Monday, January 23, 2006
We cannot lead men when we have not removed our own blindfolds — we only drive them into more profound darkness!
This most enlightening post was left today in our comments section, signed by Brother Schlipp, whom I do not know, nor do I know from where he hails. I'm re-posting it here, so that you won't risk missing it in the comments section of the "Masonic Truthiness" article below.
Fellow brothers in the Craft...
I address you all in the warmth and fellowship of the bonds of Freemasonry. There exists today a blight that threatens to blot out that ember of light that has been entrusted to our care since time immemorial.
Today’s Grand Lodges are infested by ruffians, cowards, and those who would use our beloved fraternity for their own personal gain. Those of you in certain states in America know only too well the grumblings of your fellow brothers and the jerk-knee reaction that your Grand Lodges have displayed when met by questioning brethren.
There have been questionable dealings regarding real estate, dues, and monies paid and entrusted to those in power. Money has disappeared with little or no accountability. Brothers who have acted to resolve these issues and bring them to light have been threatened and coerced into ceasing and desisting; or have been removed altogether from the rolls of their home lodges. I have seen such evil since I've walked upon the Earth; but this is far more than the eye can see!
Men who have been free-born and meet all of the qualifications to be a Freemason have been shunned by many in the southern states for the sole reason that they are black. Many will say; “Why not join Prince Hall lodges?” I say, “Why should any man who meets all of the qualifications to be a mason, ever be turned away from our noble order?”
The fraternity of Blue Lodges is dying out! Each year tells a story of declining enrollment from the younger generation while the average age of the existing lodge constituency continues to climb. Many things divide us as humans on this planet; however, Masonry should not be one of them.
I hear those who would say that Masonry is a “Christian” organization; thus further alienating those that believe in a god... just not the Christian god. What of our Jewish brethren? What of those of different faiths? Do you not remember that it was our Masonic forebears that were persecuted by the Catholic and Protestant Churches for supposed heresies against the Faith? If Masonry is an exclusively Christian organization; then let us simply attach ourselves to an appendent Christian group such as the Knights of Columbus or Promise-keepers. If all you care about doing is holding benefit banquets and functions for charity; then simply ally yourself to one of these fine organizations. Charity is only part of the Masonic equation and our earliest Masonic brothers were definitely NOT Christian. This is a modern invention.
It is much more than a disaffected view of the modern generation that has caused a decline in enrollment. The younger generation seeks answers that they are not getting from society. They turn to us for leadership and guidance. What do we do? We give them more of the same! We bully them when they ask the hard questions. The dead end, “just because it is!” answer is the death-knell for Blue Masonry in America today.
We cannot lead men when we have not removed our own blindfolds! We only drive them into more profound darkness.
What will cure the blight upon our proud craft? I have a belief that the cure is to unburden ourselves of the yoke of shame that is ANY Grand Lodge officer that is found to be acting in a manner that is inconsistent with tried and tested Masonic law. If the affected Grand Lodge will not permit such action, then it is our right; nay... our duty to abolish such a Grand Lodge! Those that truly lead... lead by serving others!
Even now there are organizations that are coming into existence that are returning to the old ways. They are going back to the true source of Masonic light and are peeling away at the layers of superfluous and useless skin of the onion that has become the Blue lodge. SEEK OUT THESE ENTITIES! Let your heart guide you in what is right. If you are questioning the veracity of the actions of your lodge or its leadership... then your heart will serve well to guide you.
I leave you with this thought. “Precious is this path we walk. If we walk as Percival le Galois did in the Arthurian legend; then no truth shall be hidden from our Light.”
F. Roy Dean Schlipp
Gentle-Fellow of the Sublime Craft
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