posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 09:49 AM
Look, if I saw someone sitting in ATS gear in front of my lodge, I would laugh and go over and ask them what was up. If they said, in a defensive and
argumentative tone, that they were just "exercising their civil rights" then I would guffaw and invite them in for a tour of our building. I might
even invite them to join my lodge for our dinner as my guest. But I know ATS and know most (but not all) of the people on here are reasonably
If I didn't know ATS, I might think such a person was likely to become a nuisance and tell them to clear out.
This kind of thing may seem funny at first, but most Freemasons have a deep appreciation for the history of their fraternity and are well aware that
there are many crackpots out there who object to the fraternity and wish harm to its members. History is filled with examples -- from Hitler, to
Stalin, to military juntas in South America -- that persecuted Freemasons.
And every member has probably run into someone who made them uncomfortable with a crazy rant about Freemasons and some conspiracy theory. You know,
some conspiracy nuts are -- well, just nuts.
Go loiter outside a synagogue with a t-shirt promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and see how long it is before someone asks you to leave.
It isn't an exact analogy, I admit -- but there is a certain distasteful flavor to this kind of behavior.
As a young man, I lived in the South and it was there that I learned the best word to describe how I see this behavior: it was tacky.
Next time, take your photos and when the guy comes out and asks what you are doing, introduce yourself and say you are just taking some photos outside
the building because you belong to a website where Freemasonry is discussed. Ask if they ever give tours of the building. Make it clear you don't
want to be in the way or cause any harm to the property or people. Smile. Be friendly. Don't be defensive and get all up on high horse about your
civil rights -- that just makes people figure you're out to be a troublemaker in any context.
Heck, you might get a free dinner out of the deal. And at *my* Lodge last month, if I recall correctly, that was roast beef with all the trimmings and
sides. And good conversation, too.