Deist or Irreligious Freemasons

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by RhushidaK, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    No my friend, I'm saying I would have not problem saying (or swearing) I have a firm belief in the US Constitution .... my issue would be solely on the "Firm belief " of the devine authenticity of any VSL, even the Bible, which is the Holy Text of my faith.
     
  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Actually... requiring a firm belief in the "divine authority" of a VSL kinda conflicts with the right to Religious Freedom protected in the Constitution.... that Constitutional clause is the sort of thing which makes the USA Constitution a great document.....
     
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  3. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    No, not really. The Constitution constrains the government from interfering in religion, it does not constrain private organizations from having rules.
     
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  4. SimonM

    SimonM Registered User

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    I thought that was a strange requirement as well. Of course the constitution as a legal document is something that exist. That’s not a question of belief. I interpreted it as a belief in the philosophical ideas expressed in the constitution, but as a foreigner I would not be able to give a good explanation of those ideas.

    Do I misunderstand that requirement?
     
  5. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Nice point....

    However :) ... here Freemasonry stays out of religion, and the status of the Bible is a question of Religious Doctrine, hence it is strange to me to see that creep into the Craft, but I also well understand the more Christian character of Freemasonry in some American States.... make no mistake, I'm not attacking anyone over this point ( just in case some might think I am) but my concept of ( regular) Freemasonry is a diverse group of men, many from diverse religions, all with the belief in GAOTU but leaving the details of that to each Brother..... even if you narrow the VSL to the Bible, which version (translation) does your GL choose ? ( a rhetorical question best left to the Church each man belongs to or his own heart as his conscience guides him, not a GL as the GL is then not only in the domain of religion but religious doctrine IMHO ).

    I hope people see where I am coming from and am close to hearing myself tell me to shut up cause I'm talking religion...
     
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  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I don't think that one is strange cause in our ritual we're told to obey the laws of the country in which we reside and in the US the Constitution is at the basis of that
     
  7. SimonM

    SimonM Registered User

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    What I’m trying to say is that asking if you have a belief in it feels weird. If the question would be framed something like “do you swear to follow the principles and laws outlined in the constitution” I would have no problem with it. But now I have to believe in it? Perhaps it’s just that English is not my native language but for me that wording implies something more than just follow the laws of the nation.
     
  8. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    A study of logic tells me that no one else can have my feelings, that they are mine alone. While you my think that you understand my feelings because you have had feelings similar to mine, you cannot understand my feelings with 100% accuracy because you cannot experience my feelings. In the same way that humans cannot feel each others feelings, they cannot know each others beliefs. A man may think he understands another mans beliefs, but since he cannot experience those beliefs he will always be limited in his ability to understand them.

    Therefore, each man is the only person who can say whether his beliefs meet the guidelines laid out by Freemasonry. This is an important point to me because I have pondered long and hard on it during my Masonic career. This principle explains to me why we are able to sit comfortably in Lodge with men of different faiths. Because no matter what name a man calls his God, The meaning that God has to the individual can be known only by him. Therefore I recognize that I am incapable of judging a mans relationship to God because I can not truly know it.
     
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  9. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    If it were possible to use the "plumbline" in a moral sense it would be possible to measure the trueness of any human to God.
     
  10. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I hear what you are saying and can picture the mental image you're evoking - but move on that line ( in 2nd WTs) and it's all about behaviours not faith ( and potential result of that behaviour)
     
  11. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    So you are able to do the experiment - and thus enter into Masonic Science.

    Not all of the working tools in Freemasonry actually have inner plane counterparts, but the Square and Compasses do and it is sometimes possible to use the physical devices in a "moral" sense to test appropriate qualities.

    For example take an open pair of compasses and rotate them slowly in the horizontal plane. Which direction is the most comfortable? Why?
     
  12. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Depends on which hand u use. If i use my right hand rotating things clock wise is more comfortable and if I use my left its counter clockwise...as that is the natural way the wrist rotates.

    Sent from my LG-H811 using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
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  13. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I actually meant: which orientation of the compasses is most comfortable for the compasses.

    There may be a different sensation when the points of the compasses are to the West as compared to the East.

    Certainly the DC in my local lodge could easily detect the difference when I had him try the experiment before we opened the lodge.
     
  14. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    My great grandmother was Roman catholic, and later in life fell from the church,reasons unknown, we were taught just because our family faith was Roman catholic, didnt mean that we couldn't explore other religions and faiths. But was also taught that one does not have to belong to any one certain faith or church in order to belive in the one true deity. And that you lived a clean and upstanding life that you would gain entrance into the kingdom above, now with that last part being said, it almost fits the apron ceremony, that you keep your apron unstained from the world.and keep your 4 fold duty.
     
  15. Canadian Paul

    Canadian Paul Registered User

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    Bro. Cook said : "Two different issues arise. 1. Not believing in a revealed text does not prohibit taking an obligation on such. 2. In some jurisdictions, membership would be prohibited. For instance, Texas requires on its petition for the degrees a belief in the the divine authenticity of the volume of sacred law (and the US Constitution). http://grandlodgeoftexas.org/assets/uploads/2015/10/26.pdf"

    The application form linked above contains this question

    :15. Do you believe in the Constitution of the United States? ______________________________________________ (Yes or No)

    What exactly does it mean by 'believe'? Is it claiming the U.S. Constitution has divine authority? My Grand Lodge (Scotland) requires that I should 'pay due obedience to the law of any state in which (I) reside' but adds "and must never be remiss in the allegiance due to the sovereign of (my) native land.'
    ('Aims and Relationships of the Craft - Item 5)

    So if living in Texas I am obliged to obey its laws but not to forget that I am a Canadian and not an American. For example, I respect the American flag and what it stands for, but could not, in all conscience, pledge allegiance to it. Does that mean that, if living and working in Texas, I could not affiliate with a Texas lodge?
     
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  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Interesting question on the pledge. In California I know a lodge that asks US citizens to pledge at opening.

    In Texas we pledge both the US and Texas flags but I have not checked if there is a rule that mandates it. There are enough citizens of other countries there is likely a ruling on the topic.
     
  17. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Im gonna go way out in left field and say that if u moved to the US for purposes of living and working indefinately and you couldn't pledge alegience to your adopted home id kindly ask u go back wjere ya came from....lol.....but seriously if ur just there temporarily i don't see why it would be a problem. We have a 2x PM in my lodge here who is a Canadian citizen but has permanent residency here and stands places his hand over his heart and says the pledge every meeting...oh and he was initiated in Texas

    Sent from my LG-H811 using My Freemasonry mobile app
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  18. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I think if you are not willing to live under the laws of a western democracy like American, then yes, it's not a place you have the right to reside in or visit.
     
  19. RhushidaK

    RhushidaK Registered User

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    Here in India, (or at least in my lodge; don't know about others), we do sing the national anthem at the end of every lodge meeting. That would be the Indian equivalent of pledging your allegiance to the flag in USA. So I guess we're not that different after all.. :D
     
  20. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    To me it is the same concept. Others disagree. That's how politics works so we avoid discussing it in lodge.

    The pledge is not a part of a degree ceremony. It's a part of the opening. In one of my jurisdictions it is done before the opening starts so it isn't even a part of the ceremonial work - A technicality. I would not even notice if a Brother stood silently saluting.

    One of my early mentors said something like this -

    I'm happy to salute the Mexican flag if they do that when I'm visiting. I'm happy to salute any flag of whatever country I'm visiting. I'll salute and remain silent.
     
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