The Evolution of God


hand of GodBefore reading this article, I would like to make one more plea asking you to fill out my York Rite Survey. The results of this survey will be used to help me develop a program to help the York Rite in my jurisdiction and hopefully the benefits will extend beyond my state. Anyone can fill it out, it is crucial that I get more responses from non-York Rite Masons. Please provide me with some brotherly relief and take two minutes to fill out this survey. Thank you.

I was having my coffee and enjoying my Sunday morning while watching a recent rerun of an episode of The Colbert Report when the show suddenly caught my attention. Colbert’s guest was Robert Wright who has written a book entitled The Evolution of God. This is a topic that I have long been fascinated with because as I have studied the Bible over the years, I have noticed how the depiction of God evolves throughout the history of the Hebrews and eventually gets a huge makeover when Jesus begins to teach.

The God that Abraham served was extremely personal and was even willing to appear to Abraham as a human, almost like a personal angel. The God of Moses was wrathful. The God of David was often a warrior. Then as the Bible transfers to the New Testament, God becomes a universal being who exists for all of creation. This evolution is not unique to the religions which look to the books of the Bible for enlightenment, mankind is continually making God into a more loving and universal creature. Polytheism and idolatry are types of worship which continually keep disappearing and our society is now starting to make the leap from Deism to agnosticism and eventually atheism. While I have not yet read Robert Wright’s book, he explains that he came to a similar conclusion in his interview with Colbert.

This is a topic that is very relevant to Freemasonry. As Freemasons, we have carried the banner of universality in spirituality for nearly three centuries. There are very few places in the world where men of all creeds can sit in harmony and recognize each other as equals and not judge a man based on his own religious choices. Oh sure, there are plenty of examples of Freemasons that don’t understand this and erroneously regard Freemasonry as a Christian organization, but the knowledgeable Mason understands the fallacy of this idea. It is crucial that Freemasons understand the critical role of the organization in creating peaceful relations among men of all beliefs.

In this age of combative 24-hour news and increased divisiveness in issues such as religion and politics, it is crucial for Freemasons to remain the peacemakers. This is an idea that Albert Pike expounds upon in the 6th degree of the Scottish Rite and the American York Rite gives an example of peaceful religious relations in the Order of the Red Cross, when Darius offers his protection to the Jews so that they can rebuild the temple of their God. Of course, these ideas are well covered by the symbol of the Master Mason’s trowel. As society evolves and the perception of God evolves with it, Freemasons should be happy to be at the forefront of the fight for religious understanding and equality.

Today’s men can use a place to go to escape from religious and political bickering and enjoy fellowship with men of all walks of life which are bound to aid, support, and protect each other. I plan on buying a copy of the book The Evolution of God and gaining some insight into mankind’s perception of Deity. After all, couldn’t understanding someone else’s perspective do us all some good?

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the fall of Solomon, judgement, making laws

The Fall of Solomon

the fall of Solomon, king solomon, temple builder, 1 kingsKing Solomon of Israel is referred to in Masonic tradition as being the fraternity’s first Most Excellent Grand Master. He is championed as the man who constructed the magnificent temple for Jehovah and is heralded as the personification of wisdom. However, a closer look at the life of King Solomon shows that he wasn’t always worthy of emulation.

It is true that Solomon had multitudes of wives and concubines, but that will not be the source of any criticism in this article. Many Biblical kings had large harems, including Solomon’s father David. No, Solomon would be condemned for the very sin which had plagued his people for centuries: putting other gods before Jehovah.

As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and for Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites.
1 Kings 11:4-7

The Hebrews could be a strange people. God parted the Red Sea and freed the Israelites from slavery. Then he gave them a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide them. Then he provided them with manna to nourish them. Yet, the Hebrews worshiped other Gods. In Solomon’s case, he was allowed to complete the Lord’s temple and was blessed by the presence of the Ark of the Covenant. Still, he decided to disobey the First Commandment.

Like many main characters in the Old Testament, Solomon’s place of prominence came only through special circumstances. When David was old and frail, Bathsheba convinced him to place Solomon on the throne of Israel (indeed, the influence of women can be great). Solomon was certainly not David’s first choice for his heir. Joseph Heller’s God Knows gives a fictional account of the events surrounding the elderly King David. Heller portrays Solomon in a less than flattering manner in this humorous work. In the story, King David says of his son:

And I was smart enough to appreciate that for Solomon you had to spell everything out. I’ll let you in on a secret about my son Solomon: he was dead serious when he proposed cutting the baby in half, that putz. I swear to God.

While this portrayal may have no real historical basis, this much is true: Solomon was made king only through the unfortunate deaths of David’s older sons, he built his temple only through a blessing secured by his father, and he managed to nearly destroy the promising future which God had given David’s offspring. Nevertheless, 1 Kings 4:29 says that “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.”

Through this knowledge he was able to secure his place in history as the builder of the Lord’s temple and has been given the honor of being a prominent figure in Masonic tradition. Like all men, Solomon may have had faults, but some of his actions have earned him respect. This is a lesson that can benefit all Masons. Masons must recognize that all men have their redeeming qualities as well as their imperfections. The Mason should never hesitate to clearly identify these qualities in the men that they have identified as being worthy of emulation.

I Need Your Help!

I need your help in starting an effort that is intended to help enhance the York Rite in my state and hopefully nationwide. A key part of my endeavor is getting as many Brothers as possible to fill out the following survey. This will give some good indicators about the state of the York Rite of Freemasonry for a presentation that I will be giving at Grand York Rite next month. There will be more information about this program that is currently in its infant stages at a later date. Please forward this to every Brother you know and get them to complete it! The more information I have, the better!

Thanks for your help!

York Rite Survey



Thank you for taking the time to complete this short survey on the York Rite of Freemasonry. Please take this survey without doing any research. Do not ask a friend for the answers or perform a Google search to determine your response, this will negatively impact the results of this survey. Your responses to this survey will be kept confidential and it is necessary for the results of this survey to be as honest as possible. Please answer all of the questions, there are 2 pages to this survey.

Please indicate your answers by making your answers bold or by deleting any choices that you believe are incorrect and only leaving your answer. When you complete this survey, please email it to

Please forward this survey to all of your fellow Masons and encourage them to complete it and return it to the above email address. If you desire further information about the York Rite, please indicate so in your email containing your responses. Please return this survey by September 1, 2009!


1. Describe your involvement with the York Rite:

a) I am a member of the York Rite

b) I am not a member of the York Rite, but would like to join

c) I am not a member of the York Rite and do not want to join

d) I do not know what the York Rite is

2. Describe the current condition of your local York Rite organization:

a) The York Rite is thriving in my area

b) The York Rite is a fairly active and healthy organization in my area

c) The York Rite is lacking activity in my area

d) The York Rite is or is nearly extinct in my area

e) I have no idea

3. What portion of your lodge’s members belong to the York Rite?

a) The majority of my lodge’s members also belong to the York Rite

b) A few of my lodge’s members (3-10) also belong to the York Rite

c) Only 1 or 2 of my lodge’s members belong to the York Rite

d) None of my lodge’s members belong to the York Rite

e) I have no idea

4. Do you know a Mason that you can communicate with if you want to petition the York Rite?

a) Yes, and I have already spoken with him about it

b) Yes, but I have not spoken to him about it

c) No, but I would like to know who I need to speak with to join the York Rite

d) No, and I am not interested in speaking with anyone about the York Rite

5. Which of the following bodies compose the York Rite of Freemasonry?

a) Council of Royal and Select Masters

b) Chapter of Royal Arch

c) Chapter of Rose Croix

d) Commandery of Knights Templar

e) I don’t know

6. Do you have to be a Christian to join the York Rite of Freemasonry?

a) No, not all of the bodies require their members to be Christian

b) No, none of the bodies require their members to be Christian

c) Yes, you must join all of the bodies of the York Rite and some of them require their members to be Christian

d) Yes, all of the bodies of the York Rite require their members to be Christian

7. Do you have to join all of the bodies of the York Rite in order to become a full fledged member entitled to all of the membership benefits of that organization?

a) No

c) Yes

Ol’ Leroy McKrank and the Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch


yorkA couple of decades back, Ol’ Leroy McKrank decided to join the York Rite. Now this was the only other body of Masonry that Ol’ Leroy had ever joined, mainly because he refused to fork over the cash required to join any additional bodies. But at the time, each York Rite body’s dues were only five bucks a piece, so Ol’ Leroy thought it was a pretty good deal. Fifteen smackers for three organizations? Who could pass that up?

Leroy sat through all nine degrees, held over the course of a few months, with an expression of awe on his face. The Brethren of the York Rite took his expression to mean that he was thoroughly impressed with the degrees. However, Ol’ Leroy was actually in a state of shock. Everywhere he looked he saw extravagant sets for the degrees, various aprons with different designs upon them, and the most dumbfounding thing that Leroy noticed was the impressive uniforms of the Knights Templar. Shiny swords? Custom made chapeaus? This was surely the most wasteful display that he had ever seen in Freemasonry. Besides, Ol’ Leroy figured that you didn’t need three bodies to tell the whole story of the York Rite.

So after Ol’ Leroy McKrank had received the Order of the Temple, he went home and started to do some thinking. He was determined to create a less wasteful order for those that were interested in the York Rite, but he would also need a chance to implement it. He got the chance when the York Rite came to the Blue Lodge a few years later in dire straights. They needed help with the rent and Ol’ Leroy jumped at the opportunity.

“Well I’ll tell ya what your problem is,” Leroy told the High Priest of the Royal Arch Chapter, “too much gol’ dang waste! I got a plan that will save you all kinds of money and you won’t have to ask the lodge for nothin’!”

That is when Ol’ Leroy told them about the Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch. It was a single degree that enveloped all the teachings of the York Rite. It was like a book made into a movie. Sure, you get the general story line, but where is the content? Ol’ Leroy McKrank explained the degree in detail to the members.

“You see, you get your candidate to start off over here and then he goes and gets his work inspected and then can’t get paid, so he talks to the boss man and gets paid and to apologize for his not gettin’ paid the boss man makes him the Master of the Lodge. Then its time to dedicate the temple and then we tear it down and throw the candidate into the rubble to find some stuff and he does find some purdy important things.” Leroy proceeded to fly around the lodge room, giving a demonstration of the floor work for the degree. It looked as though he was running sprints from the west to the east and back to the west again. “Then we remind him of his last conversation with good ol’ Hiram who shows him where he’ll leave some important tools and when he goes to find what Hiram was tellin’ him about…well…the guards stop him and just about put him to death. But luckily, some other fella’ was nappin’ on the job so we’ll kill him instead and take it easy on the candidate this time.” Leroy cackled about his little joke before continuing. “So then he has to go to Persia and talk to that fella’ Darius and ask to build the temple. He gets into an argument about whether a beer, a purdy lady, or some ol’ duffer is more powerful and says that truth is better than all of them. Then he goes to Malta for some reason to become a Knight and then he winds up here and we read him the book of Matthew and take a few shots. You don’t need no swords or nothin’, just a couple of aprons and a couple of guys that can tell a story.”

Ol’ Leroy had a smile of pure satisfaction with his creation on his face. The members of the York Rite stood with their mouths open in disbelief. It is unknown whether they were so confused and awestruck by what they had heard or whether they were in such a destitute situation that they had no other options, but they accepted Ol’ Leroy’s proposal.

Leroy slapped his knee and cackled, “Now this is a Masonic degree!”

To this day, Ol’ Leroy McKrank’s York Rite body operates the only Council of the Knights of the Royal Arch.

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Episcopalians Challenge the Inerrancy of the Bible


Disclaimer: this article is intended to provide information and perspective on a current event. This article is not meant to be a persuasive piece supporting any particular position, it is only meant to stimulate the contemplation of the subject discussed within.

episcopal churchLast week, the Episcopal Church in the United States decided to give its bishops the freedom to bless (and now perform) same-sex marriages. This decision will likely cause further deterioration of the relationship between the Episcopalian Church and the world-wide Anglican communion. However, it is the effect that this event may have on traditional Christian beliefs that makes it interesting.

It has long been the belief of many Christian denominations that the Bible is the infallible word of God. This belief exists in spite of the fact that the books which compose the Bible were decided upon centuries after Christ walked the earth. As more Christian denominations were founded and more supplemental writings were developed to teach the members of each denomination how to interpret the perfect word of God, more and greater disparities developed between Christian denominations.

Many beliefs have developed among modern Christians that can seem questionable when compared with the teachings found in scripture. Some ministers have taught that the ten commandments are no longer applicable because Jesus gave a new law to love one another when Jesus himself said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) Some churches have given a specific date for the second coming when Jesus said “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) But no decision by the church has ever been so clearly in conflict with the Christian scriptures as the decision to allow same-sex marriages to be blessed by the church.

You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
Leviticus 18:22

Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Of course, the ultimate Biblical passage that teaches its followers that homosexuality is a terrible sin is the graphic story of those infamous cities Sodom and Gomorrha.

The question here is, “If churches bless same-sex marriage, shouldn’t they just erase these verses from the Bible?” After all, to teach the inerrant nature of the Bible to your members and then turn around and bless an action clearly forbidden by that same divine publication seems to be a bit hypocritical.

The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what the church’s stance is on the issue of gay marriage as long as its teachings are consistent. As society becomes more accepting of homosexuality and church’s strive to attract younger members in order to fill their diminishing ranks, it is inevitable that homosexuals will find a more comfortable pew in which they can sit. But if the church is going to contradict the scriptures that it calls holy, it should at least teach its members that the scriptures aren’t quite perfect.

It should be interesting to see how the actions of the Episcopal Church affect the Christian church as a whole. Will other denominations cling to their traditional beliefs and the perfection of the Bible as their members leave to find more progressive religious movements? Or will they forsake their current perspective of the Bible in favor of giving their members the freedom to read, interpret, and follow the holy scriptures as they please?

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square and compass, freemasonry, S&C, freemason information

The Non-Christian Mason

Ferris Thompson was sitting on a bench outside of the lodge building, enjoying a pipe full of Marlin Flake. One of the younger, more progressive members of the lodge, Sean, came out of the building and sat by him.

“I hear that Brian dimitted from the lodge,” he said, “he gave some reasons including the fact that he determined that since Masonry wasn’t solely Christian in nature, he didn’t feel he could belong.”

“Is that so?” asked Ferris. “Well, if that’s what he has decided then it is what is best for him.”

“Yup. I just don’t get guys like that. Christians—especially church goers—are just so ignorant. Don’t they know that the Jesus story has been told a million times before? Or that the origins of their religion are just as pagan as the origins of any other? I think that any Mason that still considers himself a devout Christian has no place in the organization.”

Ferris puffed on his pipe for a couple of moments, composing his thoughts.

“So who convinced you to come to that conclusion?”

“Well, I did. I studied Christianity and spirituality a lot and it didn’t take long for me to realize it was worthless.”

“Hmmm…that is interesting indeed. But did you ever consider the early Christians that closely examined their religion like Paul and John? What about Martin Luther or John Calvin? There certainly have been men that studied Christianity much more thoroughly than you have, so thoroughly that it consumed their entire lives and yet they still subscribed to the Christian religion. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a computer programmer.”

“So would you say you have devoted the majority of your life to the study of Christianity?”


“So who are you to tell these men that they are wrong? Who are you to tell any man who has devoted the same amount of time that you have to such study that they have come to the wrong conclusion?”

Sean became defensive, “Well, do you believe that Christian stuff?”

“Some of it, yes. Some of it, no. But it is my decision and my faith. In a Masonic lodge, no dogma is greater than any other. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or even personal, independent worship are perfectly equal in the lodge. Our symbolism is applicable to every religion and no religion at the same time. No one can look at the faith of his Brother and say ‘Mine is better.’”

Sean thought for a second and then said, “You can if they have developed an incorrect image of God.” He had a smirk on his face, he thought he had fooled his senior Brother.

“Have you ever met God?”

The smirk left Sean’s face. Ferris emptied the contents of his pipe bowl.

“My Brother, you have taken great steps to find the destination of your personal spiritual journey and I commend you for that. But you cannot degrade those that have taken another path. Are they not still traveling toward the same destination? A Mason must be tolerant, he must accept that others may disagree with him. Do Christian Masons have the right to tell you that you are wrong and that Masonry is a Christian organization?”

Sean swallowed, as though he was digesting his pride. “No they don’t…I suppose I have been a little hard headed about this, huh?”

“Sure you have, but now you’ve learned. Now suppose you give me your interpretation of the symbolism of the Third Degree based on your religious views and later we can discuss it from my perspective.”

square and compass, freemasonry, S&C, freemason information

Racism Issue Not Resolved


As Brother Chris Hodapp has made public, the Grand Lodge of Georgia has reportedly dissolved the charges against a Master of a lodge for raising a black man. This knowledge can put us all at ease and we can sweep this issue under the rug and go on with business as usual, right?


This issue isn’t about the Grand Lodge of Georgia, any lodges in Georgia, or any Masons in Georgia.

It is about racism in Freemasonry. It is about denying a man admission into the fraternity because of the color of his skin or the way he votes in elections or by what name he calls God. That is why this issue is not resolved, because there is still bigotry, racism, and prejudice in Freemasonry.

When I informed my local Brethren about what was going on, they immediately noted that they weren’t certain if a black man could become a Mason in some lodges in South Dakota. Unfortunately, their concern is well founded. The truth is that it is impossible to remove every man with racist or bigoted views from Freemasonry. Some are undoubtedly smart enough to realize that those views are no longer tolerated in today’s world and keep them private. Some may even advocate equality and tolerance in public while secretly clinging to their ideals when they participate in a secret ballot.

But ridding the fraternity of institutionalized racism is not impossible.

I urge every Brother to take personal action to remove every shred of institutionalized racism and bigotry from the fraternity. This may mean striking a few out-dated codes from Grand Lodge constitutions. This may just mean making a clear public statement that a jurisdiction will not tolerate racism or bigotry and considers any acts motivated by such opinions unMasonic behavior.

Masons used to be leaders in society. Now we are behind the times. For those that say, “Its just a few of the old guard guys, this problem will soon pass,” you are wrong. Masons should have been leading the civil rights movement, but forty years after those events we still count racists and bigots among our members and allow them to form the opinions of our fraternity. There is one right side to this issue and there is no argument against it.  The Associated Press has publicized the fact that this problem is present in our fraternity. Let’s stop turning a blind eye to the issue and fix it.

Let us convince the world that Masonry is a great institution. Let us convince the world of its good affects.

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An Allegorical Dream


The other evening I had a strange dream. Now, most dreams are rather odd, but every once in a while a dream gives us a bit of truth about life. The following is an account of my dream.

I found myself driving along a highway, following a gray pick up truck. I could see that we were nearing a storm on the horizon and it appeared to be a cloud burst. It was obvious that the rain was very heavy because the curtains created by the precipitation from the clouds had ceased to be translucent and had now become opaque, blocking out all light from the sun.

As I entered the storm following the gray truck, I thought to myself “As long as I stay behind that vehicle, I will be safe. The pickup will guide the way.” But while I turned on my head and tail lights so that the vehicles in front of and behind me could see my car, the truck didn’t follow suit. The gray color of the truck provided it with the perfect camouflage in the rain storm and without the rays of red emanating from its tail lights it was nearly impossible to see. My windshield wipers struggled to remove the dense rainfall from my view and I feared that I would not be able to find the vehicle that was suppose to be guiding me through the rain.

In a moment of desperation, I pressed harder on the accelerator to find the gray truck. As I sped through the sheets of rain I wondered if it had pulled off of the road and I was lost forever. Finally, I saw the reflection of my head lights on the wet tailgate of the truck. I realized that if I could see my own reflection in my guide, that I could properly follow it anywhere.

I found this dream incredibly applicable to the idea of knowing thyself, which is an important part of a person’s overall spiritual health. It is impossible to learn more about God without learning more about one’s self. Self examination is essential to spiritual growth.

The idea of examining one’s inner self in order to come closer to God is an ancient concept. In the Bible, it can be found in the very first chapter of Genesis:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

This passage has long supported the idea that there is some sort of divine spark in man. Something that raises man above the animals and makes him god-like. If a man can look at his own reflection and see the part of the Divine which exists in him, he can unlock the mysteries of his Creator. As Oscar Wilde once said “The final mystery is oneself.”

Namaste OmMasonry is a personal journey that leads us through the journey of knowing ourselves. It invokes the contemplation of our past, present, and current conduct, how we can better ourselves, how we view God, and even our own mortality. In order to truly understand Freemasonry, we cannot only look to the organization for our purpose; we must look inside and discover what role Freemasonry plays in ourselves. Through personal study, meditation, and devotion we can truly subdue our passions and improve ourselves in Masonry. This is how Freemasonry helps us to know thyself.

The Hindus use the greeting Namaste—or I bow to you—which is commonly used in religion to say “I salute the divine within you.” I think that this salutation is a fitting way to end this article.


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Losing the Battle After the First Volley

pha, Prince Hall, black Freemasonry

The first volley of a battle can tell you a lot, especially when your troops are gun shy, frightened by the noise, and abandon the front lines.

When we discuss the events taking place in the Grand Lodge of Georgia, it is easy to say “let the Grand Lodge take care of it and let’s see what happens.” This is easy, because it is the same thing that we’ve done with Prince Hall recognition, West Virginia, the Jesters, and an array of other serious issues affecting the craft. The truth is that the Grand Lodge of Georgia will almost certainly do something that gets this issue out of the limelight. They may sweep it under the rug or find that it is in fact perfectly legal for a non-white man to be made a Mason. They may grant the men that brought the charges against the Worshipful Master of Gate City lodge a pass or they may be brought to trial for their racist beliefs. Regardless, we will have lost our chance to rid Masonry of racism and move into the 21st century (or even the 20th for that matter).

The problem is that once the issue has run its course and the Grand Lodge has taken some sort of action, we will forget about it, ignore that it ever happened, and go back to business as usual. We will wait until the next piece of explosive and surprising news that shows that Freemasonry is not quite the best of all possible worlds that we thought it was and we will repeat the process again.

This issue isn’t about how the Grand Lodge of Georgia handles the matter, it is about eradicating racism, bigotry, prejudice, segregation, and hate from Freemasonry.

This is why Grand Lodges should at least issue a statement calling for Georgia to abide by the Masonic principles of equality and tolerance. This is why Georgia must have a clear understanding that if this is not handled properly, recognition will be removed. This is why every Mason should go to his next lodge meeting and explain this issue and explicitly state that he supports equality and will not tolerate racial prejudice in his lodge or grand lodge. We need to come together, we need to put our foot down, we need to take a hard line stance.

But we won’t.

Unfortunately, the sky won’t fall for Masonry and this will too pass. The reason is that I do not believe that the mainstream media will pay much attention to this story. Why would they? I’m sure that any journalist that found these charges on his desk would say, “Oh surprise, surprise, some organization of old guys in Georgia doesn’t like black people. I didn’t even know that Masonry still existed.” We have turned the other cheek to this behavior for so long that nobody cares about us anymore. We are irrelevant. We are not needed by society. We are too far behind civilization.

Really, we all know this to be true, because we’ve experienced racism in Freemasonry. I have had a South Carolinian brother proudly tell me that “We don’t have no n***** Masons in this state” when I asked him if they recognized Prince Hall lodges. I have watched traveling Brothers bothered by the color of skin of some of the men in my lodge and become truly disturbed by the sight of the Koran on my lodge’s altar. I have had a man who nearly joined a Masonic lodge ask me if “Masons in South Dakota wear their white hoods to lodge like the guys in Alabama?” (he never joined by the way). And no, I’m not criticizing the south. I’m criticizing men that have been allowed into our fraternity that maintain their bigoted views of the world.

Nevertheless, we will ignore this problem. We missed the point. We were so eager to disagree with those “Quasi-Masons” and the more rebellious Brothers out there that we were only concerned with defending our Grand Lodges and ignored the fact that there is irrefutable evidence of racism in the fraternity. Something tells me that Georgia is not the only place that it exists.

I am sticking with this cause. If we won’t take this opportunity to rid Masonry of racism and bigotry then we are nothing but hypocrites. It was a whole lot easier to be in the back of a Civil Rights march in the 60’s than be Martin Luther King and it was a whole lot easier to support segregationist governments than be in the back of a march.

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Georgia on my Mind: Masonry’s Chance to Become Relevent


This week, I was lucky enough to attend the South Dakota Grand Lodge session in Sioux Falls. I say that I was lucky because I got to see a lot of fantastic Brothers that I had not seen in a while and meet Brother Chris Hodapp, the author of Freemasons for Dummies.

Nothing terribly exciting happened during the course of the weekend. The items that we voted on were extremely mundane, but the recurring theme of the weekend seemed to be: How do we make Freemasonry the prominent and relevant organization it once was?

I watched Brothers laugh at the idea that Freemasonry was irrelevant. I watched some agree with my comments during conversations that we are in fact unimportant in society. I also watched Brother Hodapp give an excellent oration urging Freemasons to “think big.” However, this subject was never really tackled throughout the weekend. Perhaps the task of making Masonry relevant and exciting is too daunting or perhaps we are afraid to look at our reflections in the mirror. Little did I realize what was on the immediate horizon for Masonry.

Brother Hodapp made it a point to tell me that he found it humorous when my petition for membership in the South Dakota lodge of research was met with a loud clap of thunder—I found it rather funny myself. But it appears that the clap of thunder that was heard was not just a summer storm in eastern South Dakota. It appears that it was the initial rumblings of a bigger storm brewing in Freemasonry. A storm building up over the state of Georgia.

By now, you have probably read about the events occurring in the Peach State. If not, you can read them here. It was interesting to me that the issue that can make Masonry relevant was conveniently waiting for me in my email inbox when I got home. Freemasonry can become the prestigious organization that it once was by taking a stand on this issue. Every Grand Lodge should immediately remove recognition from Georgia and begin a crusade against all forms of bigotry and racism in Freemasonry. Any Grand Lodge or lodge that would not accept a non-white man or a non-Christian because of the color of the skin or the name of the God they worship must be removed from the fraternity. Prince Hall recognition must be made universal. This is every Mason’s cross to bear.

If we turn a blind eye to this issue, then we can no longer claim that we believe in tolerance or equality, we can no longer claim that we labor for the betterment of man, we can no longer claim that we are a beacon of morality in an immoral world. If we ignore these charges that clearly and specifically state that there are racists in Freemasonry and they are operating the fraternity as a segregated institution in the year 2009, then we are nothing but hypocrites.

There is one right side to this issue. There is no argument about what should happen in this situation. The Grand Lodge of Georgia must throw the charges out immediately. For those of you who say “They have to follow protocol” then they should be filing charges of unMasonic conduct against the Brothers that are calling for a Masonic trial. The doors need to be thrown open. Those that don’t believe men of a different skin color can be made Masons and those that prefer to refer to black men in lodge as n*****s must be thrown out. Its time to clean house, it is time to stand up for what is right. This shouldn’t just happen in Georgia either. It should happen from the east to the west, from the north to the south. Let us make our terms clear and write them in big, clear letters on a white sign: RACISTS AND BIGOTS OUT OF MASONRY.

Forget the loopholes, throw out what any fabricated lists of Landmarks say about interfering in other Grand Lodges, ignore any stupid codes or regulations. Do what is ethical, labor for what is just, fight for what is right.

This is our fight. This is our time. This is our chance to make Masonry relevant.


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