Georgia Masons had the opportunity in their 2009 Grand Session to come out firmly and clearly on the record against anti discriminatory practices. These resolutions were proposed to be added to the Masonic code after the persecution of Gate City Lodge #2 and were proposed by many different Brothers in the hopes that a situation of this kind would never happen again, it being emphatically addressed in the Masonic code of the Grand Lodge.
These actions were also undertaken because of the code that was used to bring the Worshipful Master of Gate City Lodge No. 2, Michael J. Bjelajac to trial. He was charged with allowing the raising of a non-white man. This you can see in the previous article here on Freemason Information – Georgia Gate City Lodge Persecutor Honored By Scottish Rite.
So if these words were used to charge a Brother, the Grand Lodge code must have an article in it that prohibits the raising of a Black Man. Even if the Grand Master or a committee or by vote of the Grand Lodge removed this provision it was still very disconcerting to many Georgia Masons that it was used to charge a Brother with. So those so concerned wished to make doubly sure that a statute of this nature buried in the fine print of Grand Lodge code would never be used again to persecute a Georgia Mason.
I have picked four of these proposed additions to the Georgia Grand Lodge Constitution to give you an idea of what these Brothers were aiming at.
No. 7 DENYING OR ADVOCATING DENIAL OF PETITION FOR IMPERMISSIBLE REASONS.
“Racism and racial discrimination being antithetical to the principles of Freemasonry it is unmasonic conduct for any Mason to exclude, reject or deny or to solicit, advocate or encourage any other Mason to exclude, reject or deny the petition of any otherwise qualified applicant for the degrees of Freemasonry on the basis of race, ethnicity or national origin.”
No. 8 RACE, ETHNICITY, SOCIAL CLASS, NATIONAL ORIGIN OR RELIGIOUS PERSUASION
“Any man, otherwise qualified, is eligible as an applicant for the degree of Freemasonry without regard to race, ethnicity, social class, national origin or religious persuasion.”
N0 15 ADVOCATING DENIAL OF PETITION FOR IMPERMISSIBLE REASONS
“It is gross un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to advocate the denial of, or to encourage any other Mason to deny the petition of an applicant for the mysteries of Freemasonry because the applicant is of a particular social class, ethncity, nationality, race or religion.”
No. 16 REQUIRING OR ENCOURAGING IMPERMISSIBLE PLEDGES OR OATHS
“It is gross un-Masonic conduct for a Mason to require or to encourage any other Mason to pledge or swear not to elect, initiate, pass, or raise a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry because the candidate is of a particular social class, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”
Presented with the opportunity to put the race question behind them the Grand Lodge in Grand Session VOTED DOWN ALL THESE RESOLUTIONS OVERWHELMINGLY!
Some Masons have said that these resolutions are superfluous and not needed. The Grand Lodge already has such provisions in its code. Well, it also had a statute against the raising of a non white. What is the harm in these additions? What’s wrong with being a little superfluous in the name of justice? Maybe the current code is not clear. Perhaps it is a bit ambiguous. Maybe these additions would close any loopholes. Why not err in the name of justice for all?
Have you not heard of couples later in their marriage renewing their marriage vows? Have you not heard of Christians renewing their baptismal vows? Let’s not make excuses to deny, let us have reasons to permit.
The voting down of these resolutions in Grand Session points to the Grand Master who supposedly healed the Gate City Lodge No. 2 mess. Any Grand Master in Grand Session holds an enormous influence over the voting body. It would be hard to believe that if the Grand Master was solidly and emphatically behind these additions to the Georgia Masonic code that they would have been defeated. And even if… Not by an overwhelming rejection.
It leads one to believe that the Grand Lodge of Georgia yielded to outside pressure and public opinion in 2009, only to come back strong again to reassert itself as anti Black African American.
Are you, Brethren willing to accept Georgia’s decision without protest?