At this moment, Frank Haas' lawsuit against Charlie Montgomery, Charles Coleman and the Grand Lodge of West Virginia is the top story on the Charleston (WV) Gazette website and probably its front page story in newsprint. The story is also prominent in the Charleston Daily Mail.
The news of this sorry state of affairs is no longer confined to the relatively small number of West Virginia Masons, or to the Net-savvy denizens of Masonic blogs and forums.
Freemasonry's dirty laundry is officially hung out on the Clothesline of the World, right up there with McClellan's book, Clinton's failed presidential bid, and Lindsay Lohan's missing underwear.
Whether the World cares is anyone's guess.
I'm sure the anti-Masonic paranoid conspiracy crowd will find in the lawsuit more reasons to assume Masonry is ruled by Satan or the Illuminati, and perhaps a few more people will keep their kids from picking up tossed candy at the their local Fourth of July parades if the Shriners are there driving their little cars.
But will it make any difference within Freemasonry? Will men of good character finally speak up for M. W. Bro. Frank Haas, or will they support the West Virginia grand lodge and M.W. Bros. Charlie Montgomery and Charles Coleman? Will other U.S. grand lodges speak up against WV's tyranny, or will they instruct the rest of us to cease and desist our public commentary? Will it be a wake-up call to southern grand lodges who still actively promote racial segregation? Will other grand masters think twice before issuing "edicts" that attempt to unfairly suppress free speech?
To paraphrase Bob the Indian in the mystical masonic movie The Big Empty, "Will it make a difference?"
Image: By the most excellent Virginia photographer Sarah Huntington
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