Since many grand lodges have rules that say you need their permission to visit an out of state lodge, or to even communicate with a brother in another state, we're probably all guilty of violating that one.
I wonder how Georgia Masons in particular, and all Masons who read this blog in general, feel about the regular violation of the following Masonic "rule of etiquette." While this comes not from the Grand Lodge of Georgia's Code Book but from their Book of Masonic Etiquette, I'd suggest this rule, based on a time-honored Masonic tradition of not speaking about politics or sectarian religion in a tyled meeting, has as much "force of law" as any other law, edict or rule promulgated by the Grand Lodge of Georgia. What do you think?
I recently posed this question on a thread called "Georgia Masonry" at LodgeRoomUS.
Pages 49 and 50 of the Grand Lodge of Georgia's Book of Masonic Etiquette say:Update: Less than two hours after I posted the above question on LodgeRoomUS, in a thread called "Freemasonry in Georgia", one of the many heavy-handed admin/moderators of that forum, ICHermes, who bills himself as "Sovereign Grand Thrice Illustrious High Grand Supreme Commander with Cheese," shut down the thread with these words: "Look, we are not going to debate the Grand Lodge of Georgia. This discussion is over."Freemasonry is a fraternity. It is not a religion. Its member are presumed to be religious and it operates on the highest and best moral principles taught by all the great religions. But direct or even indirect reference to one's religious preference in a prayer, though inadvertently often done, or the display of a particular religious flag in the confines of a Masonic Lodge, are breaches of good manners and the spirit of Freemasonry, if not of the law itself.In light of this, how do you view the constant violation of this principle by numerous Georgia lodges, when they use the opening lodge prayer to proselytize for Jesus, asking him to save souls through intervention in our lodge meetings? What about "advertising" for local church revivals, etc., during the time when brothers are invited to stand and speak?
It would be immaterial if all present at the Lodge meeting were all of the same religion and sect, yet this would seem rare and unlikely.... These things are pointed out that we may avoid the violation, in spirit as well as in fact, of one of the most important tenets of Freemasonry.... Our practice seems to show that we are fully aware of the injunction with reference to politics; many do not appreciate fully how our inadvertences in prayer strike some other of our brethren....
For Masons in Lodge to indulge in or practice any form of religious sectarianism is to risk the destruction of the Craft as surely as would be the rule against the discussion of partisan politics in Lodge or participation in partisan politics by the Lodge itself.
In several lodges I've attended, the prayers are extremely sectarian.
In private discussions with certain individuals who like to pray long and hard to Jesus in lodge, I've been told, "You're right, but that's just the way I pray, and I ain't gonna change."
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