Can such a change defuse Masonic politics?
BRYCE ON FREEMASONRY
Harmony is an essential ingredient to any Masonic Lodge. It is one of the main reasons men gravitate to Lodge; to escape the harsh realities of the world and sit among men who enjoy the company of others and respect the dignity of each other. To this end, it is forbidden to discuss religion and politics, be it related to government or the fraternity. Even during Masonic elections, campaigning is rebuked as it may offend someone. Despite our best intentions though, politics creeps into Masonry, particularly at election time.
It is not uncommon to have Masons whisper behind the scenes to garner votes, to seek endorsements, and run a political machine to maintain control. Far too often we have seen people elevated to a level of responsibility, yet accomplish nothing of substance during their tenure, whether it is a Worshipful Master of a Lodge, a District Deputy Grand Master, or a Grand Master. In such cases, people are looking for nothing more than recognition to feed their ego. This is why such things as aprons and titles are coveted, thereby representing badges of recognition.
It has become customary to recognize Masons as “Worshipful,” “Right Worshipful,” “Very Worshipful,” or “Most Worshipful.” Further, in correspondence we recognize ourselves as PM, PDDGM, PDI, PGM, etc. I have been guilty of this myself, but have been having second thoughts about such pompous titles. It is my belief Masons meet upon the level; that equality is of paramount importance in a Masonic Lodge; that each member’s voice weighs no more than another. Unfortunately, this is no longer true and we bow to men of title instead.
Wouldn’t it be an interesting experiment to drop the titles completely, particularly those no longer in office? Instead, we just refer to each other as “Brother” such as, “Bro. Bryce,” “Bro. Smith,” “Bro. Jones,” etc. Allow sitting officers to carry the title of their office, but when finished, revert back to the “Brother” moniker.
Some might resist and complain, “But I worked too hard for that title!” For whom did you work? A fraternity that promotes meeting upon the level or for your personal glory? Eliminating such titles could very well help defuse the politics of Masonry and encourage those people who truly have the best interests of the fraternity in mind.
What do you think?
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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