Archive

Archive for the ‘Freemasonarianism’ Category

News Item: “Tennessee Freemasons Oust Married Gay Couple, Threaten Supporters with Suspension”

February 24, 2016 12 comments

From Tennesee’s WKNO 9:00 am news article:

“Tennessee Freemasons Oust Married Gay Couple, Threaten Supporters with Suspension”

Readers will remember when we discussed this several weeks ago: Bro. Dennis Clark and his married partner Bro. Mark Henderson have been expelled from the Grand Lodge of Tennessee because they violated the rules:

According to the constitution, members are not supposed to “engage in lewd conduct. To promote or engage in homosexual activity. To cohabit immorally in a situation without the benefit of marriage.”

Now, there’s no arguing with this. They are homosexuals. They got (legally) married. It’s against the Tennessee Masonic Code, and they are in violation.

Mark G Window

Stained Glass G, restored by Bros. Henderson and Clark.

But it really does make you wonder about the situation. Dennis Clark and Mark Henderson were, to all appearances, honest, active, and hard-working Freemasons. I haven’t run across any behind-the-scenes complaints about  either of them; as far as I can tell, Clark was very active in lodge, and in several other appendant bodies. Why would the Grand Lodge of Tennessee opt to discipline, and ultimately expel them, for violations of the code, when they could have easily ignored the situation until such time as the rules could be changed? The Grand Lodge convenes in March, and presumably legislation could have been drafted to present at that time.

More, why pick on two active brothers for that violation, when it would be presumably easy to find brothers cohabiting with partners, or violating any other of the rules?

By 2:30 pm, the WKNO news item was picked up by The Raw Story, an internet news magazine. In less than 2 hours, it managed to get almost 600,000 “likes” on Facebook, which means that the idea “The Masons don’t let gays in,” will be what people think of. The general public has no idea that every US state has their own rules, they will just remember something about some gay guys getting kicked out — for being gay.

Even more troubling, though, is the report that the Grand Lodge has essentially issued a gag order on all members, forbidding them from discussing this situation with the public — including online venues.

Grand Master Phillip Hastings, the current leader of Tennessee’s freemasons, did not respond to multiple interview requests. Last November, he outlined the organization’s position of silence in an open letter sent to lodges:

“Brethren, this Masonic matter is to be handled by the Grand Lodge of Tennessee within the State of Tennessee and any further un-authorized discussion on this matter outside of the Tennessee Masonic fraternity will be considered a Masonic offense and will be dealt with accordingly,” Hastings wrote.

Naturally, this hasn’t stopped Masons from other jurisdictions from discussing the situation. While there are mixed opinions, depending upon which forum or Facebook group one reads, the majority of Freemasons online (typically a younger demographic), disagree strongly with the decision.

Paul Rich, a scholar of Freemasonry, says that the society was originally founded as a safe haven for ideas and Enlightenment values.

“It largely eliminated sectarian references and welcomed diversity. Because of that, it attracted prominent people and made an important intellectual contribution,” Rich says, adding that America’s regional ideologies are affecting that spirit. “The Northern lodges are having difficulties being associated with all of this.”

And indeed, most of the arguing online seems to be based on the disagreement of whether homosexuality is an immoral behavior. It’s not something that will be settled easily. Unfortunately, in the meantime this is just one more reason that Freemasonry will continue to look like a dinosaur club.

… through ignorance…

July 21, 2008 Leave a comment

“[. . . ] and neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institute to lead you into arguments with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it.”

From Cectic – The Comic


First, I want to thank my hosts Greg Stewart and Dean Kennedy of Masonic Central for having me as a guest. It was fun, and while I may be modest most of the time, how could I resist when such charming brothers ask not once, but several times for the pleasure of my company?

Second, I imagine that my brothers in Connecticut want to thank Greg and Dean for waiting until July, so that they don’t have to listen to me ask “Didja hear my podcast? Huh? Didja? How was it? Was it good? Didja like it? Huh? Didja?” for the rest of the summer. I’m sure that everyone around me hopes that my over-inflated ego will have returned to normal by the time that meetings start again in September.

That said, based on some of the comments and emails that I’ve received, I thought I should take a moment to clarify some of my comments on certain topics, while I still have my dues card.

There are dozens of masoniphobic web boards, ranging from those run by religious fundamentalists who believe that Freemasons worship some demon, or at least, some entity that is not the One True God© that they, themselves believe in. Other boards are run by people who believe that Freemasons either run, or inexplicably who are the bottom rung on the Illuminati/New World Order hierarchy. I say “inexplicably” because most of the time they keep referencing some mythical “high ranking Freemasons.” A few even espouse theories that Masons are somehow connectied with aliens or NASA or are involved in the moon landing hoax. Sometimes you can even see some intermingling of ideologies, which in itself presents some ironic humor. I’ve declined to point out these boards, mainly because it’s pretty easy to find them if you search on terms such as “Freemason Conspiracy” and “Freemason Demon Worship.”

I used to argue with masoniphobes, but I’ve given up. They don’t want to believe me; their minds are already made up, and they are going to nit-pick every bit of evidence that I try to give them to prove their ideas wrong, if not outright ridiculous. They are going to twist words, pull quotes from Pike and Mackey and Hall out of context. They are going to point to the Washington Monument and to the occult Masonic symbols on the back of the one-dollar bill. To those of such a mind, there is no argument. Seriously, if you’re not willing to entertain other concepts, then what you’re doing is not arguing, it’s simply name-calling.

In the US and in some other areas, Freemasons are cautioned after they are initiated not to let themselves get dragged into arguments with masoniphobes. Masoniphobes everywhere are reading this and thinking “Ah ha! That’s because the new Mason hasn’t been completely indoctinated into the cult.”

Feh! Indoctrination is so last century. The truth is, we wait until they become Master Masons and then give them the mind control implants. It’s much easier, it takes less time, and our Zeta Reticulan  overlords protectors have a huge supply of them – enough for everybody in the US and UK, in fact.

Yes, that’s right. A few years ago I got tired of arguing, so I decided to take another tactic. Since the masoniphobes are accustomed to a certain amount of pushback, I’ve decided to throw them off-balance; applying a metaphorical judo, if you will. For the last year or so, I’ve been telling them “You think we’re part of the Illuminati? Hell, that’s the least of what we are! You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

You’d be surprised at how well this actually works. In fact, the results point out some sociologically interesting things.

A number of times in the last few years I’ve had discussions with people who are convinced that Masons are part of some kind of global political conspiracy. My approach is now to agree with them, and then point out just how deeply ingrained we are in the various financial and political hierarchies around the globe. The responses I get are almost paradoxical: at first, they express something like “Ah hah! I knew it all along!” but as I describe the depth and breadth of the conspiracy, surpassing even their own accusations, they get confused and sometimes nervous. They tell me that I’m making it up, that Masons can’t possibly be as deeply into it as I claim.

How fascinating. I overpower their belief systems by feeding back into it, which causes them to go back and re-examine their original claims. It’s almost as if they have a certain capacity for belief that can not be stretched.

Now, I’m not sure if this counts as “not arguing.” But can anyone blame me for not resisting the subversiveness of this approach?

Secret Sauce

January 29, 2008 1 comment

“So, what’s your secret recipe for this great tomato sauce?”

I heard this from at least 8 or 9 people on Saturday night, when my wife and I served up 65 pounds of ziti and 480 meatballs, all covered in almost 25 gallons of our home-made tomato sauce. No, I don’t have a big family; this is a now annual fund-raising dinner to help out the confirmation class of the First Congregational Church in downtown Southington.

I know, I know – you came here to read about Freemasonry, not about my cooking skills. I’m getting to that part.

My wife and I had started cooking the sauce a week previously, using the 8 burner stove and large pots available in the church kitchen. I’m sure that the church meeting hapll must have smelled like an Italian restaurant by the end of the week, and by 5:30 pm – a good half hour before the advertised time – because people were ready to stampede lining up to get good seats. We started serving at a quarter to six, and didn’t get a lull until well after 7:00, at which time I was able to walk around, fishing for compliments asking for feedback for the next year. And that’s when I noticed something: even though I told people what I put in my sauce, everybody acted as if I were being cagey about the answer. But that certainly was not the case; I’m usually more than happy to tell people what my own recipes are, and in fact, I’m going to tell you right here how I make tomato sauce.

Yeah, yeah, I know – you’re waiting for the part about Freemasonry. It’s coming, really.

A word of caution: if you’re the type of person who enjoys “recipes” that include such syrupy metaphors as “Add a cup of courage, a teaspoon of tolerance, stir with passion, and serve with L O V E“, then get thee hence! This blog is a NO GLURGE ZONE. Sure, those cutesy sayings were funny the first six or seven hundred times I heard them, but enough already. The 70s are over, and those little naked kids with the big eyes and hearts over their heads are has-beens. Deal with it.

Yes, yes, I’m getting to the part about Freemasonry. Really.

Now, I take a dim view of people who refuse to share good recipe. I don’t care if your great-great-grandmother carried it in her boot when she came from the old country, or if you just discovered it while messing about in the kitchen. In my opinion, the kind of people who won’t share their recipes are merely feeding their egos while they feed you a meal. When they invite you to dinner, it’s either to brag or to play the “I’ve got a secret” game and are, in essence, saying “Hey, I’ve got this really great thing and I’m only going to let you have a little taste in order that I might feel special. But don’t worry; come back next year and I’ll let you have another little taste, just so you can remember how special this is.”

Even more odious are those that purport to give you the recipe, but hold back a key step or ingredient, thereby making you think that you are stupid for not being able to follow directions. A pox on all of them.

What? Oh, yeah – the Freemasonry part. Sorry.

When the first few people asked what I put in my sauce, I told them “A hell of a lot of tomatoes.” It was funny at the time, and very true – we bought over two dozen of those large restaurant sized cans at the local warehouse store, along with salad for 200 people, dressing, grated Parmesan, and sundry other items. We started by sauteing several bulbs – that’s bulbs, not cloves – of crushed garlic in olive oil. Once the smell started wafting through the church hall (I should point out that I did this during one of the services in order to remind people of the upcoming dinner) I added a few scoops of the crushed tomatoes, and some of the typical Italian spices: oregano, parsley, basil, and a bit of fennel seed. I let this cook for a good thirty minutes, and then put some into each one of the five large pots. This served as a base, to which we added the rest of the canned tomatoes. One pot we reserved as a marinara sauce, and to the others we added some cooked ground beef (left over from the Rally Day picnic in September), and some minced and cooked Italian sausages, both of which had been cooked and minced previously in order to save time. We cooked the sauce for about six hours that day, and then came back for a few hours mid-week, and put them on again first thing Saturday morning so that they had another good eight hours to simmer. Usually I put some red wine in the sauce to counter the bitter taste from the tomatoes, but after a few people had concerns about sensitivities to the sulfites in the wine, this year I opted to add some sugar and salt.

I have to say that this was one of the best batches of sauce that I’ve made in a few years. Even my wife will attest that this year it was particularly good, and the compliments from the hungry crowd was certainly a testament to how it turned out.

Yes, yes – I’m coming to the Freemasonry part directly.

I told every person who asked me exactly what I used in the sauce – which, as you can see, are just regular Italian spices. Every person had the same reaction: If I’m just using regular spices and ingredients that you normally find in sauce, then why did this batch come out so well? Certainly I’m leaving out a crucial step, a secret ingredient, a particular item that made this come out better, right? After all, you can’t just throw some tomatoes and spices in a pan and expect it to come out like that, right? Right?

Apparently, my sauce admirers miss the essential point.

They had the list of ingredients that I use, and I even gave them some little tips. And while in theory there might be some small differences between brands of tomatoes or spices, in practice I’ve never noticed any significant difference.

So, what is the point of all this?

The raw tomatoes contain a lot of water, which needs to cook off. In that process, the heat breaks down certain proteins and acids, releasing certain chemicals, and causing others to bond. Five gallons of sauce in a pot takes hours to get up to the proper temperature, with constant stirring to prevent the bottom from burning and tainting the rest of the sauce. The heat also breaks down the chemicals in the spices, and the stirring allows the flavor to gently infuse throughout the pot of warm liquid. Eventually, the acids break down and dissipate, and the sauce itself tastes of the fragrant basil and oregano, perhaps mixed with the spicy saltiness of the sausage.

The secret, you see, is not the ingredients at all. It’s the time.

Those people who are accustomed to opening a jar of grocery-bought sauce simply can not conceive of the investment of time that one must make to cook a good, home-made tomato sauce. Despite the stereotype of old Italian ladies standing at a stove all day, few people really understand that it’s the process of cooking that makes the difference between a rich, thick, savory sauce and a thin, slightly bitter one. Too often we try to make up for the lack of flavor by adding extra garlic, salt, basil, or other spices. But these serve merely to cover up the fact that the sauce itself is a hastily prepared affair.

Even the cooking shows on television offer up tips on how to make good tomato sauce, especially tailored for busy people who only have an hour or so. And now question about it, some of those sauces are tasty. But they’re not the same; indeed, if I may be so bold, they’re not even in the same class.

Let me make this clear: In sauce making, as with so many other things in life, there is no substitute for the investment of one’s time. It is only through the lengthy process of cooking that the unwanted and unnecessary ingredients break down, and are replaced by the desirable aromas and textures. It is only through time that certain agents can be make their way around the large vat of liquid, moving here and there until the gentle stirring combines them with other agents to produce something delightful to the senses. And certainly, the larger the pot, the more time is needed.

Time.

Speaking of which, it looks as if I’ve run out. It appears that I’m just not going to get around to discussing Freemasonry, doesn’t it?

| |

Getting The Third Degree

October 23, 2007 Leave a comment

The Grand Lodge in Connecticut has been pushing the idea of a state-wide “open house” for the public. Not for them to visit the Grand Lodge itself, which, until this week was still under construction (that’s right – Connecticut did not have a Grand Lodge building, meeting instead in one of the several large Masonic temples around the state, or in a hotel conference center). The open house is supposed to take place this Saturday, October 27th. Almost two dozen lodges have committed to opening and having tour guides or something of interest to the public, including Friendship Lodge, and my affiliate lodge, Sequin-Level No. 140. One of the committees, I think it’s Masonry in Action (I’m sure I’ll be corrected on the name) managed to contact a reporter for one of the “alternative” newspapers, who agreed to write up a little article to help promote this.

Accordingly, last week I exchanged a few emails with Adam Bulger of the Hartford Advocate, who called and chatted with me for a good half hour about Freemasonry. Unfortunately, Mr. Bulgar’s views may have been colored by first reading this blog. Yes, our big chance to make a good first impression, and of all things for him to research he reads random posts on The Tao of Masonry. While the article is not about me, of course, there’s no mistaking the author’s perspective when he writes:

“In addition to being the District Grand Lecturer for the Hartford-area district, [Tom] Accuosti writes the blog The Tao of Masonry.Accuosti’s blog is written in a lighthearted, jokey manner — he calls himself the “Exalted Keeper of the Secrets of Freemasonarianism” and “Crop Circle Planning & Zoning Commissioner.” Other Connecticut Mason blogs, including Movable Jewel, written by an officer in Middletown and New Haven Mason Charles Tirrell’s Masonic Renaissance, take the order more seriously. (emphasis mine)

My first reaction was “Lighthearted and jokey? Where the hell would he get that idea?”

Then I remembered the email I sent off to him, which said, in part:

“Masons having some innate love for assigning fancy titles, I now answer to “Very Worshipful,” which entitles me to as much respect as, say, an ‘assistant to the editor.'”

and

“[…] unfortunately, there are still a number of people who are under the impression that we are actually sitting on the Temple of King Solomon or hiding the Treasure of the Templars, or acting as advance scouts for the Illuminati (or the CFR, Bilderbergs, Zeta-Reticulans, etc.)”

Oh.

*ahem*

Yes, well, anyway, the online article features a nice shot of WB Dave Edman, PM of Friendship, and one of the brothers spearheading this publicity event; flanked by WB Jim VanderEyk (currently Chaplain at Friendship) and Ed Lawson, the Chaplain at Fredrick-Franklin No. 14 in Plainville. All were on hand to answer questions for the Advocate photographer.

Most impressive to me, though, was that the reporter was actually deferential in asking questions, and clearly was hesitant to ask something that might be overly personal or inappropriate about the Craft. I think I helped to set his mind at ease by explaining that the “secrets” of Masonry are not the ones written in the books – or as the case may be, all over various web sites.

I have no idea how helpful this article will be in terms of getting people to the lodges on a nice Saturday afternoon. But I certainly hope that it presents a new perspective for people who either have never thought about the Freemasons, or who only know us because their grandfather might have been a member.

Anyone who has not picked up a copy of the free weekly arts & entertainment journal can read the online article. And remember to leave a comment telling Mr. Bulger how pleased you are with his writing.

| |

Go take a Pike!

August 28, 2007 2 comments

Most people who know of my online habits and haunts know that I spend what is probably an inordinate amount of time in the company of some odd and sometimes unsavory characters. No, I’m not talking about The Burning Taper (at least, not specifically); rather, I’m talking about the places on the internet where those who are predisposed against Freemasonry tend to congregate. While there are plenty of blogs, web sites and online forums, my favorite place to watch the konspiracy krowd is on Usenet. Perhaps because Usenet is the remnant of the old Internet, it is often frequented by people who one can easily imagine sitting on an overturned recycling bucket, typing away on a desk made of milk crates and boards at an old, cast-off 386 PC, with pictures of UFOs on the wall sporting, Fox Mulder-like, the catch phrase “I want to believe.”

Yes, this is my secret shame: whenever I’m feeling down and blue, or if I’ve had a bad day at work, or even if I’m just having a bad hair day, I put on my fingerless gloves, crank up the 1980s punk rock, and head down the Information Superhighway to those little dark corners of the net in order to watch – and sometimes to bait – the Anti-Masons.

Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. It’s cheaper than gambling, and easier on my health than drinking.

Anyhow, it’s long been my contention that anti-Masons tend to fall into three rather broadly defined groups; the religious, the konspiracists, and the kooks. In general, you can tell which in group an anti belongs by looking at the content and context of their argument:

“You Masons are a false religion, you worship Baphoment, and the glory of the LORD will see your downfall. You’ll burn in HELL for all eternity for promoting your lies and falsehoods!”

“Not only are you Masons in league with the Illuminati and the Council on Foreign Relations, you also have a secret lair underneath the Denver Airport.”

“Damn kids – get the hell off of my lawn! Just ‘cos your fathers are Freemasons, you think that I won’t try to take you all to court for harassment? I know all those Masons look out for each other downtown, but I’ll be sittin’ on the porch with my shotgun full o’rock salt next time, y’hear me?”

Note: if you are not sure as to which group each statement belongs, then perhaps you should not be reading this.

Those people with religious objections to the fraternity are often the most difficult to deal with because they aren’t often swayed by reason. Unfortunately, they are more often swayed by sensationalized and overly dramatic presentations by slick-haired preachers, most of whom seem to be more interested in filling the coffers of their ministries than in promoting things like “truth” and “tolerance.” Admittedly, I have a difficult time understanding this because it seems that most of those with religious objections to Freemasonry tend to practice more fundamentalist versions of their faiths, which is often associated with very literalistic interpretations of their scriptures. One would think that such literal-minded thinking would be less prone to influence by the sensationalism peddlers.

Be that as it may, most of the arguments that I see between religious Antis and Masons seem to center around the writings of several noted Masonic authors, with the the Antis pointing to passages in various books and saying “See, you lying evil monger? This passage PROVES that Masonry is a religion,” and Masons responding by saying “You’re barmy, you daft old goat! Nobody can define the Craft that way.”

Etc., etc. Hilarity ensues.

My own perspective is that Masons intending to argue (for example) the finer points of Albus Dumbledore Albert Pike are doomed to frustration; most fundamentalists will be more interested in promoting their own views than in learning about Masonry. More to the point, Masons trying to argue the finer points of any Masonic author of a century ago will need to discuss the issues in terms of symbolism, allegory, and metaphor, all of which are unlikely to be understood by those looking at the issues with a more literal-minded perspective. Literalism itself is not necessarily a bad quality; however, it is particularly ill suited for discussions that range off into the esoteric. Masons in such situations will inevitably find that while both of you are speaking English, you will seem to lack a common language.

It’s not unlike dealing with teenagers, in that respect.

A secondary issue is that, as blogger John Ratcliff points out, most Masons (at least, in the US) aren’t all that up to speed on the esoterica. And again, this isn’t a bad thing itself – Masonry is large, it contains multitudes. However, it does mean that most Masons will actually be unfamiliar with many of the oft-quoted paragraphs of Pike, Mackey, Hall, or Hodapp. This is perfectly normal, however, and rest assured that if you are in a discussion about Pike with an anti-Mason, he or she probably has not read much of it either. In my own experience, most of the Antis who quote Pike always quote the same paragraphs, almost as if they are reading the same books or websites by the uber-Antis who all quote exactly the same passages. Of course, I also suspect that Pike’s “Morals & Dogma” is one of the top ten books that Masons pick up and put down long before they’ve finished it.

I think that my copy makes a very nice paperweight.

Since Pike is by far the most quoted author by Anti-Masons, I think it’s worth addressing some of those points directly.

One of the most difficult things for Anti-Masons understand about the Craft (and indeed, this is true even for some old-time Master Masons, as well) is that there is no underlying philosophy, doctrine or dogma to Freemasonry on which all of the members agree. That is, while Masons are encouraged to study for their own personal improvement, and while there have been some excellent writings in the past and will likely be more in the future, not one of them is accepted as doctrinal. Indeed, even Morals & Dogma – referenced probably by more Antis than actual Masons – contains this passage in the Preface:

“The teachings of these Readings are not sacramental, so far as they go beyond the realm of Morality into those of other domains of Thought and Truth. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite uses the word “Dogma” in its true sense, of doctrine, or teaching; and is not dogmatic in the odious sense of that term. Every one is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound. It is only required of him that he shall weigh what is taught, and give it fair hearing and unprejudiced judgment. Of course, the ancient theosophic and philosophic speculations are not embodied as part of the doctrines of the Rite; but because it is of interest and profit to know what the Ancient Intellect thought upon these subjects, and because nothing so conclusively proves the radical difference between our human and the animal nature, as the capacity of the human mind to entertain such speculations in regard to itself and the Deity. But as to these opinions themselves, we may say, in the words of the learned Canonist, Ludovicus Gomez: “Opiniones secundum varietatem temporum senescant et intermoriantur, aliæque diversæ vel prioribus contrariæ renascantur et deinde pubescant.”

So, let’s extract the basics.

1) M&D is not an authoritative, definitive, or canonical work.

2) Masons (or more specifically, Scottish Rite Masons- Southern Jurisdiction, to whom this book was given until the early 1960s) are free to disagree with Pike’s interpretations.

3) The ancient teachings described by Pike are not even a part of the ritual; they are discussed simply as an illustration of their moral evolution.

To me, it seems pretty obvious that M&D was written for Masons interested in in exploring the nature of their relationship to their Deity, written from a perspective of comparing theology of some of the older religions dating back to the Egyptians. This point is pretty obvious to most Masons, but it somehow escapes the attention of the Antis, who are more interested in extracting short passages out of context that seem to support their position that Masonry is a religion unto itself, and possibly a demon-worshiping one, at that.

Antis also have a hard time believing that not all Masons are on board with this religion thing, much less that few Masons have actually read Pike. In trying to explain that Pike was a great thinker, but that his writing might have been above most of those who received copies of this book, they express doubt. Why would the SRSJ hand out the books if it weren’t required reading, they ask. And truth be told, the explanation does sound lame: Because no one person speaks for Freemasonry; not having a dogma, Freemasonry has no requirement that its members study any particular author. One can almost imagine the raised eyebrow while Antis pose the question: Yeah, right. You expect me to believe that your organization survived several hundred years without having so much as a mission statement?

Yes, it seems unbelievable that the fraternity has survived for centuries without some kind of “mission statement,” but it’s my opinion (and since I’m a respected Masonic writer, it must be true) that the lack of a formal doctrine has actually contributed to the longevity of the Fraternity. The Ancient Charges themselves make it clear that the essential points of membership, and the qualities venerated by the membership, are to be men who are trustworthy and honest, and who have a belief in a Supreme Being.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

Again, this is the part where non-Masons get it wrong; that some men write about Freemasonry in such loving and lofty terms often reserved for religious discussion leads some of them to assume that they do so because Freemasonry actually is a religion – albeit one in which the overwhelming majority of members don’t seem to recognize it as such.
More astounding, though, is the incredible lapse in reasoning that goes along with this thinking. What kind of religion is it in which the members don’t believe they are practicing? Furthermore, considering that most Masons in the US and UK practice some form of Christianity, what kind of religion is it in which the members believe that they belong to a different religion entirely? This is akin to visiting a synagogue or church and trying to tell the people that what they are really practicing is Santaria.

It’s amazing when you think about it; the entire purpose of the Fraternity is to be exactly that: a fraternity. To develop the bonds of friendship among those who would have otherwise remained at a perpetual distance. It’s a testament to the power of this simple bonding, the creation of friendships among men of different ages, religions, ethnic backgrounds that so many men speak so highly of their experiences with the Craft. It’s difficult to explain to an Anti, or even to a non-Mason, that feeling one gets when visiting a strange city and bumping into a person wearing a ring with the Square & Compasses, or being invited to a dinner at a strange lodge while on a business trip, or even the elevation of one’s spirits at the end of a bad day at work when walking into one’s mother lodge and being greeted by people that you know. It’s not a “religious” experience in the sense that there is nothing inherently spiritual, but it can an uplifting and calming experience, especially so for men of an age who are more accustomed to being strong and silent.

At this point, the quick-witted Anti might think to ask “If no one man speaks for Masonry, then why should I believe your explanation over those of the great authors of the last century?” This is actually a very good question, and one that Masons themselves might want to consider before we tackle it in the next installment of Freemasonarianism: The Religion of Freemasonry.

%d bloggers like this: