Originally posted by eudaimonia
Originally posted by The Axeman
Masonry is not a religion; one adheres to whatever faith one adhered to before one became a Mason. Pretty simple.
Oh, that chestnut again?
That’s funny... Someone just said that... OH! It was me!
I’ll try, but judging from your track record you won't
1. The Opinion of Freemasonry's Authorities
Freemasonry is a religion. While those who want to be active in both Freemasonry and the Church may argue otherwise, the fact that Freemasonry is a
religion is asserted by Freemasonry's own and most widely accepted authorities:
Let’s see what Masons say about who their “authorities” are...
Rev. Ankerberg and Dr. Weldon want their readers to believe that their work is objective. To assist them in this illusion they explain that they (or
their research associates) wrote the following question to the Grand Master of each of the fifty American Grand Lodges, "As an official Masonic
leader, which books and authors do you recommend as being authoritative on the subject of Freemasonry?"
Twenty-five Grand Masters responded, each recommending several Masonic authors. Topping the list were nine names. Henry Coil led the list with the
recommendation of 11 of the Grand Lodges, while Albert Pike was recommended by only 4 of them. In other words, forty-six Grand Masters (92%) had no
comments on Pike.
Respected authors, yes. Authorities? Not so much. Be that as it may, I shall nevertheless try to elucidate you on the
issue at hand, as I understand it.
Albert Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry:
"The religion of Freemasonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for
his peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend the Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it
repugnant to the faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation handed down to us from some ancient and
patriarchial priesthood--in which all men may agree and in which no men can differ." (Page 641)
Alright but let’s look at the passage just before that one, eh?
From Albert Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
Now, it is plain that, in either of the first three senses in which we may take the word religion (and they do not very materially differ from each
other), Masonry may rightfully claim to be called a religious institution. Closely and accurately examined, it will be found to answer to any one of
the requirements of either of these three definitions. So much does it 'include a belief in the being and perfections of God,' that the public
profession of such a faith is essentially necessary to gain admission into the Order. No disbeliever in the existence of God can be made a Mason...
But it must be confessed that the fourth definition does not appear to be strictly applicable to Masonry. It has no pretension to assume a place
among the religions of the world as a sectarian 'system of faith and worship,' in the sense in which we distinguish Christianity from Judaism,
or Judaism from Mohammedanism. In this meaning of the word we do not and can not speak of the Masonic religion, nor say of a man that he is not
a Christian, but a Mason. Here it is that the opponents of Freemasonry have assumed mistaken ground, in confounding the idea of a religious
institution with that of the Christian religion as a peculiar form of worship, and in supposing, because Masonry teaches religious truth, that it
is offered as a substitute for Christian truth and Christian obligation...The tendency of all true Masonry is toward religion. if it
makes any progress, its progress is to that holy end. Look at its ancient landmarks, its sublime ceremonies, its profound symbols and allegories---all
inculcating observance, and teaching religious truth, and who can deny that it is eminently a religious institution?
"But the religion of Masonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his
peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend a Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the
faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation---handed down to us from some ancient and patriarchal
priesthood---in which all men may agree and in which no men can differ. It inculcates the practise of virtue but it supplies no scheme of
redemption for sin. It points its disciples to the path of righteousness, but it does not claim to be 'the way, the truth, and the life.'
In so far, therefore, it cannot become a substitute for Christianity, but its tendency is thitherward; and, as the handmaid of religion, it
may, and often does, act as the porch that introduces it votaries into the temple of Divine truth.
Masonry, then, is, indeed a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Mason defend it."
Hmmmmm... kinda shoots a few holes in your little theory there, eh?
Let us continue, shall we?
Henry Wilson Coil, Masonic Encyclopedia:
"Freemasonry has a religious service to commit the body of a deceased brother to the dust whence it came and to speed the liberated spirit
back to the great Source of Light. Many Freemasons make this flight with no other guarantee of a safe landing than their belief in the religion of
Wow. Neato. Check this out though.
from: Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia p. 522.
"In closing this dissertation on an important subject, one on which opinions may differ widely, it must be concluded that no matter how filled
we may be with religious fervor, we must give up any idea that Freemasonry was intended to be another religious sect and that, containing as it
does a large proportion of men who have already espoused some church or denomination, any such career would be plagued by internal discord or
submerged in the large number of existing sects. On the other hand, Freemasonry, as a universal moral society open to all men of good report and
intentions, has performed and will continue to perform a valuable and necessary function in the world."
Well, there ya go. Not a religion. What a shocker.
Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma:
"It [Masonry] reverences all the great reformers. It sees Moses, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus of Nazareth, ... Great Teachers of Morality, and
Eminent Reformers, if no more: and allows every brother of the Order to assign to each such higher and even Divine Character as his Creed and Truth
require." (Page 525).
You are really good at selective quoting, you know that?
from: Morals and Dogma, pp. 525-26
To every Mason, the Infinite Justice and Benevolence of God give ample assurance that Evil will ultimately be dethroned, and the Good, the True, and
the Beautiful reign triumphant and eternal. It teaches, as it feels and knows, that Evil, and Pain, and Sorrow exist as part of a wise and beneficent
plan, all the parts of which work together under God's eye to a result which shall be perfection. Whether the existence of evil is rightly explained
in this creed or in that, by Typhon the Great Serpent, by Ahriman and his Armies of Wicked Spirits, by the Giants and Titans that war against Heaven,
by the two co-existent Principles of Good and Evil, by Satan's temptation and the fall of Man, by Lok and the Serpent Fenris, it is beyond the
domain of Masonry to decide, nor does it need to inquire. Nor is it within its Province to determine how the ultimate triumph of Light and
Truth and Good, over Darkness and Error and Evil, is to be achieved; nor whether the Redeemer, looked and longed for by all nations, hath appeared in
Judea, or is yet to come.
It reverences all the great reformers. It sees in Moses, the Lawgiver of the Jews, in Confucius and Zoroaster, in Jesus of Nazareth, and in the
Arabian Iconoclast, Great Teachers of Morality, and Eminent Reformers, if no more: and allows every brother of the Order to assign to each such higher
and even Divine Character as his Creed and Truth require.
Thus Masonry disbelieves no truth, and teaches unbelief in no creed, except so far as such creed may lower its lofty estimate of the Deity, degrade
Him to the level of the passions of humanity, deny the high destiny of man, impugn the goodness and benevolence of the Supreme God, strike at
those great columns of Masonry, Faith, Hope, and Charity, or inculcate immorality, and disregard of the active duties of the Order.
Masonry is a worship; but one in which all civilized men can unite; for it does not undertake to explain or dogmatically to settle those great
mysteries, that are above the feeble comprehension of our human intellect. It trusts in God, and HOPES; it BELIEVES, like a child, and is humble.
It draws no sword to compel others to adopt its belief, or to be happy with its hopes. And it WAITS with patience to understand the mysteries
of Nature and Nature's God hereafter.
What that says to me is that Masonry is indeed NOT a religion in the sense that you put forth, rather that it is a principle, as I presented in my
previous post in this thread, which you so conveniently ignored.
"Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahman, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can
assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its initiates
to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion." (Page 226)
from: Morals and Dogma, pp. 225-26
The Mason believes that God has arranged this glorious but perplexing world with a purpose, and on a plan. He holds that every man sent upon this
earth, and especially every man of superior capacity, has a duty to perform, a mission to fulfill, a baptism to be baptized with; that every great
and good man possesses some portion of God's truth, which he must proclaim to the world, and which must bear fruit in his own bosom. In a true
and simple sense, he believes all the pure, wise, and intellectual to be inspired, and to be so for the instruction, advancement, and elevation of
mankind. That kind of inspiration, like God's omnipresence, is not limited to the few writers claimed by Jews, Christians, or Moslems, but is
co-extensive with the race. It is the consequence of a faithful use of our faculties. Each man is its subject, God is its source, and Truth its
only test. It differs in degrees, as the intellectual endowments, the moral wealth of the soul, and the degree of cultivation of those endowments and
faculties differ. It is limited to no sect, age, or nation. It is wide as the world and common as God. It was not given to a few men, in the
infancy of mankind, to monopolize inspiration, and bar God out of the soul. We are not born in the dotage and decay of the world. The stars are
beautiful as in their prime; the most ancient Heavens are fresh and strong. God is still everywhere in nature. Wherever a heart beats with love,
wherever Faith and Reason utter their oracles, there is God, as formerly in the hearts of seers and prophets. No soil on earth is so holy as the good
man's heart; nothing is so full of God. This inspiration is not given to the learned alone, not alone to the great and wise, but to every faithful
child of God. Certain as the open eye drinks in the light, do the pure in heart see God; and he who lives truly, feels Him as a presence within the
soul. The conscience is the very voice of Deity.
Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren
and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his
faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion. For itself it finds those truths definite enough, which are written by the finger of
God upon the heart of man and on the pages of the book of nature. Views of religion and duty, wrought out by the meditations of the studious,
confirmed by the allegiance of the good and wise, stamped as sterling by the response they find in every uncorrupted mind, commend themselves to
Masons of every creed, and may well be accepted by all.
The Mason does not pretend to dogmatic certainty, nor vainly imagine such certainty attainable. He considers that if there were no written
revelation, he could safely rest the hopes that animate him and the principles that guide him, on the deductions of reason and the convictions of
instinct and consciousness. He can find a sure foundation for his religious belief, in these deductions of the intellect and convictions of the
heart. For reason proves to him the existence and attributes of God; and those spiritual instincts which he feels are the voice of God in
his soul, infuse into his mind a sense of his relation to God, a conviction of the beneficence of his Creator and Preserver, and a hope of
future existence; and his reason and conscience alike unerringly point to virtue as the highest good, and the destined aim and purpose of man's
The above statements from authorities accepted and approved by Freemasonry clearly document that Freemasonry is a religion and is considered as such
by knowledgeable Masons.
No, it shows your ability to copy and paste what suits your agenda, while leaving out those passages that speak to the contrary. Great work. Really.
When Masons assemble together, they meet in a "temple" to offer "prayers" to the "Great Architect of the Universe"; and "kneel" at the
"sacred altar" to engage in their "sacred vows". On the "sacred altar" is a "Volume of Sacred Law" which can be a Bible, a Koran or any other
holy book. What more could be required before an assembly could accurately be referred to as a religion?
Plan of salvation? Standardized for of worship? Common belief in ONE specific Deity above all others? Condemnation of all other faiths?
Televangelists? Communion? Clergy? The belief that it is their Divine Right (or even duty) to kill members of opposing faiths based solely on their
different beliefs? Proselytizing? Lunatics telling everyone that their religion is wrong, and people should buy their books or tapes or videos to
I dunno, I think they do just fine without all that, and I think it has been reasonable demonstrated by me (not to mention others) that Freemasonry is
NOT a religion.
You have the floor...