The Beehive recognizes that not everybody will agree with the opinions expressed here. In fact as many won’t as will. Yet in the spirit of fair and balanced journalism Freemason Information is not hesitant to publish counter opinions that take issue with what has been published. We here remain committed to publish any and all legitimate, reasonable replies to what is stated here.
And so we come to a contrary opinion form a friend and well respected Mason from Georgia, Brother Alton Walston, Past Master Lodge #35. To Walston’s friends he is known as ole Blake and the following is his response to How Freemasonry Is Missing The Boat.
It is truly amazing that Freemasonry can be viewed so differently by the members. Could it be that many want to make Freemasonry fit into their own designs and make it become what it was never meant to be.
In this paper and attempt is made to make Freemasonry leader of men. Nothing could be further from it’s original mission.
In the early days of operative masonry, the builder had secrets, not so much as to keep knowledge from the world at large but to keep it pure. Today those secrets of the builder art are still passed from mouth to ear, or should I say “By observed example”. Those who would believe that freemasonry has told all its stories really have not done a lot of observation. Thousands of volumes have been written on the craft both before and after the transformation, but still much of what the builders knew is still a mystery to the lay world. The fact that it is a mystery tells us that those secrets were kept from mankind intentionally.
The operative mason did not strive to lead the public nor to engage in social reform. But it did teach man the trade, art, and science of build, including mathematics, geometry, weights and measures, and the most important art of teaching. It never taught men to lead. but it did teach men to be good at the trade and in business and personal interaction among the people.
As it was true in the operative world, so to, is it true in the speculative world. Masonry was never supposed to be the leader or pillar of the community but it was supposed to teach men how to handle these positions. Many stories have been handed down of the good deeds performed by masons and the public had no idea that it was masons that did the deed. That was the intent of our ancient brethren their wisdom prevails today. Much of the problems that masonry faces today in Grand lodges and even local lodges stems from the fact that they went all out to let the community know who they were and how much they did for the community.
As masonry operated in the background to help our world provide a better life, it flourished and grew because men saw the work and wondered who and how it was done. Slowly information leaked or was planted and the seeker came wanting to help.
However in open society not only does the populace gather at trough for handouts and the benefits of Masonic charity but they have come to demand it. Aren’t we taught somewhere that “although Freemasonry is a charitable institution, we would not wish to take upon ourselves one who would become an immediate charge.”
There is no reason that masonry should become a public venture, it has all the qualities that build leadership and good men. It is those men then that take society upon themselves. Not Freemasonry. We are not in the need for more members, we are in the need for men who come willing to learn and who are willing to carry on the teachings of freemasonry.
When you play at the public well, all are exposed, Demands are made that may exceed the ability to help. While if it were quietly done many in true need could be helped. Society needs honorable men. Masonry makes such men. Masonry was never supposed to take on leadership
It provides the men to fill those positions. When masonry becomes a public entity, it is open for ridicule and resentment. Quietly, it is the world’s most beneficent organization.
Sorry but I do not agree that masonry is missing the boat. The problems we have are internal and becoming public, more engaged in society will only make those problems worse.
Society creates big “Is and little “yous” Masonry teaches just the opposite. Its teaching put all men on the level. That is as it should be. When freemasonry can return to it assigned task of teaching good men to be better men, it will start to regain its once honored prominence. But so long as we endeavor to be a public entity, we will continue to fail and lose members.
We as masons have done far more behind the scenes to liberate humanity and make a better life for millions then all the public benefits ever done in this country. I was reminded of that just the other night when going through some very old lodge minutes; our city did not have a hospital and though many had often approached the county commissioners and tried to get one started nothing had worked. But at a lodge meeting several of the brethren got together and agreed to purchase some land with the express purpose of building a hospital. That parcel of land was given to the city with the provisions that a hospital be built or the property reverted back to the owner. The deal was handled by attorneys that belonged to lodges in neighboring counties so the only folks that really knew of the gift were the brethren of the lodge. It remains a secret today. There have been many incidents of this nature across the country. Behind the scenes we can work wonders but in the public view our hands are tied in many, many ways.
That’s my take on it
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