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What is Freemasonry? One Mason to another...

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posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 10:33 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus
a reply to: Tangerine

In my jurisdiction it is:

'Vouchsafe thine aid and blessing almighty father of the universe to us now in lodge assembled. Enable us to perform every duty with fidelity so that our labors may meet thy divine approbation and to thy name be the glory forever. Amen.'

'So mote it be.'

That is clearly religion( ie. performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity.)



edit on 17-2-2015 by Tangerine because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 17 2015 @ 11:32 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine
It's just an opening prayer or benediction. This doesn't constitute a religion.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 12:52 AM
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originally posted by: KSigMason
a reply to: Tangerine
It's just an opening prayer or benediction. This doesn't constitute a religion.


Religion is the performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity or deities. It is clearly religion.

"'Vouchsafe thine aid and blessing almighty father of the universe to us now in lodge assembled. Enable us to perform every duty with fidelity so that our labors may meet thy divine approbation and to thy name be the glory forever. Amen.' "

Multiple federal courts have ruled that a number of the 12 steps of AA make AA a religion. How then does the above prayer (ie. ritual practice) not make Freemasonry a religion?



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 01:41 AM
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a reply to: Tangerine

Of course, this is a semantic argument. Depending on one's definition of religion, you could pretty much make any organization a religion or not.

In my opinion, while Masonry is often religious in nature, it has no dogma or theology, and therefore cannot be a religion.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 01:47 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

Religion is the performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity or deities. It is clearly religion.


In Lodge, each person is encouraged to pray to their own deity. The performance of ritual is not done on behalf of or in obeyance of any deity, and each Mason has their own deity, who may be different to one another's.

I think even by your definition, we don't qualify.

I will happily debate this with you, though, as this is the purpose of this thread, and frankly, there are certainly some things which suggest that Masonry might be a religion, but ultimately, the lack of Dogma and Theology is conclusive, in my opinion. In fact, at one point in our Ritual, our Lodges are referred to as places of Divine Worship. I can understand the confusion. However, the context still precludes it from being a religion. Perhaps that is one reason why secrecy and initiation are vital, because without the context, even a Mason could draw wrong conclusions.


edit on 18/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 01:52 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus
a reply to: Tangerine

Of course, this is a semantic argument. Depending on one's definition of religion, you could pretty much make any organization a religion or not.

In my opinion, while Masonry is often religious in nature, it has no dogma or theology, and therefore cannot be a religion.



Actually, the courts were pretty clear when they declared AA a religion. As far as I've been able to determine, Freemasonry meets the same standard.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 02:03 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus

originally posted by: Tangerine

Religion is the performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity or deities. It is clearly religion.


In Lodge, each person is encouraged to pray to their own deity. The performance of ritual is not done on behalf of or in obeyance of any deity, and each Mason has their own deity, who may be different to one another's.

I think even by your definition, we don't qualify.

I will happily debate this with you, though, as this is the purpose of this thread, and frankly, there are certainly some things which suggest that Masonry might be a religion, but ultimately, the lack of Dogma and Theology is conclusive, in my opinion.



This prayer is certainly done on behalf of or in obeyance to a deity: "'Vouchsafe thine aid and blessing almighty father of the universe to us now in lodge assembled. Enable us to perform every duty with fidelity and to thy name be the glory forever. Amen.'

AA claims that each member has their own deity, too, and it need not be supernatural. Dogma is a set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true. Certainly, Freemasonry meets the definition of dogma. Theology is the study of the nature of God. Doesn't Freemasonry concern itself with the nature of the Grand Architect/Almighty Father of the Universe? Even a gender of the deity has been declared and his nature is almighty.

I think it's fair to say that it isn't a fundamentalist, proselytizing religion but it seems pretty clear that it is a religion.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 02:19 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

Even a gender of the deity has been declared and his nature is almighty.



In most instances, except in traditional prayers, "Almighty Father" has been replaced with "The Great Architect of the Universe" or other names.

I agree with you that holding on to "Almighty Father" is not in tune with the essence of Freemasonry, in that it does dictate the gender of the deity. Some things that should have been changed over the years weren't. I, personally, do not see God as male.

However, the Deity is referred to in many different ways throughout the various Degrees, and most Masons have the maturity to see the use of "Almighty Father" as being 'generic.'


edit on 18/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 05:41 AM
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a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

lol




a reply to: Saurus

I like the name, Great Architect of the Cosmos


has a nice sound to it

a reply to: KSigMason

Thanks for clearing that up, I always thought they were maybe a few types
but not that many differences


edit on 18-2-2015 by ThereIsNoHandle because: (no reason given)



edit on 18-2-2015 by ThereIsNoHandle because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 06:45 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine
That is clearly religion( ie. performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity.)


Seems you were only interested in playing 'gotcha'.

I do not find my lodge to be religious, if it were I would leave, I am not one for organized religion.

The Senate opens with an invocation, which is what the piece of the opening ritual is, are they religious too?

If you feel the need to classify Masonry as a religion that is your perrogative,



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 06:52 AM
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a reply to: Tangerine

I live in the south. It's the buckle of the Bible belt. At school functions like football games and even awards ceremonies for my kids over the years, there was a prayer said at the beginning of most, if not all events. Around here, you are either real Christian, or real quiet. Does that make my community a religion? The school? The organized sports activities?

Have you ever seen a family pray before a meal? Did that make their house or that restaurant a religion?



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 06:55 AM
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originally posted by: network dude
Have you ever seen a family pray before a meal?


Yes, I have. They were the main course at our last lodge function and thought a little prayer would bail them out.

Nom, nom, nom.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I hear if you play soothing music while you cook them, the meat is more tender. Anything to that?



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:31 AM
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We call it "Grace" to say a prayer of thanks for the food on our table

I do not say grace but I do inwardly I am grateful for the food upon my table ... so it is an inner prayer or just saying thank you to our Creator
Money does not make food but the nature of the Creator provides food

The "Magic" of seed ... The fruit/flower that contains the seed/s for the continence of it's species
This pattern is within Human Beings also
It is within stars too
I for one am grateful and humbled to be given life and I am far from religious



edit on 18-2-2015 by artistpoet because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:32 AM
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a reply to: network dude

Abosolutely!

Plus it drowns out the screaming.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 08:50 AM
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Seems to be that after reading through here that Freemasonry may not be a religion but it certainly sounds "religious". Which is what I've always somewhat assumed it to be, granted my knowledge is very limited.

I'm non religious, and I'm also unable to answer with any amount of assurance if I believe in a deity our not. Something that would seem to make me ineligible for such a group. I've looked into, briefly, the local lodges and a bit about joining if for no other reason than shear curiosity. However, like most things, the requirement for some form of religious belief is normally a point that I can't, honestly, conform to. The requirement gives me the impression that the organization, while not focused on, is loosely focused around the concepts of religious belief.

I had a discussion the other day with a fairly religious acquaintance about something similar. I've been to a few of his church's functions, they are all very nice people, very community oriented and they have a wonderful support structure within the church for their members and those of the surrounding community. He knows that I am not religious, but I told him that I believe the best thing about these local religious institutions is their ability to bring together and organize a community to help improve and support an area. If you were to remove the religious aspect of the institution I think it would still be a very important asset to the community. I told him that for me, that type of organization would be great. The coming together to improve community, to benefit those directly in the community(not line the pockets of some distant land) through programs and fund raisers as well as do volunteer work.

Hence my passing interest, at one moment, with masonry. However upon a small amount of research I had been given the vibe that their was religious undertones. Which is something I'm really not looking for.

All of the above was opinions formed with very little knowledge, I admit. Which is why I've really enjoyed reading through this thread and learning a bit more. It sounds like a good organization, but with just enough religious undertone to deter me and I'm sure others.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: MisterSpock

I'd say your interpretation is very close to accurate. While freemasonry isn't a religion, it is religious in nature. It's foundation being centered around a master builder who created everything.

It's certainly not for everyone. The best descriptions from members have something in common. Like minded individuals congregating to accomplish a common goal.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: Tangerine
It's religious, not a religion. We say a prayer, but use a generic term because we’re composed of men of various beliefs and faiths

Freemasonry isn’t a religion because we don’t meet the basic requirements to be considered a religion. We don’t seek conversion, we don’t offer sacrament, we don’t have a doctrine or policy of salvation, etc. An opening/closing prayer does not make an event or organization a religion.

a reply to: Saurus
Exactly.

a reply to: Tangerine
Except it's not. Freemasonry is not the same as AA.

a reply to: Tangerine
But not adherence to any one faith or religion.

My minor was in History and I primarily focused on religion (ancient and modern) along with Ancient Rome, Mediterranean religions, the European Renaissance, and the Protestant Reformation. Freemasonry is not a religion or a substitute for it.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 03:47 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Tangerine
That is clearly religion( ie. performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity.)


Seems you were only interested in playing 'gotcha'.

I do not find my lodge to be religious, if it were I would leave, I am not one for organized religion.

The Senate opens with an invocation, which is what the piece of the opening ritual is, are they religious too?

If you feel the need to classify Masonry as a religion that is your perrogative,


No, that's not the case. I didn't enter this conversation thinking that freemasonry was a religion. The posts by masons led me in that direction. I am simply saying that that prayer meets the standard for religion used by courts to determine that AA is a religion.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 03:48 PM
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originally posted by: Saurus

originally posted by: Tangerine

Religion is the performance of ritual on behalf of or in obeyance to a supernatural deity or deities. It is clearly religion.


In Lodge, each person is encouraged to pray to their own deity. The performance of ritual is not done on behalf of or in obeyance of any deity, and each Mason has their own deity, who may be different to one another's.

I think even by your definition, we don't qualify.

I will happily debate this with you, though, as this is the purpose of this thread, and frankly, there are certainly some things which suggest that Masonry might be a religion, but ultimately, the lack of Dogma and Theology is conclusive, in my opinion. In fact, at one point in our Ritual, our Lodges are referred to as places of Divine Worship. I can understand the confusion. However, the context still precludes it from being a religion. Perhaps that is one reason why secrecy and initiation are vital, because without the context, even a Mason could draw wrong conclusions.



Yes, let's move this discussion to another thread so we don't derail this one.



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