The Level is the one symbol that distinguishes Freemasonry very differently from all other organizations and societies in the world and has the potential to make it a world leader in advocating peace. There is no Masonic distinction or division of religion, race, wealth, title or political persuasion. All Masons are equal in stature and operate on the level. Masons seek to share what they have in common and keep away from that which divides them.

Every Lodge is an oasis of peace, every Mason a non violent member of his community. Tolerance and non judgmental-ism are the guides a Mason uses to interact with his fellow human beings and live a peaceful life. He doesn’t sanction evil but he does adopt a position of peaceful coexistence with many different paths. Thus the lesson of the video is one every Mason has learned and practices.

Yet the influence that Freemasonry has upon civil society and world peace is very much diminished from what it used to be. This can be attributed to the banning of any involvement with religion or politics. This purging of all interaction with society except in charitable causes is a corruption of the original design of Freemasonry. It reminds me a great deal of the civil argument over separation of church and state where freedom of religion is being interpreted as freedom from religion.

Freemasonry prohibits sectarian religion and partisan politics. In other words it wants no proselytizing within its ranks. Thus non sectarian religion and non partisan politics is perfectly acceptable. So there should be no compunction to avoid issues like honesty in government, world peace or support for schools both private and public. Nor should Freemasonry hesitate to speak out against ethnic cleansing, racial prejudice, false imprisonment, and other violations of human rights.

If Freemasonry desires to have the support and membership of the intellectuals, power brokers, and leaders in arts and sciences then it is going to have to come out of its cocoon and interact with society and become a force in its own right in the world. Freemasonry was never designed to be a cloistered sect.

If Freemasonry can become a force for good in the life of an individual it also can become a force for good in the life of the world. If Paul Revere was here today he would tell you so.


Posted in The Bee Hive and tagged , , .

Fred is a Past Master of Plymouth Lodge, Plymouth Massachusetts, and Past Master of Paul Revere Lodge, Brockton, Massachusetts. Presently, he is a member of Pride of Mt. Pisgah No. 135, Prince Hall Texas, where is he is also a Prince Hall Knight Templar . Fred is a Fellow of the Phylaxis Society and Executive Director of the Phoenix Masonry website and museum.


  1. This is not my way of thinking. I do believe masonry should not embrace politics or religion. Simply said why embrace the two most controversial subjects on our earth.
    Freemason did not decline because we did not open this line of reasoning. It declined because a great many of it’s members decided to dumb down it teachings and quit the practice of requiring it members to hold to a standard. The required lesson to be learned have been shortened and the requirement to learn it ALL was eliminated. Instead of staying in shape as an educational institution it became a social supper club.
    When it members began to understand that the moral and social lessons that Masonry teaches are a genuine requirement for success, Freemasonry will start to regain the status that it carried for so long, that of a silent action group of men who actually used the seven ancient liberal arts and sciences to guide their actions among man.

  2. It’s interesting to see how we can start at almost the same place and end up with different conclusions. Because I think we should not fear encouraging others to pursue their religion, or work politically to their goals. But the effects of those encouragements happen outside the lodge.
    The line is probably easier to draw, or more obvious, for politics. As soon as we as an organization start to go into politics we will have a “them” and “us”. If we speak against (specific) false imprisonment it means we’ll first have to decide what is false, ie have our own investigation and judgement system. If we speak out against violations of human rights, we again have to first independently judge what those violations are. If we condemn acts of terror against innocent and civilians, we must be able to do so even if the perpetrator is a “terrorist”, a “terrorist group”, a “terrorist state” or even a “reirly regular state who is in a state of war”. Are we ready to do that? Should we even do it? My answer is no. The only line we can draw in order to not get into partisan politics is to not get into politics at all.

    With that said, I am glad to see bretheren engage themselves politically, even when I disagree with their politics and goals. I know they are doing it to promote what they honestly think is the best for society and their fellow man. Even if I think they are wrong. 🙂
    But if a lodge would publically support them? Then no thanks. Not only would that be a problem for me personally, I think it would be bad for masonry. And it would certainly not be the organization I joined.

  3. Greetings Bro. Fred,

    Of course, what better place to begin than by demonstrating a lack of bias in terms of masonic obediences. Once the idea of Universal Masonry includes recognizing and treating all forms of freemasonry with a small modicum of civility, it can perhaps move on to taking a greater role in society once again.

    Eoghan Ballard

  4. Ole Blake let me reply thusly:

    Yes, but instead of enlightening minds one at a time through initiation it can enlighten whole groups of minds in society without initiations. There is very little about Freemasonry that we cannot openly discuss with the public.

    And sticking to general topics like honesty, education, morality, temperance, justice, inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator, we are speaking in general terms – that is non sectarian religion – that religion that is common to all mankind – and non partisan politics – that trueness and righteousness in our society that enables society to be just and fair to all regardless of station in life.

    Goodness and righteousness can be taught to society as a whole in addition to one man at a time. It only remains for us to let the public know what we are about and where we do stand instead of keeping a secret that which is not a secret.

  5. So Brother Lindgvist we cannot publicly state what we believe? Then we are a monastery and we are all Monks.

    Does the Pope hurt the Catholic church when he makes pronouncements about civil society in an attempt to have the world govern itself closer to the ideals of God’s vision?

    Are the 4 Cardinal Virtues never to be mentioned in public?

  6. Greetings all:

    My opinion is this. It is up to the individual Mason to be as involved in politics as much or as little as we want, to attend our churches (if we have one) if we want, to adore our higher power in our own ways when we want to.

    Freemasonry should only be an enhancement to, not the root of any of our personal and dearest beliefs. My Masonic experience and what I hold valuable in it’s teachings may not be what another Mason holds valuable. The Masonic path is as unique as every Mason who has ever been blessed enough to be hailed as “Brother”.

    The chain that binds us is Brotherly love, not a political platform or party. NOT a religion or a certain deity. I would be bound to love my Muslim Brother as much as my Christian Brother or my Gnostic Brother. And THAT I believe is the struggle we have in our humanity; to see beyond another persons political or religious beliefs when they don’t fall in line with our own and to give that person their due respect regardless of the belief system they hold, that act of giving the due respect is the essence of Brotherly Love.

    So I wear my Masonic ring, pins and auto emblems proudly as I try to CONVINCE another person of NOTHING political or religious; but always intend to INSPIRE another to hail something greater than themselves as I seek something greater than my own self.

  7. We can (and should) as individuals state what we beleive and for those who chose to work through the political system, great. And the four cardinal virtues, along wiht a number of other masonic ideas, can surely be promoted both by individuals and masonic organization.
    But when the line is crossed to specific political causes, no matter how good the intention is, then the only clear gate is passed to switching from the fully-obvious-to-all goals, to the everyone-will-surely-agree-with-this, to the this-makes-sense-to-us-here-and-now to the daily-political-comment. I’m not saying it MUST go down that slipperly slopy, I’m only saying that we’ve taken the first step on that path. And since there’s no central governing body for Freemasonry, some will go further down that path than others.

    But perhaps I’m completely misunderstanding your point; what actions or standpoints do you think masonry should take publically?

  8. Whenever I broach this subject I get replies like – you want to support Republicans or Democrats, this bill or that bill, this political philosophy or that political philosophy? And that is not what I said at all.

    We are Freemasons – Masons who are free. Why cannot we not talk about liberty and the worth of each individual? Did we not come out of the Enlightenment where Freemasons were leaders in promoting democratic government, separation of church and state and education for the masses? So if that was OK then why is it not OK now?

    Let me quote once again Paul Bessel:

    “Freemasonry could be, and could have been in the past, the only institution in the world that at all times in every way promotes tolerance and meeting on the level. We could be the leaders in seeking racial harmony, religious ecumenism, cooperation among men and women, civility between people who believe in different political philosophies, and friendliness among those who choose to live their lives differently from others. We could be better than the United Nations, Amnesty International, and interfaith organizations, all together, because we could be the prime organization supporting tolerance for all, everywhere, in all circumstances. This would be a unique role for Freemasonry.”

  9. We are free thinkers and as such all topics are open for discussion. If we submit to censorship we do nothing as Freemasons and find ourselves running scared from important issues. Ben Franklin never did, George Washington never did, why should we? Talking about religion/politics and their effects, positive or negative, on mankind merits discussion after all we are not heretics deserving of fire or beheading, we just want to talk about what solutions may exist that may cease the acts of genocide be it religious in nature or politically motivated. Truth is what we all want, is it not. Peace.

  10. What a great comment. I wrote a paper in 2004 – World Peace Through Brotherhood” – In it I quote Brother Joseph E. A. Salem of the Israeli Scottish Rite:

    “Too many people believe that peace is a diplomatic maneuvering, a series of talks and shuttle trips between countries, or a pile of documents signed in Paris or on the lawn of the White House, in Washington. Real Peace can only come from the hearts of men.”

    “The greatest ideal in the world today is fraternity, not as a mere sentiment, but as a science, a practical philosophy and a way of life. If ever there was a generation eager and willing to try out the philosophy of brotherhood with wisdom and patience, it must be this generation. We have been shown in letters of blood and fire, what hate, envy and greed can do.”

    “I believe Freemasonry can do a lot towards building a better world, fit to live in, unstained by blood, undefiled by hatred. This is the challenge to our craft.”

    “’Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.’ This is the Commandment to which Freemasonry dedicated itself, to establish brotherhood among men so they can live in peace with each other in this world.”

    “The struggle of Freemasonry is the struggle of the human race against tyranny and oppression. From the beginning, Freemasonry has realized that religion, tradition, and habits of life can divide the peoples of the world into hostile camps. Freemasonry takes no part in these quarrels, rather it provides a common meeting ground where all men can meet on the level.”

    “Every Masonic lodge is a temple of peace. In it, men of different religions and stations in life meet together, and on its altars, the Sacred Volumes of all faiths are placed. The spirit of harmony and cooperation prevails. The Masonic teachings of equality and fraternity are the only tie that can bind the human family together, and create a world order based on brotherly love and peace.”

  11. in my opinion, during earlier times the world was much simpler it was easier to masonic and politically affiliated in public ….my fear is that if we became vocal about politics the beauty of freemasonry would become perverted by those with politically fueled causes instead of what the craft stands for. the topics of the lodge would shift more to politically involved rhetoric than serving the community. i’m not exactly fond about the amount of publicity we receive now but be careful what you ask for when things are political.

  12. Whenever I broach this subject, as I have said before, everybody jumps to the conclusion that I am advocating a promotion of partisan politics. That is far from the truth. What I had in mind was more a global morality.

  13. If you’re always misunderstood when you use the word “politics” perhaps you should use a word that gives the readers a better understanding of the message you want to convey? Good morality and ethics, mentioning specific virtues etc, might give people (myself included) a better understanding of what you want to see.

    And as for that, I think the best ambassadeurs for those values are the individual masons. I think we should encourage brothers to take active part in society and feel free to refer to themselves as masons and hold masonic ideals high and visible. It’s when it gets to acting as an organization that I have a harder time to see examples of what you’d like to see.

  14. well i can tell you this—-politics in a lodge or in a grand lodge does more harm than can be fixed—grand lodge of ark. and jasper lodge no 21 has has spoiled masonry in northwest ark. i dont feel it will survive


  16. The reason we are loosing members faster than the Churches in American. Do u believe Washington, Franklin Revere did not talk or act on Politics? If we are to defend freedom, we must be involve, using our oaths and Pikes guide for man. We do not have senators, local state congress men, judges etc (most could not pass the qualification. Have you read minutes of the founding fathers at Lodge. We let anyone in, with the money. And one day schools, and don’t even know Pike nor have studied Morals and Dogma. We have become a weak organization, same as our country. Will we step up or worry about more dues? After 45 years as a member, I have become disillusioned . May Gods blessing and enlighten be for all

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