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The Masonic “Reconquista”

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posted on Feb, 20 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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Interesting articles here on the Grand Orient of France. Not the usual ATS "Satanic Freemasons Rule the World!!11!" tripe that gets trotted out here, but a serious example of Continental Freemasonry's influence and intentions. Apolitical they are not and never have been.

The Masonic “Reconquista”

www.conspiracyarchive.com...-12580




archives.lesoir.be... fluence-des-religions-jugee_t-20100217-00TE43.html

The influence of religion upon MEPs is considered too strong Is the religious sphere strangling the work of the European Parliament? It’s a gradual but insistent question, as ethical issues (abortion, stem cells, etc.) become the subject of debate between supporters of a secular Europe and those who would like to see tomorrow’s society moulded by their religious beliefs. For some freemasons, it is time to reconquer lost ground.

In 2008, Marcel Conradt, Freemason and parliamentary assistant to the Socialist MEP Veronique De Keyser, denounced the assault of “religious lobbies and sects” on Europe (Le cheval de Troie. Sectes et lobbies religieux à l’assaut de l’Europe, in Editions du Grand Orient de Belgique). Their objective: influence legislation and decision makers, especially MEPs. Around 80% of the national legislation of member states is developed at the European level. The author described the influence of the churches, but also cults such as Scientology or the Raelian movement, and urged the secularists to maintain a Europe that would leave God out of politics.

Since then, a special recognition was given to churches. The Lisbon Treaty guarantees them an “open, transparent and regular” dialog with the institutions. They are regarded as “partners” rather than as “lobbyists” who are required to divulge their sources of funding.

In principle, everyone acknowledges the right of churches to voice their opinions. The problem for proponents of the secular camp is, in particular, the growing imbalance between the two “sides”. Marcel Conradt did not fail to remark that the Commission (Barroso), Parliament (Buzek) and the Council (Van Rompuy) are chaired by people with religious conviction. Several countries admitted into the EU believe the Bible over Voltaire. In addition to Ireland or Italy, there are countries anxious to defend the Catholic tradition. The recent debate in the EU over the display of religious symbols in public buildings is an indication of the tensions.

The savage retorts are legion. On February 3rd, during a debate on interreligious dialogue at the European Parliament, an ultra-Catholic Italian close to Benedict XVI delivered an attack against “a Europe plague of apostasy” while an Irish lobbyist bemoaned that the “right to equality comes at the expense of religious rights.” Meanwhile, in another assembly, a line appears to have been crossed. A leak to the Council of Europe has revealed the obvious desire on the part of the Catholic Church to escalate from influence to interference. In January, in fact, the apostolic nuncio in France had not hesitated to solicit parliamentarians to endorse one of their representatives to the post of judge at the European Court [of Human Rights] in Strasbourg. Tempers flared over the perceived nepotism of the recommendation, rather than his ability to be impartial. This situation stimulates the longing of secularists to regain lost ground. For some Masonic Obediences, it is time to exert an influence at the European level. “It must be pointed out that there are other choices for society,” argues Conradt.

In the past the masons could have had their opinions heard by the President of the European Commission, but not necessarily with a single voice. So now they try to unite their different schools of thought, and to do it more openly. This is a revolution for many obediences accustomed to secrecy. Thus the Grand Orient of Belgium has preferred not to respond to our questions…

The last obstacle: lack of access to the highest political level. “We cannot appeal directly to a head of State or Government at the European Council,” said Marcel Conradt. Strategic The Humanist Federation also works to defend the values it imparts to institutions, like the Centre d’action laïque (CAL) [Secular Action Center], to whom, as its chairman Pierre Galand [has said], “Europe has become strategic.” Galand sees lobbying as “a first step in a European plan.” He added: “Belgian secularism is better organized, better positioned to lead European secularism and the work toward the separation of church and state.”

Secularism versus confessionalism. The struggle [has necessitated] a re-examination of interests and may also contain a lot of surprises. Thus, contrary to what was anticipated, the Socialist MEP Marc Tarabella witnessed the last paragraph of his report devoted to abortion, “Gender Equality,” voted on by a large majority of his peers. There was however no question of “easy access” to abortion, a right advocated by him. And due to a group of conservative voices, laments Tarabella, “such a vote hasn’t occurred since 2002.” He attributes the resulting “evolution” to “the rejuvenation of Parliament and the presence of 35% women.” This puts a damper on those who would leave European integration up to the whim of the gods.


“The [Masonic] Obediences must be political”

Interview


Jean-Michel Quillardet, former Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France, outlines the transformation undertaken by Freemasonry throughout Europe.


Go here for the rest of the article and interview with Jean-Michel Quillardet: www.conspiracyarchive.com...-12580

What is interesting about the interview continued at Conspiracy Archive Blog is this "federation of Obediences" that Quillardet is putting together. It looks like he really may be, or have designs to be, a Masonic cat herder...




[edit on 20/2/10 by Extant Taxon]




posted on Feb, 20 2010 @ 11:40 PM
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It's not particularly obvious to outsiders (and, for that matter, I'm sure there are plenty of members who are ignorant of the details as well), but Grand Orient of France and, oh, maybe 80% of the rest of the Masonic world, do not recognize each other. All the big US Grand Lodges are considered "regular" and have "recognition" both with each other and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), which was the first established Grand Lodge (1717).

UGLE withdrew recognition of the Grand Lodge of France quite some time ago, and it and a number of other continental lodges practice a Masonry that the majority of Masons would take issue with. (The biggest offenses to regular Masonic sensibility are the inclusion of atheists, the inclusion of women, and the ability to discuss politics in the lodge.)

From an outsider's perspective, if it walks like a Mason and talks like a Mason, it must be a Mason. And sure, it's quite likely that some if not all of these irregular lodges may have the same ritual and teach some of the same lessons, but they don't hold the same tenants that we hold dear, so we disavow them to a certain extent.

The doctor who's been charged with prescribing the wrong drugs to Michael Jackson, for instance, is a member of an irregular Grand Lodge in Houston, TX. So it would be easy to say "he's a Mason! MJ's death was a Masonic conspiracy!!!" but the truth of the matter, no Mason outside of the Houston city limits would ever let that guy into their lodge.



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 06:05 AM
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Originally posted by JoshNorton
It's not particularly obvious to outsiders (and, for that matter, I'm sure there are plenty of members who are ignorant of the details as well), but Grand Orient of France and, oh, maybe 80% of the rest of the Masonic world, do not recognize each other. All the big US Grand Lodges are considered "regular" and have "recognition" both with each other and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), which was the first established Grand Lodge (1717).

UGLE withdrew recognition of the Grand Lodge of France quite some time ago, and it and a number of other continental lodges practice a Masonry that the majority of Masons would take issue with. (The biggest offenses to regular Masonic sensibility are the inclusion of atheists, the inclusion of women, and the ability to discuss politics in the lodge.)


Yes, but this is all merely politics. The Grand Orient is no itty-bitty, back street operation. It has a history dating back to near the time the first Grand Lodge of England begun and indeed French Freemasonry was started by English Freemasons. Even Benjamin Franklin was a member of a Grand Orient attached Lodge back in the day. This post merely serves, in the large part, to confirm what you say concerning the Grand Orient. It openly discusses politics and holds to secular humanism. All very interesting and pertinent to discussion of Freemasonry as a subject.

But I'll take your point that people need to become educated on the subject.


Originally posted by JoshNortonThe doctor who's been charged with prescribing the wrong drugs to Michael Jackson, for instance, is a member of an irregular Grand Lodge in Houston, TX. So it would be easy to say "he's a Mason! MJ's death was a Masonic conspiracy!!!" but the truth of the matter, no Mason outside of the Houston city limits would ever let that guy into their lodge.


I never mentioned the word conspiracy myself. The members of the above mentioned Grand Lodge are quite openly discussing politics and their interest in the political process. It's not a conspiracy.
But thanks for throwing in the Michael Jackson red herring anyway.

[edit on 21/2/10 by Extant Taxon]



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by Extant Taxon
 


It wasn't really to throw in a red herring, it was to cite a contemporary news-byte whereby someone who did not know better might assume that all Masons are part of the same network, with ultimately the same leadership at the top regardless of their lodge or grand lodge.

I was also trying to put things in perspective a bit... depending on who you ask, there are between 3 million and 5 million Masons in the US; between 300,000 and 600,000 Masons in England. While the Grand Orient of France does have a long tradition, it probably has less than 100,000 members.


…on September 14th, 1877, the Grand Orient of France voted to eliminate from its ancient constitution the following article: "Freemasonry has for its principles the existence of God, the immortality of the soul and the solidarity of mankind." It adopted in lieu thereof, the following:

"Whereas Freemasonry is not a religion and has therefore no doctrine or dogma to affirm in its constitution, this Assembly has decided and decreed that the second paragraph of Article 1, of the Constitution (above quoted) shall be erased, and that for the words of the said article the following shall be substituted:

1. Being an Institution essentially philanthropic, philosophic, and progressive, Freemasonry has for its object, search after truth, study of universal morality, science and arts, and the practice of benevolence. It has for its principles absolute liberty of conscience and human solidarity. It excludes no person on account of his belief, and its motto is 'Liberty, Equality and Fraternity."'

At the next annual session of the Grand Body in 1878 a move was made to conform the ritual to the change of the constitution and a committee directed to make report and recommendation for consideration at the following session.

Accordingly in September, 1879, upon report of the committee, a new ritual was adopted wherein all reference to the name and idea of God was eliminated, but liberty was given to the Lodges to adopt the new or old rituals as they should see fit. We are told, and can easily believe, that this action was taken in the Grand Lodge session amidst great excitement and in spite of a vigorous and determined opposition of the minority. Naturally, and as a matter of course, the change in the Constitution and ritual permitted the removal of the Bible from the Altar.

It is not too much to say that the Masonic world stood shocked and astounded at this radical departure taken by the French Masons. Probably nothing in Masonic affairs with the exception of the Morgan episode ever excited such widespread interest and apprehension. The Masonic press in every country was filled with vigorous discussion and many felt that it foreshadowed the division of the Craft into two great sections--one believers in Deity and non-political, and the other atheistic and democratic. Grand Lodges especially in all English-speaking countries lost no time in condemning in bitterest terms the action of the Grand Orient and in severing fraternal relations. In our own State (Iowa) in the Grand Lodge session of 1878, the Grand Master said:

"The Grand Orient of France having obliterated from its constitution the paragraph which asserted a belief in the existence of Deity, and by such action placed itself in antagonism to the traditions, practice and feelings of all true and genuine Masons in this jurisdiction and the world, deserves no longer a recognition as a Masonic body from this Grand Lodge. Some years ago that Grand Orient persisted in an invasion of the American doctrine of Grand Lodge sovereignty, to the extent of organizing lodges in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and other states. We then cut loose for a time from all fraternal intercourse with French Masons rendering obedience to that Grand Orient. Having not only set at naught the supreme authority of American Grand Lodges over their respective jurisdictions, but that of God over men and Masons, we should wipe our hands of all such bogus Masonry."*

(oh, and before Masonic Light comes and corrects me, G.O.F. doesn't initiate women. I was wrong in my previous post.

There's other, good discussion here, including this bit from Chris Hodapp:

Sorry, I never regarded Freemasonry as a lobbying group, before I joined or after.

Look, the danger of Freemasonry meddling in politics, religion and the melange of the mixing of both is that sooner or later, the Grand Orient has to take a side, which places it in direct conflict with a bloc of its own membership.



Anyone who joins Masonry because they expect us to have an official position on revolutionary topics is barking up a dead horse. Revolutionaries have been Freemasons, and a strong argument can be made that the philosophy of Freemasonry led them to believe in revolutionary causes they chose to fight for. But the brethren of Boston's St. Andrew's lodge did not organize the Boston Tea Party in lodge. It's members DID organize it and carry it out, but hurling tea into the harbor was not a lodge outing.

Likewise, if Freemasons as individual men choose to be at the forefront of political or social causes, that's terrific. It's what Freemasonry teaches us to do. But it's NOT the job of my Grand Lodge to organize a march to the statehouse and advance an official Masonic position on anything (unless it concerns, say taxing fraternal buildings or somehow limiting our charitable activities).

And while the Grand Orient de France is the largest Masonic grand lodge in that country, there are two others that are very popular, that do NOT engage in such public policy discussions.



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 01:26 PM
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reply to post by JoshNorton
 


Fair enough, though I'm aware of most of the basic information you relayed here. Thanks for including it. It just seemed with the Michael Jackson comment you were perhaps trying to associate a legitimate topic with tin foil hattery, and lead attention away from it. But I forget that this is ATS and tin foil hat subjects go down very well. Perhaps I should change the thread title to "Our Annunaki reptilian overlords and the plot to rule the European Union using their familiars the Freemasons." Or something.

Anyway, this thread concerns the Grand Orient and how they are fully and publically politically active. I think the subject is pertinent and of merit.




[edit on 21/2/10 by Extant Taxon]



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 01:37 PM
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Wouldn't this be another conflict of interest? We are dumping these guys because they believe in a God, for these guys who believe in each other.

I also understand that freemasonry does follow the same suit as Christians and such. By that, I mean if one denomination does something evil everyone gets labeled for it.



posted on Feb, 21 2010 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by Extant Taxon
 


I think it's obvious that masonry has changed it's direction a good bit from it's origins. At least from it's political agendas. That much seems evident from the days of the founding fathers and the start of the republic. While I am sure they adhered to the tenants of not discussing politics in lodge assembled, they certainly knew how to rally the troops and used masonic influence to do such. If you look at the charge given to a mason on his initiation, you will see the differences I speak of. I am sorry I can't display that charge here as I think it falls under one of the things we are to keep secret. But I am quite sure it can be found rather quickly. I also wonder if it is the same throughout the country and with F&AM and AF&AM. I hope that side bar doesn't derail. If it does, please request it removed, and I will.



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 04:35 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 


Yes, many institutions change over time, not just Masonic ones. The schism between UGLE and GOdF is a very interesting one, and illustrates how important belief in a "supreme diety" is to UGLE recognized Grand Lodges and constituents. But then many things in Masonry seem frozen in time. A book I'm reading now by Tobias Churton has him bemoaning the static, rigid state of Masonic ritual, where he also illustrates how they changed over time, were syncretistic; but now remain fixed and immobile.

But what is very interesting to me about the above Grand Orient story is that Quillardet is seeking concord between the various Continental forms of Freemasonry on political issues. It will be something to keep an eye on if it develops further.


[edit on 22/2/10 by Extant Taxon]



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 06:45 AM
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Originally posted by Extant Taxon
But what is very interesting to me about the above Grand Orient story is that Quillardet is seeking concord between the various Continental forms of Freemasonry on political issues. It will be something to keep an eye on if it develops further.


This is the aspect that I personally find most troubling. Masonry should not be used as a voting-bloc or a lobbying group. It is a charitable orginization, not a political faction.



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 07:10 AM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


It does seem that Continental Freemasonry (especially GOdF) has an oppositional stance on open discussion of, and involvement in, political issues to other forms of Freemasonry.



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 01:02 PM
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reply to post by Extant Taxon
 


I think this is an issue which could lead to situations where the best interests of the Fraternity could be co-opted for personal or political gain. I am not an advocate of political involvement by the lodge as a group.



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by Extant Taxon
 


Here is the first example of what Josh was saying. It will turn into "All Freemasons" in a quick hurry.

And I know that isn't what you meant with this thread. It's just a better example than MJ's doctor. I like our current policy and don't think it should change. But somebody needs to step up to the plate and organize some folks with brains to help the economic situation globally.



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 05:27 PM
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From an outside point of view, I think this highlights the issues and misunderstandings most people have with freemasonry, anything which is out of the norm or is or some way considered dubious or suspect nature seems to be conducted by an irregular lodge. I have only learned this since coming to ATS!

The distinction between irregular and official isn't seen by the general populace.

So when someone shoots someone in a initiation or turns up hanging under blackfriars bridge, we recognise 'Masonic' not 'irregular' and 'official masonic' bodies. From an outsider the irregular thing does sound like a bit of cop out, its like trying to distance one side of the coin from another.

Surely an official body would want to distance themselves at all costs against the 'irregular'? Especially as they are giving the official body such a bad name.

I think this is why there is a great mistrust by the average person towards Masons.

Apologies if I have taken the thread off in a bit of a tangent, but wanted to share,what most of us outsiders have a hard time with.

O
xx



posted on Feb, 22 2010 @ 05:55 PM
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reply to post by oxford
 


I will also apologize in advance for answering this.

I agree that is looks like a cop out. There is really no way to convey this information without sounding like we are spitting hairs to escape scrutiny. I think that is why there was some sort of "official/unofficial" policy of not answering to any assertions of mistrust or misconduct from the general public. The mason members here don't follow that agenda, and I am glad for it. I think quite a few good men have been enlightened to the truth and found their way to a lodge to seek more answers.

There doesn't seem to be a good way to teach this concept to people who know very little of masonic tradition. I have heard there in no such thing as bad press, so I guess I hope that something like this will make a few people who would have never given masonry a first thought, let alone a second, at least a glance.

//end derail.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 05:22 AM
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Originally posted by JoshNorton
reply to post by Extant Taxon
 


There's other, good discussion here, including this bit from Chris Hodapp:

Sorry, I never regarded Freemasonry as a lobbying group, before I joined or after.

Look, the danger of Freemasonry meddling in politics, religion and the melange of the mixing of both is that sooner or later, the Grand Orient has to take a side, which places it in direct conflict with a bloc of its own membership.



Anyone who joins Masonry because they expect us to have an official position on revolutionary topics is barking up a dead horse. Revolutionaries have been Freemasons, and a strong argument can be made that the philosophy of Freemasonry led them to believe in revolutionary causes they chose to fight for. But the brethren of Boston's St. Andrew's lodge did not organize the Boston Tea Party in lodge. It's members DID organize it and carry it out, but hurling tea into the harbor was not a lodge outing.

Likewise, if Freemasons as individual men choose to be at the forefront of political or social causes, that's terrific. It's what Freemasonry teaches us to do. But it's NOT the job of my Grand Lodge to organize a march to the statehouse and advance an official Masonic position on anything (unless it concerns, say taxing fraternal buildings or somehow limiting our charitable activities).

And while the Grand Orient de France is the largest Masonic grand lodge in that country, there are two others that are very popular, that do NOT engage in such public policy discussions.



Originally posted by AugustusMasonicus

Originally posted by Extant Taxon
But what is very interesting to me about the above Grand Orient story is that Quillardet is seeking concord between the various Continental forms of Freemasonry on political issues. It will be something to keep an eye on if it develops further.


This is the aspect that I personally find most troubling. Masonry should not be used as a voting-bloc or a lobbying group. It is a charitable orginization, not a political faction.


The following article is of interest as regards this topic and the previous replies here, though I don't have any particular stance here as regards Freemasonry's alleged usurpation of the role of religion, primarily Roman Catholicism, in the educational process, and the seperation of Church and State. I'm agnostic on these matters, and in terms of religion an adiaphorist. A very well researched article nonetheless with some very interesting points. I shall quote some of the most interesting. Is the advocation of interference in matters of state education a political matter? I would perhaps say so.

Conspiracy Archive.com - Temple of Man: Freemasonry, Civil Religion, and Education:



In North America, Masons have long subscribed to the idea of a civil religion as well. It expresses itself more subtly than the traditionally overt Grand Orient in France, however. Nonetheless, utilizing the identifications of the investigators of socio-political persuasion – sociologists and cultural anthropologists – Freemasonry fits the criteria of a civil religion.

Building upon the influential 1967 essay, “Civil Religion in America,” by Harvard professor Robert Bellah – a one-time member of the Communist Party, the chairman of the Marxist John Reed Club, and now a Communitarian – Pamela M. Jolicoeur and Louis L. Knowles published their findings on Freemasonry. Titled “Fraternal Associations and Civil Religion: Scottish Rite Freemasonry,” the description states:

In this paper, empirical evidence is presented that Freemasonry, the oldest, largest, and most prestigious of American fraternal associations, has as one of its major purposes the maintenance and propagation of civil religion. Data are from a content analysis of issues of The New Age magazine, a major national Masonic publication, from 1964-1974. The implications of this function of Freemasonry for the debates regarding the existence of civil religion, its nature, and its social consequences are discussed (3).

The content analysis just happens to correspond with the issues that I had acquired a while back, between the years 1967-1973. So, much of the material reviewed by these scholars is familiar to me. I too was struck by the consistent theme of what – I had no idea at the time – had already been identified as a type of “civil religion.”

In the New Age Magazine, Masonry – its myths, symbols and significance – is vividly conflated with freedom, Americanism, civic morality, the founding fathers, the purpose of the nation, etc. A call to arms in the defence and maintenance of Masonic values is implicit in every issue.

The most prominent of themes, however, is education, public schools, and the separation of church and state. From analyzing the issues over just a ten-year period, Jolicoeur and Knowles report that 85 articles were devoted to it, with only a higher count (89) being the subject of Masonic symbolism (Jolicoeur and Knowles 10). “Individual members are constantly exhorted in the pages of The New Age to make their voices heard in Congress, particularly on issues of separation of church and state and public education,” they write. “Most of its desire and effort to influence social policy is directed toward preserving the public schools, the primary socialization agent for civil religion, and protecting the separation of church and state” (8, 14).


Continued in following post



[edit on 23/5/10 by Extant Taxon]



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 05:22 AM
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One article that caught my own eye – not mentioned by name in the Jolicoeur and Knowles study itself – bears the title “Masonic Light in Public Schools,” by Ray L. Colvard, 32°, in the Dec. 1970 issue. And because he appeals to the memory of the “enlightened Masons” of the 18th Century, it seems like an appropriate conclusion.

Decrying the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (part of which forbade establishing a national curriculum, thereby allowing Catholic schools continued leeway), Colvard evangelises to his brethren:

The time again seems ripe for the enemies of public education. There are more than fifty church-state cases now pending in American courts.

[...] Although political issues are not discussed within the Lodge room, I believe it is possible for Scottish Rite Masons to undertake the reform and dedicate themselves to a renaissance in public education. The ScottishRite has leaders today whose perception is equal to that of the enlightened Masons of the 18th century. “Masonic” words from the Scottish Rite could become the light, precise blows which cleave diamond hardness. Our primary mission should be neither to apologize for the current abuses in public education nor to elicit greater financial support for outmoded institutions, but to follow the designs on the trestle-board that our Scottish Rite leaders have drawn (29, 30).


Note: If you would like to comment on this article, you can do so here.



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 02:13 AM
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Any comments from the masons on ATS on the following?


Originally posted by Extant Taxon

Conspiracy Archive.com - Temple of Man: Freemasonry, Civil Religion, and Education:



In North America, Masons have long subscribed to the idea of a civil religion as well. It expresses itself more subtly than the traditionally overt Grand Orient in France, however. Nonetheless, utilizing the identifications of the investigators of socio-political persuasion – sociologists and cultural anthropologists – Freemasonry fits the criteria of a civil religion.

Building upon the influential 1967 essay, “Civil Religion in America,” by Harvard professor Robert Bellah – a one-time member of the Communist Party, the chairman of the Marxist John Reed Club, and now a Communitarian – Pamela M. Jolicoeur and Louis L. Knowles published their findings on Freemasonry. Titled “Fraternal Associations and Civil Religion: Scottish Rite Freemasonry,” the description states:

In this paper, empirical evidence is presented that Freemasonry, the oldest, largest, and most prestigious of American fraternal associations, has as one of its major purposes the maintenance and propagation of civil religion. Data are from a content analysis of issues of The New Age magazine, a major national Masonic publication, from 1964-1974. The implications of this function of Freemasonry for the debates regarding the existence of civil religion, its nature, and its social consequences are discussed (3).

The content analysis just happens to correspond with the issues that I had acquired a while back, between the years 1967-1973. So, much of the material reviewed by these scholars is familiar to me. I too was struck by the consistent theme of what – I had no idea at the time – had already been identified as a type of “civil religion.”

In the New Age Magazine, Masonry – its myths, symbols and significance – is vividly conflated with freedom, Americanism, civic morality, the founding fathers, the purpose of the nation, etc. A call to arms in the defence and maintenance of Masonic values is implicit in every issue.

The most prominent of themes, however, is education, public schools, and the separation of church and state. From analyzing the issues over just a ten-year period, Jolicoeur and Knowles report that 85 articles were devoted to it, with only a higher count (89) being the subject of Masonic symbolism (Jolicoeur and Knowles 10). “Individual members are constantly exhorted in the pages of The New Age to make their voices heard in Congress, particularly on issues of separation of church and state and public education,” they write. “Most of its desire and effort to influence social policy is directed toward preserving the public schools, the primary socialization agent for civil religion, and protecting the separation of church and state” (8, 14).

One article that caught my own eye – not mentioned by name in the Jolicoeur and Knowles study itself – bears the title “Masonic Light in Public Schools,” by Ray L. Colvard, 32°, in the Dec. 1970 issue. And because he appeals to the memory of the “enlightened Masons” of the 18th Century, it seems like an appropriate conclusion.

Decrying the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (part of which forbade establishing a national curriculum, thereby allowing Catholic schools continued leeway), Colvard evangelises to his brethren:

"The time again seems ripe for the enemies of public education. There are more than fifty church-state cases now pending in American courts.

[...] Although political issues are not discussed within the Lodge room, I believe it is possible for Scottish Rite Masons to undertake the reform and dedicate themselves to a renaissance in public education. The ScottishRite has leaders today whose perception is equal to that of the enlightened Masons of the 18th century. “Masonic” words from the Scottish Rite could become the light, precise blows which cleave diamond hardness. Our primary mission should be neither to apologize for the current abuses in public education nor to elicit greater financial support for outmoded institutions, but to follow the designs on the trestle-board that our Scottish Rite leaders have drawn (29, 30).
"



Note: If you would like to comment on this article, you can do so here.



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by Extant Taxon
 

Well, firstly, it's generally considered a no-no to quote from another forum here (and vice versa), in violation of the Terms & Conditions. And quoting from Terry's forum could be taken badly as well (considering his post-ban on ATS).

Personally, this is the first time I've encountered the term "civil religion". (I haven't read Roussseau...

If, in fact, you leave it at
  1. life to come,
  2. the reward of virtue and the punishment of vice, and
  3. the exclusion of religious intolerance
Then yes, Freemasonry embraces those ideals.

There are some issues I take with specifics in the article, though: The New Age was a journal specifically of the Scottish Rite, and defending the separation of church and state is an oath explicitly made in one of the Scottish Rite degrees. So again, I encourage you not to fall into the trap of painting "Freemasonry" with the opinions of one of its appendant bodies.

The wording on the Scottish Rite petition reads "The Entire Separation of Church and State and opposition to every attempt to appropriate public moneys - Federal, State, or Local - directly or indirectly, for the support of sectarian or private institutions." This is enacted specifically in the 30th degree, wherein the candidate says

I declare that in matters Masonic, Political and Religious, my beliefs are as follows:
Masonic: I believe in being a true Brother, in the performance of duty, in subduing my passions, and in aspiring to virtue.
Political: I believe in being a loyal and peaceable citizen, and in government by the consent of the governed, with equal treatment for all.
Religious: I believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, of infinite Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge, One who loves us all and desires our obedience.

Additionally, the candidate swears to "always contribute to the propagation and diffusion of enlightened ideas, to always strive to serve the legal sovereignty of the People over institutions, and to always keep separate Church and State."

But moving beyond Rousseau's definition of "civil religion", and into the sociological or political definitions provided by wikipedia, I disagree that Masonry is trying to be "the folk religion of a nation or a political culture" or "ritual expressions of patriotism". While Masonry is anti-Tyranny, it leaves the political beliefs of the individual members outside the lodge room. Likewise Masonry doesn't deem all religions equal, but lets the personal beliefs of its members be theirs alone, not to interfere with their beliefs or the beliefs of others. Religious intolerance, like tyranny, is an enemy of freedom. But we're not trying to abolish organized religion and replace it with civil religion—we're trying to make sure that any person can practice the religion that they feel is right for them without the interference of law or the attacks of larger or stronger religious bodies.


[...] Although political issues are not discussed within the Lodge room, I believe it is possible for Scottish Rite Masons to undertake the reform and dedicate themselves to a renaissance in public education. The ScottishRite has leaders today whose perception is equal to that of the enlightened Masons of the 18th century. “Masonic” words from the Scottish Rite could become the light, precise blows which cleave diamond hardness. Our primary mission should be neither to apologize for the current abuses in public education nor to elicit greater financial support for outmoded institutions, but to follow the designs on the trestle-board that our Scottish Rite leaders have drawn (29, 30)."
That is the opinion of one Scottish Rite Mason, written 40 years ago. Do you see any evidence that Masonry as an institution took up his call? I'm with Hoddap on this one... Ron Seale, the current head of the Scottish Rite, isn't telling us to go out and be political advocates of a particular position. He could try, but he'd probably get kicked out of office for doing so. Such a position would invariably have detractors, and the strength of Masonry is "peace and harmony" in the lodge, which is why religious and political differences are left outside the lodge room.

[edit on 5/25/2010 by JoshNorton]



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 10:16 AM
link   

Originally posted by JoshNorton
reply to post by Extant Taxon
 

Well, firstly, it's generally considered a no-no to quote from another forum here (and vice versa), in violation of the Terms & Conditions.


The quote in question is from an article on Conspiracy Archive, not a forum.


Originally posted by JoshNorton
And quoting from Terry's forum could be taken badly as well (considering his post-ban on ATS).


Again, not quoting from a forum. And this is the first I've heard concerning Terry being officially banned. I've quoted from Terry's site numerous times before this and haven't heard a murmur of complaint.


Originally posted by JoshNorton
There are some issues I take with specifics in the article, though: The New Age was a journal specifically of the Scottish Rite, and defending the separation of church and state is an oath explicitly made in one of the Scottish Rite degrees. So again, I encourage you not to fall into the trap of painting "Freemasonry" with the opinions of one of its appendant bodies.

The wording on the Scottish Rite petition reads "The Entire Separation of Church and State and opposition to every attempt to appropriate public moneys - Federal, State, or Local - directly or indirectly, for the support of sectarian or private institutions." This is enacted specifically in the 30th degree, wherein the candidate says

I declare that in matters Masonic, Political and Religious, my beliefs are as follows:
Masonic: I believe in being a true Brother, in the performance of duty, in subduing my passions, and in aspiring to virtue.
Political: I believe in being a loyal and peaceable citizen, and in government by the consent of the governed, with equal treatment for all.
Religious: I believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, of infinite Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge, One who loves us all and desires our obedience.

Additionally, the candidate swears to "always contribute to the propagation and diffusion of enlightened ideas, to always strive to serve the legal sovereignty of the People over institutions, and to always keep separate Church and State."

But moving beyond Rousseau's definition of "civil religion", and into the sociological or political definitions provided by wikipedia, I disagree that Masonry is trying to be "the folk religion of a nation or a political culture" or "ritual expressions of patriotism". While Masonry is anti-Tyranny, it leaves the political beliefs of the individual members outside the lodge room. Likewise Masonry doesn't deem all religions equal, but lets the personal beliefs of its members be theirs alone, not to interfere with their beliefs or the beliefs of others. Religious intolerance, like tyranny, is an enemy of freedom. But we're not trying to abolish organized religion and replace it with civil religion—we're trying to make sure that any person can practice the religion that they feel is right for them without the interference of law or the attacks of larger or stronger religious bodies.


Fair enough for the rest of your answer, as regards your opinion, thanks for replying.

Oh, by the way. I'm not falling into traps here, merely seeking debate on an interesting topic to engage with forum members and learn. Unless you view such a thing as a trap?

Maybe debating masons at all is a trap under any circumstances.




[edit on 25/5/10 by Extant Taxon]



posted on May, 25 2010 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Extant Taxon
Again, not quoting from a forum. And this is the first I've heard concerning Terry being officially banned. I've quoted from Terry's site numerous times before this and haven't heard a murmur of complaint.
Not complaining, just pointing out what I thought might potentially cause you problems. Personally, I had no issue with Terry. I think he's a good historian, and I'd bow to his expertise on most issues concerning 18th and 19th century texts. Where he and I disagreed was on the issues of contemporary Masonry—his views are generally informed by the words and actions of dead men, whereas my own are based on my own regular interactions with Masons in my own lodge and other lodges around the world whom I might interact with. Some of Terry's assertions about current Masonic practices were at odds with my personal experience, and he and I debated those issues on a number of occasions, but I always felt it was a civil discourse. Heck, I even pre-ordered his book months before it was eventually released, and I believe many other Masons on ATS bought it as well.


Fair enough for the rest of your answer, as regards your opinion, thanks for replying.

Oh, by the way. I'm not falling into traps here, merely seeking debate on an interesting topic to engage with forum members and learn. Unless you view such a thing as a trap?

Maybe debating masons at all is a trap under any circumstances.


Nah, no trap here. I think the biggest thing that Masons here try to defend is that the actions or words of individual Masons can never represent the institution of Masonry itself. It's fine to say that so-and-so wrote such-and-such in a Masonic publication 40 years ago. That is a fact and will not be disputed. But to take an op-ed article and try to spin it as defining a movement would be disingenuous. Not saying you're trying to do that, but it's an attack we see often on this site, and some Masons here might take an overly defensive stance if they misinterpret your motivations.

Couple that with the fact that "Masonry" is too often used as a broad term when greater specificity should be employed... I don't think any Masons here are against honest inquiry, but you're going to have to put up with us saying things like "well, 'Masonry' doesn't teach that... 'Scottish Rite Masonry' teaches that..." and from an outsider who doesn't need 29 words for snow, such distinctions may seem arbitrary, but they're important to us so that false generalizations don't propagate.



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