Our Intolerant Society

Freemasonry is one of the most misunderstood institutions on the planet. It is not a religion, charity, political action committee or cult. It is simply the original fraternity whereby members congregate to enjoy friendship, morality and brotherly love. Despite this, people are suspicious about their motives and have accused the Masons of everything from starting World War I to the Kennedy assassination. No, they are not trying to secretly commandeer government. Heck, they have trouble organizing a picnic, let alone the world. Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret, but before I do, you should understand in order to join the Masons you must possess a belief in Deity (in a Supreme Being). Because of this, no atheist or agnostic can join the Masons. I have personally sat in Lodge with members representing every religious denomination imaginable, all enjoying peace and tranquility. Now for the secret: discussion about religion and politics is forbidden in a Masonic lodge. This is done in order to maintain the harmony of the Lodge.

It’s interesting to see what a little tolerance can do. Instead of squabbling over theological or ideological differences, Masons sit as brothers looking for ways to cooperate and understand each other. I’ve discovered a little tolerance can go a long way. It’s a pleasure to know men who are my political and religious opposites. You gain invaluable insight as to their interests and perspectives on life. We learn from each other. It’s actually quite refreshing to speak on the level without fear of retribution. The fraternity proves it is indeed possible to have civil and respectful discourse, but certain rules of decorum have to be observed.

Outside of the Lodge, there are no rules or decorum. In the real world of today, it has become commonplace to make scurrilous claims designed to attack the integrity of another. It wasn’t always like this though. Although we understood differences existed between ourselves, there wasn’t a public venue to comment. Thanks to the advent of easy-to-use social media, where a wide variety of disparate personalities and interests meet and pass public communiques, decorum and cordiality have been replaced with venom and hostility. People will say things in such venues they would never dare say face-to-face. Such discourse is changing our society and makes for heated arguments. Nobody is immune from this, including yours truly who has been duped into reacting upon having his nose tweaked. Even those of us who do not use social media are affected as they will undoubtedly encounter a person influenced by such technology.

Thanks to electronic communications, where we observe the thoughts of others, we have sharpened our personal sense of social and ideological right and wrong, thereby accelerating the rift between us. One side sees our country as half-empty, and the other half-full. To illustrate:

Liberals pound on conservative doctrine, and vice versa.

Atheists ridicule people over their religious beliefs.

Politicians spin lies and deceit against their opponents. Negative advertising is now the norm, not positive.

Gays argue with straights over lifestyle.

Our divisiveness is now in full bloom for all the world to see. Our common sense of right and wrong is cloudy at best and we no can longer agree what kind of country the United States should represent. Not surprising, one side or the other will not not be happy, which is why I worry about the fallout from the November elections. It is impossible to elude.

We have gone from respectful discourse to a society intolerant of the other person’s point-of-view, thanks in large part to technology. It’s too bad we cannot all sit in Lodge together and speak on the level.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director ofM&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant who writes commentaries about the times we live in be it in the corporate world, the Masonic world, or our personal lives. His writings are well known on the Internet and are humorous, educational, and at times controversial. You won’t always agree with him, but Tim will definitely get you thinking.

To read more of Tim’s columns, please visit: timbryce.com


  1. Ah, Tim has hit the nail on the head. Surely today intolerance is the norm not the exception. Because most of the working and upper class are too affluent. We think we no longer need the companionship of our fellow man. We have money in our pockets to entertain ourselves. Communities are split apart by race, social preference and religious beliefs. I love new technology but there is such a thing as having too much communication media. I lost friends in Somalia because of the public media. Riots started in Miami Florida because of a shooting in Tampa, because of what the media posted.
    Like you, I find great solace in the fact that I can meet and great within the lodge those who have different views than I, and be able to carry on a discussion without worrying who wins. Our founding fathers were smarter than we are. They foresaw the future and created and organization that could withstand the pressures of society. We will survive as long as we adhere to the original plan they created for us to live by. All progress is not good. Sometimes it is the old standby morality and unspoken rules that keep us on the straight and narrow road.
    ole Blake

  2. I have often said, if don’t want to talk about politics then we will to embark on to talk about religion or sex which are the other worth topics, nevertheless, it is far beyond tolerance, it is the violation of the Constitution by other mean than its own, it is the destruction of the Judeo Christian values and if my words are getting an intolerance tone, forgive me and google up School of Frankfurt by Catholic Insight, you can foresee then all these which is happening, lost of values, drugs, etc are all part of a plan conceived in 1922 by Lenin and comarades, and following WWII in 1947 established 11 points aimed to conquer western society through the destruction of its values and principles under the venue of Stalin… an excerpt from the article, I hope you read it

    Until now’, wrote Joseph, Comte de Maistre (1753-1821) who for fifteen years was a Freemason, ‘nations were killed by conquest, that is by invasion: But here an important question arises; can a nation not die on its own soil, without resettlement or invasion, by allowing the flies of decomposition to corrupt to the very core those original and constituent principles which make it what it is.’

    Sincerely yours, Luis Caballero, Caracas Venezuela. Witnessing close the Evil which no longer lurking

  3. As we say in my generation online to display a sense of frustration in an online forum…

    *face palm*

    We would serve ourselves well to see the wisdom in all things, in our day to day activities, in our neighbors, in our love to whatever diety we hold dear. We serve others better with the same as well.

    I hope you find peace in your travels Luis, as by the sound of it you would discredit all Breathren that are not of the Christian faith or hold your particular views on life, yet that would still reach out to help a brother (or anyone else for that matter) in need.

  4. tolerant—-yes a fine thing—-wish every one was—-intolerant—-how do you handle men of intolerant actions?—-i have with tolerant ways and with intolerant ways—hmmmm wander what that makes me? intolerant or tolerant

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