There was a great deal of education involved in being on that committee. I also received a lot of education on medical ethics as I was getting my degrees. As part of the Ethics Committee, we were instructed in ethics. We were assigned with a lot of reading. We had a visiting ethicist on the committee.
In the mid 1990's, he was probably in his late 60s. That means that in the 40's, he was a child and maybe a teen. Did I mention that he was German? Yes, he was from Germany. He had a very interesting perspective. He frequently stopped us cold in our tracks.
When we would prattle on about everything being relative, he would listen for a while, but he would always come back to the fact that there is good and evil in this world. There truly is right and wrong. When a culture is killing an entire race, that is not good. It is not up to us to figure out WHY they are doing that and then come to understand the intricacies of their "culture," it is up to us to get it to end.
When children are being abused, it may be interesting to study the background of the abuser, but it does not matter to the child. The abuse needs to stop. It may be appropriate to try to understand the abuser when he or she is getting therapy, but it is not appropriate to accept that a child is being abused - for any reason.
What has this got to do with anything? Well, I am sick to death of the people who want to come to AA to get sober, but want to pick and chose what parts they want to do. They want to criticize us for being narrow minded and rigid and suggest that we have limited intelligence.
I say - that is fine - go AWAY.
Find your own way. Find a relatively easy way to get and stay sober. I really don't care. Just don't try to water down our beautiful program.
Our program works. It is not relative. It works. If you don't want it, that is fine, just don't try to change it.
This morning I attended an AA meeting. There was a woman I'd never seen before sitting next to me. I got to the meeting just as it was starting, so I wasn't able to introduce myself. The topic of the meeting was the 6th step. She spoke up about 45 minutes into the meeting... and said she wants to stop drinking, but doesn't want her character defects removed! She thinks we would all be the same and therefore very very boring if we didn't have our character defects in tact. She then got her coffee cup and her coat and walked out of the room.
Now what if we all said "gee, I really respect your opinion, you must be right - we should all keep our character defects!" "We wouldn't want you to think we are rigid and stupid, so let's all just skip the 6th and 7th steps... well, and we might as well skip the rest too." Well, and we might as well skip staying sober because it ain't going to happen.
I remember when I was new to AA and told a friend (now deceased) that everything was fine if you just suspended your judgment values. It sounded good to me. He very kindly told me to not get so open minded that my brains fall out. It was good advice then, and good advice now. But no one is willing to give it any more. And I can see why.
I hope we can all stay absolutely sober today. Not relatively sober, but really truly 100% alcohol-free sober.