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Why join the freemasons?

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posted on Oct, 19 2010 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by ohsnaptruth
 


I will answer very briefly. First I should say, you should respect women more than to post such a comment about your inability for lack of knowledge.
Masons are a "Fraternity". If you notice there are Frats & Ser in college as well as the collegate levels. Once a man becomes a mason then his wife if she so desires can belong to an organization such as, The Eastern Star. Research before continuing in your education.

Bro. masterghost.




posted on Oct, 19 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by Haydn_17
 


I became a mason to become a Shriner. Q 2. There are many benefits in becoming a brother. The greatest benefit to me was being able to educate myself by asking all the questions that I ever wanted to ask such as you have. There are so many I couldn't even want to type it all. Education is pro quo. Do it if your heart desires and if your permitted, it's well worth it.
Qualifications- Standard- Minimum.
Age 18-21 various states
No prior convictions, none.
Husband of one wife.
Believe in a Supreme being. Guess who?
Keeping your word like "loyalty" "honor" "respect" and most of all---- A SECRET!
Have a wonderful evening guys.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 07:48 AM
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Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by plnelson
 

But if you look a bit further, you will find a few states who still refuse to recognize Prince Hall masonry. My state (being incredibly progressive) voted to recognize Prince Hall masonry almost three years ago. A few still are holding out. You will never guess where those states are.

Even though my state recognizes Prince Hall masons now, you will find some areas that would find any way possible not to admit a black man into their lodge. The rules say there should be no problem, but the reality is rules can be bent. This will change in the not so distant future. The old timers will die out and the last bit of folks who may have used white sheets for more than sleeping on, will eventually go by the way side. But in my quest to find a solution to this problem, I have found that in this area, I wouldn't be very welcome if even allowed into a Prince Hall lodge. Same deal. I can't say I blame them, but this insanity has to stop somewhere. I only hope I am alive to see it. (IMHO)


I guess the reason why I don't find this explanation entirely satisfactory is that all the organizations that I mentioned in my original question also have lots of old timers set in their ways, etc, etc, and are also drawn from the broader society, and yet this degree of racial separation would simply not be tolerated. Some combination of peer pressure or a ruling by the national organization would put a quick end to it.

Obviously rules "can" be bent, but what is it that promotes the bending of the rules in a racist direction in Freemasonry, more than the other organizations I mentioned?

If some chapter of one or the organizations I mentioned set up a whites-only policy they would be rejected by the national organization and shunned by the members. What is it about Freemasonry that allows the whites-only (or blacks-only, for that matter) lodges to continue to be accepted by other Freemasons plus the organization as a whole?



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by masterghost
reply to post by ohsnaptruth
 

Masons are a "Fraternity". If you notice there are Frats & Ser in college as well as the collegate levels. Once a man becomes a mason then his wife if she so desires can belong to an organization such as, The Eastern Star. Research before continuing in your education.

Bro. masterghost.


With all due respect, that's a little circular. A fraternity is an organization of men. Essentially the poster asked why is it an organization of men, and you answered "because it's a fraternity" (i.e., "because it's an organization of men").

So, to paraphrase the the earlier question, why, in this day and age, does it continue to be an organization of men? The Catholic church, an even more ancient society of rite and ritual, is also a male-run organization. At least they allow women to be members and occupy positions with some degree of authority, but ultimate authority is reserved for males. They've publicly stated their theological reasons for this. Since I don't accept their theology I don't find their reasons rationally compelling but at least they've explained in detail what they are in a way that goes beyond merely leaning on tradition.

What is the Freemasons' reason for rejecting women from their ranks?



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 08:19 AM
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reply to post by plnelson
 



What is the Freemasons' reason for rejecting women from their ranks?


I have been a Mason for almost 10 years, and I have no idea why we don't allow women, but I can guarantee that we have no plan to change it. Sometimes tradition is just for the sake of tradition. The Masonic fraternity works, it has lasted a very, very long time, and if we start meddling with it, we are liable to lose the whole thing.

Women have other organizations they can join that are related to Masonry, and males cannot join those groups. There is nothing wrong with having separate groups, especially if it is working.

Sorry I can't answer your question better. I will check around and see if anybody knows why.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


One of the ancient landmarks of freemasonry states:

"That a Mason be a man, freeborn, and of lawful age."

The landmarks are the things in freemasonry which can never be changed. Any lodge which violates one of these landmarks is considered to be clandestine.

The landmarks include:

- Belief in a Supreme Being
- Belief in the immortality of the soul
- A "book of sacred law" as an indispensable part of the "furniture" (or furnishings) of the Lodge
- The legend of the Third Degree
- The secrets of Freemasonry: The modes of recognition and the symbolic ritual of the Lodge
- That a Mason be a man, freeborn, and of lawful age.

For example, lodges in Belgium/France did away with the belief in the Supreme Being as a requirement to join, which is why they are no longer recognized by the Masonic Grand Lodges as being regular. Similarly, co-masonry is considered irregular due to their violation of the last landmark mentioned above.

These landmarks (25 in all) are considered to define Freemasonry, and omitting a single one would mean that the organization in question would no longer, by definition, be freemasonry.

The 25 Landmarks of Freemasonry


edit on 20/10/2010 by Saurus because: Inserted Link



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by plnelson
 


for the same reason I can't join a sorority. I stand up to use the bathroom. There are so many things that men and women can work together in, it seems as if there is no end to the political correctness problem today. Freemasonry is a fraternity. A fraternity is made up of men. there are some forms of masonry that admit women. The version of masonry that I belong to doesn't recognize them as regular bodies. But they can still call themselves masons.

As far as the racial divide, as I said, there is nothing in the books about race. Any white man can join prince hall and any black man can join an AF&AM lodge. In any state in the US. If they get voted in, is entirely up to the lodge in question. masonry is not a racist organization any more than the Kiwanas are.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by plnelson
Some combination of peer pressure or a ruling by the national organization would put a quick end to it.
Well, in Masonry, there IS no national organization. There's no over-arching body that governs all of Masonry. The biggest thing you have is State Grand Lodges, and, of course, you'll see that the handful of holdouts on the race issue in Masonry tend to go hand in hand with the states that were in the South in the Civil War.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 09:54 AM
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Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by plnelson
 


As far as the racial divide, as I said, there is nothing in the books about race. Any white man can join prince hall and any black man can join an AF&AM lodge. In any state in the US. If they get voted in, is entirely up to the lodge in question. masonry is not a racist organization any more than the Kiwanas are.


But there are white lodges in the US that, in practical terms, would never vote to admit a black member (and likewise probably black lodges that would never admit a white). Whereas this would not happen today in the professional or other organizations that I'm a member of. So, given that both Freemasons and the organizations I mentioned are both drawn from the same society, what is different about Freemasonry, or the sorts of people drawn to Freemasonry that causes this to still persist?

Much of the evil in the world persists because people put their loyalties to their "club" or "tribe" above their moral values. Priest pedophiles continued in their activities because other church officials didn't want to publicly create scandal or air dirty laundry, thus putting loyalty to the Church above morality. Police corruption exists because otherwise good cops put their loyalty to their "brother" officers above law and morality and maintain a "blue wall of silence".

Racism is a great evil and Freemasonry's willingness to tolerate it in lodges that they continue to recognize as their "brothers", and not shun or reject them, besmirches the entire organization.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by plnelson
 


Why is it "racist" to make this type of choice?

On another note, I do belong to a Lodge that will probably be one of the very last to vote in a black member, but during my year as Master, I had some black friends of mine visit from other Lodges several times to start acclimating the Lodge to the idea. I had a couple of old men walk out, but since I was Master, the Lodge kept operating as normal and no permanent damage was done. Still, that was my choice, and I can still respect the opinion of those men that were opposed to it, and I don't consider them racist, just stubborn.

I have a friend that is the only "white" member of a black fraternity in the whole state! He took a lot of "hazing" for it, but he persevered and won their respect. He almost always wears a rebel flag, rides a harley, chews tobacco, and he still fits right in at the all black events. I have joined him many times and I have always felt welcome. Sometimes there are a lot of stares, sometimes there are even a lot of questions, but I have never been asked to leave.

I do not see the problem with "white" lodges and "black" lodges, so long as they are not violating any laws. The Grand Lodges have a HUGE issue with it, because if someone were turned down solely on their race it could damage the 501(c)-3 status of the entire organization and have a tax liability of millions of dollars!! Therefore there are strict rules against judging a candidate on their race or creed. It still happens, but everyone is smart enough to find other reasons outside of race.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready

On another note, I do belong to a Lodge that will probably be one of the very last to vote in a black member, but during my year as Master, I had some black friends of mine visit from other Lodges several times to start acclimating the Lodge to the idea. I had a couple of old men walk out, but since I was Master, the Lodge kept operating as normal and no permanent damage was done. Still, that was my choice, and I can still respect the opinion of those men that were opposed to it, and I don't consider them racist, just stubborn.



Such behavior is unmasonic, and in fact, constitutes a Masonic offense. How can such behavior be respected? How can it not be deemed racist, and in gross violation of Masonic duty and obligations?



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


In a way I agree with you. We are supposed to be accepting high quality men and turning them into high quality Masons. Race has no bearing on the quality of a man. There might be some accurate stereotypes, but every man has to be evaluated individually on their own merits. I have heard a bunch of flimsy excuses, like the "free-born" excuse that is common but ridiculous.

Like I said, we made a lot of progress during my year as Master. It was the first time a black man had ever sat in an open Lodge meeting in my Lodge. It happened on several occasions during my year, and it has happened a couple of times since then.

Florida does not recognize Prince Hall, they are still considered clandestine here. BUT, Florida Grand Lodge demands that we allow black members. Fortunately my Lodge has not been tested yet, because potential black candidates have found a local lodge that they are more comfortable in. I tried to entice a couple to apply, but they applied across town instead.

With all of that said, I still don't consider it "racist." A lot of the 70 and 80 year old men in my Lodge are very uncomfortable around black folks. They don't "hate" them, they just don't know what is politically correct or incorrect these days, and they have been coming to Lodge for 50 years as a safe haven to be themselves, and they don't want it to become uncomfortable. I respect that. The tides will slowly turn, but I see no reason to force the issue. Why not just let it take its natural progression. There will be more Masters like me, and there will be more young initiates, and the old men will die off, and 20 years from now nobody will be discussing this.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


I thought you of all people would know about that special place reserved for the few. you know, The real world.

Some small town lodges are filled with men who spent their entire lives thinking the way the do about black people. While it's un-masonic and incredibly hypocritical, it is what it is. I would like to change the way it is, and I have plans on trying to enact small change. But this isn't an overnight process. And bringing up lodge members on charges in those numbers, well, lets just say that it takes 3 or more to open a lodge on the 3rd degree.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by plnelson
 


Why is it "racist" to make this type of choice?


Why is it racist to deny membership to someone based on their race? If you even have to ask that question then it shows that the Freemasons have a longer way to go that I ever imagined.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 02:05 PM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
reply to post by Masonic Light
 

. . .
A lot of the 70 and 80 year old men in my Lodge are very uncomfortable around black folks
. . .


I'm not exactly a spring chicken himself, and I was born well before Jim Crow was lifted. I'd feel a little insulted and chagrined if some young people were behaving in a way that was more open-minded and decent than what I was used to, but they they excused me from meeting such standards because of my age. There may be an age where you're too old to play football or even volleyball, but you're never too old to learn to be a better person. You either treat another human being as an equal, as you would like to be treated, with decency and respect or not. It has nothing to do with age. Do people join the Freemasons to become better people or just to be comfortable?



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by Masonic Light
 


I thought you of all people would know about that special place reserved for the few. you know, The real world.

Some small town lodges are filled with men who spent their entire lives thinking the way the do about black people. While it's un-masonic and incredibly hypocritical, it is what it is. I would like to change the way it is, and I have plans on trying to enact small change. But this isn't an overnight process.


People said things like that back in the 1960's. Believe me, I've been around for awhile. Back in 1968 we got a black pastor in our (Congregational) church. I had conversations with people then exactly like we're having now.

But no one has really answered my question yet.. Why do the Freemasons seem to have a bigger problem here than all the professional and recreational and other organizations that I'm a member of, which got over the race thing decades ago? It would be unheard of for any of them to deny membership in a chapter to someone based on race in this day and age. And, as I said, they are also drawn from the same larger society as the Freemasons, with members from all walks of like, and all ages.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by plnelson
 


I hope it doesn't sound like I am making excuses, I am only trying to answer your questions with my impressions. Honestly I don't have any "real" answers, I only have my impressions and conclusions drawn from my own experiences.

IMHO, Masonry necessarily moves much slower than the typical business or political world. I think this is a good thing, because not all "progress" is good progress. Not everything the businesses or governments enact works out well in the end. The "idea" of Masonry is thousands of years old, and the current organization is centuries old. I feel the success is due to a very, very slow evolution and only implementing tried and true practices.

I think I mentioned earlier that in another 20 years this will not be a topic. In the few years that I have been a member of my Lodge there has been a lot of progressive shifting.

Maybe the Masons are just a little more resistant to change, but it has served the organization well over the years. We are a pretty conservative organization with a lot of very old men, and we only meet once or twice a month so things take many months to get through the gears.



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by plnelson
 


the problem you are seeing is that there isn't a mechanism in place to force masonry to comply or to be ethnically diverse. And in that respect, I agree with the way masonry is set up. When you are forced to change, you do it under duress and any implied niceties, are fake at best. When people truly change the way they think, then there will be genuine change. As has been said, in other states, and even some lodges in this state, there are blacks, whites, and other races who work together. And no, I won't pander to the political correctness of calling someone African American when they have no more idea about Africa than I do. I am a white guy. My son in law is a black guy, my grandson is a half and half. We call him cafe' ole. he doesn't care that he is half black and I don't either. If more people thought like that, then there might be some real progress.

Study the election process of masonry to better understand why it is like it is.

But what your beef is has to do with the individual, and not the organization. If it was a racist group inherently, do you think that the Prince hall masons would have adopted the very same rules we have?



posted on Oct, 20 2010 @ 08:28 PM
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Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by plnelson
 

But what your beef is has to do with the individual, and not the organization. If it was a racist group inherently, do you think that the Prince hall masons would have adopted the very same rules we have?


1. The other individuals in the organization tolerate it. They put their loyalty to the fraternity above their sense of morality. That taints everyone in the organization.

2. Someone here said that some black lodges do not admit white members. So that suggests that it is the organization since segregationism is practiced by both - the thing they have in common being that they are Freeemasons.


When you are forced to change, you do it under duress and any implied niceties, are fake at best. When people truly change the way they think, then there will be genuine change.


What makes you think that the professional and recreational organizations I mentioned earlier were "forced" to change? I'm not aware that anyone forced them or that there were chapters which were segregated and needed to be compelled the state or national organization. I think people just decided that rejecting membership based on race was immoral and indecent.

As I said, I'm a joiner and I'm a member of everything from local art and photography clubs to national engineering, recreational and environmental organizations. If someone ever suggested that we should reject a black (or asian or whatever) person from membership even using some code language ("they'd be happier with their own kind"; "they wouldn't fit in" ) the response would be shock and disgust!

Anyway we don't need to continue this discussion - you've done a good job answering my question about Freemasonry and race and I think I have a clear picture now.



posted on Oct, 21 2010 @ 05:17 AM
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Plnelson, in South Africa , two of our District Grand Officers (the guys who head Freemasonry in South Africa) are black. In England and South Africa, there are many black men in all lodges.

Please understand that as an organization, Freemasonry is strongly opposed to racism. It does happen in some places, and it varies from lodge to lodge, but in my opinion, racism within lodges is an exception rather than a rule.



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