Bullshit slogan of the day:
Religion is for people who fear Hell, and spirituality is for people who have gone through Hell

This is actually a new one to me. I just heard this from an AA member, so I googled it thinking he may have invented his own cliché. There must be some special place in AA Heaven for a person who invents one of these things. It turns out that this was a preexisting, though rarely used, slogan. I found it used here, which is a good link for anyone looking to see an AAer make a jackass of himself.

I thought that I would take this opportunity to go over some of things one should look for when analyzing an AA slogan. There are three key elements: Context, Degree of Difficulty and Effectiveness. Here is a brief description in what to look for in judging an AA thought stopping slogan:

Pulling a rare gem of a slogan out his ass must have made my AA friend feel good about himself. Much like I feel when I seize the opportunity to interject the word “nonplussed” into a conversation (If you want practice with this word, go to an AA meeting. You will be nonplussed early and often). Context is the key element in reciting any slogan, and it is important to say it where it appears to role off the tongue naturally, as though you thought of the expression yourself.

Degree of Difficulty:
The less often a slogan is needed, the more difficult it is to regurgitate, and the higher it is on the on the AA point scale of difficulty. “It works if you work it” and “it’s spiritual, not religious” are both fine slogans, but they are at the lower end of this scale. These slogans are like a Chinese rice cooker, or Lindsay Lohan’s cocaine straw: they get used every day. These easier slogans tend to react on the edges of the brain, and are used like a temporary, local anaesthetic. Today’s slogan is on the high end of the difficulty scale, and is used on rare occasions. The high end slogans tend to dig deep into the brain; and they do to critical thinking what a core meltdown does to a nuclear power plant.


The effectiveness of a slogan is judged based on the Delayed Auditory Response Time – DART – of the slogan’s recipient. The DART is simply the amount of time it takes to respond to a shocking or inane comment. The more ridiculous the comment, the greater the amount of time it takes to come up with a response, and the greater the chance of cognitive meltdown. A father’s reaction after hearing from his teenage daughter that she is knocked up, or a reporter asking questions of George W Bush, are examples of high DARTs. The higher the AA slogan is on the DART scale, the more effective the slogan. Today’s slogan is great, because it takes a few seconds to realize it makes no fucking sense.

I’m scoring today’s slogan, and my friend’s use of it, a 9 out 10. The timing was good, and the slogan is effective in its inanity. It’s really just a fancier way of saying that AA is not religious, but it takes awhile to come to that realization. I was told that in AA, I’ll always be learning. They were right. Today I learned that there is no upper limit on the scale of AA inanity. Just when I thought that there is not a more ridiculous way to express a ridiculous claim – that AA is spiritual and not religious – a Hemingway of a slogan came along to prove me wrong.