A quick search on Google Books mentions what seems to be the, according to those same books, the god of freemasonry. Seems that is not the same
trinity of God, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is quite clear that Freemasonry asks each prospective member to attest that they believe in a Supreme Being prior to their initiation rites. This
Supreme Being varies in name depending on one's religious beliefs.
To a Catholic, the Supreme Being would be the Holy Trinity - Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To a Jew, it would be "Hashem" (literally, "The Name"),
referring to the God Almighty of the Old Testament. To Muslims, the Supreme Being would be "Allah", etc.
So, to answer your question, each man has different and varying religious beliefs. But what Masons have in common is a belief in a Supreme Being,
regardless of what "name" you call this Supreme Being.
This requirement permits Freemasonry to allow people of different faiths (Catholic, Protestant, etc.) to come together in harmony and fraternity
without respect to religious nor political differences.
Is freemasonry a religion?
In a word, no. Freemasonry is a fraternity, not a religion. And it has all the hallmarks of a fraternity, not a religion.
I'll comment on your 9 points:
1. Belief in supernatural beings (gods).
Masons, for one, believe in a Supreme Being, not multiple gods. Secondly, this is only a requirement for entrance into the Lodge. There is no
preacher that preaches religious beliefs in the Lodge.
2. A distinction between sacred and profane objects.
We have no sacred objects, aside from the Holy Bible. The rest of the items used in the Lodge - the square, compass, etc. - are not "sacred" items,
although you might say that they are treated "respectfully" in that they are not tossed in the garbage nor mishandled.
3. Ritual acts focused on sacred objects.
Fraternal rituals, not religious rituals, and no sacred objects.
4. A moral code believed to be sanctioned by the gods.
A moral code, but not sanctioned by any specific religious belief system and certainly not sanctioned by any "gods".
5. Characteristically religious feelings (awe, sense of mystery, sense of guilt, adoration), which tend to be aroused in the presence of sacred
objects and during the practice of ritual, and which are connected in idea with the gods.
No awe, no guilt, no adoration in Masonry. Some mystery in the sense that the Masonic initiations are private meetings behind closed doors - Less to
do with mystery, and more to do with privacy.
No sacred objects. No multiple gods.
6. Prayer and other forms of communication with gods.
In one section of the Blue Lodge degrees, the prospective Mason is asked to pray to his God for guidance.
There are no series of prayers as you would find in a Catholic Mass, synagogue service, and the like. Although there are references to the Old
Testament, these are references - not prayers.
The only other prayers are those said before meals, which technically take place outside of the Lodge doors in a dining room area, and is more a
matter of custom.
7. A world view, or a general picture of the world as a whole and the place of the individual therein. This picture contains some specification of an
over-all purpose or’ point of the world and an indication of how the individual fits into it.
Definitely no "world" or "international" view of man, other than the idea that we should be helpful towards one another and treat each other with
brotherly respect and the Golden Rule.
No over-arching "placement" of an individual to "fit" into some kind of world view. No dictating to people as to what their place in the world
is. Masonry is quite egalitarian in that it does not recognize wealth, privilege, or other worldly honors.
8. A more or less total organization of one’s life based on the world view.
Definitely not. Masonic philosophy does not believe nor advocate micro-managing people's lives.
9. A social group bound together by the above.
A social group - yes, but more appropriately defined as a fraternity, not a "social group" nor a "religion".
3) Seems that masons have to make oaths. Let's see what Jesus said about oaths: "33 Again you have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You
shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is
the throne of God, 35 or by earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from
First, the Masonic oaths are not said "falsely", they are said in honesty and sincerity, and of one's own free will and accord.
As this is public knowledge, all of the oaths revolve around the Golden Rule, which is certainly Christian in nature, and nothing to object to.
Agreeing to keep the fraternity private, and not a public matter. Taking care of one's brother, widows, and orphans, and keeping the confidence of
your fellow brethren (For example, not airing dirty laundry in public. This keeping of confidences does not mean keeping illegal activities quiet -
In fact, the Lodge ritual requires one to be completely respectful of governmental authority in such matters.)
The oaths are not sworn by heaven, earth, Jerusalem, nor by one's "head". Oaths are repeated by the participant - but their agreement is never
with a "Yes" or "No", but by simply kissing the Holy Bible.
On all accounts, therefore, the Masonic oaths, as given in your quotation, would meet the mandates laid down by Christ himself.
[edit on 10-8-2009 by CookieMonster09]