Originally posted by AlexKennedy
Up here, I believe that generally if one black cube is found, the ballot is re-taken, and the member who cast the cube is requested to talk to the WM.
If two are found, the ballot is automatically non-favourable. But it is considered a HUGE scandal and a stain on the honour of a Lodge is it rejects
a candidate during ballot.
Here, if only one black ball appears, the ballot is also immediately re-taken, in case a Brother has cast a negative vote by mistake. But I find it
odd that your jurisdiction considers it a dishonor to reject a petitioner (if I understand you correctly). It my jurisdiction, it is considered
scandalous and dishonorable to approve an unworthy petitioner at the ballot box.
If someone's not a very good Mason, and they want to blackball someone because, say, they don't like his religion, I think they should have
to explain themselves.
This is precisely the reason that the petitioner cannot be asked about his religious or political persuasions. In my jurisdiction, both are non-issues
because such matters are not addresses in the Lodge.
In my jurisdiction, it is also a Masonic offense to accuse a Brother of having cast a black ball, or requiring him to “explain himself.” The right to
admit or to refuse to admit any petitioner is considered a fundamental right of a Master Mason in my jurisdiction, which in no circumstance may be
This may seem like a hard line approach to those in jurisdictions where candidate election policies are more relaxed. But in reality, we have very few
rejections. I belong to two Blue Lodges; in combination over the past 5 years, we’ve had approximately 70 petitioners. Of these, only three have been
failed by the committee, and only one petitioner has been approved by the committee but rejected by the Lodge, in my recollection.
Each Mason knows it is unmasonic to cast a black ball for no other reason than that they disagree with the petitioner’s religious or political
beliefs. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen; in fact, those in leadership positions have been guilty. In the 1940’s, Brother Franklin D. Roosevelt,
32°, was nominated by the Supreme Council 33° of the Northern Jurisdiction to receive the 33°. Two members of the Northern Council (composed of mainly
Brethren who were conservative in politics) actually stated that FDR had “betrayed his class”, and refused to grant him the 33°.
This led the Northern Grand Commander to contact Bro. John Cowles, 33°, Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction, and request that FDR be
nominated to the 33° by the more liberal minded Supreme Council 33°, Southern Jurisdiction. Unfortunately, Bro. Roosevelt died while this was being
considered, without having attained the Degree.
But, in any case, I still firmly believe that each Mason is responsible to whom he chooses to carry the Craft into posterity, and the sacredness and
secrecy of the ballot box cannot be violated to ensure the survival of the Fraternity as we know it.