Thursday, October 12, 2006

Masonry, Is It Practiced As We Swore We Would, Or As It Suits Us?

"I don't see no Jews or Muslims in here! We ain't gotta worry about that!"

I was messing around on the internet the other morning about 3:00 A.M.(It happens when you are in your late 70’s) and wandered into a blog site entitled the “Burning Taper” created by a young college educated Mason living in a small rural Georgia town. One of the posts was titled “Small Town Freemasonry” which of course caught my eye. Another thing I noticed was that it was in 4 parts and very long (including viewer’s posted comments). As I sometime do on the really long ones, is to temporally “copy and paste” into a Word file so I can read it at my leisure. Including comments, it was 49 pages long. The next thing that caught my eye was the statement above.

The post was written By the ex-Junior Warden of a Lodge in a small Georgia town. As the Junior Warden “law giver”, he was making a short talk that stated that according to the Georgia Grand Lodge law, anything pertaining to religion or politics could not be mentioned during a meeting of the Lodge. Grand Lodge also provides the proper non-sectarian prayers to be used in meetings in the “Monitor” book.

"Brethren, that means, technically, that we should not be closing our prayers 'in Jesus’ name', but rather simply direct our prayers to God."

You would have thought I'd asked everyone to disrobe, kill a virgin and sing Sympathy for the Devil or something! You've never seen a bunch of bored old fish-fry Masons come to life so quickly!

I lost the floor immediately in a torrent of unhappy and unpleasant comments, most of which came from Past Masters who you'd think that, if they didn't know better about the context, at least would know better about the decorum of jumping down my throat.”

"You ain't puttin' no other book on that altar!"
"We can pray any way WE want!"
You're talking about idols! They worship idols!"
"I don't see no Jews or Muslims in here! We ain't gotta worry about that!"
[my favorite] "I thought you had to be a Christian to be a Mason!"

At the next election, the Junior Warden lost the election for the Senior Warden’s seat by an almost unanimous vote of the Lodge.

Do our brothers in the deep south really still react that way, I thought as I read? Then I remembered a couple of years ago when we were to confer the EA degree on a Jewish man, whose grandfather had been a charter member, in the Hempstead Masonic Lodge where I was Secretary. I ask during a meeting, if we shouldn’t have the candidate bring the Holy Book of the Jewish faith so he could take his oath on it rather then the Christian Bible because the Christian Bible would mean nothing to him and his oath would not be binding in his belief in God.

“No way,” A Past Master jumped up and hollered, “if he’s gonna join my Lodge, he’s gonna use my Bible.”

[The last half of this post, regarding the Grand Lodge of Texas moving forward by including the Prince Hall Grand Lodges of California and Connecticut in the book “2005 LIST OF LODGES MASONIC”, has been deleted. The deleted section was based on confusing information in the book.

At the bottom of the 2005 edition’s front cover, there is the printed notation, "This Book to be kept in each Lodge for reference in Receiving Visitors and on Applications for Affiliation." On the inside front cover it is printed, “Fifty-one Grand Lodges of the United States - Two Prince Hall Grand Lodges Of U.S.A. On page 26 the “Prince Hall Grand Lodge Of California F & AM” is listed and on page 29 the “Prince Hall Grand Lodge Of Connecticut F & AM” is listed.

After a suggestion, in a comment posted by Brother Ashok Mahbubani, I went back and read the 4 lines of tiny print, at the bottom of a list of active Texas Lodges on page 104. The last two lines state,

“The Grand Lodge Of Texas does not recognize the following: Brazil: Mato Grosso; Mexico: Valle de; Prince Hall Grand Lodges of California and Connecticut.”

This of course, meant the deleted half of the post was based on incorrect information due to being confusing and easily misinterpreted.]



Blogger Mary and the Widow's Son said...

Bro. Corkey,

I'm glad to discover your blog... I'll be adding a link to it on our blogroll. Thanks for the link on your sidebar.

You asked: Do Masons in the south still act like that? Unfortunately, yes, with a heavy emphasis on the yes. Racism, religious bigotry, and a pronounced refusal to practice the tenets of Freemasonry — truth, relief and brotherly love — have been painfully apparent during my years as a Mason in rural Georgia.

Your readers can see all four parts of my "Small Town Freemasonry" series here:

Part 1: A Bucket of Rattlesnakes

Part 2: The Masonic Ambush

Part 3: A Day in the Life of a Junior Warden

Part 4: Masonic Coverups, Collusion and Cronyism

Widow's Son

3:29 PM  
Blogger Tubulcain420 said...

nice posts brother!
yes, things are the same all over I see.
Keep the light burning brother!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Ashok Mahbubani said...

From Hongkong Friday 27 Oct 2006 --
Dear Bro Corky,
Please have a look at the four lines of small type near the bottom of Page 104 in the 2005 List of Lodges Masonic.
Ashok Mahbubani
email ""
-- (member of craft/blue lodges under the GL of Scotland, the United GL of England, the GL of Spain and the GL of Andorra)
-- Hongkong masonic website ""

1:53 AM  

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