At Bro. Hodapp's Freemasons for Dummies blog, I found a link to an interesting Masonic story out of California.
A religious zealot wrote an email to the local school superintendent, demanding that a planned Masonic cornerstone laying ceremony for a new school building be stopped because "Freemasonry is a cult."
To support the anonymous writer's case, he (or she) quoted from Web Site Prime for all anti-Masonic kooks, FreemasonryWatch.org, one of the world's most active anti-Masonic websites.
The email, in part, read: "My primary concern is that this ritual Friday will give Satan grounds to oppress or harass the administration, teachers and the students — even if ever so subtly."
The email went on to ask the district to have "mercy on the administration and children of Cottonwood Creek and cancel the ritual or at least postpone it until you are clear in your mind, after due diligence and study, that the ritual is just a dedication or indeed is an avenue of evil to exploit."
The school district has postponed the ceremony until it can be discussed further. One member of the 14-member school board is a Freemason.
Click here for a PDF of the email, a 4-page diatribe which appears to have mostly been lifted from an anti-Masonic site, and quotes heavily from the book and/or website of Catholic former Mason John Salza, about whom we wrote last month. Hey! Maybe MySpace Mike did this?
As an aside: The article, written by a paid, supposedly professional reporter for a supposedly real newspaper, is full of inaccuracies and misspellings. The article attempts to give a condensed history of Freemasonry and of the Masonic cornersone-laying ceremony, yet refers several times to a local blue lodge officer as "the Senior Grand Warren," when in fact, only Grand Lodge officers are "grand" anything, and there is no such office as "Warren." It's Warden.
As another aside: Lonnie Martell, the "Past Grand Warren" of Visalia Mineral King Lodge No. 128, apparently (like me and every other Mason I know) can't keep his ego in check or his passions within due bounds any better than Average Joe Schmoe. He used up his fifteen minutes of fame by whining to the reporter, "I feel betrayed for what we have done for the schools in the past. They got one letter and that was it." The local lodge gives eight $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors each year. What's that do "for the schools"? (There are 25,000 students in the Visalia Unified School District. That means his lodge donates sixteen (16) cents per student, given in lump sums to eight individuals once they are no longer high school students. Yeah, betrayed!)
Image: A plaster relief sculpture of the Masonic cornerstone-laying ceremony at the U.S. Capitol titled "Laying the Cornerstone of the United States Capitol," by artist Thomas Crawford, created c. 1853-1857
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I wonder if this event will find its way into Dan Brown's upcoming book The Solomon Key.