I'm usually on the right track when he disagrees with me. And this time, I've also "disappointed" him. Man, I know I'm on the right track!
Bro. Dunn wrote: "It is one thing for a man to say: I support Fred Thompson, or I support Hillary Clinton, or in this case, Ron Paul; it is another to stand up as a Mason and say I support whatever candidate."
Let me climb to the highest soapbox — nay, let me write it in big bright 23-feet tall neon letters upon the side of a blimp hovering over Boston Harbor on this, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party: "I am a Mason and I support Ron Paul!"
Bro. Dunn constantly writes here, there and everywhere about how much he loves his grand lodge and Masonry "just like it is." Much of his writing on his blog and on various forums make him seem almost like a paid shill for mainstream, grand lodge American Masonry, constantly singing the praises of the grand lodge system, oblivious to what we've seen in many jurisdictions across America where the system is being used to attempt to silence brothers who think outside the current Masonic box. In just the past few months and years, we've seen improper and/or illegal abuse of power by grand masters in Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, Arizona, and even his home state of California, where recently membership in certain Masonic-themed groups was outlawed by an edict by their grand master.
"But you swore to uphold the rules and obey all those guys in gold chains and black suits," we constantly hear....
No — we didn't.
We promised that if such constitutions, laws and edicts did not violate our obligations to God, our country, our neighbors, our families and most importantly, ourselves and our consciences, we would keep that "obligation."
It's often said that our Declaration of Independence, our U.S. Constitution and our original American ideals were based on Masonic principles, and many of our founding fathers and early presidents were Masons.
Curiously, one founding father, Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, has never been shown to have been a Freemason, though he was probably the most philosophical and Masonic of them all.
I've often wondered why he never became a Mason, when most of those around him were. Certainly he had the opportunity had he had wanted to.
There are only two places in Washington, D.C. I really care to visit: The Smithsonian Museum and the Jefferson Memorial.
I've seen all the monuments, sat in Congress, admired the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and toured the White House. I think I was about twelve or thirteen the first time I was there, where my family and I spent a week.
In the ensuing years, I've been back to D.C. many times, often putting up with the horrendous traffic just to make a side trip into town when nearby on a roadtrip further north, to visit my former in-laws in Pennsylvania, or to the east to see my relatives in Delaware.
On these excursions into the nation's capital, I only want to go to one place: The Jefferson Memorial.
I remember the first time I was there. I stood in awe in that circular building, gazing not upon the statue of Thomas Jefferson, but focused on his engraved words which circumscribe the wall:
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."I swore that oath, too, when I was but a boy. No philosophy has ever superseded it. No oath shall ever be greater.
I have stood in that great hall many times since, committing that phrase to memory. That statement is what induced me to be a libertarian and an outspoken critic against all attempts to ban or suppress free thought, free speech and free expression. I support anyone's right to say and think whatever they want... as long as they don't attempt to use their "authority" to suppress the rights of others, including myself, to say and think what we want.
Perhaps the reason Jefferson didn't become a Mason was that while he supported the original tenets of Freemasonry (as do I), he could not abide the "some men are more equal than others" grand lodge system that attempts to force "peace and harmony" by silencing those who think differently than those in positions of power.
Jefferson also wrote, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." With that statement, he predicted today's mainstream American Freemasonry, where a tiny minority rules a group of good men who never speak up when it matters.
With the above statement and this one — "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories" — he predicted our 21st century America.
And with this quotation, Jefferson set a course for our future, as Americans and as Freemasons: "Every generation needs a new revolution."
Image: "The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor." From an 1846 lithograph.
Masons | Masonic Principles | Thomas Jefferson | Freemasonry | Ron Paul | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com