American Humanist Association and Its Burwell Myth about God as we understood Him

God as you understood him. Or God as we understood Him!


Did Jim Burwell originate the phrase as Burwell claimed? No. And nobody but Burwell made that claim except as an example a recent article by the American Humanist Association.


Here are the facts:


God as we understood Him! From Jim Burwell, as Burwell claimed – without any support from those who wrote the phrase in 1939? Jim Burwell was not even present when the phrase was adopted in place of God! Those who want the facts need to read Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age to find out how the compromise came about when a “committee of four”–secretary Ruth Hock, Christian John Henry Fitzhugh Mayo, Christian Bill Wilson, and Bill’s business partner Hank Parkhurst had a heated argument in which Parkhurst pleaded, threatened, begged, and insisted that God be removed. It so happened that Reverend Samuel M. Shoemaker who had worked with Bill on the language of the steps had many times spoken of God as you understand Him. Twice in Children of the Second Birth in the late 1920’s. And the Shoemaker language was “surrender as much of yourself as you understand to as much of God as you understand.” Shoemaker, of course, was writing of God, the Creator. Other Oxford Group people phrased it somewhat differently: “Surrender as much of yourself as you know to as much of God as you know.” And those who don’t read, study, or quote the historical facts and proofs are simply blowing smoke in the direction they want it to land.


About mauihistorian

Uses pen name Dick B.: Writer, Historian, Retired attorney, Bible student, CDAAC, and active and recovered A.A. member with over 25 years of continuous sobriety. Published 42 titles and over 650 articles on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Christian Recovery Movement.
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