Want the Low-down on Freemasonry? This Thread's For You!

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posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 01:45 PM
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For those who might be new to this forum and interested in the subject of Freemasonry, and also for my own benefit as an outpouring of my own personal research, I write this post. It is my hope that newcomers to this forum will take the opportunity to peruse the information I have gathered, and leave this thread in possession of more light than when they started. I have tried to be thorough, though undoubtedly there will be things I have overlooked; and I hope that in those cases someone will be so good as to fill in the blanks. I don’t do this to push an agenda or try to win people over; it is something that has needed to be done for quite a while. With the volume of people we have coming through this forum on a given day, and the number of redundant questions we see about Freemasonry, I decided to take the time to centralize all the information; from the simple question of “What is Freemasonry?” to the refutation of claims made by those who wish to cast dispersions upon the Fraternity. I do it also for the Brethren here assembled, because I know first hand the kind of frustration that can come about trying to explain one aspect of Masonry to someone, only to have them go off on a tangent about another topic or anti-Masonic claim. So, here we will have our very own “Freemasonry F.A.Q.” to work with, completely tailored to ATS by someone who has seen the same questions and accusations cross the board time and time again for three years now.

It is my sincere hope that this will be a help to everyone.

Fiat Lvx,
-Axe

P.S. Please keep in mind that this is incomplete, and some of the links may be broken, as I put this together over a year ago. Also I lost the formatting pasting it into this site's text editor.

The famous Freemasons section is lacking, though that information is easily found using the search function. Also, the Masonic Authors section is incomplete, which is in my mind much more important. At least, if you do some searches of the names listed, you can find some of their writings easily enough though.

Hope this helps.

[edit on 8/4/07 by The Axeman]




posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 01:45 PM
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I. General Masonic Information

A. What is Freemasonry?

1. The world’s oldest and largest fraternity
a. www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...
b. www.grandlodge-england.org...
c. freemasonry.bcy.ca...
d. www.grandlodgescotland.com...
e. www.masonicinfo.com...
f. en.wikipedia.org...
g. tls4.tripod.com...

2. Origins of Freemasonry – There are many theories; here’s a few to start.
a. www.oelodge.uklinux.net...
b. www.robertlomas.com...
c. www.freemason.org...
d. en.wikipedia.org...
e. www.grandlodge-england.org...
f. www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...
g. freemasonry.bcy.ca...

3. Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth: www.tracingboard.com...

4. Philanthropy
a. Masonic Service Association Disaster relief - www.msana.com...
b. Masonic scholarship programs - www.masonicinfo.com...
c. Masonic Philanthropies: A Tradition of Caring - www.srmason-sj.org...
d. Other Masonic Charities - www.masonicinfo.com...

B. Is Freemasonry a Religion?

1. Arguments for Freemasonry being a Religion
a. www.ephesians5-11.org...
b. freemasonry.cephasministry.com...
c. www.emfj.org...
d. educate-yourself.org...
e. www.cuttingedge.org...
f. www.parkwaychurchofchrist.us...
g. www.bibletruths.net...

2. Arguments against Freemasonry being a Religion
a. www.srmason-sj.org...
b. freemasonry.bcy.ca...
c. www.masonicinfo.com...
d. www.masonicinfo.com...
e. freemasonry.bcy.ca...
f. www.geocities.com...
g. www.phoenixmasonry.org...

C. Appendant Bodies

1. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
a. Jurisdictions
a) AASR – Northern Jurisdiction, USA: www.supremecouncil.org...
b) AASR – Southern Jurisdiction, USA: www.srmason-sj.org...
c) AASR – Canada: www.scottishritemasons-can.org...

b. Bodies
a) Lodge of Perfection: www.scottishritecalifornia.org...
b) Chapter of Rose Croix: www.scottishritecalifornia.org...
c) Council of Kadosh: www.scottishritecalifornia.org...
d) Consistory: www.scottishritecalifornia.org...
e) Court of Honor: www.scottishritecalifornia.org...

c. Supreme Council, 33°
a) Northern Jurisdiction Supreme Council, 33°: www.supremecouncil.org...
b) Southern Jurisdiction Supreme Council, 33°: www.srmason-sj.org...

2. York Rite of Freemasonry
a. Bodies
a) Chapter: www.yorkriteusa.org...
b) Council: www.yorkriteusa.org...
c) Commandery: www.yorkriteusa.org...

3. Ancient Arabic Nobles of the Mystic Shrine: www.shrinershq.org...

4. Grand College of Rites: www.grandcollegeofrites.org...

D. Other Organizations in the Masonic Family

1. Order of the Eastern Star: www.easternstar.org...

2. Daughters of the Nile: www.donhq.org...

3. International Order of Job’s Daughters: www.iojd.org...

4. International Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem: www.calodges.org...

5. Order of Amaranth: www.amaranth.org...

6. Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America: www.tallcedars.org...

7. Grottoes of North America: www.scgrotto.com...

8. International Order of the Rainbow: www.iorg.org...

9. DeMolay International: www.demolay.org...

E. Masonic Secrets?

1. Why all the secrecy?
a. tls4.tripod.com...
b. www.mastermason.com...
c. www.masonicinfo.com...
d. www.rosslyntemplars.org.uk...
e. web.mit.edu...
f. www.geocities.com...

F. Irregular Freemasonry

1. Grand Lodge: en.wikipedia.org...

2. Recognition
a. www.masonicinfo.com...
b. www.recognitioncommission.org...
c. www.phoenixmasonry.org...

3. Irregular Organizations
a. Co-Masonry:
a) www.co-masonry.org...
b) www.luckymojo.com...
c) web.mit.edu...

b. Rite of Memphis-Misraim:
a) www.iss-ic-memphis-misraim.com...
b) users.erols.com...

c. Others: www.masonicinfo.com...

G. Mormonism and Masonry

1. www.shields-research.org...
2. www.irr.org...
3. www.helpingmormons.org...
4. www.xmission.com...

H. Famous Freemasons

1. Founding Fathers of the USA
2. Presidents of the USA
3. Other Famous Freemasons


II. Masonic Authors

A. Albert Pike

1. Biography: freepages.military.rootsweb.com...

2. Books
a. Morals & Dogma: www.sacred-texts.com...
b. Many others available from Kessinger Publishing

B. Manly P. Hall

1. Biography: www.prs.org...

2. Books
a. The Lost Keys of Freemasonry: altreligion.about.com...
b. The Secret Teachings of All Ages: www.sacred-texts.com...

C. Dr. Albert G. Mackey

1. Biography: freemasonry.bcy.ca...

2. Books
a. Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and It's Kindred Sciences: users.1st.net...
b. The Principles of Masonic Law: www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...
c. The History of Freemasonry: www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...

D. Henry Wilson Coil

E. Joseph Fort Newton

1. Biography: www.masonicinfo.com... (halfway down the page)

2. Books
a. The Builders: www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...

F. Rex Hutchens

G. John Robertson

H. Jim Tresner

I. Arturo de Hoyos

J. S. Brent Morris

K. Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas

L. Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

1. Biography:

2. Books
a. Meaning of Masonry: www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...
b. Masonic Initiation: www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...

[edit on 8/4/07 by The Axeman]



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 01:47 PM
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What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is, by all accounts, the world’s oldest and largest Fraternity. As an institution, it has helped many, many men throughout history to be the best that they can be; to have fellowship with other men with the same lofty ideals and personal goals; and to give something back to the communities that saw them grow from toddlers into upstanding, moral-minded men. This is not to say that every Freemason in history has been a man of exemplary character. There have been instances where a man who was a Master Mason has done things to bring disgrace upon himself, and thereby the Fraternity. However, the vast majority of Freemasons throughout history have been upstanding and respectable men, which is easily demonstrable if you take the time to research and see for yourself.

Freemasonry’s outward purpose, according to all Masonic lodges, is to “make good men better.” A noble and worthy undertaking to be sure, but how does joining a fraternity make a man better than he already was? The answer invariably lies within each individual. Freemasonry, by way of its rituals and teachings, fellowship, community service, reverence for the Sacred, and not least of all its high standards of ethics and morality, provides rich, fertile soil and a temperate climate in which the seeds of enlightenment are easily cultivated and indeed thrive. This enlightenment is not some grand metamorphosis or anything that could not have come about without the aid of the method of teaching used by Freemasonry; it is simply knowledge of self. Be honorable in all that you do, and look within yourself to find the faults and problems that manifest in your life. Everyone nowadays is looking for someone to blame; it seems to this researcher that Freemasonry has found them. It is us. Each one of us is a master of our own fate. By discovering this Truth, and taking steps to correct our shortcomings - by way of introspection and taking action to remedy those small faults - we become better men.

Three of the tenets of Freemasonry that one will surely hear when researching Masonry are “Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.” But what does this mean? It seems pretty straight forward to me, but it also occurs to me that some people are of the impression that these three tenets apply only where other Masons are concerned. Now, there is no question that Masons are inclined to help each other whenever they can and it is no secret that this is true. What many fail to realize, however, is that Masons in general are just as eager and willing to help non-Masons as they are to help their Brethren. The term “Brotherly Love” is not exclusive to members of the fraternity; it is rather a statement that we should love our fellow man, for we are all brothers. Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God means everyone. All the tenets are similar in this respect. The Mason does not offer Charity to only other Masons; rather they by and large seek out those in need and help in whatever way they can. Truth is not to be spoken only to other Masons. Whenever we speak, we should speak the truth, and strive do deceive no one, regardless of who they are, what religion they practice, or if they are a Freemason or not. These things that are so central to Freemasonry are all too often overlooked by people who, through either innocent ignorance or malice, speak disparagingly about the Craft.

I should also touch on the philanthropic side of Masonry. I will keep this short, but the plain truth is that Masons give millions of dollars each year to different charity organizations, individual families in the community, by way of scholarships for underprivileged students, and by way of hospitals that treat children free of charge. There are many facets and avenues of Masonic Charity, and when it comes down to it the vast majority of those charitable donations go to non-Masons, rather than members of the Fraternity.



posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 02:12 PM
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Fantastic and comprehensive work.

3 cheers for your hard work.

Cory



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 02:25 PM
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Thank you, sir.


And now, onward...

Is Freemasonry a Religion?

There are many people in the world who claim a monopoly on God’s good graces. They believe that their way is the only way, and that all others are not only wrong, but inferior spiritually because of their deviation from the perceived “Only Way.” This section is not to take away from, denounce, or otherwise criticize any religion, however it should be noted that the ones who tend to be intolerant of other beliefs are the same ones that claim that Freemasonry is a religion. Let’s look at both sides of this argument:

Freemasonry is a religion!

Most of the arguments I have seen for this position are amalgamations of misquotes, misinterpretations, and instances of Fundamentalists’ lack of toleration for other cultures. They claim that because some authors and researchers have dubbed Freemasonry the “Successor of the Mysteries,” by virtue of that fact it is incontrovertible that Freemasons worship some separate entity, apart from the God of the Judeo-Christian faiths, and that they are literally their own religion. It is claimed that Freemasons actively worship in lodge, and that worship is directed at pagan gods, or in some cases, Lucifer. I will cover this in a later section, but for now let’s see if we can get to the bottom of why some people, to the endless protest of practicing Freemasons, make the assertion that Masonry is indeed a religion.

Cutting Edge Ministries tells us:



Many of the rank and file of Freemasonry continue to insist that Freemasonry is not a religion. However, their own writings contradict these assertions. Albert Pike, Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite (1860), recorded: "Every lodge is a temple of religion, and its teaching instruction in religion." (13)

To what religion was Pike making reference? His own words offer all the clarification needed: "Masonry is the successor to the Mysteries." (14)

Many modern Masons have tried to distance themselves from Pike and his gnostic (highly occultic) work, MORALS AND DOGMA. They insist that his teachings are not that of Masonry, but merely his personal beliefs. They further insist that modern, benevolent Masonry should not be judged by writings over 100 years old. This line of reasoning is very confusing to those who recognize the Legend of Hiram Abiff is supposedly almost 3000 years old. Are not the claims of Masonry said to have originated at the time of Solomon? Are all claims and teachings prior to the 20th Century now null and void? Does this also negate the 32 degrees of the Scottish Rite designed by Pike? Furthermore, as recently as 1989, Scottish Rite Grand Commander, C. Fred Kleinknecht wrote:

"…The apex of our teachings has been the rituals of MORALS AND DOGMA, written over a century ago…" (15)


So here we have Cutting Edge taking (omissive) quotes from different places in Morals and Dogma, and tying them together to get the meaning they are looking for... But I digress. More on that later...

For now, let’s look at some other claims to the effect that Masonry is a religion.

Biblebelievers has this to say:


Their claim and the claim of every Mason to the outside world is that Masonry and Christianity are totally compatible. They tell me that religion is the experience of relating to God, and Masonry the experience of relating to mankind. While separate, they can and do naturally coexist.

The article mentioned above explains its "religious" position this way, "Masonry is NOT a religion in any sense of the word, yet it is religious. Church membership is not a requirement, yet membership in ANY church is no bar to admission. There is nothing in the requirements of Masonry to prevent a Catholic, a Mohammedan, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Protestant, a Mormon, or any member of any religion from becoming a member." (page 3)

On the surface, this might seem quite reasonable. I find no offense in being involved in social, civic and benevolent activities with people of other religious backgrounds. In fact, it's really an integral part of the excitement of life! But, when it comes to my own personal worship of God, and His revelation to me of His Word, there are some very clear guidelines!
If Freemasonry is truly what it professes publicly, then "Bravo!"; it is a welcome fellowship. If it is being deceptive, then it should be exposed. It is simple.
Let's see what Masonry TRULY teaches within its closed doors, and through its own published documents. NO "anti-Masonic" publications will be cited in explaining their TRUE theological position.

The key document from which I quote is the most readily available and universally approved doctrinal book of Freemasonry, "Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry," By Albert Pike, Grand Commander, 1859-1891.


The problem is not what they quote, but how they quote it. Ellipses run rampant in anti-Masonic quotes and such. They'd have to! See my thread on Albert Pike for more info.

Ex-Masons for Jesus has a similar opinion:


Since Freemasonry has a plan of salvation it is absurd to deny that Freemasonry is a religion. Many Masons deny that Freemasonry is a religion because if they were to admit it, they would not be accepted as Christians and church members. Other Masons are so blinded by Satan that they cannot see the truth.


BRF Witness has a take on it, too...



Freemasonry is a religion that preaches another gospel--a gospel of good works--which is condemned in Galatians 1:6-8. It is a spiritual counterfeit that endorses and practices beliefs which have nothing to do with Christianity, and are in direct violation of the teachings of Christ. Larry Graybill gives plenty of evidence to support this conclusion, in his article, "The Masonic Lodge: A False Religion." Brethren have historically (and rightly) believed that Freemasonry is incompatible with Christian faith and practice, and that it rests under the condemnation of God as a sacrilegious system which needs to be exposed and refuted.



ibid.
Is Freemasonry a religion or not? The building in which the Masons meet is called a "temple," where they offer prayers to God, whom they call "The Architect of the Universe." Over the head of the "Worshipful Master" hangs a big letter "G" which signifies deity. On their "sacred altar" is placed a Bible, or a Koran, or the Vedas, or another holy book, depending on the country in which the lodge is functioning. A man cannot join the lodge unless he swears that he believes in a Supreme Being. In the third degree the Mason is taught that his soul is immortal, and that if he is found worthy enough while on earth, his good works will earn him a place in "the celestial lodge above.''

Traditional Masonic authorities (those who are Masons themselves) claim that Freemasonry is a religion. For example, Albert G. Mackey in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, writes, "The religion of Freemasonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his particular faith. It is not Judaism...it is not Christianity. It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines, but teaches fundamental truth...At its altar, men of all religions may kneel; to its creed, disciples of every Faith may subscribe."
Notice that, according to this Masonic authority, Christianity is a sectarian religion. Freemasonry is supposedly superior to Christianity because it claims to be a universal religion which unites all faiths. But that is going to be one of the aims of the Antichrist in the last times--an attempt to unite all faiths under himself.


Now, correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the only people making such claims and grievances with Masonry are Christian. Christians have a history of being very forward in their Mission, and that is well and good for them. If they are called by their faith to witness, then they should do that. But what I see happening is a lot of misinterpretation of what is actually going on inside the lodge room.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 02:28 PM
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Nowhere in Masonic ritual is there anything about salvation by good works. There is talk of good works, and there is talk of the immortality of the soul, and there is talk about "The Celestial Grand Lodge Above," to be sure. The thing that is NOT talked about is what you must do to get there and how you must do it. Masonry leaves these things to the individual to decide for himself. The fraternity does not presume to tell a man who he should worship, nor how to do so.

I think it can be generally agreed upon that good people go to Heaven. If you live a good life, and follow the rules of your professed religion (which almost always includes good works), then where you go and how you got there is between you and your god. In the Apron presentation part of the Entered Apprentice ceremony, it is stated: "He, therefore, who wears the lambskin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission to the Celestial Lodge Above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides."

Now, wouldn't you say that in every mainstream religion, purity of life and conduct is necessary to get to heaven? No? I would. If a bloody murdering rapist can simply say "I'm sorry, Jesus," on his deathbed and get to heaven, then there is something seriously wrong. In summary, the "purity of life and conduct" has nothing to do with Masonry proper; it is the purity of life and conduct according to his personal faith that the True Mason is reminded of by the symbolism of the apron.

Aside from that, these zealots in their crusade to discredit and demonize all things Masonic, have completely overlooked the possible (and frequently applicable) nuances in the language of the times. Do you seriously think that these Masonic authors were not aware that the word "religion" has many definitions and connotations?

Has "Theological Belief System" completely dominated the definition of the word? Any time anyone writes or speaks the word "religion" does it have to mean "A brand of Faith exclusive to all others?"

I don't think so. What do you think?

In conclusion, of course, I restate my opinion that Freemasonry is indeed NOT a "Religion," in the same way that Christianity or Judaism is. It is "religion," not "A Religion." If you don't know the difference, I refer you here. Check out #6 and #8.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 02:37 PM
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Well at least you are providing both sides of the story. I appreciate that. For your work, you will be getting some stars.



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 03:41 PM
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"So, Axe," you might say, "What do Masons typically think about their fraternity being labeled a religion?"

I'm glad you asked. In addition to my above post, as I'm sure you gleaned my opinion from there, let's look at some other prominent Masons' views on the matter:

C. Fred Kleinknect (Former Sovereign Grand Commander of the AASR, Southern Jurisdiction) writes:


Unfortunately, our purpose as well as our very existence is questioned by the uninformed. They fail to see that Masons are invariable churchgoing men who extend the precepts of their faith beyond their sabbath to every day of their lives. They work within their churches and in their communities for the betterment of their fellowmen. Masons, in fact, go beyond narrow sectarianism and limiting dogma. They agree with the statement of the famous statesman and writer Edmund Burke: "The body of all true religion consists, to be sure, in obedience to the will of the Sovereign of the world, in a confidence in His declarations, and in imitation of His perfection."

But what are "His declarations"? They are not, Masons believe, the passing credos of religious sects or cults. Rather, they are the inspired wisdom contained in the Bible, the Talmud, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita or any of the other Great Books of Faith that have been universally recognized as man's best guides to happiness on this world and reward in the next. Freemasonry, therefore, welcomes to its ranks Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and all good men of whatever religion who truly aspire to live accordingly to the Creator's will.

Because it is universal in scope and inclusive in membership, Masonry provides a philosophy and a Fraternity where good men can "meet on the Level and part on the Square." It binds all men in a mystic tie of sincere brotherhood and mutual love. Faith and work, soul and body, heart and hand are united as Masons everywhere labor through Freemasonry in peace and harmony to honor the Creator and serve mankind.
Such are the objectives of Freemasonry. Obviously, they complement, not contradict, sound religious beliefs.


No question about how he feels about it. If you check out the source of the above quote, you will find that there are several church leaders who also happen to be Masons chiming in on this as well.

What about some others?

The Grand Lodge of British Columbia and the Yukon has a take on it:

Our purpose as freemasons is not that of a religion. Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of religion. Freemasonry is not a religion nor is it a substitute for religion.

• Freemasonry advocates no sectarian faith or practise.
• We seek no converts.
• We solicit no new members.
• We raise no money for religious purposes.
• We have no dogma or theology. Religious discussion is forbidden in a masonic lodge thereby eliminating the chance for any masonic dogma to form.
• It offers no sacraments and does not claim to lead to salvation by works, by secret knowledge, or by any other means. The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with the modes of recognition only and not with the means of salvation.
• By any definition of religion accepted by our critics, we cannot qualify as a religion.
• Freemasonry supports religion. Freemasonry is far from indifferent to religion. Without interfering in religious practise, it expects each member to follow his own faith.


As does Brother Ed King.


Here are the facts:
When one examines the commonalities and differences in religions, there is a short list of traits all share but which are unique to none thereby achieving a WORKING model of what religion is. It is important to remember that this involves RELIGION not SPIRITUALITY, which for the most part, is a trait of being human.

A group of people who by means of culture, propinquity and common beliefs come together in a recognized group.

A profession of belief in a higher existence and/or being.

Group action which encases their belief system in symbolism and ritual.

Through the self-definitions of the above, the group proceeds in a "we-they" quasi political (encased in mysticism and/or spirituality) manner to promote and maintain their organization.

It can reasonably be argued that all of these are true of Masonry. Similarly, however, they are also true of organizations like Scouting, Campfire, Alcoholics Anonymous and The U. S. Navy League - to name but a few.

So on the basis of this non-partisan, sociological model, Freemasonry more than fits and for these reasons, some could find it hard to see why Masonry is, in fact, NOT a religion.

However, when we look at what religion does, there is an entirely different picture.

Religions do the following (though details vary from one to the next):

Practice sacerdotal functions - Masonry does NOT!

Teach Theology - Masonry does NOT!

Ordain Clergy - Masonry does NOT!

Define sin and salvation - Masonry does NOT!

Perform sacraments - Masonry does NOT!

Publish or specify a Holy Book - Masonry does NOT!

Describe or define the Deity - Masonry does NOT!

Freemasonry does NONE of these things - but religions DO!



Reverend Noah L. Bess certainly seems to see no conflict; and you'd think he would, if Freemasonry were a religion, seeing as he's a Reverend... but hey, what do I know, right?


Freemasonry has done far more for me than I can ever do for Freemasonry. My debt is humbly and gratefully acknowledged. I have learned that her lessons, tenets and fundamental principles impressively and inspiringly emphasize that faith in Deity and the practice of truth, morality, charity and brotherly love are essential to the well-being of one's life and also to society in its far reaching complex organizations.

Freemasonry has afforded me the opportunity to have precious friendships. She has required of me only that which is required and expected of every member - to walk uprightly, to do good, and to obey the divine law. As we all know, she never requires a member to violate his duty to God, his country or himself.

Having said this, it behooves me to mention another great and forceful promoter and supporter of morality, integrity and neighborly love - the Church of Jesus of Nazareth. In my opinion, the Church of God, by whatever name or sign it is known, and Freemasonry are the two strongest organized forces in the United States today, and possibly in the world, for keeping our country and civilization right side up morally. Both have a profound faith in, and deep concern for, truth, morality, charity and the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God.

I know of no reason for conflict between these two organizations. I have given my wholehearted support to them for the past 40 years and am resolved to continue this support as long as I may live.



[edit on 8/5/07 by The Axeman]



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 03:47 PM
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A lot of people love to use this quote from Morals and Dogma for their argument that Freemasonry is a religion:

"Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion." - M&D, p. 213

What they don't bother to include is the preceeding lecture. Allow me to elucidate you:


For there is a religion of toil. It is not all drudgery, a mere stretching of the limbs and straining of the sinews to tasks. It has a meaning and an intent. A living heart pours life-blood into the toiling arm; and warm affections inspire and mingle with man's labors. They are the home affections. Labor toils a-field, or plies its task in cities, or urges the keels of commerce over wide oceans; but home is its centre; and thither it ever goes with its earnings, with the means of support and comfort for others; offerings sacred to the thought of every true man, as a sacrifice at a golden shrine. Many faults there are amidst the toils of life; many harsh and hasty words are uttered; but still the toils go on, weary and hard and exasperating as they often are. For in that home is age or sickness, or helpless infancy, or gentle childhood, or feeble woman, that must not want. If man had no other than mere selfish impulses, the scene of labor which we behold around us would not exist.

The advocate who fairly and honestly presents his case, with a feeling of true self-respect, honor, and conscience, to help the tribunal on towards the right conclusion, with a conviction that God's justice reigns there, is acting a religious part, leading that day a religious life; or else right and justice are no part of religion. Whether, during all that day, he has once appealed, in form or in terms, to his conscience, or not; whether he has once spoken of religion and God, or not; if there has been the inward purpose, the conscious intent and desire, that sacred justice should triumph, he has that day led a good and religious life, and made a most essential contribution to that religion of life and of society, the cause of equity between man and man, and of truth and right action in the world.

Books, to be of religious tendency in the Masonic sense, need not be books of sermons, of pious exercises, or of prayers. What-ever inculcates pure, noble, and patriotic sentiments, or touches the heart with the beauty of virtue, and the excellence of an up-right life, accords with the religion of Masonry, and is the Gospel of literature and art. That Gospel is preached from many a book and painting, from many a poem and fiction, and review and newspaper; and it is a painful error and miserable narrowness, not to recognize these wide-spread agencies of Heaven's providing; not to see and welcome these many-handed coadjutors, to the great and good cause. The oracles of God do not speak from the pulpit alone.

There is also a religion of society. In business, there is much more than sale, exchange, price, payment; for there is the sacred faith of man in man. When we repose perfect confidence in the integrity of another; when we feel that he will not swerve from the right, frank, straightforward, conscientious course, for any temptation; his integrity and conscientiousness are the image of God to us; and when we believe in it, it is as great and generous an act, as when we believe in the rectitude of the Deity.

In gay assemblies for amusement, the good affections of life gush and mingle. If they did not, these gathering-places would be as dreary and repulsive as the caves and dens of outlaws and robbers. When friends meet, and hands are warmly pressed, and the eye kindles and the countenance is suffused with gladness, there is a religion between their hearts; and each loves and worships the True and Good that is in the other. It is not policy, or self-interest, or selfishness that spreads such a charm around that meeting, but the halo of bright and beautiful affection.

The same splendor of kindly liking, and affectionate regard, shines like the soft overarching sky, over all the world; over all places where men meet, and walk or toil together; not over lovers' bowers and marriage-altars alone, not over the homes of purity and tenderness alone; but over all tilled fields, and busy workshops, and dusty highways, and paved streets. There is not a worn stone upon the sidewalks, but has been the altar of such offerings of mutual kindness; nor a wooden pillar or iron railing against which hearts beating with affection have not leaned. How many soever other elements there are in the stream of life flowing through these channels, that is surely here and everywhere; honest, heartfelt, disinterested, inexpressible affection. - M&D, pp. 212-213


Directly following this comes the oft-quoted line: "Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion." - M&D, p. 213

Now tell me: Do you think Pike saw Masonry as "a religion" in the sense that Christianity is a Religion?

Do you see where this is going?


I'll make it easy: to the best of my knowledge, research, and interpretation, Masonry is most definitely NOT a religion.

I think I've fairly demonstrated this. If you feel I haven't, let's talk about what you reckon I have missed.


[edit on 8/5/07 by The Axeman]



posted on Aug, 5 2007 @ 10:57 PM
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This thread isn't for me and neither is Freemasonry. Grand "Commander" Algert Pike? Pike can command nothing. And you don't even know everything there is to know about Freemasonry because it's so secretive. So what are all of the rituals that you've performed yourself?



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by spirit7
This thread isn't for me


So, you're posting in this thread because ? ? ?


and neither is Freemasonry.


Freemasonry isn't for everyone. No one said it was.


Grand "Commander" Algert Pike?


No, actually it was Algert's second cousin on his father's side, ALBERT Pike.



Pike can command nothing.


Quite true, what with his having been dead 116 years and all.


And you don't even know everything there is to know about Freemasonry because it's so secretive.


No one knows EVERYTHING there is to know about Freemasonry, but for those of us who actually ARE Masons, it's not because of the secrecy.


So what are all of the rituals that you've performed yourself?


Here's a short list of those that I've helped confer:

Entered Apprentice
Fellow Craft
Master Mason
Mark Master
Past Master
Most Excellent Master
Royal Arch Mason
Royal Master
Select Master
Super-Excellent Master
Red Cross
Malta
Knight Templar
Knight Masons
Allied Masonic Degrees
Royal Order of Scotland
Knight Masons
MSRICF Grades I, II, IV, V, VI, VIII
Eastern Star
Amaranth
Shrine
Actual Past Master
Perfect Master
Provost and Judge
Elu of Nine
Elu of Twelve
Master Architect
Royal Arch of Solomon
Perfect Elu
Knight of the East
Prince of Jerusalem
Knight Rose Croix
Pontiff
Master of the Symbolic Lodge
Prussian Knight
Chief of the Tabernacle
Prince of the Tabernacle
Prince of Mercy
Knight Commander of the Temple
Knight of St Andrew
Inspector Inquisitor
Master of the Royal Secret
Knight Commander of the Court of Honor
Sovereign Grand Inspector General

I'm sure there are others that I can't recall (just now into my first cup of coffee)

Oh, by the way sprit7, I can tell by your tone that we've been waiting for you. We haven't had one in a while and it's been boring



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 08:03 AM
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Maybe before you decide that you are going to talk smack on Albert Pike you should actually READ Morals and Dogma, if you look hard enough you can find it on line, for FREE.With its arcane language and high philosophical concepts, it may not be an easy read.But thats ok, I am sure you can find a website to pick and choose selected passages and do your thinking for you, I am sure that it is much more comfortable than reading around 800 pages and thinking critically, and coming up with your own opinion.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by spirit7
This thread isn't for me and neither is Freemasonry.


OK.
Why did you post then? You haven't contributed anything by doing so...


Grand "Commander" Algert Pike?


I'm sure you mean Albert Pike, former Sovereign Grand Commander of the Ancient And Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, USA... and what about him?


Pike can command nothing.


I'm going to agree with this, as the man is dead. He was a very important figure with regard to Freemasonry though, so if you would like to discuss him in this capacity I think it would be appropriate, though from the tone of your post, I doubt it would be "discussion."



And you don't even know everything there is to know about Freemasonry because it's so secretive.


Right. So secretive that I just posted a plethora of links, most to Masonic websites, chock full of information on Freemasonry.


You're right though, I don't know everything there is to know about Freemasonry, but I'll wager I'm a damn sight closer than alot of people.


So what are all of the rituals that you've performed yourself?


I've never conferred any degrees. I've personally been through (as a candidate) Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and The Master Mason degrees. I am a 3° Master Mason.

P.S. brotherforchrist: There is a link to Morals and Dogma in the 2nd post in this thread, in the Masonic authors section.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 10:14 AM
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Yeah well don't hold your breath on them reading it, you are still wasting your time reasoning with people that are unreasonable, if people want to think that I worship Baphomet and drink goats blood, then let them, maybe then I will get left alone.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 10:31 AM
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Originally posted by brotherforchrist
Yeah well don't hold your breath on them reading it, you are still wasting your time reasoning with people that are unreasonable, if people want to think that I worship Baphomet and drink goats blood, then let them, maybe then I will get left alone.


That's one way to do it, I reckon.

I figure if one or two people get what I want them to get (and, more importantly, what they want to get) from my post, then it's worth it.

The rest is sheer boredom.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 11:15 AM
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Axeman

Sorry to be so late in posting this reply, but due to a broken right hand I've not been able to get on line for the last few days.

This thread represents one of the best efforts to denigh ignorance that i've read here.

Somewhere along the line the "Wayabove" button has disappeared. Please accept my personal "well done oh good and faithful servant".

WELL DONE BROTHER



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 11:15 AM
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remove double post.

[edit on 6-8-2007 by Masonic Student]



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 04:18 PM
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Wonderfully accurate work, Axeman. But In private, I'll keep entertaining the idea that the Masons have been, are, and always will be, an organization devoted to getting elderly men away from their wives for a few hours a week. This, as any husband will tell you, is a service vital to the survival of civilization on planet Earth.

[edit on 6-8-2007 by Die Hounderdoggen]



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 04:23 PM
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freemasonry was created by good intentions that went bad. Today the inner circle of masonry is corrupted by greed and scheming towards control over the planet, while leaving you with a sensation that you are free, when your not. The goal is nothing more that short and sweet satisfaction, and revenge by a creature, who posesses ignorant curious minds with no moral boundaries. Then carries thir toungues into the land of whispy deceit, and will be how satan, lucifer will destroy us all. Thats masonry in all its self deceived forms.



posted on Aug, 6 2007 @ 04:24 PM
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Whilst there is a thread about Masons i need to ask a favour. If there is a UK Mason on here could you please U2U me i have a important question to ask

thesaint





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