Can the volume of sacred law on the alter differ in Texas?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JMartinez, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    In Texas, the Holy Bible is used as our volume of sacred law and furniture of the lodge. If a candidate is a Hindu, Islam, Jewish, etc. what accommodations can be made, if any, under the laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas as far as degree work is concerned?
     
  2. MRichard

    MRichard Mark A. Ri'chard Premium Member

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    Any Volume of Sacred Law may be used but as I understand the Holy Bible must still be present. Freemasonry does not favor any VSL but some grand lodges may.
     
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    So far in GLofTX I have been at degrees where the candidate obligated on Holy Bible (KJV), Bagavat Gita and Koran.
     
  4. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    For all three degrees?
     
  5. MRichard

    MRichard Mark A. Ri'chard Premium Member

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    It shouldn't be an issue. There is a reason that you obligate the candidate on his book of faith. Notice I said shouldn't. Some lodges prefer the Holy Bible but freemasonry doesn't
     
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  6. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    why do you wonder about that? that book is not a holy book. even when swearing a witness in in court a bible is used, public officials take their oath on the bible, not the penal code......
     
  7. MRichard

    MRichard Mark A. Ri'chard Premium Member

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    Possible that it was sarcasm. Hopefully, it was.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Not that I would EVER drag a thread, kicking & screaming, back to its original purpose, but herein lies the answer to the OP's question:

    Art. 397. (434). Religious Belief.
    A firm belief in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the divine authenticity of the Holy Scriptures is indispensably necessary before a candidate can be initiated, but this Grand Lodge does not presume to prescribe any canonical books or what part thereof are inspired. It is the policy of
    this Grand Lodge to permit a candidate whose religious persuasion is based upon other than the Holy Bible to be obligated upon the book of his chosen faith, and same may be situated upon the Altar in front of the Holy Bible (italics mine) during the conferral of the three degrees of Masonry. In which event, all esoteric references to “The Holy Bible” during the conferral of the degree(s) and the lessons appropriate thereto shall be substituted with “The Book of your (my) Faith.” (Revised 1995)
     
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  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Cool. Here, we never use the word Bible in our Craft Degree or Open Close etc - it's always VSL... we did make one change though a few years ago, changing "the volume of the scared law' into " your volume of the sacred law" ; one of the few tinkerings which really did make sense to me.
     
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  10. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Interesting question - I took this question as one about advancement percentage by candidates who asked for a VSL other than KJV.

    I know Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish Brothers who are active Master Masons but I have no idea if those particular Brothers asked to use their own VSL.

    I don't know what jurisdictions if any track candidates by religion so I don't know if any statistics exist on the question. My mother jurisdiction explicitly does not track religion so there's no way to know and it hasn't occurred to me to ask if my other jurisdictions track religion.

    Anecdotal - California - My first was a double degree. The other Brother is a Buddhist. He never advanced even after the Tripitaka was authorized for degrees. Illinois - A Brother who was obligated on his family Koran went through all of his degrees and is now working through the line in one of my Illinois lodges. Texas - I attended these degrees by visitation and I have no idea if they advanced.
     
  11. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    What you take your obligation or swear on absolutely matters because it's wearing on the penal code doesn't hold any weight with you internally but by placing your hand on your volume of sacred law and swearing to whatever deity it is that governs you there's weight behind their obligation that you're taking if I just raise my right hand and swear to something that doesn't do anything. Just like when you enlist and or reenlist in the military you have the American flag behind you and your swearing on your honour and that of your country to do what is expected of you same with placing your hand on a volume of sacred law the penal code is not sacred

    Sent from my LG-H811 using My Freemasonry Pro mobile app
     
  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Or from a slightly different angle; there are no angles - what i swear on does not matter because of the sacred dictates of truth, honour, and virtue. If i assert I'm being truthful, as a man of honour AND a freemason, i've got no option but to do that - or become a liar...
     
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  13. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    You should only go with the flow if you agree with it, if not you should set different directions; doing that, or attempting to, will test your dedication. What you believe will only truly assert itself when life tests you.
     
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  14. MRichard

    MRichard Mark A. Ri'chard Premium Member

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    He should get blackballed or his petition returned to him.
     
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  15. MRichard

    MRichard Mark A. Ri'chard Premium Member

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    I guess Richard has left the building.
     
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  16. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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  17. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Ha ha. Laugh of the day
     
  18. Jim Barr

    Jim Barr Premium Member

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    The question for Texas has been answered, but the requirements vary by jurisdiction. South Carolina requires a Bible to be present and open, however another VSL can be also opened for a candidate of a differing faith to take his obligation. Given the overall religious demographic of South Carolina, I have only heard of a very small number (you count them on one hand with fingers left over) where this accommodation had to made.
     
  19. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Interesting. In Singapore the lodges have nine(9) different VSLs on the altar. I attended a lodge in WashDC and they did a FC degree. The brother was obligated on the Holy Qu'Ran.
     
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  20. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Impressive:D

    Do you know which 9 VSLs they were ?
     

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