“Morality cannot be legislated but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”
Martin Luther King, Jr
This week I’ve started and stopped writing 3 different pieces on the “Georgia Affair” because of a range of conflicting thoughts.
It seems that now, as the story has reached a wider National audience in the New York Times, the reporting is indicating that the charges brought against Gate City have been dropped, but that the court filing remains unresolved.
In some respects it suggests that the wisdom of enlightenment has prevailed and that those operating under older concepts of right and wrong are re-evaluating them in reference to a more modern day enlightened understanding, that essentially to bar a man from membership based on race is not tolerable. And perhaps going further that to demand his expulsion from the craft, or those that admitted him, is also an over extension of the rights we can impose on someone else.
One of the many comments made was that changing men by coercion does not change their heart, that true change of heart comes in time.
This may be true, but truly for a man to change his heart necessitates his openness to change in the first place.
My hope is that with this specter in the open that those dear brothers in the state who are not of like mind and can see past the tint of color and shape the fraternity there in the manner in which it deserves.
The fight is not over, but I hope that this conflict has passed and that in the truest sense the tenants and virtues of Freemasonry truly prevail. Otherwise, to leave it unresolved undermines the very virtues said to be the strength and beauty of our fraternity, and if that happens, truly what purpose does Freemasonry still serve?