Saturday, June 03, 2006

Missouri Masonry: Maybe it's time to show me!

Brother John Ratcliff has written another very interesting blog entry today, about his experiences in Free-Masonry in his native state of Missouri.

It continues to amaze me that Missouri Masonry is so Masonic, embodying the ideals we all want to see in Masonry, while tales of Masonic misdeeds and malfeasance continue to come in from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other states. Is Missouri immune to the petty politics and shady shenanigans other Masonic jurisdictions have seen? Is Brother John wearing blinders? Or are the rest of us just sucking on sour grapes, failing to see how wonderful mainstream Masonry really is in Georgia, etc.

I know I would have been ecstatic to have found the joy and the comaraderie in my lodge that Brother John has in his in Missouri. Naphtali Lodge sounds like an amazing place, the type of lodge many of us were seeking when we became Masons. I hoped for it, I prayed for it, I worked for it... but I didn't find it.

Brother John's article includes a tongue-in-cheek list of "Top Ten Reasons Not to Become a Freemason."

His number five reason:
You are a religious fundamentalist and believe the dogma of your faith is the only one true path to salvation. You believe that your only duty in this world is to convert other human beings to your faith, or damn them to hell if you fail. You have no room for "so called" religious tolerance, and this idiotic ideal of "freedom of religion" is a liberal commie plot by those pot-spoking hippies in the American Revolution.
Number Five struck me as less-than-humorous. To me, it sounded like the reason many men actually became Masons, not a reason they stayed away. In Georgia, it's practically an unwritten rule that you must be a fundamentalist Christian to become a Mason, at least in the lodges I've sat in.

As I've written many times before, it is customary in north Georgia lodges to pray loud and long to Jesus, asking for revival and soul-saving and redemption and all those other fundamentalist Christian buzzwords. It's like a different Masonry here than the one Brother John describes in Missouri.

Maybe The Fly Bottle was right when he wrote, "Missouri is the metaphysically essential center of the USA."

Maybe I should move....

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  1. well, i know some brothers who would take off their aprons and walk out if that happened in a blue lodge. Some of my brothers thought chapter was too religous!

  2. Thanks for the plug. I enjoyed writing what I hoped was a humorous post. Missouri Masonry is full of the same human failings you might find elsewhere, I'm quite sure. However, in general my experience has been very positive.

    I also might add that much of what I experience here is indeed of a 'coffee club' nature (I've never had a particularily philisopical or esoteric discussion ever in a Masonic lodge), but I quite enjoy the Fraternal aspect anyway.


    Brother John

  3. Brother John,

    I quite enjoyed the fraternal aspects of Masonry, too, even though I quickly learned there were very few who could hold a conversation about Masonic esoterica, or who even knew the ritual.

    But that fraternal-ness quickly turned to backstabbing isolationism when dealing with the sexual deviant in our lodge turned brother against brother, and the good ol' boys sided with the perv and his family in trying to hide things, and instead lashed out at me for carrying out my duty as Junior Warden in bringing Masonic charges against him.

    In small town America, the good ol' boy network is stronger than fraternal Masonic bonds.... No, let me rephrase that: In small town America, the good ol' boy network is the same thing as fraternal Masonic bonds. When the chips were down, my "brethren" chose to support the deviant and his Past Master father rather than me.

    Enjoy your lodge activities, but watch your back.

    — Widow's Son

  4. As a 'Modern' Free-Mason even I liked your post. Keep the faith.

  5. what has come out of texas

  6. What has come out of Texas? George W. Bush.


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