Usually when there's a local news story about a Masonic lodge or event, it's standard fodder. The reporter quotes a member, usually a Worshipful Master or Past Master, who says "we're not a secret society, we're a society with secrets." A joke is made about ruling the world or secret handshakes, Masonic charity and good works are cited, the average age of a Mason and the dwindling membership is mentioned, and reference is made to some famous Freemason, usually a U.S. president. Basically, if you've read one of these articles, you've read them all. Only the names and locations change.
So I was surprised by a brief statement buried in what otherwise was just another of the same ol' same ol'.
This article is from suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, once a hotbed of revolutionary Masonic thought. Philly's nickname, "The City of Brotherly Love," is an obvious Masonic reference.
The article is about a local lodge planning to put up a new, larger lodge building. Mixed in with the standard yadda-yadda was this rather unexpected statement:
"The lodge currently has 300 members, all of them white men. Traditionally, the Masons have encouraged blacks and women to form their own groups."
Philadelphia is 45% white and 43% black. Why in this city of 1.5 million people, famous for freedom, liberty and brotherly love, are white Masons and black Masons not sitting together in lodge as brothers? I thought it was just us here in the South who hadn't gotten past the race thing. I thought enlightenment had already spread across the northeast.
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