Originally posted by Matrix1111
I appreciate the opportunity to "ask a Mason." Okay, here's what's been on my mind.
What is the role of John the Baptist's skull in various rites?
Is John the Baptist considered the true Christ instead of Jesus?
Is the Scottish Rite an offshoot of the Knights Templars?
Are the ideals of the US Constitution based on the ideals of Masonry?
Do Mason believe in a Rex Deus? (Jesus' bloodlineage?)
Dan Brown's next book is about Freemasonry. Has there been cooperation with Dan Brown or resistance against the making of this book?
Thanks for the questions!
In Blue Lodge masonry a skull is not used or referred to in any way. We do talk a lot about St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist because
our lodges are dedicated to them.
Jesus is not mentioned in masonry, but I believe if you become a mason and then join York Rite you can move through the Knights Templar degrees which
require you to be a Christian. I don't belong to York though, so this is just speculation on my part.
I would say that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence contain a lot in common with masonry, in that we believe all men are created
Masons tend to be pretty proud of the role freemasonry played in the founding of our country. It's my understanding that masonic lodges provided a
safe environment to discuss revolutionary ideas because everyone who attended was a brother and shared loyalty to the others.
In modern times neither religion nor politics are allowed to be discussed in lodge. It's our belief that in order to accomplish something good there
must be harmony and the topics of religion and politics are among the most divisive.
In US masonry the Holy Bible plays a large part in our ceremonies but it is revered mostly as a book of moral codes. Most of the biblical references
in the three degrees refer to the Old Testament.
If a Muslim or Jew wished to join he could ask for the Koran or Torah to be used in the ceremony and it would be no problem. We favor no religion
over another, we just ask that a man believe in a single Supreme Being.
As far as Dan Brown goes, I think he has had an amazing influence on freemasonry. It's my understanding that he is not a mason, but interest in his
books have caused a small but growing renaissance in the masonic world.
Most of my brothers have read the books and watched the movies like 'Da Vinci Code' and 'American Treasure' and love them. Personally I really
like reading that stuff as a devout conspiracy theorist.
Of course stories like his have appeared throughout masonic history and haven't always been favorable to us. The Catholic church treated masons very
badly for a couple of centuries, but I believe the excommunication order for masons has been rescinded.
A lot of what Dan Brown writes about in the Da Vinci Code deals with the Knights Templar. In modern times the Knights Templar are members of York
Rite (and masons) that have progressed through the York degrees.
I don't believe there is a direct link between them and the Knights Templar of history, but they seem to have a lot of Christian traditions and
chivalric type teachings it seems.
I am very excited and a lot of the brothers I know are really excited about Dan Brown's book and I can't wait to read it. I read the 'Hiram Key'
which is by another author and it was pretty boring. He tried to make the argument that the ancient Egyptians and even Jesus were masons, but it
really was conjecture.