Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Georgia Grand Lodge pressures Order of Eastern Star to ban membership in Co-Masonry, reports say

According to Bro. Simpson at The Modern Freemasonic Journal, the Grand Lodge of Georgia has pressured the Georgia Order of the Eastern Star to issue an edict/resolution banning OES members from also being members of any non-recognized Masonic group, such as Co-Masonry. Co-Masonry, founded in the early 20th century, is comprised of both male and female Masons, but is not "recognized" by conventional (Antient) Masonry.

Bro. Simpson has published a copy of the recent resolution as well as transcripts from a Masonic-themed online forum of rather heated communications between an OES/Co-Masonic woman named Barb Thames and a Master Mason from California named Manny Blanco.

The reported OES resolution states:
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, State of Georgia, does hereby state, avert and affirm that no member of its Grand or Subordinate Chapters in the State of Georgia can be a member of any Masonic organization that is not recognized by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Georgia, F.& A.M.
On Monday I asked Bro. Thames (yes, women Masons are referred to as Brethren) for her comments or to write an article about this issue for publication here on the Burning Taper, but so far she has declined my offer. I'd certainly like to know more about Co-Masonry and Co-Masons who are also members of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Bro. Barb writes in her messages that "all of the women Masons in Georgia that I know are in the process of resigning from the OES."

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  1. From what I understand, the exodus has begun. The established nay-sayers are looking on with blinders on thinking that they can stem the loss by further intimidation and character assassination. Typical, isn't it?


  2. Starbird, Naudon, Genesis (if you are a bible person) and many others have established that women have been, and must remain an integral part of humanity, the sacred feminine. Freemasonry of the Anglo/Saxon variety remains completely unaware of this, and apparently doesn't care to hear about it. Men who adhere to the principle of this kind of sexual discrimination should also divest themselves of their wives. Too bad, too bad, Anglo-Saxon freemasonry continues its suicidal path, and lodges which are truly universal will eventually replace it.

  3. Perhaps the Masonic Hall could renamed the Masonette? I must say that I have not continued in the craft, partly because there are no women members, but also because there's no lodge in the town I moved to. I do think that the decline in Masonry is partly due to the Men Only rule, though there are lots of other reasons. On the other hand, I see no reason why there should not be boys' clubs, just as I see no reason why there should not be girls' clubs. Men and women are not the same, or in competition, they are complementary. It's a bit of a storm in a teacup, really.

  4. I am a member of American Co-Masonry, male, and have quite a few female Brothers. This is becoming more of an issue for some of my Brethren who are also OES. The Grand Lodge of California supposedly has passed similar rulings but no one is enforcing them.

    Bro. J. Ellsworth Weaver
    Hiram Lodge No. 11 (Santa Cruz, CA)
    Amon Ra Lodge No. 9 (Los Angeles, CA)
    Sapientia Lodge of Research (Larkspur, CO)

  5. I am a member of OES, the OTO and will soon be initiated into Co-Masonry. I am not really concerned with being "asked to resign" from OES as the subject of my other affiliations has never come up. I guess that is the one advantage of living in the Bible belt. They all assume that we women folk would not be interested in such things. My sisters in OES have no idea about my other affiliations and most would not understand my spiritual need to delve deeper into the Mysteries.

    However, if the subject ever comes up and I am forced to make a decision it will be a no-brainer! They would lose my dues money and all other contributions that I make to the lodge along with my husband's. Our lodge membership is declining as it is due to OES's inability to grow and change with the times. I doubt they want to lose more members!

    It is my humble opinion that OES is on the decline BECAUSE of their sexist attitudes. Why do I keep my membership, you ask? My husband is a member of a traditional masculine lodge and this is my way of supporting his Masonic activities. His lodge brothers do not know about my aspirations to become a co-mason and my husband is so deeply committed to his lodge that he does not want to leave. So we decided the we would keep my other Masonic activities on the down low.

    I have one other observation I would like to make about masculine FM. I have noticed that, in general, the older gentlemen seem to be more inclined to keep women out of masonry. The younger guys tend to be more open minded. How do I know this? I have had many interesting conversations over the years with my husband's lodge brothers. Many of the younger guys (25-45) talk with me quite a lot because I have been a source of information about the history and symbolism of Freemasonry. Maybe we need to wait for that old generation to die off before Freemasonry can change with the times!

    I am one of those crazy people who has a copy of Morals and Dogma on my bookshelf and I have read it along with other, equally amazing books on FM. Since I have taken the time to learn about Freemasonry, (about 15 years) why shouldn't I have the same opportunity as anyone else to become one?


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