Sunday, March 02, 2008

Invitation to a Georgia lodge

As is typical, a few Burning Taper readers took offense at a recent article. No matter where I shine the Light of Inquiry in the wide world of Freemasonry, analyzing what's going on and then making a few comments or suggestions, someone associated with that particular area of Masonry gets offended.

It's kind of a sad commentary on Freemasonry that its members often get upset when someone asks a question. It's a variation on the theme of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," but that's a topic best left for another time.

My article "A template for attracting Masons?" looked at a news release that announced a Massachusetts blue lodge's upcoming open house. The article really didn't give a reason to become a Mason. It simply paraded out the same old song-and-dance about how charitable we are, and played up the fact that many of the nation's founding fathers were Freemasons. I asked if that was all we as Masons have to offer.

A kind reader sent me a link to the video by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts that you can watch below.

I was fairly impressed. The video is well-written, edited and produced. It admittedly trots out many of the same things that the aforementioned news release did, namely, the founding fathers tie-in and a lot of "we do charity" stuff, but all in all, it paints a rosy picture of Freemasonry, and gives a reason why men might actually want to become Mason: Friendship, camaraderie, brotherly love.

They even mention trust (a bond I certainly don't share with very many local mainstream Masons).

These are all good reasons for a man to want to seek out and join with like-minded men. These are the reasons I wanted to become a Mason.

If Freemasonry in Massachusetts is actually the way it's presented in the video, then sign me up. It sounds great.

It absolutely does not reflect Freemasonry as I have found it to be in Georgia.

The on-screen narrator is black. That man would never have become a mainstream Mason had he been a Georgia resident, nor would his father, a famous NFL player. Even today, that man would not even be allowed to sit in a Georgia mainstream blue lodge, even if he presented his paid-up dues card from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (a grand lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of Georgia) and otherwise could pass the due examination of a visiting brother.

I've emailed, talked with, and even met and shared bread and wine with brothers from New England and other non-southern states (and even Canada), and I think each of these men are excellent examples of what a Freemason should be. I have no quarrel with the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, other than to suggest that they and other non-southern grand lodges should withhold recognition of still-racist southern Grand Lodges that refuse to accept black members or to recognize Prince Hall Masons.

I would welcome in my home and my lodge the black brother who narrates this video, and any other African-American Masonic brother. Bring your dues card and go to my lodge with me and let's see if they'll let you in. I don't think they would, but I'd love to be proved wrong.

Image: Pickens Star Lodge 50-year Masons receiving awards, Jan. 2005

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  1. Widows Son,

    Thank you for being a Southern Freemason who is willing to expose the racism still present in Masonry. Also, I agree with you that all of the promotional stuff about Masonry really sets the bar above the level that Masonry is currently operating at.

    Heck, I know some GL officers that don't abide by their obligations. If that is so, why would any other Mason live by our virtues?

  2. WS,
    Sadly you know as well as I, that he would not be welcomed into any lodge in Georgia as he would not be allowed in any lodge in Alabama.

    "IF" he was allowed in the door nearly everyone else would leave.

    As in the infant days of the civil rights movement brave blacks and white's went to the "white only" lunch counters, and to drink from "white only" water fountains. It wasn't until this was accomplished did we see change take place in the South.

    That same action must happen within these bigoted lodges in the South. Masons are suppose to stand up when liberty and justice is blocked and to stand up against all agents of wrong. I challenge each and every Grand Lodge that has overcome the darkness of bigotry and hate to stand up for the wrong still committed in Southern Grand Lodges. Make Masonry what it is; a place where all men can meet upon the level.

    Stop turning a blind eye.

  3. I appreciate your focusing like a laser beam on this hypocrisy. We in the north are obliged to step-up and begin to question our recognition of these Grand Lodges, change will not happen without pressure. Just as a diamond is created out of coal, time and pressure.

  4. During the time of slavery it is was said" "In time it will change."

    Before the civil rights movement it was said: "In time it will change."

    It has been 40-45 years since the end of Jim Crowe but NOTHING has changed within a Freemasonry which in its foundation claims to be tolerate.

    Slavery only ended after someone stood up addressed it.

    Jim Crowe laws were only removed after someone stood up and addressed it.

    The bigoted Grand Lodges will only change when its hatred and racism is addressed.

    Any Grand Lodge anywhere who stands behind the statement; "Grand Lodges are sovereign and we can't change it" are as much of the problem as the Grand Lodges who practice it. These Grand Lodges are enablers of hatred, bigotry, and racism. Its time it is addressed. The Grand Lodges that practice this have no reason to change as long as the Grand Lodges across the nation REMAIN SILENT.

  5. I agree and I often was told to just cool it. All the racists will die out and then everything will be OK. Well these racists raised racist children who became Masons and carried on the family tradition of being racist.

    I was told I was just a rebel rouser and to get involved with Grand Lodge if I didn't like the way it was being run. If my Grand Lodge ever got wind that I was working for racial harmony it would stonewall any further rise in leadership roles I might aspitre to.

    Knowing this my answer was to leave my Grand Lodge and join Prince Hall. I am now a very happy Prince Hall Mason and when I walk into a Prince Hall Lodge I have never been to and nobody knows me, I am not even glanced at but welcomed with a big hug!

  6. I had a PDDGM and current Grand Chapter officer tell me," If you do not like the system TC, then leave and start your own"!

    Best masonic advice from a prurple apron to date.

  7. Personally, if I were GM of California (a HIGHLY unlikely event) I would withdraw recognition from any GL that did not at the VERY least, admit candidates of color (actively). Is that what you guys really want?

    I mean, wouldn't it be easier for y'all to just join a neighboring grand lodge and then dimit from the (name the racist grand lodge here)? Do you really want a precedent of the other Grand Lodges telling you how to operate?

    What will it be next? Withdraw recognition from any GL that does not allow TO lodges? Withdraw it from any GL that does not have a Child ID program? Withdraw it from any GL that does not... whatever?

    On the one hand, I have called for, and still support withdrawing recognition from the 12 remaining GLs that do not recognize PH as the regular and real masonry that it is, on the other hand, I am not really comfortable with the precedent and where it could lead.

    You see, if the brethren of the racist Grand Lodges are unwilling on their own to take action, why on earth should their brothers outside their jurisdiction FORCE a change on them that they patently don't want.

    If any GL thought the majority of its members wanted to recognize Prince Hall and admit men of color (and non Christian too boot if we are going to be honest here), it would change. But its easier to sit back and cry "you need to force us" when what really needs to happen is the CULTURE that allows racism to continue even today needs to be changed.

    I have already asked my Grand Lodge to withdraw recognition of the 12 states, and have been told its not a tradition to interfere in the sovereignty of the GL. So, while some brothers are agitating for the rest of us to force you to change, how about you all, in those states, stepping up to the plate on your own and doing something substantive... perhaps like Wr. Squire has done.

    He put his money where is mouth is. If the brothers who can't stand the racism were to join a Prince Hall Lodge in their area, or charter new lodges under the Prince Hall Grand Lodge and quit the "mainstream" racist grand lodge, they would get a clue pretty darn quick.

    One thing to consider, while we are b-slapping our racist brothers... the Prince Hall Grand Lodges aren't as up for this struggle as you may think. As Wr. Squire how difficult it was initially to join the Prince Hall Lodge he is in now.

    Those brothers are not unmindful of the politics involved, either.

  8. The choices are not limited to Prince Hall. There are other Grand Lodges where racism and sexism are not issues. They are progressive and forward thinking and have been growing steadily over the past 20 years.

    Grand Orient of France
    Grand Orient of the United States
    George Washington Union
    Feminine Grand Lodge of Belgium
    Feminine Grand Lodge of France

    With these Grand Lodges men and women of all races can meet together on the Level.

    In 1751 Freemasons from the Grand Lodge of England began voting with their feet and joining the Grand Lodge of the 'Antients'. A similar movement is beginning today. Freemasonry is a progressive science and it continues to evolve with or without the state Grand Lodges.

    More and more the smaller Grand Lodges are beginning to work together and extend the Chain of Union across the United States. They offer equality, education and spirituality. The high esoteric Rites are only available through them. They are giving back to Freemasons that which was taken away.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Sorry Jeff, I do not consider ANY of the obediences you listed as valid options. They all have SERIOUS flaws which make them untenable.

    My solution at least has the value of remaining in regular, recognized freemasonry while still attaining the goal to hand. Your solution is too much like cutting off your arm to cure a hangnail.

  11. ignoring a spreading cancer or treating cancer with aspirins won't work either

  12. They may not be "valid options" for you. Of course you may enjoy continually banging your head against the brick wall of your Grand Lodge.

    Others may see a progressive and flexible Grand Lodge as a very valid option.

    Why fight an uphill battle with a dying organization when you can join forces with one that is flexible, progressive, and growing?

    Apparently, some of your California brethren agree. There are now two Grand Orient USA lodges in southern California. You would be shocked at who's on the membership list.

  13. What is apparent is that some have had bad, or possibly terrible, experiences with the Grand Lodge in their jurisdictions. This resentment may be well-founded, but lashing out at Theron and calling him names does nothing to solve the problems you guys have with your Grand Lodge (or former Grand Lodge).

    Those who have left regular (mainstream) Masonry did so for very personal reasons. Such a move couldn't be anything less than a dramatic lifestyle change, and I think that contributes a great deal to the feelings that some folks share on these forums.

    Ben R.

  14. There are now two Grand Orient USA lodges in southern California. You would be shocked at who's on the membership list.

    I wouldn't. But not for the reasons you think.

    There are - and always have been - a number of Masons who enjoy the esoteric, and who are drawn to learning about the various rituals of the different Masonic obediences. Some of these Masons - in violation of their obligations - spend time exploring the ritual practices of Grand Orients, Memphis-Misraim, and others.

    But they aren't doing this because they are dissatisfied and ready to leave the AF&AM system; they're doing it out of curiosity and a desire to continue their own studies.

    I'm sure that there are a handful of members who are unsatisfied and ready to leave the mainstream GL; there have always been people unsatisfied with the current system. If they can go off and start their own lodges and thrive, then good for them! In the Northeast we have a number of unrecognized jurisdictions, all living and working side by side, co-existing on parallel planes, as it were. I run into such brothers once in a while, and always wish them well.

    Interestingly, I've never heard any of them badmouth the AF&AM Grand Lodge. I wonder why that is?

  15. Theron wrote:

    "I have already asked my Grand Lodge to withdraw recognition of the 12 states, and have been told its not a tradition to interfere in the sovereignty of the GL."

    In actual fact, interfering with the sovereignty of another GL is very much a tradition of US MS Freemasonry.

    In 1898 the GLWA unanimously accepted the regularity of PH Masonry. A mob of other US (and one Canadian!) GM's bullied them into retraction.

    In 1948 the GLMA unanimously accepted the regularity of PH Masonry. A mob of other US GM's (including CA.US) bullied them into retraction.

    In 1989 several (small) US GL's began to recognize some PH GL's. Some large US GL's, and 1 extremely large foreign GL tried to bully them into retraction, according to the old tradition). But they stood up to the bullies.

    In 2002 the GLMN unanimously voted to re-affirm its existing recognition of the GLdF. Several US GL's, Canadian GL, and 1 very large foreign GL bullied them into retraction.

    In 2005 the GS of the GLCA was very well aware of this, when he said:

    "Were it not for this doctrine (territorial exclusivity) the Masonic Fraternity could well have been a leader in our nation on civil rights and the racial integration of blacks into American society beginning as early as 1898 (in Washington) or even in 1947 (in Massachusetts).

    Instead we came along 25 years after the passage of Civil Rights legislation to recognize the truth that territorial exclusivity simply was a lie in principle and in fact.

    Not only did we squander an opportunity, we simply let the doctrine of territorial exclusivity become the excuse and the ruse for our own lack of brotherhood, and our immoral apathy about "separate but equal" segregation.

    Shame on us. And shame on all the leaders of Freemasonry who did not live up to the ideals we so proudly professed but so blatantly ignored."

    So then, what to do about those 11 holdouts? -- AL AR FL GA KY LA MS NC SC TN WV

    Theron Dunn proposes "punishing" them. This is certainly a common "masonic" tradition. The historical records are full of bad guys "punishing" good guys.

    But perhaps there are other options?

    Consider the following:

    Of the 150,000 PH Masons, the majority are not recognized by a single one of the 51 US MS GL's. Most Canadian GL's have considered them regular for 16 years. All Australian GL's have considered them regular for 7 years. The UGLE has considered them "of exemplary regularity" for 13 years. But the US MS GL's have sometimes recognized just a tiny fraction, and then "forgotten the issue". Not our "problem".

    Well, how about "the good guys" simply recognizing *all* PHA GL's and be done with it.

    That would be a straightforward application of the concept of recognition.

    For those who "think" that they understand that recognition is "bilateral", "trilateral" in the US -- why not start with "accept as Regular"?

    All Canadian GM's did this in 1992, and the world did not end.

    Sounds like a gentler (and more convincing) approach than "punishing".

    The message would be "we respect you as equals" to the PH brothers.
    And that would be a good start.

    Certainly better than the message that one GL Up South seems to be sending:

    "We don't respect you as equals, but we want to visit you and avail ourselves of your hospitality, never mind that we are 200 times a big as you are. And if you should want to visit us, with our insulting attitude, be sure to enter through the back door, because we won't open the front door for you!"

    It's not hard to know what is right. Recognition is right. It only takes a few minutes, where the honest intention is there. Then we can practice the good principles of freemasonry in peace.

    All the rest is for photo-opportunists and masonic warfare profiteers.

  16. Hey, the Dunce... nice comments... useful and on point as always. Keep up the good work.

    Jeff, you CLAIM a lot about California. In fact, you have been claiming a California lodge for UGLA and now for GOOUSA... so what? I think it is a waste of time, it started off with the lie that it was in amity with the GOoF, which has been shown to be false.

    And, there are all kinds of fake masons in California, and even some LDH lodges. That is hardly a disparagement of the brethren in membership with the Grand Lodge of California F&AM... you know, the REGULAR Grand Lodge, the one in Amity with the rest of the regular grand lodges in the USA and in the world?

    There are over 50 "grand lodges" in California, and they have all the legitimacy of the Halcyon Lodge #2, and the GOoUSA (or is the the United Grand Lodge of America?) which is to say, no legitimacy.

    Rah rah... if you enjoy the system you have created, why, knock yourself out. It has no substance anywhere except on the internet, and no currency among real masons. As your buds T. Dunce, SQ, Brad and TC420 have AMPLY demonstrated, they learned little at the altar of freemasonry other than a few grips and words. Nothing of substance seems to have been communicated.

    If that is the quality that you consider as representative of your "systems", I commend you to them. As for myself, the Grand Lodge of California F&AM (you know, one of the TWO REGULAR Grand Lodges in California), I enjoy it, the numbers have turned around, Masonic Formation is spreading, our Grand Line is vibrant, the brethren are in control of the Grand Lodge, its laws, and constitution... all the things you wail about being missing in Georgia and Alabama, and Florida and...

    Since we have all the things you claim to want, I can see no reason for your attack on my grand lodge other than that you just can't stand to see any brothers enjoying their freemasonry if it not revolving around your vision...

    and the funny thing is, my Grand Lodge IS doing all the things you demanded... except recognizing women's lodges... and there is simply no need to do that.

    Now, y'all can either discuss issues, which is what great minds do, or you can continue to slander an defame me, which is what small minds do.

    Your choice, but your choice betrays you...

    Now, go back to talking among yourselves. I lived without this place for two months, and only visited as your tearing at each other was recommended by a good brother. I see nothing has changed... personal attacks, nabobs of negativity, and nothing but long knives...

    how sad that men who claim masonry can't ACT like masons...

  17. The Widow's Son wrote:

    I have no quarrel with the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, other than to suggest that they and other non-southern grand lodges should withhold recognition of still-racist southern Grand Lodges that refuse to accept black members or to recognize Prince Hall Masons.

    I have a sample draft of Masonic legislation that any jurisdiction could adapt, to accomplish the withdrawal of such recognition. It is available on my website, "21st Century Freemasonry," at

    (See the November 2, 2007 entry.)

    Incidentally, my returning health will allow me to make new entries to that blog. Let's ramp up the volume on racist grand lodges.

  18. "You see, if the brethren of the racist Grand Lodges are unwilling on their own to take action, why on earth should their brothers outside their jurisdiction FORCE a change on them that they patently don't want."

    Please explain why it was acceptable for other states to jump on the band wagon demanding that the Southern states to put an end to Jim Crow? According to your statement? Wasn't that the Southern states business?
    Does this mean other states have no right to right a wrong? This what I got from what you stated.
    Another point: why did the Federal Government force the Southern states to give Blacks the right to vote? According to what you said about GL sovereignty this mentality should also apply to all the Southern states and what they do pertaining to Blacks in general. Is this what you are stating?
    Its wrong for GL's to hide behind the mentality that it's okay for GL's of the South to continue shouting that Black Masons are not equals to the white GL's.
    With this ideology why was the South forced to treat blacks as equals period? What is the difference as you see it?
    I'm confused; It was wrong to segregate by race and wrong to keep Blacks from voting and it IS wrong for any GL to ban Black members and to spit in their face by gleefully stating Black Masons are not equal to their White Brothers.
    Freemasons used to fight tyranny what happen?

  19. Tyranny? Brother, get a grip for a second. If the brethren of the grand lodges in question cannot fix their own lodges, and in fact do NOTHING to fix them, how/why can we "fix" them?

    You allude to the civil rights laws, which were quite effective. And yes, the citizens of the United States took action to stop the pervasive racism... sorta. It really hasn't affect the lodges in the south, though, has it?

    If you want to know my position on the withdrawal of recognition, and why I have revisited my position that we should withdraw recognition, go read my blog:

    I am looking for solutions rather than trying to get someone else to fix the problem for me. I will be more impressed when I see the brethren in these racist lodges do something for themselves.

    I want to help, but I really think withdrawing recognition will cause more problems that it solves. These brothers need to do something themselves before asking us to force them to change...

  20. MA, the Fed was within rights to do so - that's why it's the Federal government, of course.

    You're certainly not suggesting that we have a centralized head of Freemasonry in the US, are you? Hell, you can barely tolerate a state-level GL; I can't even imagine what atrocities a US-level overseeing body would cause.

    But that's not the important thing.

    If the last 12 GLs voted tomorrow to recognize PH GLs, what would happen? My guess would be "not a thing." There's not going to be any rush to visit each other's lodges, and you're just going to watch as a bunch of purple-aproned mucky-mucks slap each other on the back, and maybe next year you'll do it again.

    Doesn't sound very productive to me.
    3 dozen other states are not going to change the culture of racism (that's what we're talking about, right?) in the remaining ones. You can't legislate people to like each other. See, this is where the real work of Masonry has to take place: you've got to roll up your sleeves, and encourage your brothers to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

    Get the members of your lodge to have a joint project with the local PH lodge. You don't need to sit in lodge together for that, you just need a bunch of guys willing to do what's right. Run a blood drive. Have a joint Child ID program. Have a Habitat for Humanity house for a week or a few weekends. Hell, just get together for a damn picnic and play some softball or something.

    And when you've gotten off of your butts, then encourage other lodges to get off of theirs. That is how you change things. Stop trying to force the Grand Lodges to change, when you can't even get the Blue Lodge members to change.

  21. A worthless person, a wicked man, is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, who points with his fingers; who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, who spreads strife. Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing. There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.

    Not directed at anyone, unless your own conscience finds it necessary to listen and be offended. "If the whole world is wrong, right yourself"

  22. Most of the commentators on this subject are much like today's drive-by media—anecdotal and no substance. If you did any research on the subject you would find that MANY Masons in the South are working for change. Granted we are the minority, but we are pushing forward in this up-hill battle; not to satisfy critics, but for the betterment of Masonry and all men.
    Please visit our NC Mason magazine archive and you will see for yourself. You will find many articles addressing the subject within NC Masonry and reports on mainstream-prince-hall cooperation. In fact, you don't have to reach too far, just take a peak at our last edition:

    I ask those who bother to review it: who is standing beside our newly installed GM, David Cash? Why it’s PHA GM Toby Fitch.

    Our GL has toiled with this issue for several years along with the local PHA GL. Still, we haven’t been able to get recognition passed—yet. However, some commentators are writing as if there was no attempt by our GL to get recognition passed. The GL (at least in NC) can’t shove something down our throats; but it has taken steps (arguably wrong ones) to make recognition of PHA obtainable.

    And even if there were full-recognition and inter-visitation in place it won't change the heart of an individual. So there’s a need to change the culture within individual lodges, by the brethren, not by threats of “withdrawal of recognition” against GLs.

    I've heard some Brothers will tear up their dues cards if recognition passes in September. And, as I told one of my closest Masonic Brothers, "I'll miss them, but NC Masonry will survive without them; it’s not the first time a brother demit because he didn’t agree with the rules & regulations that he obliged to support; they won’t be the last”.

    I don't pretend that there isn't an issue here, but, it needs to be taken care of internally. When Brethren from other states want to paint us all with the broad bush of racism (so common these days), they are doing a disservice to all those who have voted FOR recognition over the years.

    This is North Carolina. I can't speak for Georgia or Alabama Masons, or any other.

    We don't need threats of Northern aggression (this coming from a former New Yorker).


    Enoch Rodriguez
    Phoenix Lodge No.8

  23. I don't pretend that there isn't an issue here, but, it needs to be taken care of internally. When Brethren from other states want to paint us all with the broad bush of racism (so common these days), they are doing a disservice to all those who have voted FOR recognition over the years.

    Well spoken, Brother Enoch!

  24. "I don't pretend that there isn't an issue here, but, it needs to be taken care of internally. When Brethren from other states want to paint us all with the broad bush of racism (so common these days), they are doing a disservice to all those who have voted FOR recognition over the years."

    Internally means eternity in this case many of the new members are just younger versions of the racist members they have now. So just put your head back in the sand remain silent and you're just enabling it to continue.

    Any Grand Lodge that remains silent gives new meaning to hypocrisy

    1999 Speech about Prince Hall Recognition

    In 1999 Brother Alex Harris addressed the Grand Lodge of Alabama with these noble words:

    "Most Worshipful Grand Master, Right Worshipful Grand Wardens, Brethren,

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about what to say to you today. There are so many issues that could be addressed regarding recognition of Prince Hall Masonry. Eventually though, the argument always comes back to race. So I decided to acknowledge that fact and to stop trying so hard to avoid it. Some may be offended by the observations I am about to make. Some because they have watched quietly as their beloved Masonry has been used as a front for something they would never be a part of. Others because they will realize I am describing them and they have spent their lives convincing themselves they do not hold those views. And still others, who do not hide the fact they are racist, will be very upset because these statements will threaten the existence of our lodges as "whites only."
    Many Masons have told me they could not support this resolution because their lodge will not support it. Others believe in recognition but are honest enough to admit they do not have the courage to stand up in lodge and say so. And still others believe in recognition but they will not support it because they feel Alabama is not ready for it.
    Since when are we concerned about whether the population is "ready" to give up something that is blatantly wrong? Is not part of being a Mason having the courage to stand up for what is just and right, regardless of the consequences? Didn't we learn that from the Masonic founding fathers of our country? Of course, Alabama has been desegregated for over thirty years. We're ready. Brethren, this is 1999. The country has been integrated for a generation. The world has been integrated a lot longer than that.
    Masons in the rest of the world, and the United States for that matter, can't fathom our refusal to accept Prince Hall Masons. The issue is gaining momentum. So far recognition has been granted, or is being negotiated, in thirty US Jurisdictions, seven Canadian jurisdictions and nine other foreign jurisdictions. The United Grand Lodge of England has recognized Prince Hall Masonry in eighteen jurisdictions. This means that every possible argument against recognition has already been debated and refuted in other jurisdictions and there is not a legitimate Masonic reason to deny recognition to Prince Hall Masonry.
    My fear is that one day other jurisdictions will withdraw recognition from Alabama because they believe us to be clandestine since we refuse to recognize the brotherhood of all men. If you think it can't happen, talk to Masons in other jurisdictions. They are discussing it. Will their Grand Lodges take action? I do not know. If they do not address our lack of action then someone, somewhere, will do the same thing we have done here today. They will feel their Grand Lodge is ignoring a vital issue and propose a resolution themselves.
    Too many Masons don't want to sit in lodge with blacks. Fine points of Masonry have been perverted to defend racism that would not be tolerated in the rest of society. You do not want to know the statements I have heard since this resolution was proposed. I am going to tell you some of them anyway because they should be heard.
    You need to know what Masonry is harboring today. A Past Master told me there are lodges I should not visit because I might not make it out of there. Another Past Master stated that "My grand-children may have to go to school with them but I sure won't sit in lodge with them." He also stated that, if this resolution passes, he and all his sons would be forced to leave Masonry and that we would lose at least half our members. I have been asked "what is going on at your lodge with all this 'nigger' talk." I have been asked if I wanted to sit in lodges with "blue-gums." I have never heard that racial slur before, so I guess this has been an educational process too.I want to respond to a few of the statements you just heard. First and foremost... if, because I favor recognition, I would be in physical danger... then Masonry does not exist here anymore. Second... anyone who would leave Masonry, because Prince Hall Masonry is granted recognition, is a Mason in title only. Its lessons are obviously not in their hearts. We may lose a large number of members if the resolution passes. So mote it be. Let them trade their aprons for white sheets with hoods. We are better off without them.
    There are those who are livid with me right now. They are thinking, "How dare he say that!" or "Saying things like that is a Masonic offense!" or "He should remember his obligation!" My response is this... If speaking the truth, no matter how unpopular, is a Masonic offense, I am guilty and you should expel me because I am going to continue speaking these truths until we do the right thing.
    My dear brethren... We are men, but more than that we are Masons, but more than that we are the creation of the Great Architect Of The Universe. Let us not sully his creation by letting it be associated with evil actions or beliefs. Have the courage to STAND UP and say you will do what is right.
    STAND UP and say you will no longer allow the order to be used to perpetuate racism. STAND UP and announce that we believe in the brotherhood of ALL men. But most importantly, remember the trowel you were presented with at your raising... remember what it teaches us... and then stand up and vote that Prince Hall Masonry is now, and always has been, a legitimate branch of Masonry that the Grand Lodge of Alabama should grant full fraternal recognition to."

    Thank you.
    Alex Harris


    The link to the above speech

  26. Any Grand Lodge that remains silent gives new meaning to hypocrisy


    North Carolina announcement
    From: "Dan Weatherington"
    Date: Wed, 23 Jul 97 15:11:30 PDT

    The Board of Custodians of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina recently passed unanimously the following resolution.

    WHEREAS, racial discrimination is abhorrent and unacceptable, and

    WHEREAS, Freemasonry and the Grand Lodge of North Carolina teach the principles of friendship, morality and brotherly love, and

    WHEREAS, Freemasonry regards the internal and not the external qualifications of a man, and

    WHEREAS, the right of visitation is a Masonic landmark recognized in this Grand Jurisdiction,

    NOW THEREFORE, the Board of General Purposes of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina RESOLVES that racial discrimination is abhorrent, unacceptable and unmasonic.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that no board, committee, commission, subordinate lodge, or associated Masonic body in this Grand Jurisdiction shall maintain any racially discriminatory guidelines, practices, or policies.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the master of a Masonic lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction shall not consider the race of any brother from a recognized lodge in deciding who may visit in his lodge.

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the master of a Masonic lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction shall not consider any objection to such a visitation that he believes is based on race.

    To many of you, this may sound like much ado about nothing, but to a southern Mason, it's a HUGE step in the right direction.

    Dan Weatherington PM MPS
    Wilson (NC) 712

    Now, when do we commence the waterboarding? ;-)


    Enoch Rodriguez
    Phoenix No.8 Lodge AF&AM

  27. I'm a Mason in Boston and I just want to say that I have not seen a single case of discrimination and am proud of that. Lodges welcome members from all ethnicities. I have been very happy to sit in Lodge with members from many different religions, ethnicities and backgrounds. I am especially proud that the diversity of our membership is emblematic of the Brotherhood of Man, an important element of Freemasonry.

    I wish the Southern Masons good luck in overcoming the racism in some of their members. A racist Lodge just wouldn't feel right. Perhaps this is the reason that many southern lodges are in decline. The kind of smart and intellectual people who should be drawn to Freemasonry get turned off by the racism of some members. I know that I would run away from any racist lodges like those described here.

    Perhaps one of the reasons the Massachusetts Freemasonry is enjoyed such a renaissance is its inclusiveness and diversity.

  28. The GM of Alabama in 2000 was asked by the GM of NY; "When is Alabama going to recognize prince Hall Masons?"

    The GM of Alabama said: "Two days after Mississippi does."
    In other words when Hell freezes.

    Even North Carolina: Good they passed the resolution in 1997 but its 2008 and they still do not recognize Prince Hall. It ain't over until each and every Jurisdictions recognizes PHA and each and every Lodge has as its members the make-up of the nation in the 21st century.

    Then and only then can we say as Masons "We have over come."

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  30. Hey enoch rodriguez,
    since when did mainstream masonry in North Carolina let in hispanics?

    Why not use a real name instead of trying to make us believe GL o NC has initiated a non white christian!
    huh AP?

  31. Hey enoch rodriguez,
    since when did mainstream masonry in North Carolina let in hispanics?

    Why not use a real name instead of trying to make us believe GL o NC has initiated a non white christian!
    huh AP?

  32. Hey enoch rodriguez,
    since when did mainstream masonry in North Carolina let in hispanics?

    Why not use a real name instead of trying to make us believe GL o NC has initiated a non white christian!
    huh AP?

    Are you kidding me? Mr. Dunce you are so uninformed.

    First, I am an AMERICAN of Puerto Rican descent, not a Hispanic (that's what the gov't and people like you, obviously, want to label me as--and I refuse it.)

    Second, you assume that I am a Christian. My beliefs are my own and no one in MY lodge ever asked me about them. In fact, the only time that religion was brought up in my lodge since I have been a member was when the WM explained why he was placing a Tanakh beside the VSL-he explained that the candidate was of the Jewish faith to those who did not know.

    Third, I can't answer your question because I do not know the answer; but, I can say this, 2 years ago one of the lodges in my district had a Master who had a Spanish surname (I never asked him about his ethnicity, because it never mattered). I know I am not the only, or first, person of Latino heritage in my lodge or of any other Masonic body I am a member of.

    We have AMERICANS of Korean, Mexican, Guamanian, and Puerto Rican descent, and of the Jewish faith in my lodge. Maybe more than most because of the military town it's located in. In fact, in my lodge these days you almost have to be Special Forces or Ranger qualified to petition--that's the poole we've been receiving members lately.

    Lastly, that is my name and it was my father's name, and I'm proud of it.

    Unlike you Mr. Dunce, I decided that I am fine with posting my name, because I would never be ashamed or regret any of my comments.

    When I return from serving my country overseas, I'll be glad to show you my dues cards.

    Enoch Rodriguez
    Phoenix no.8 AF&AM

  33. One last thing, I don't know what an AP is? Can you explain?

    Nevermind, don't bother. I'm sure it's something rude.



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