interested in hearing how others who do not believe in a personal god devote themselves to the OA way of life. I would like to know how other nonbelievers handle the Twelve Steps and “turning it over.” I hope that others will write to Lifeline, using it as one forum for those of us with an alternative way of living the Steps.” —reprinted from Lifeline