The brothers making up Euclid Lodge have no ill will towards the Grand Lodge of Michigan, calling it "a fine organization that accomplishes its stated and apparent goals." Euclid members just didn't agree with those stated and apparent goals.
Among the points of difference these men of conscience had with the Michigan grand lodge were:
- Freedom of conscience and the admission of atheists into Freemasonry: "The brethen of Euclid Lodge feel that a good man who is an atheist is a better candidate than a hate-filled man who is a 'believer,'" Euclid's newly elected Worshipful Master W. Bro. Brandt Smith told The Burning Taper in a recent interview. Anderson's Constitution never said an atheist could not become a Mason; it said that a man who became a Mason would not be a "stupid atheist." Does that mean that Freemasonry would teach such a man not to be an atheist, or that Freemasonry would teach him things that would lead him to no longer be stupid?
- Women as Masons: Society has changed, and so has the place of women in our society. While Euclid's members do not initiate, pass or raise women as Masons, they do acknowledge women as Masons if they "have been regularly received into a just and perfect lodge."
- The lack of Masonic education: As in many jurisdictions, the study of Masonry's history, symbolism and ultimate purpose is woefully ignored, with time that could be used for such enlightened discussions given over to matters these brethren considered of lesser importance, or even trivial. They instead wanted to study Freemasonry itself.
- Initially, these brothers believed that Freemasonry had been misrepresented to them. Eventually, they discovered that hosting charitable events and general socializing were in fact the true nature and norm of most of American Freemasonry. While they agree that charity is a good thing, they found that they had little interest in hosting fundraisers, instead wanting to focus on more enlightening and esoterica matters.
- Ritual: The brothers of Euclid wanted to explore rituals of the Craft, and not to be required to only use the Preston-Webb ritual required in Michigan. The brothers have chosen to use French Modern Rite.
Euclid Lodge currently has 14 active members, with five other Masons having petitioned for membership, and two candidates awaiting initiation.
Masons | Euclid Masonic Lodge | Grand Rapids, Michigan | Freemasonry | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com