CoDA is a spiritual, not a religious, program. CoDA does not affiliate with any organization, religious or otherwise. The choice of how one defines God is entirely up to the individual. All people are welcome as CoDA members, whether agnostic, atheist, or practicing a religion. Inclusiveness is the goal. This includes respecting one another’s religious identification or non-identification.
Although the use of CoDA Conference-approved literature is encouraged, each meeting decides what literature and prayers it will use. In making such choices, groups are encouraged to refer to the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (See “Twelve Traditions” section). The group conscious process assists with decision-making in these matters. Please see the Fellowship Service Manual for a description of the group conscious process. The “Building CoDA Community: Healthy Meetings Matter” booklet may also be a resource for group decision making.
Fostering Acceptance of One Another
Healing happens as we work the Twelve Steps. We are on a path of healing with God as we understand God (or don’t), ourselves, and others. Acceptance of ourselves and others grows. No longer must we live ‘one-up, one-down lives.’ Equality with one another as imperfect humans can be restored. On our path, we often find that we grow in our understanding and love of one another, regardless of differences that seemed to set us apart in our pasts.
Around the world and through the ages, much harm has been done by people using the name of God to condone physically and emotionally violent behaviors. Through working the program, we may come to love those who have harmed us, even in the name of God, yet this does not mean that we condone what they have done, and we may still need to set boundaries with them.
In CoDA, we work to accept ourselves, our history, our humanness, and others’ humanness. We transcend many of the past beliefs, judgments and experiences that caused us and others harm. As written in the text “Co-Dependents Anonymous” in the chapter the “Spiritual Dilemma”, “We’re all learning to love and be loved.” In learning to love others, including those with different beliefs and histories, we help to heal the world, one person at a time.
For more on this topic, see “The Spiritual Dilemma” chapter in Co-Dependents Anonymous.
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