So, Pammie's post today reminded me of a conversation that happened over the weekend. Comparisons are odious. Really, they are. A woman I would normally describe as "someone who has really struggled" or something like that - was incensed that a man was allowed to attend "her" meeting. And she was going to leave the meeting because of it. Why was she so sickened by this man? Well, he is a pedophile.
Since when did our traditions state that we are here for all alcoholics - except for those who have problems we find particularly distasteful? And my second thought was - well, crap, this woman is a former prostitute heroin addict shoplifting check writer, etc. Somehow no one asks her if she is going to turn a trick in the meeting. And I would never think of that except that I find it appalling that she feels justified to want this man thrown out of AA.
I saw this happen once before in another group. A young woman was bringing her daughter to meetings and the man in question had behaved inappropriately with the child - and he was promptly banned from that meeting. You know what I said about it? The man BELONGED at that meeting and the child didn't. Really.
An AA meeting is NOT supposed to be a safe place for a child. It is supposed to be a safe place for an alcoholic - no matter what other problems he or she may have. If his or her problems are affecting the group, then it is an issue. But we do not look at the criminal record of the person. If they are alcoholic, they belong - until they prove otherwise.
And when you start hurling stones at another, I think you pretty much better be "without sin." I know I am not, and I don't know anyone else who is.
We have traditions for a reason, and they are time -tested and very very effective.