Thanks for your welcomes. I'll sit down with that pastry tray when prime time TV hits, if that's OK...
I hope this is an acceptable place for this - it gives insight into my core beliefs and the reason why I joined ATS.
Through looking onto Masonry, I have found that Masonry itself can be blamed for some of the issues it faces, and simple misunderstanding for more.
Regardless of their benign intent within context, specific words, phrases, and concepts found within Masonry, when taken out of context, or even at
face value, really set the Anti-Masons off because they misunderstand, and certain hoaxes and misinformation are continually perpetuated as truth,
further supporting unfounded suspicions. If I may postulate...
I am not (yet) a Mason, but I am a Christian, and a free thinker who considers both sides of an argument before making judgement. I don't see things
in such narrow terms as some others of my faith. Being Protestant, to me the Holy Trinity is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - three separate entities
that are also one. In other words, if you follow any, you follow all, and a belief in God is also "through Jesus Christ" (even the Catholics say he
was God in human form, which means he was the SAME entity as God). I find it entirely plausible that my God, the God of the Bible, is the same God
that other religions pray to, except they use a different name. All religions claim theirs is the only true faith, but I certainly don't think that
the God I pray to has set up a colossal lottery, where we get to wait until we die and stand at the Pearly Gates to hear St. Peter say (in Richard
Dawson's voice), "Because of your nationality and upbringing, as your lifelong religion you chose Hinduism. The survey says...Ooops, too bad, but
thanks for playing".
Things like being "brought into light" in the initiation and the very word "ritual" seem to upset the "uber-religious". If one uses common sense
(which really isn't that common), one can see that the "light" doesn't refer to spiritual light, but the light of knowledge (I wonder if those who
will say that "the quest for knowledge is evil" ever sent their kids to school or attended university...). Since Masonry uses allegory and metaphor
to encourage members to think and find "answers' for themselves, that "knowledge" of Masonry is therefore purely symbolic; in the end, it is different
things to different men. But perhaps simply changing a word or phrase or two in the rituals - and maybe even renaming "rituals" to "ceremonies" -
might make it more acceptable . Just a thought.
The fact that the Masons have some "secrets" they will not divulge has a few in a fever. Contrary to speculation and disinformation propagated by the
likes of illuminattinews.com, the VERIFIABLE extent of those secrets appears to be no more than the rituals themselves, and a few handshakes, signs
and words or phrases, all of which are easily searchable online, and since I'm not a Mason, I can post the link. Go here:
(though admittedly, the illustrations make me think that the text is from the mid-1800s). The keeping of those
secrets is more a matter of honour between members, demonstrating a man's character and trustworthiness (if he can keep these minor secrets, he can be
trusted with anything I might want to tell him), and his ability to deal fairly with others and in business, not a grand conspiracy to take over the
Secrets themselves are not evil. Everyone has things they keep to themselves. Many organizations have certain things to which they restrict access.
Companies, city governments, and your public library board have "in camera" meetings the public cannot attend. On a more personal level, I don't
divulge my banking information.
edit on 10-4-2013 by IslandMason because: Typos and gramos