Masonic Central Podcast

Social Capital and the era of Gate City Lodge

Join us in this episode, recorded on April 4, 2009, as Greg and Dean welcomes brothers Beaux Pettys and Mike Bjelajac of Gate City Lodge No 2. from the beautiful city of Atlanta, in the state of Georgia. In the episode, we dig into the antebellum origins of the lodge and its present-day revival in a city known for its diversity of population in one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in America. In the show we talk about what makes a lodge successful?

What makes a lodge successful? Is it the energy behind the lodge, the people that create it? And, does that energy come at a cost? Is there a social capital that is bartered in an invisible exchange that at times reflects a huge value where at others it challenges its very existence.

One such lodge happens to be a nexus for this very question, and has had a year to barter and trade on its own social capital building a reputation amongst its community and amongst its peers. And this development has not been free of cost. Gate City Lodge in Atlanta Georgia has had a dynamic year, from a public forum on Catholicism and Masonry to a feature article about them in the New York Times. All in all, Gate city is not unaccustomed to controversy or at least some growing pains since its founding in 1887.

Since then, Gate City has suffered war, fire, growth and decline, all of which are no strangers to lodges of this age, yet Gate City has re-awoken as a cosmopolitan styled lodge, progressive in its ideas (even if they do not see themselves as such) and yet still as traditional as the day they fought to become the 4th lodges in the already crowded Georgian capital.

More on the Gate City Lodge saga:

on Blog Talk Radio

Georgia speaks. Grand Master Jennings on the Georgia Affair.

I’ll save my thoughts for the end…

The Grand Lodge of Georgia of Free and Accepted Masons
J. Edward Jennings Jr. – Grand Master

August 19,2009

EDICT No. 2009-1


WHEREAS: Freemasonry has existed in Georgia since it founding in 1734 and is the oldest Fraternal organization in the State, and;

WHEREAS: Freemasonry is universal in scope, being a Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, and;

WHEREAS: the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free & Accepted Masons, holds membership in this worldwide Brotherhood, and;

WHEREAS: our Ancient and Honorable Fraternity welcomes to its doors and offers its privileges to men of all races, colors and national origins who believe in a Supreme Being, as stated in our Degrees and Lectures, and;

WHEREAS: no reference is made to exclude any petitioner with regard to race, color or national origin in any of the Rituals or Masonic Code authorized for use in the Constituent Lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted
Masons, and;

WHEREAS: it is incumbent on all members of our Brotherhood to abide by the Rule’S, Regulations, Laws and Edicts of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons;

That no negative reference be made by any officer or member of any lodge chartered under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, in reference to a petitioner’s race, color or national origin, who believe in a Supreme Being, during any Lodge communication, conferral of degrees, proficiency practice o proficiency examination;

Further, be it resolved, that it is the responsibility of the Worshipful Master of each Lodge constituted under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, to insure and enforce strict compliance with this EDICT, an, further, to have it read at the next two communications of the Lodge after receipt by the Lodge.

Any Lodge reported in violation of this Edict will be disciplined.

Given under my hand as Grand master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, this 19th day of August, 2009.

J. Edward Jennings Jr.

Donald I. DeKalb

The Resolution addresses the issue of the “incident” that took place in June about the charges brought against Gate City Lodge (see My Brothers Keeper) for their raising of  an African American to the degree of Master Mason and then allowing him to progress to an officer’s position.

Reading the above, it seems to say nothing of the charges brought, or their spurious nature, any past exclusion based on race, or impropriety of racial segregation.  Essentially, it is a safe way of saying that “we don’t promote any bias on race, religion, or color (never mind sexual orientation)” despite what people say.  Neither does it seem to suggest any acknowledgment of the bias that this edict was written to.

What do you think?  Is this enough?  Does this speak to an enlightened brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God? Is it enough, or should it say more?

The originals below.