I was smoking a cigar with a Brother the other day and we got into a lively discussion on the Blue Lodge (aka, Craft or Particular Lodge). He wondered why I was so committed to the Blue Lodge and not the other bodies of Freemasonry. Although I joined the Shrine and High 12, my participation in these bodies can be described as spotty at best. As to the Scottish Rite and York Rite, frankly, they haven’t made their case for me yet.
My friend argued, “Surely you do not believe the body of Masonic knowledge stops at the Blue Lodge door?”
Perhaps not, but I countered that the Blue Lodge is the bedrock of the fraternity. If it crumbles, so will all of the other Masonic bodies.
The Blue Lodge represents the foundation of the fraternity. All of the other Masonic bodies are built on top of it and, as such, they are totally dependent on its existence. Yet, it seems people are anxious to be raised and move on to these other bodies that are seemingly more fun and interesting. Perhaps this is because there are more rules and regulations heaped on to a Blue Lodge than the other bodies. Consequently, Blue Lodges are inhibited by their Grand Lodges, some to the point of paralysis.
Small wonder people want to move on to other bodies.
These other Masonic bodies often behave autonomously, as if they were independent of the Blue Lodge.
They’re not. They are totally dependent on it. Yet, they rarely lift a finger to help the Blue Lodge. Instead, they fly overhead like vultures waiting to pick off the new members for their own organizations. This is resulting in a growing rift between the Blue Lodge and the other bodies, a very unhealthy situation. Instead of snatching bodies, the other Masonic organizations should be looking for ways to cooperate with the Blue Lodge, such as attracting members, presenting educational programs, helping in fund-raisers, assisting in Lodge newsletters and web sites, etc. Instead of an adversarial relationship, they should be building a spirit of cooperation and trust. Unfortunately, this is not what is happening. Relations have gotten so bad that some Lodges flat-out refuse to let the other bodies in their doors.
I guess the point of all this is that we are all on the same team, but we should always be cognizant of the fact that the Blue Lodge is the bedrock of the fraternity. I like to think of it as the offensive front-line of a football team; without them, everyone else will get clobbered.
Keep the Faith.
by W:.Tim Bryce, PM, MPS
Palm Harbor, Florida, USA
A Foot Soldier for Freemasonry
NOTE: The opinions expressed in this essay are my own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of any Grand Masonic jurisdiction or any other Masonic related body. As with all of my Masonic articles herein, please feel free to reuse them in Masonic publications or re-post them on Masonic web sites (except Florida). When doing so, please add the following:
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Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.