A question of ethics.

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by vanderson78102, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Just to be perfectly clear; do not assume I'm referring to a rush to the lowest common denominator.
    My mother would be proud of anything I’m doing in that bar washroom even if she walked into the wrong washroom. Let’s see if I can be clear and concise; my standards change for no one. I don’t play the semantics of the Pharisees’ vs. the Sadducees (I.e. “situational ethics“). I don’t think you were implying this, but I wanted to make my stance obvious. One can have ethics without the imbroglio and semantics of religion.
     
  2. TexMass

    TexMass Registered User

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    ...within due bounds.
     
  3. TexasCop

    TexasCop Registered User

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    Jesus drank wine and he is the God in which I place my faith, so I see no conflicts. Being drunk and stupid, however, is a different issue.
     
  4. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Hi All.

    Obviously the details of masonic law are a matter for each GL separately, but I'm aware that some US GLs take a very strong line against alcohol.

    Certainly, however, there is no universal principle in freemasonry against alcohol. I don't know of any jurisdiction which allows alcohol inside the Lodge room itself, but non-US jurisdictions rarely try to legislate about drinking outside the meeting.

    Here in England, for example, almost every Lodge has a Festive Board with alcohol after every meeting. And usually the Brethren spend some time in the bar between the meeting and the Festive Board. And some will go back to the bar after the Festive Board. And in most cases (although not at our HQ), the bar is inside the masonic building. Similarly in Scotland, once the Brethren leave the actual meeting, most of them head straight to the bar, and alcohol is available throughout the Harmony. And in both England and Scotland, there is no prescribed limit on the amount of alcohol served, a Brother is usually free to buy as much as he wants.

    Of course we are all subject to the general requirement to avoid conduct unbecoming a Mason, but the British GLs (and most other non-US GLs) leave it up to the individual Brother to decide how much alcohol he can handle. Drunkenness is not in itself a masonic offence over here (except in the Lodge itself, of course), if you're a reasonably well-behaved drunk. Obviously if drink leads a Brother into grossly improper conduct, then he's likely to be in a lot of trouble ... but it'd be the conduct which would be the offence, not the drunkenness. If a Brother gets roaring drunk after a meeting, yet nevertheless manages to get home afterwards without disturbing the peace, then his only problem is how he will feel when he wakes up.

    It's a mystery to me why most of the US GLs are so strict about alcohol. I appreciate that after the Morgan affair, exceptional measures were taken to make a point of looking ultra-respectable in rather strait-laced times. But that was a very long time ago, and hardly anyone outside freemasonry even knows of it now. How come those special measures are still in place? What harm would it do to masonry to let the Brethren have a refreshing beer after working a long ceremony? Frankly, if I visit a Lodge where the Brethren don't want to enjoy a sociable drink together after the meeting, then I'm likely to assume that they're a rather stuffy and boring crowd.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    None whatsoever- we just don't do it IN THE Lodge BUILDING. Usually we retire to a restaurant where we can get something to eat, also. At our outdoor degrees, once the Lodge has been closed, the property is no longer "Masonic". Our Lodge tradition is that the newly-raised Mason provides the beer!
     
  6. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    As it has been recorded our antient brethren met in taverns, while we (U.S. freemasons) are constantly under the purview of our International contemporaries for being teetotalers.

    Whether influenced by the “Morgan Affair†or not, it shows our societies knee jerk reaction to outside influences and our fears of public perception. How sad. When you visit lodges internationally you will find how silly this practice truly is…
     
  7. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Hi Bill.

    But why not? Here, we usually put the bar inside the building, and the bar profits subsidise the costs of the building.

    A lot of US GLs seem to think that holding a bar licence is some sort of sin, but I don't understand this attitude (and I think most non-US Brethren don't understand either). Sure, there are some Brethren who don't drink, for religious or other reasons - we have some teetotal members too (although not a great many here). So those Brethren buy a soft drink, and this doesn't cause a problem. However, obviously a GL doesn't endorse one particular faith over another, so a GL can't be taking a stand for the particular theological position of a teetotal denomination in opposition to the theological position of other denominations which say that (moderate) drinking is okay.

    So I don't get it, why do US GLs have a policy - any policy whatever - on alcohol?

    And again, a lot of our masonic halls also have dining facilities built in. (Although they wouldn't be popular if there weren't also a bar!)

    Outdoor ceremonies are virtually never done in England, because of the problem of tyling. (Especially with high-resolution spy satellites now passing overhead quite frequently!)

    Where we have such a tradition at all (which is only in some Lodges), it tends to be the opposite - we buy his drinks, rather than him buying ours. And in our case, we treat Initiation as the big occasion rather than Raising, because here an EA counts as a member.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Dunno about the rest of the country, but we be in the Bible Belt. We already have the Catholics & Lutherans on our butts- you want us to go ahead & add the Baptists, too? ;-)
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Yup- them cowans & eavesdroppers are getting more & more technological, aren't they? :lol:

    Methinks I like our way better! :biggrin:
     
  10. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i would really laugh if i saw a MM's degree on google maps.
     
  11. Casey

    Casey Mandalorian Premium Member

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    I agree with a lot of the other brothers. I feel that in moderation strong drink is fine. BUT, I would have a problem with public drunkenness while representing the fraternity. However what a man does in his own home is between him, and how he feels his obligation is affected by his actions.
     
  12. Raven

    Raven Registered User

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    Well, I think anything that we do can be done to excess and even in some cases can be downright vulgar and not a good masonic representation.
    I must agree with Bro. Tidwell though.
    God's first miracle was turning water into wine... and I think Scotch was maybe 4th or 5th.
    Moderation is good in all things.
     
  13. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    We already have had some Baptists on our butts...
     

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