"Religion" is a touchy subject although it's not supposed to be. I been finding where you live, the "region", has a very strong influence on AA. Here in the "cradle" of AA in Akron and Cleveland, Sister Ignatia was a very strong influence on the growth of AA. From word of mouth of the men and women that knew her, I consider her a "founder" of AA even though she is not an alcoholic. The point is, in my region, there is a strong "Irish-Catholic" influence on AA. At most meetings, it isn't "pushed", but you know it's there. There are little "buzzwords" like "C.I.A." which stands for "Catholic, Irish, and Alcoholic." My sponsor is a very active Catholic, and he lives by his faith which also means that I have to "tolerate" the "dogma" of his religion if I want the kind of sobriety he has. I've found that moving beyond "tolerance" to having an "open mind", and learning some of his "stuff" has enabled me to grow spiritually even though I'm not the same "religion".
The main thing that applies in a meeting setting, are the traditions. Specifically Tradiion 3 and Tradition 10. Tradition 3 deals with "Singleness of Purpose" - AA can only effectively deal with alcoholism based on the principles in the book - not the "Bible" - but the book titled "Alcoholics Anonymous" which is also called "The Big Book". Also, the pamphlets and literature which are "Conference Approved" apply to issues that come up at AA meetings. If a meeting "invokes" biblical things or church dogma, it really becomes a "watered down AA" meeting - or not an AA meeting at all. I avoid those kind of meetings, and I also discourage sponsees from going to those meetings.
Tradition 10 says that AA has "no opinion" on outside issues which is a "reasonable" position for me to take. Having "no opinion" doesn't discourage a person from choosing a religion or going to church, or even talking about his or her concept of God. By the same token, it doesn't give a speaker or "trusted servant" the right to "endorse" a particular religion or concept of God. Oddly enough, in this region, we have the most problems with "Evangelical" or "Fundamentallist" Christians, or hard-core athiests (you'd think the problem would be "Catholisism" but it's absolutely not). My experience has been that many "hard-core ahtiests" and "Fundamental Christians" in the fellowship around here are extremely opinionated and carry their opinions to meetings and in their sharing, and they are the least "open-minded".
The biggest asset you have that will work for change is your comments. I was taught that if a speaker crosses the line and steers an AA meeting in the direction of "issues other than alcoholism" such as "religion" or drug addiction, then if I don't comment, I'm not being responsible. The most important person at a meeting is the new member, and we all have the responsibility to "give it away" in the same way it was given to us, and the ONLY way that AA was ever "given" to anyone was "by the book", plain and simple. It it ain't in the book, then it's not something I should be "giving away" or use in "carrying the message", unless I very specifically qualify it as "my opinion and not that of AA" or if someone asks me to share one-on-one about another issue. Of course dealling with proteges and sponsees, we'll talk about a whole bunch of non-AA things as they come up which is unavoidable.
So I do commet whenever somebody "goes off the deep end". I've commented about "singleness of purpose" when the message was heavy toward specific drug use, such as "rusty needles" and "crack pipes" and the "adventures" of such drug addicts like stealing TV's to get money, going across town to meet the "dope man", marrying the "dope man" for access to "dope, and so on. I've also commented on religion where the speakers are "born again", and they stress what they think is the necessity to have a "personal savior in Jesus Christ". One guy said it was his job to "spread the Gospel" to alcoholics which really got me a bit "fired up" in the other direction. It's not that these folks are "bad", or that I want them to feel unwelcome, or their experience doesn't matter. It's just that their messages have got too far away from "disclosing in a general way what we were like, what happened, and what we are like today."
The MAIN POINT of sharing at an AA meeting, from what I understand, is to help a new man or woman that is a real alcoholic to be able identify and relate to my experience with alcoholism, not "religion" or "drug addiction", or even "overeating". I had a lady just go off the deep end and tell me I should go to "OA" because apparently I look "overweight" to her, and she automatically assumes I'm somehow "addicted" to over-indulging with food. I'm not "powerless" over food - mind your own business please!
Anyway, if you comment and try to bring the discussion back to AA from "Bible thumping", you might not become the most popular person around. I know I've got a lot of dirty looks and snide remarks in "counter-comments" which we're also suggested to not do. But that's the nature of "sensitive" alcoholics and addicts. Now when I comment, I try to be unemotional, and I don't get "mean" either, I just try my hardest to politely disagree and steer my comment back toward Tradition 3 - why we're all here. The bottom line is that I have a responsibility to "help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety" which can also include trying to help any AA message or sharing to best reach the suffering alcoholic in a way he or she can identify with.
Thanks for bringing up this topic.