Monday, May 10, 2010

Not your grandfather's Freemasonry

Bro. Fred Milliken has written an excellent piece titled "I Resign."

Though the information presented about Bro. Derek Gordon's ordeal with the Grand Lodge of Arkansas is interesting and enlightening, the real meat to the article is Bro. Fred's summary:
  1. This is no longer your Grandfather’s Chevrolet... er, Grand Lodge. Freemasonry must stop living in the past as West Virginia and Arkansas are doing. Instead it needs to adapt to the mores of present day society.

  2. Running a closed society that allows no freedom of expression and muzzles its members is antithetical to Freemasonry of the Enlightenment.

  3. Operating a society with laws, rules and regulations that conflict with civil law and civil rights is not only not in the spirit of Freemasonry but also blatantly immoral.

  4. An organization in this day and age, especially a nonprofit volunteer one, cannot realistically force a person against his will to remain a member. It should be the option of any Freemason to simply resign from any Grand Lodge.

  5. Making up silly and vindictive rules such as prohibiting members from using the Internet or any electronic means to discuss Freemasonry is unbecoming and un-Masonic.

  6. It’s been almost 50 years since Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement transformed America. It is past time that Grand Lodges reflected that change.

  7. It is painfully evident that Grand Lodges can no longer operate as they have done in the past. This is the 21st century with new ways of looking at different lifestyles and morality. Grand Lodges are now in a public-private partnership yet they refuse to recognize their duty to civil law and their new commitments. Failure of Freemasonry to operate within the framework of present day moral, societal and political civil practice could be very costly to the Craft.
Bro. Fred makes some excellent points. Read the entire article.

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  1. Interesting article. I have only minor quibbles (I would view Derek Gordon as a MEMBER of the GLArk, NOT a Volunteer. To be, there is a different. The Masons are a membership organization, not a volunteer organization).

    I would say that there are probably several other organizations (not just some masonic ones) who need to get with the times. And I wouldn't say they need to get with the 21st century. These are things that any good member org should have been following for the last few decades (since the 1960/70s). But too many are stuck in the ancient past in terms of their governance.

  2. Emb021 I would say that it might be possible to look at it as a volunteer/voluntary membership. No person is required to be a member and no person can be required to stay a member. To me that would clear up the grievance.

    What say you on the issue of Bro. Derek Gordon resigning and the GLArk replying saying its expulsion (self-expulsion, nonetheless is still expulsion)? I think those two words are significantly difference. And then if they are different does that mean AR can effectively remove him from Masonry in general?

    My dictionary albeit irrelevant in GLArks eyes says resign is to give up ones office or claim. Whereas expel means to force to leave an organization.

    Am I too ignorant to see the equality in those two words?

  3. Freemasonry is a 501c10, if you do not receive pay for being in the Frat, you are a volunteer. You volunteer to be an officer, even though secretary's and treasurer's get paid. Not sure if it is enough for the Tax Man to worry about, but for the most part, we are volunteers who call themselves Freemasons.

  4. Interesting article. Thanks for posting.

  5. And modern tracking board is a tool for learning about all the things that logos and symbols stood for in the days when the object of Freemasonry was still a secret guarded.

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  6. Freemasonry has been popular throughout the world in fact, is famous presidents freemasons countries, prime ministers, kings, judges of the Supreme Court, senators, military leaders, municipal leaders, writers, men of business, sports heroes and even actors and celebrities.

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