Originally posted by Fire_In_The_Minds_of_Men
I know you're not dumb. And I know that you know exactly and precisely what it is that I am speaking of. Hell, I said in plain English:
You guy's can cavort in costumes all day and night long for all I care; but you partake and indulge in certain binding obligations toward your
brothers that could and would conflict with that in which you might take to society as a whole.
I can see why this might be a concern. But the reality is that no such conflict exists. Lets have a look at these so called "oaths" in a little more
detail (all examples taken from Emulation ritual).
In this degree the candidate promises to keep private and to himself the "secrets" of the 1st degree. These are
specifically outlined as the Modes of Recognition, nothing else, and the penalty for breaking that promise is clearly specified as being...
branded as a willfully perjured individual, void of all moral worth, and totally unfit to be received into this worshipful Lodge, or any other
warranted Lodge, or society of men who prize honour and virtue above the external advantages of rank and fortune.
Here the candidate promises to "never reveal" any of the secrets of the 2nd degree. These are specified again as the modes of
recognition by which a fellowcraft freemason can identify another. There are additional promises to turn up to meetings and to continue to observe the
promises of the 1st degree.
In the 3rd degree the candidate makes a number of promises which can be summarized thus:
- not to reveal the modes of recognition of the 3rd Degree
- continue the promises from the earlier degrees
- to assist other freemasons as long as that doesn't cause any great inconvenience
- To keep other freemasons secrets when requested
as long as that doesn't break the law or be in any way immoral
Please note that freemasons specifically
take an "oath" not to break the law:
...murder, treason, felony, and all other offences contrary to the laws of God and the ordinances of the realm being at all times most especially
Furthermore, in the wider context of masonic instruction, freemasons are encouraged to treat all men as brothers and support and assist anyone and
everyone, not just other freemasons.
So, in short, there is no binding obligation between freemasons that would conflict with society as a whole. Quite the reverse in fact, freemasons are
encouraged to support society. Please enjoy an excerpt from the Charge to the Initiate from Emulation ritual which I think summarizes nicely much of
what I have outlined.
As a citizen of the world, I am to enjoin you to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing or at all countenancing
any act that may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society, by paying due obedience to the laws of any State which may for a time
become the place of your residence or afford you its protection, and above all, by never losing sight of the allegiance due to the Sovereign of your
native land, ever remembering that nature has implanted in your breast a sacred and indissoluble attachment towards that country whence you derived
your birth and infant nurture.