The Onion wrote a funny piece titled, Man Somehow Overcomes Alcoholism Without Jesus. The article talks about how the man used his own willpower, a desire to better himself as a human being, and not Jesus Christ for the otherwise inexplicable recovery which would not have been possible without [wife and non-supernatural-entity] Susan even though his aunt remained steadfast in her insistence that Jesus most likely had something to do with it.
The article is funny because I’m sure many of us have been inundated, at least once in our lives, with people praying for us when we were ill or in other bad circumstances; some even tell us they are praying for us even though they know we don’t believe. Then, when we come through, these praying people give all the credit to their god while forgetting about the doctors, the support of friends and family and our hard work in our own recovery.
The only thing that makes me cringe a little is the “willpower” part that the alcoholic credited with his success. I recognize willpower is set up as a humorous foil to Jesus and of course willpower is essential to recovery, but it reminds me a bit of my own pet peeve – dualism; the idea that a being, perched behind your eyes and separate from your brain, is really calling the shots. Of course, this is untrue and we are our minds and those minds are subject to the laws of physics, genetic inheritance and daily influences. Therefore, an alcoholic probably needs, and shouldn’t be ashamed to, seek help from organizations like AA; however atheists typically feel they can do without all the god stuff in AA so they instead can turn to organizations like, AA Agnostica, AA Toronto Agnostic or Vancouver AA meetings for Agnostics and Atheists.
Still, the Onion piece is pretty funny and comes at the perfect time of year when praying abounds.