Monday, August 28, 2006

Patriotic Freemason rants against 'liberal Democrats, the ACLU, atheists, queers and foreigners'

Back in the spring of 2004, when I was still extremely active in my Blue Lodge, I proposed that we purchase and install a flagpole outside the lodge building, where we could fly the American flag and the Masonic flag.

A few months later, the pole was installed, flags were purchased, and a Flag Pole Dedication ceremony was held. I had suggested we use a Flag Pole Dedication ceremony that a then-living but fading fast Past Master and dear friend had written back in the early 1990s, which had been used when his former lodge had installed a flagpole. I hoped that our blue lodge officers (including me — I was then Senior Deacon) would conduct the ceremony.

I was outvoted. Our officers, of course, didn't want to have to actually conduct a ceremony they were not familiar with, and the power brokers within our lodge wanted the "prestige" of this event to fall to the Grand Lodge, and so they asked the Georgia Grand Lodge officers to conduct the ceremony.

(The added delay while the Grand Lodge found a last-minute suitable date in their schedule, late in the summer, meant that my elderly, sick Past Master friend who had so wanted to see this event happen, died before it occurred.)

The small and dignified ceremony I had originally envisioned turned into a typical Masonic circus, with Grand Lodge officers with their "ladies" in tow, Eastern Star women cooking a big meal, a DAV 21-gun salute, and a singer from the local high school belting out the National Anthem.

And of course, the Grand Lodge officers muddled through the ceremony, reading from a script. Even though it wasn't what I had originally forseen, I enjoyed it immensely. I jumped in and took care of many of the details to make this the big shindig everyone seemed to want. They all seemed SO happy the Grand Lodge officers were coming.

A dinner was held, of course, with a special table for the Grand Lodge officers and their wives, because they, of course, are more equal than the rest of us.

After the meal, an open meeting was held. About a hundred lodge brothers, family members, and members of the public attended.

We had invited local politicians and public officials to attend. The only one who accepted our invitation was the county commissioner, who told a stirring tale of his military service as a member of the color guard at Arlington National Cemetary during the Vietnam War.

I gave a talk on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag. My talk was well-received, and I was asked afterwards by several people for a copy of my talk.

Six months later, in my role as Director of Masonic Education for my lodge, I was searching for a topic for another talk. I thought of the unanswered questions my Pledge talk had left in my mind, and decided to seek further information.

At that time, I was a subscriber to a Masonic email newsletter written by the state Director of Masonic Education. I wrote him asking a few questions. He didn't know the answers, and so, he published my questions in his newsletter.

I had asked: "I was wondering if anyone could tell me when the Pledge of Allegiance, which has only officially existed since the 1940's, first came to be recited in lodge meetings, and how it came to be included, and if it is considered part of Uniform Work, is it mandated by GL, or simply a tradition?"

I gratefully received several thoughtful replies from brethren around the state. I never did get any concrete answers, though, but what I learned was interesting. One brother said Masons had been reciting the Pledge since it was written in the 1890s (which, I guess, is technically true since it was written by a Freemason); another recalled it was first adopted in his lodge in the 1960s. Others, who knew the Pledge had become officially recognized by Congress during the 1940s, said that Masons had first used it in lodge at that time. No one seemed to have any definitive answers.

Never would I have expected to receive the following reply. I've deleted the name of the writer, to save him embarrassment.

"Who the hell cares, are you American or what? Do you have a problem with pledging allegiance to our Flag? The Flag was first shown in Lodge by Brother Gen. George Washington, Why would any AMERICAN EVEN QUESTION saying our pledge? — WB _________, Masonic Service Association Representive to the VAMC in Atlanta GA, President Executive Committee, VAVS VAMC Atlanta, Ga., and a PROUD VETERAN OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES"

This was my first exposure to this kind of attitude in Masonry.

Never one to back down from a redneck, even one trained to kill in 147 different ways, I wrote W. B. ______ (yeah, he signed his email with the "W. B.") the following:
My obligations prevent me from speaking ill of one who is capable of writing such a rude, arrogant and thoughtless email. I, for one, care about when and how the Pledge of Allegiance came to be recited in the lodge room. It's history. It's knowledge. It's information. It's education. It's Light.

It's my job. I'm the Director of Masonic Education. Not the Director of American History Class, not the Director of Proud to Be An American Day, but the Director of Masonic Education. I'm here to learn. And to teach my Brethren.

You have no right to be judging my patriotism or motives in asking a question. Last summer I was the one who made the motion that our lodge install a flagpole from which we fly the U.S. Flag and the Masonic flag. I was instrumental in putting together the Flagpole Dedication Ceremony and U.S. Flag Raising that the Grand Lodge members along with the DAV rifle squad graciously conducted for us and to which local and state government officials and the public were invited. I ran the ads. I wrote the invitations. I took photographs. I was the one that gave a 20-minute presentation on the history and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance. (Read it at [website no longer online].)

Recently I had simply asked Bro. _____ if he knew the answers to my questions. He put the question in his newsletter. I wanted to present an update to the Brethren of my lodge. Yeah, my lodge... full of proud veterans, DAV members, American Legion members, etc. Seems not all vets are as sensitive as you are when someone asks a legitimate question.
This "worshipful brother" had more to say to me. He replied:
You are pretty senistive [sic] yourself. My email was not meant to be rude but to only question. In these days when all the liberal Democrats and the ACLU, atheists, queers and foreigners are trying to change our pledge, take away our Ten Commandants [sic], tell us that we have to accept queers, can't offend anyone, can't fly the American Flag because it might offend our neighbor, I have every right to question the motives of anyone. The Masonic fraternity is not immune to having someone slip in and try to stir up things.

Yes I am a proud Veteran, and a very proud American. After serving our great nation for 30 years in uniform, I have earned my right to question. I was spit on once returning home from a combat zone, this time I have learned to spit back. For the first time in history a traitor got on the ballot for President of the United States, for the first time in the history of our great country everything we stand for is being questioned, slandered, slurred or torn down.

My email was not meant to be rude just to question motives, which is my right. Your email was very rude in itself. The anwser [sic] to your question is very easy obtained and listed in Masonic documents. Even played out in the the [sic] Masonic Play the SR does.

In this day and age, I will always questions peoples [sic] motives for questioning things that have not been questioned before all the liberals and AH's see [sic] to have taken over.

If it offends, get over it.

thank you
Worshipful Brother ______
I assume "AH's" in his next to last paragraph means "assholes."

This exchange was a foreshadowing of things to come, I can now see. It was about a month later that I gave the talk in my lodge, the one that enumerated Grand Lodge rules and Masonic traditions and landmarks that forbid the discussion of politics and religion within a lodge. That event is documented in "Small Town Freemasonry — Part 1: A Bucket of Rattlesnakes."

When I first joined Freemasonry, I had no idea that so many of the 60 to 75-year-old Masons I would come into contact with in the 2000s would be the now older then-middle-aged rednecks with flat-top haircuts and "Love It Or Leave It" bumper stickers of the 1970s... you know, the kinds of guys that shotgunned Billy and Captain America off their motorcycles in the film Easy Rider. I had thought that THAT crowd had moved on to the Moose Club and the John Birch Society, not into what I thought Freemasonry was, a group of noble and tolerant Knights dedicated to the betterment of humanity. Whoops! My bad!

— Widow's Son

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  1. "The Masonic fraternity is not immune to having someone slip in and try to stir up things."

    Well, he had your number there.

  2. You know... It's too bad that there are "masons" like the insensitive "prick" that posted the reply to this brother's email to the newsletter. The insensitive prick is just part of the problem in the Blue Lodge. The attitude of "queers, ACLU, and such is just part of this guy's insecurities speaking. Sounds like folks I have run into in running my blog. I don't care if the "I.P" fought in a hundred wars! That kind of attitude totally demeans everything he supposedly fought for.
    the conscientious brother who lobbied for the flagpole was merely trying to spark "thinking" into action. Something the "I.P" doesn't know how to do or doesn't care to do, in my opinion.

    Proud Republican, Conservative, Christian...but free-thinker

  3. par for course

    never question a veteran, you did not earn that right!..lmao

    some people can't let go of the 50's
    shut up d like it, it is unamerican to ask questions...AHs

  4. I guess I failed the history course. I can't name a single commandant, let alone ten of them.

    The Tao of Masonry

  5. FYI

    The man behind the 'Pledge'
    Author of flag salute was utopian socialist

    By Joseph Farah
    © 2001

    Millions of Americans will place their hands on their hearts this week and pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America in honor of the nation's independence.

    It's considered an act of patriotism.

    In fact, there's a growing movement of people, spearheaded by an otherwise-obscure Tennessee state legislator, Henri Brooks, to refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance because the promise of America has not been fully realized by some.

    Yet, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance was hardly some super-patriot.

    He was, according to historians, an avowed socialist minister pressured to leave the Baptist church because of his fiery utopian sermons about a planned economy.

    According to John W. Baer, author of "The Pledge of Allegiance: A Centennial History, 1892 - 1992," Francis Bellamy, who lived from 1855 to 1931, wrote the pledge in 1892. He was the first cousin of Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels "Looking Backward" (1888) and "Equality" (1897). Both Bellamys shared a passion for promoting their visions of a future not dissimilar from the vision espoused by Brooks.

    Baer says the pledge was first published in the Sept. 8 issue of The Youth's Companion, a leading family magazine. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Bellamy in 1891 as his assistant when the preacher was pressured into leaving his Baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons.

    In 1892, Bellamy also served as chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association.

    "As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892," writes Baer. "He structured this public school program around a flag-raising ceremony and a flag salute – his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'"

    The original pledge read as follows: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    He reportedly considered placing the word "equality" in his pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and blacks. The word "to" was added in October 1892.

    It was not until 1923 and 1924 at the National Flag Conference, under the leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, that the pledge's words were changed again. "My flag" became "the Flag of the United States of America." Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored, says Baer.
    In 1954, Congress, following a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, "under God," to the pledge. The pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

    Bellamy's granddaughter said at the time that he also would have resented this second change. Bellamy had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church altogether, reportedly because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.

  6. I enjoyed reading your post, Bro. The things people say!

  7. A very informative post, and some interesting information in the comments too.

    Sadly this form of reaction to simple questions comes from all branches of our society, be it American or European. I have also been challenged by others over my patriotism - people who were unable to understand that I am not American, which was amusing, to say the least.

    My answer to other Brr.: on such occasions is that they need to take another glance at the instructions given the Entered Apprentices, and work a little bit more on the rougher edges of their personal stone.


    "Patriotism, as I see it, is often an arbitary veneration of real estate above principles".

    George Nathan, Testament of a Critic, 1931

    "Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature has made them."

    Bertand Russell, New Hopes for a changing world, 1951

  9. You know< i have been persuaded.
    Queers and Liberals, here in America should have no rights. I do not know what I was thinking before, thinking that a human being, breathing the same air I do, walking on two legs like me, should have the same rights as me.

    Where that concept came from I do not know.
    I used to think we were all equal and had the right to pursue happiness, as long as it is what the crackers say "pursuit of happiness" is.

  10. I think it's laughable that he would say that a traitor had made it on the ballot for the Presidency of the United States. The same so called traitor who was overwhelmingly elected over a veteren to be President. How out of touch could he be?

  11. Great, I have found a website for the liberal masons. Any person reading this article could have gotten the same impression I got when the author questioned why or when di the saying of the Pledge of Allegience become part of the ritual. It seems, by the way that it was written, that you were questioning the "right" of it. An older veteran who has fought for this country's freedom replied aggresively towards you and hurt your little feelings. Rather than respond civilly to an older brother and explain your reasoning you lambasted and degraded him. You are an insult to the fraternity thta I am proud to be a member of and whose ranks include many brave veterans. Shame on your insensitivity!
    Tim L. Prosser Benevolent Lodge #3

  12. I'm not a mason but I find your articles very interesting to say the least. I've met the kind of guy you describe - they're on the other end of the spectrum from the "know-nothing" ignorant Americans who have no clue what's going on these days (or so it seems). The way I describe this kinda guy is that he has "zeal without knowledge". Sure, we have to defend what's right - but we need to do it with some tact, with some intelligence, and with some investigation of the facts before we fly off the handle!

  13. Frankly; I generally find that when I get to know "Patriotic Freemason who rant against two-faced hypocrit 'liberal Democrats, the ACLU, atheists, queers and foreigners'; I find them to be charming in their honesty and patriotism.

    Perhaps its a male ego thing? What does Freemasonery have to say about resolving ego disputes? Practice political correctness and pretend they don't exist; or deal with them openly, honourably, like Intellectual Honourable Warriors?

  14. It probably would be interesting to meet someone like that, yet I have not had the occasion to do so. I did just have someone tell me Freemasons and Baptists were devil-worshipers. That was hilarious. *shrug*


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