Question of serious inquiry!!!

Discussion in 'Prince Hall Freemasonry' started by MasonicAdept, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. MasonicAdept

    MasonicAdept Premium Member

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    1. Do you believe that African Lodge No. 459 (predecessor of Prince Hall Affiliation) was created by the exclusion of African American from mainstream lodges and Grand Lodges?

    2a. If Yes, can "Prince Hall Freemasonry" be seen as a Masonic innovation and a relic of Racism and discrimination?

    2b. If No, explain the purpose of its initial formation (African Lodge No. 1 or 459).

    3. Do you believe Freemasonry in America is segregated by race? explain your answer.

    4. At this point, if the proposition was on the table of every Grand Lodge in America, to CONSOLIDATE the Grand Lodges into ONE GRAND PER STATE, would you be for or against the consolidation? Explain your answer.
     
    MRichard likes this.
  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Okay, I've never really studied Prince Hall Freemasonry but will give you my answers (which are far from axioms or dogmatic).

    My usual disclaimer on this stuff; I am just an Aussie with no direct experience in these matters beyond chat boards..


    1. Do you believe that African Lodge No. 459 (predecessor of Prince Hall Affiliation) was created by the exclusion of African American from mainstream lodges and Grand Lodges?


    I do not know... I don't think so because didn't they have a warrant or were regular Freemasons in the process of applying for one (bearing in mind, even here in the 1840s, lodges would start and then apply (and get) a warrant from England, Ireland of Scotland).. but I believe what emerged as "Prince Hall" Freemasonry did so because of exclusion of African Americans from Freemasonry in the States.. at a time when there was no "African Americans" in the consciousness - just black men who were called all sorts of nasty words to make sure they were seen as "other" and alien and inferior to whites...

    2a. If Yes, can "Prince Hall Freemasonry" be seen as a Masonic innovation and a relic of Racism and discrimination?

    Hmmmm.... 200 years on I think the question is moot... and it is not a "relic" any more than Freemasonry itself is one.

    When there were debates about recongising PH GLs and some suggested they merge with Reconised GL's, this put aside the long history of those PH GLs, why they hell would you give up your history and traditions just to join some other organisation just because that had recognition, fighting for recognition seemed a much better (and only) option to me for PH GLs who complied with the generally accepted landmarks...


    2b. If No, explain the purpose of its initial formation (African Lodge No. 1 or 459).

    I don't know enough about it, for what ever reason.. guys formed a lodge.. out of it grew GLs and now many of those GLs are recognised within and without of North American Shores..

    3. Do you believe Freemasonry in America is segregated by race? explain your answer.

    It used to be more so, but from the distance of Australia, for me, no... because I read of white guys joining PH lodges and Black men joining lodges which might have been closed to them.. I know it is not all roses at the moment and I know in many places there are obstacles for men joining lodges they traditionally would not, but nationally "segregated" would seem a big call, and I would be very disappointing to hear that is the case..

    4. At this point, if the proposition was on the table of every Grand Lodge in America, to CONSOLIDATE the Grand Lodges into ONE GRAND PER STATE, would you be for or against the consolidation? Explain your answer.

    No way ! Terrible... why would you do that ? It's like a lodge merger... if after years of doing each others work, turning up to each others meetings,,,, it might make sense to merge.. then do it... but you're not just talking about warrants having the one name on them... you're talking about buildings and benevolent funds and all sorts of things... why would I hand over those to another or new body just because they are Freemasons meeting in the same city ?

    You're generations away from GL's merging not because of any "racism" even if it is, or is not, present, but because if you force two groups (and lodges are a great example, we all know what happens to most who merge, even when they really need each other, they loose members) into one, does not make the merged group stronger or happier - often quite the opposite.

    You're asking groups to give up their valid traditions. You're asking people to surrender power, And assets. Hell, you might be asking people to dump the rituals and traditions of their fathers, grand fathers, great grandfathers etc etc when in many places you can't even organise proper inter-visiting..

    Freemasonry of the 1800's and prior, generally started with subordinate lodges from several GLs meeting in the one area with inter-visiting which built connections and strength on which a GL was then formed.. before you talk of merging two sovereign entities, you need to get your inter-visiting sorted then see what happens...

    Consolidating "Mainstream" and "Prince Hall" GLs into single entities has been talked about for a long long time - but Prince Hall *is* mainstream and recognized and rich in history.

    Grand Lodges are formed so local Freemasons have self determination - until you can mount an argument around that and not "race" - despite economies of scale and ease of administration - may those with an eye on building membership and financial effectiveness through absorption fail in their attempts.
     
    tldubb, Scoops and mrpierce17 like this.

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