Irony, thy name is religion
A slightly ironic story appeared on NBC’s website today concerning an Alcoholics Anonymous group being banned from holding meetings in a Presbyterian church in Rockville, Maryland for sexual misconduct. Church officials complained the group was operating like a cult. Now, I’m no fan of AA. In fact, I’m very much against the organization; Alcoholics Anonymous is indeed a religious cult, forcing members to declare themselves powerless over addiction and to submit to a higher power as a cure for their disease. Although there are many people who credit this organization with saving their lives, it remains that they operate under false assumptions on how to treat addiction; specifically in their belief alcoholism is a spiritual disease. They also condemn the use of drugs to help in the treatment of addiction.
It does seem strange when a religion accuses another organization of being a cult. I suppose their unique perspective allows them to easily spot the hallmarks of fanaticism. Still, it seems like a case of kettle vs. pot. In any case, the particular group, called Midtown, is strange enough to have other local AA groups describe them as fringe, which is itself another delicious bit of irony.