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Masons, not Gay-sons!

October 31, 2015 11 comments

 

WBC hates gay Masons

Dateline: Atlanta, GA — Westboro Baptist Church members are coming to the support of the GL of GA over their controversial decision to make both homosexuality and fornication Masonic offenses. As reported on Chris Hodapp’s blog,:

The Grand Lodge of Georgia met yesterday (Oct 27) and the voting members upheld Grand Master Douglas McDonald’s edict outlawing homosexuality, and throwing in fornication for good measure. After several impassioned speeches on the floor against the measure, it passed with a very close vote that probably should have been counted individually, but wasn’t.

Today being Halloween, a seance was held to summon the ghost of church founder Fred Phelps, who directed the WBC to give their support to the GL of GA, which has come under fire from Freemasons around the US and other areas for their decision to pass this ruling during their recent GL session.


The seance was short-lived, and reportedly ended with the ghost of Phelps complaining about the lack of air conditioning.

 

 

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Freemasons Sell Christmas Membership Packs

November 26, 2012 6 comments

Just in time for the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, too.

From The Telegraph (UK) comes the headline:

Freemasons sell Christmas membership packs for £80

Its ‘secret’ handshakes and elaborate rituals have long been a mystery to outsiders, but the world of freemasonry is opening up by selling membership Gift Packs for people to give their loved ones for Christmas.

The Masonic Christmas Gift Pack costs £80 and includes a tour of the local Masonic Lodge, an invitation to meetings with masons, and – subject to approval by the local Lodge – a year’s membership to the group.

The British Federation of Co-Freemasonry described the pack, which is available until the end of December, as “truly a life-changing gift”.

Link to the rest of the article.

Since I know that some brothers will be scandalized by the very idea, let me take a responsible opposing viewpoint on this.

Ignoring that this particular article is about Co-Masons in England (which we already know are not recognized by “mainstream” UGLE-recognized orders), maybe “holiday gift-packages” are just one more membership drive idea that we’ve been leading up to for the last few years.

Wait, “membership drive”? Freemasons don’t have membership drives; that’s almost as bad as recruiting… which we also don’t do.

However…

In the US, there are already wide-spread and well-financed public relation campaigns to “raise awareness” about the fraternity. This includes things like the MasoniChip and various state-sponsored Child ID programs, advertising on radio, billboards, and producing very nice tie-in videos featuring Ben Franklin, Uncle George, etc., and sponsoring state-wide “open house” visiting hours, during which the lodge building is open to the public, with brothers on hand to act as tour guides.

We already have bumper stickers (and billboards) with “2B1, Ask1,” and various other slogans. We have taken very opportunity to reach out to the public, whether it’s through popular books (the Dummies and Idiot’s Guides are still popular selling items ), movies (From Hell, National Treasure, DaVinci Code), and television (History Channel, etc., specials on “Secrets of the Freemasons Exposed!”)

In many areas, the buildings are old, not well-maintained, and the membership can’t afford to renovate them. Once a month it seems that Chris Hodapp is bemoaning some beautiful old temple that is being sold or torn down because they can’t survive on the 38 active members that still show up. Shriners (who are now airing commercials looking for support for their excellent childrens hospitals) have long dropped the requirement that members need to be either a Knight Templar or a 32º Scottish Rite Mason, and are now open to Master Masons – and sometimes on the internet there surfaces rumors that they would like to open their doors to non-Masons.

We’ve seen 1-day degrees (“Mister to Master” or “Blue Lightning” festivals), and most of the Craft are exhorted to keep a few petitions with them in their car or briefcase so they always have one on hand to pass along.

So, a year’s gift membership to be a Freemason? I’ve had gift memberships to book clubs, wine clubs, record clubs, baked good clubs, and jelly of the month clubs. In light of what I’ve spelled out above (and other things that I might have missed), someone needs to explain just what’s so bad about a gift membership to one of the best “clubs” in the world.


Addendum:
The Millennial Freemason has another take on this, if you don’t like mine.

Chips and Dips

September 28, 2012 4 comments

Regular readers of this blog — all 19 of you — have probably seen a few of my attempts at parody or send up of some of the odd or bizarre conspiracy theories that I’ve run across. The thing about parody, though, is that it compels you to be even more bizarre than the object of parody itself, and sometimes that’s just downright difficult. Case in point: A recent article in the Huffington Post, an online news magazine whose author suggests that the Masonic Child ID Program (known around the US and Canada as MasoniChIP, or some variation thereof) is not only unnecessary,  but is actually part of a nefarious plan by those nefarious Freemasons to collect the DNA of children around North America for, err, nefarious purposes. Nefariously, of course.

You can read the article if you want more details, but in essence, Amy MacPherson suggests (and I write that because she never seems to actually reach any conclusion, or present enough evidence to state outright)  that because the CHIPS programs do not have a direct connection to government-run DNA databases, people should be wary of allowing them (CHIPS volunteers) to actually take any information.

MacPherson does raise several salient points, but it’s sad to see that she couldn’t spend an extra ten or fifteen minutes on Google to find answers to her questions.

In the US and Canada, the MasoniChIP volunteers do not save any of the personal information. There are a number of reasons for this, but we really do not have the resources to store backup copies, nor would we want the responsibility for ensuring their retrievability. Anyone who has seen the basement of a typical lodge in New England knows exactly what I mean: Some lodges are candidates for those Hoarders episodes. “You can’t throw that away! Don’t you know that old John Smith’s grandfather donated that broken chair after he came back from the war?” or “I know that we haven’t had a DeMolay chapter here since 1962, but we can’t get rid of those moldy banners and signs because we might bring it back one day.” Appropriate for DNA storage? I don’t think so.

It’s interesting, though, that MacPherson takes issue with a volunteer group that provides a child safety service, and that it is not directly connected to a government-run DNA database (to make it easier to identify children), but doesn’t seem to bat an eye over the concept that there are government-run DNA databases in the first place! I mean, didn’t she ever watch The X-Files?

More to the point, though, is that it doesn’t appear that MacPherson interviewed any, you know, actual Masons,  let alone any involved in the program for this article.

That’s just as well, of course, because MacPherson completely missed the bigger news. We all know that the program isn’t really about Child ID at all. I mean, here we put the acronym CHIPS right in front of her, and she completely misses the real story: The program is actually about inserting RFID tracking devices, i.e., micro-chips, into people so we can track them when we finally get that New World Order thing sorted out. We’re starting with the children, and eventually we will move to the elderly, and soon after, most people won’t think twice about giving up some DNA and fingerprint samples. Our “health care professionals” are already experts at implanting chips without the subject noticing, and with the hidden apps that we’re installing on all of those “smartphones,” it will be an easy task to sort and track anyone that we need to.

I’d like to suggest that we start with reporters who don’t know how to write a story.

Defenders of the Faith

October 14, 2009 Leave a comment

The other day, Freemason Information had a post about the York Rite degrees. As some of you know, the York Rite has a reputation for being a “Christianized” appendant order; this is because of the interpretation that some people have of the Knights Templar Commandery, which, upon initiation, ask a candidate “If called to fight in a religious cause, will you give preference to the Christian religion?”

To this, I jokingly asked “What happens if the war is the Baptists against the Catholics?” Yes, I was being facetious, but also, as it turns out, perhaps a bit prescient.

Look what turned up in my news reader today from The Raw Story:

North Carolina church to burn ‘Satan’s books,’ including works of Mother Teresa.

By Kathleen Miller
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 — 11:50 am

A Baptist Church near Asheville, N.C., is hosting a “Halloween book burning” to purge the area of “Satan’s” works, which include all non-King James versions of the Bible, popular books by many religious authors and even country music.

The website for the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, N.C., says there are “scriptural bases” for the book burning. The site quotes Acts 19:18-20: “And many that believed, came and confessed and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.”

Church leaders deem Good News for Modern Man, the Evidence Bible, the New International Version Bible, the Green Bible and the Message Bible, as well as at least seven other versions of the Bible as “Satan’s Bibles,” according to the website. Attendees will also set fire to “Satan’s popular books” such as the work of “heretics” including the Pope, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham and Rick Warren.

“I believe the King James version is God’s preserved, inspired, inerrant and infallible word of God,” Pastor Marc Grizzard told a local news station of his 14-member parish.

Grizzard’s parish website explains that the Bible is the “final authority concerning all matters of faith and practice,” for Amazing Grace Baptist Church. In the Parish doctrinal statement, Grizzard expounds that “the Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the preacher.”

The event also seeks to destroy “Satan’s music” which includes every genre from country,rap and rock to “soft and easy” and “Southern Gospel” and” contemporary Christian.”

David Lynch, a resident of nearby Asheville, N.C., told Raw Story “it’s a little disconcerting how close this is to my home.”

“They are burning so much stuff I’ve dubbed them the hypocritical Christian Taliban,” Lynch said in a phone interview with Raw Story. “Just the scope of all the information they want to destroy is pretty disturbing.”

Church leaders did not respond to Raw Story’s requests for comment, but the website notes they will be providing “bar-b-que chicken, fried chicken and all the sides” at the book burning.

No word on if they are also burning The Lost Symbol,  The DaVinci Code, and other Dan Brown books. Also no word on if they are burning, say, Freemasons for Dummies.

Just as disturbing is the idea that they are going to burn all genres of music, including “Southern Gospel” and contemporary Christian music. Good thing I’ve already got my Jars of Clay albums on MP3.

While it’s easy for me to joke about this, the point is that this is the kind of mentality that we, as Masons, face when we’re up against the typical religious anti-Mason. The church leaders in this story have no conception of the irony that they portray. Such thinking is almost immune to reasoning; in a similar fashion, we still see some of the same deficiencies in thinking when meet those who would claim that since we, as a fraternity, make an effort to be inclusive and tolerant of all religions, that we, ourselves, are heretical — that is, when we’re not downright Satanic.

I really don’t know what to make of this. Yes, certainly the Amazing Grace Baptist Church is entitled to their opinions. However, I think it’s sad that this kind of intolerance still happens here in the US. On the other hand, I’m glad that such pockets of inanity are regularly exposed via the internet news services, instead of festering in isolated communities.

Clandestine Conspiracy Talks

May 20, 2009 Leave a comment

Coming on the heels of a great Masonic Central podcast with Chris Hodapp about conspiracy theories and secret societies, here’s an interesting article from Fox News about a clandestine meeting among a group of people who are known for their money and financial empires.

World’s Richest Moguls Met in New York for Secret Charity Meeting

What do Oprah, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have in common? It’s a secret, but I am sure you can guess.

Money.

These and a handful of other mega-moguls coordinated their busy schedules to gather for a top-secret meeting in the Big Apple to talk greenbacks — not protecting them, but spending them, according to IrishCentral.com.

It was all for a good cause, but details of the mysterious May 5 meeting are vague. What is known is that each billionaire got to speak for approximately 15 minutes on the global economic crisis and how best to support philanthropic causes, IrishCentral reports.

Others in attendance also included David Rockefeller Jr., chairman of Rockefeller Financial Services; Ted Turner, founder of CNN; and John Morgridge, former CEO of Cisco, and his wife.


Do you suppose that anyone will accuse Oprah or Bill Gates about being Freemasons or Illuminati?

Connecticut and Rhode Island to merge Grand Lodges

April 1, 2009 1 comment

News item: Connecticut and Rhode Island to merge Grand Lodges

Special to The Hartford Times
Farmington:

Citing a budget shortfall due to a lack of membership and the bad economy, and the resultant inability to fund various programs, the Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, and those of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, jointly announced at the Grand Lodge of Connecticut’s Annual Communication their intention to merge into a single entity: The Grand Lodge of Southern New England, A.F. & A.M.

The news was first announced earlier this week at the March 30th Connecticut Grand Lodge Annual Communication in Farmington, and will be officially announced in Rhode Island very shortly.

“It seemed a perfect opportunity,” said William Rogers, spokesperson for the former Grand Lodge of Rhode Island, “Attrition from old age, death, and retirement have reduced our numbers to a quarter of what they were back in the 1950s. Likewise, mergers and lodge closings have reduced our lodges to about two dozen. It’s becoming an administrative nightmare.”

“He’s not kidding,” said Thomas Ludlow, the Grand Master’s representative from Connecticut, “We have fewer lodges and fewer brothers, but we somehow have a growing number of officers and district officers. In business parlance, you might say that our workforce is shrinking, while middle management has become bloated. So, we’ve decided to merge our Grand Lodges and make some long-overdue staffing cuts.”

Ludlow went on to describe the cutbacks: “The first positions to be eliminated will be the District Grand Lecturers and Assistant Grand Lecturers,” he explained, “We’ve outsourced ritual instruction to college students who are making Youtube videos, which we will then embed on the Grand Lodge website. Anyone who wants instruction can just watch the videos.”

Rogers agreed. “You’ll be able to download those videos to an iPod or Zune, your iPhone, or a netbook,” he explained, “and then you can watch as much instruction as you can handle during your free moments. In traffic, in the bathroom, on plane trips – it’s perfect. There won’t be any excuse for people not to be more improved in their ritual workings.”

Other Grand Lodge dignitaries will also be downsized, said Rogers. “Do you know we’ve managed to acquire more District Deputies and Associate Grand Marshals than we have lodges? These guys are tripping over each other, and we can’t find anything more for them to do. It’s time to start consolidating our resources.”

“Same thing with all these Grand Line officers,” agreed Ludlow. “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a couple of Grands or Past Grands. There’s way too many of them nowadays, and we figure that nine or ten guys should be able to cover the two state area more than adequately.” When questioned about how well the two states could be covered by so few Grand Officers, he responded. “Hell, lodges in those big square states out west sometimes don’t see a Grand Officer for years; our lodges have gotten spoiled around here. We simply can’t afford to have District Deputies showing up at every other meeting anymore.”

Both spokespersons noted that rumors about spinning off one of the districts into New York were merely persistent, but unfounded rumors. “Those rumors pop up every few years, usually right after we raise our Grand Lodge dues,” explained Ludlow.

Noting the progressive nature of the plan, interviewers asked about whether other states would follow suit.

“Massachusetts has taken notice, and we’ve already begun talks to include them on the merger, but they’re funny up there. News in Boston doesn’t reach the Berkshires for years, if ever,” explained Ludlow. “Besides, we don’t want to wait too long on this – our two states have been ready to merge for a couple of years now. But when Massachussetts is ready to merge, we’ll already have the infrastructures in place for them. The way we see it, it’s not a question of ‘if‘, but of ‘when‘.”

Do any other states have an interest?

“New Hampshire and Vermont are going to be discussing the topic at their next Annual Meetings,” said Rogers. “We sent some dogsled messengers up to Maine back in December, and we’re hoping to hear back from them by spring, when they get the power lines back up.”

Both Grand Lodges will close for July and August, during which time they will be packing and moving. No word yet on the location of the new Grand Lodge building, but speculation is that it will be one of the old University of Connecticut agricultural buildings. “I can’t confirm this,” said Ludlow,” but it’s definitely one of the possibilities. Obviously we’d like someplace centrally located. Since most of the people living west of the river think that UConn is in Rhode Island anyway, it seems like a good spot; it’s equally inconvenient for everybody.”



Connecticut and Rhode Island to merge Grand Lodges

April 1, 2009 Leave a comment

News item: Connecticut and Rhode Island to merge Grand Lodges

Special to The Hartford Times
Dateline: Farmington, CT.

Citing a budget shortfall due to a lack of membership and the bad economy, and the resultant inability to fund various programs, the Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, and those of the Grand Lodge of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, jointly announced at the Grand Lodge of Connecticut’s Annual Communication their intention to merge into a single entity: The Grand Lodge of Southern New England, A.F. & A.M.

“It seemed a perfect opportunity,” said William Rogers, spokesperson for the former Grand Lodge of Rhode Island. “Attrition from old age, death, and retirement have reduced our numbers to a quarter of what they were back in the 1950s. Likewise, mergers and lodge closings have reduced our lodges to about two dozen. It’s becoming an administrative nightmare.”

“He’s not kidding,” said Thomas Ludlow, the Grand Master’s representative from Connecticut. “We have fewer lodges and fewer brothers, but we somehow have a growing number of officers and district officers. In business parlance, you might say that our workforce is shrinking, while middle management has become bloated. So, we’ve decided to merge our Grand Lodges and make some long-overdue staffing cuts.”

Ludlow went on to describe the cutbacks: “The first positions to be eliminated will be the District Grand Lecturers and Assistant Grand Lecturers,” he explained, “We’ve outsourced ritual instruction to college students who are making Youtube videos, which we will then embed on the Grand Lodge website. Anyone who wants instruction can just watch the videos.”

Rogers agreed. “You’ll be able to download those videos to an iPod or Zune, your iPhone, or a netbook,” he explained, “and then you can watch as much instruction as you can handle during your free moments. In traffic, in the bathroom, on plane trips – it’s perfect. There won’t be any excuse for people not to be more improved in their ritual workings.”

Other Grand Lodge dignitaries will also be downsized, said Rogers. “Do you know we’ve managed to acquire more District Deputies and Associate Grand Marshals than we have lodges? These guys are tripping over each other, and we can’t find anything more for them to do. It’s time to start consolidating our resources.”

“Same thing with all these Grand Line officers,” agreed Ludlow. “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a couple of Grands or Past Grands. There’s way too many of them nowadays, and we figure that nine or ten guys should be able to cover the two state area more than adequately.” When questioned about how well the two states could be covered by so few Grand Officers, he responded. “Hell, lodges in those big square states out west sometimes don’t see a Grand Officer for years; our lodges have gotten spoiled around here. We simply can’t afford to have District Deputies showing up at every other meeting anymore.”

Both spokespersons noted that rumors about spinning off one of the districts into New York were merely persistent, but unfounded rumors. “Those rumors pop up every few years, usually right after we raise our Grand Lodge dues,” explained Ludlow.

Noting the progressive nature of the plan, interviewers asked about whether other states would follow suit.

“Massachusetts has taken notice, and we’ve already begun talks to include them on the merger, but they’re funny up there. News in Boston doesn’t reach the Berkshires for years, if ever,” explained Ludlow. “Besides, we don’t want to wait too long on this – our two states have been ready to merge for a couple of years now. But when Massachusetts is ready to merge, we’ll already have the infrastructures in place for them. The way we see it, it’s not a question of ‘if‘, but of ‘when‘.”

Do any other states have an interest?

“New Hampshire and Vermont are going to be discussing the topic at their next Annual Meetings,” said Rogers. “We sent some snowmobile and dogsled messengers up to Maine in December, and we’re hoping to hear back from them by spring, when they get the power lines back up.”

Both Grand Lodges will close for July and August, during which time they will be packing and moving. No word yet on the location of the new Grand Lodge building, but speculation is that it will be one of the old University of Connecticut agricultural buildings. “I can’t confirm this,” said Ludlow,” but it’s definitely one of the possibilities. Obviously we’d like someplace centrally located. Since most of the people living west of the river think that UConn is in Rhode Island anyway, it seems like a good spot.”

“Yes, it’s perfect,” quipped Rogers, “it’s equally inconvenient for everybody.”

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