Religion and the Masonic Lodge

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by jonesvilletexas, May 2, 2009.

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In your opinion are we correct in keeping religion out of the Masonic lodge?

  1. Yes

    61 vote(s)
    95.3%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    4.7%
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  1. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I think it is important to note that what we keep from lodge is sectarian religion and partisan politics. Items of a religious nature or religions themselves as a discussion of understanding, history, or toleration should be a part of lodge, less we not even discuss the origins of our own legends.
     
  2. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    I'm the no vote. :D

    The basis of Masonry is based in religion. Some will refer to it as spirituality others as religion but it has the same basis. Now I do not think we should discuss a type of religion. It is the specific religion that is considered divisive and not "religion" itself.
     
  3. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    The problem I see here is the question itself. What exactly does religion mean? What politics? And to complete it, what does discussion means in this context?

    When we talk about charity projects, our opinions are based on our political thinking and colored by our religious point of view. I don't think that this is meant with this old tradition. We don't put one religious or political belief-system over the others, we don't judge them and we don't missionate (neither religious nor political) in lodge. I think, that is meant with it.
     
  4. 6229 MAC

    6229 MAC Registered User

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    "The liberal sentiment towards each other which marks every political and religious denomination of men in this country Toleration of differing religious traditions was something George Washington idealistically viewed, and heartily approved of, as a unique and basic quality of American life. He believed religious toleration was a natural right of all men, a right the new country would protect. Toleration for other practices and beliefs was such an integral part of his own value system and was a cornerstone of his aspirations for the country as a whole; thus he simply could not understand the issue of religious prejudice and would not allow the outward expression of such prejudice.
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    "The liberty enjoyed by the people of these States of worshiping Almighty God agreeable to their consciences is not only among the choicest of their blessings but also of their rights." WB Geo. Washington Sept. 28, 1789
    [/FONT]
     
  5. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

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    Just wait until you're a MM and can't be black balled.
     
  6. Ben Rodriguez

    Ben Rodriguez Registered User

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    Religion and politics have separated men since both appeared. I still agree with no religion talk in lodge.
     
  7. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Go to Church to be religous, Go to lodge for Fellowship, go home for love.
     
  8. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

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    My computers love me this I know....lol
     
  9. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    go to the Shrine for a beer...
     
  10. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Woot!
     
  11. mch4970

    mch4970 Premium Member

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    I approach freemasonry in a very spiritual way, and in that way, I find freemasonry integral in my spiritual quest. It's not a religious path, but a cornerstone of the entirety of my spiritual building.

    I just don't want anyone telling me how I should approach the SAoftU. As much as someone may believe something, and hold to it as true, religion is still personal, and should be left as such.
     
  12. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    From a lost thread...

    I don’t think anyone here has even suggested infringing upon your rights.

    Masonry believes that each individual should apply his religious convictions as they should be applied and only for the purpose to govern discipline and sanctify his inner-self in life, and not to be projected into social life, because religion has no place at social gatherings or any other place where it makes other people uncomfortable.

    Masonry believes that all religious road's eventually lead to the same destination, to one God, just as all rivers eventually flow towards the sea.

    If one reviews Andersons Constitutions there is (and was) no requirement for a man to practice the Christian faith as a prerequisite for masonry.

    Andersons Constitutions:

    I. Concerning GOD and RELIGION.

    A Mason is oblig'd by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg'd in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish'd; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance.

    But the original aim of a "Center of Union, and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance" has fallen in a crack in the floor, forever, if we don't retrieve it. More than ever before 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty.
     
  13. RichardRLJ

    RichardRLJ Premium Member

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    Many people just forget to be sensitive. In our area, there are few that are not Christian, and we get in the habit of not needing to be sensitive to their feelings. I sometimes use Jesus name in our local lodge when I know we are all Christians, but I probably shouldn't because I may forget and seem insensitive to other's feelings. I used to have some really good Masonic friends at the local level who were Jewish, but have since passed away. Back then, I practiced being sensitive regularly and I probably need to get back to that!
     
  14. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Without a doubt, earnest Masonic engagement assists men in better understanding Symbols. Symbols are at the core of religious (and political) communication. Religion though is not Masonry's core. Symbols are.

    And Faith need not necessitate one's membership in any Religion whatsoever. Faith is merely a choice to believe in something much better, that requires no concrete evidence for or against that chosen belief.
    See above in regard to Masonry's basis.

    Spirituality is the personal experience of a territory; Religion is a contrived map of that territory. They are not the same thing.
    Men's attitudes and behaviors toward one other's beliefs are what separate them; Religion and Politics are not the cause. Poor and bad civil upbringing and training are the cause. Masonry offers a guided program to correct these incivilities, should a man choose to listen, learn and apply it.

    Religion and Politics are the Profane expression of Theology and Philosophy. Profanity has no good business and no good purpose in any Lodge.

    Lodges are Workshops designed to cultivate men's ability to comprehend, deal with and utilize Symbols in their lives. To get distracted from this cultivation Work would be counterproductive. Hence the Proscription of those Profane mattars which should remain outside our Temple.

    IMO

    Bro. Coach N
     
  15. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Good way to look at it coachn! I've often thought of it in terms of economics. Spirituality is indeed a personal experience. Religion, more of a franchising experience.

    Unfortunately, it's human nature to concentrate on the things that make us all different. Not the things that make us the same. It's the same with our creeds.

    We humans are a confluence of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. Surprisingly we think much the same on most issues. Still we've found ways to separate ourselves, usually for the worst.

    What a wonderful world it would be if we were able to disavow ourselves from this all to human trait and, instead, concentrate on those things we most share in common.

    We who are masons have a vehicle that will get us there.

    So, yes boys, I too think it's better to stay away from religion in the lodge. That goes for politics as well.
     
  16. jweium

    jweium Registered User

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    Yes, religion is one of the most discussed debates amongst people. Ever since I was raised a few months ago, I learned that neither religion nor politics should be discussed in the lodge room. I am in no way shape or form trying to argue with anyone whatsoever but I think that Freemasonry has its aspect of coexistence with a lot of initiated Brothers. Coexistence to me is having two different groups of people whether friends or enemies and setting their differences aside so that they can live in peace and harmony.
     
  17. Matthew Thomas King

    Matthew Thomas King Registered User

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    Agreed, there is a reason why we have allegory and symbols for learning
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  18. rttew

    rttew Guest

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    i don't want people preaching to me in the lodge room but have no problem with them ending a prayer in the manner they see fit. if it's all about tolerance and equality, why would anyone be offended with someone declaring their savior at the end of a prayer? honestly, i pray my own prayer when we pray in lodge. i do the same in church. i don't need anyone to pray to God for me.
     
  19. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    We certainly appreciate the fact that you do not want “people preaching to you” in the lodge room; but ending any prayer in any other manner than we are taught would be “preaching”. We celebrate those things that unite us, not that which may divide us, this is the very reason why we pray in lodge the way we do. I am glad that you pray (silently, I hope) your own prayer. You may not “need” anyone to pray for you, but we are praying for “everyone”, even those that may not believe exactly as you!
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  20. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Respectfully, Brother, you may want to rethink your reasons for being a Freemason and/or why we pray the way we do.

    The Lodge is not your church. This is a common mistake, and quite understandable given that they have several of the same characteristics; a VoSL, an altar, prayers, and scriptural passages that are part of our ritual. Nevertheless, it is not a church and indeed, our lessons make it quite plain that it should not be seen as such. If you feel that you can not participate in a prayer in a Masonic setting without verbally altering that prayer, you have misunderstood those lessons. As much as we are encouraged to regularly pursue our own personal devotions, we are just as much inculcated with the principle that in Lodge we meet on the level. No social, political, or religious differences are allowed into the Lodge room, lest those differences disrupt the harmony each of us is supposed to be seeking together. Making a communal prayer that is intended to unite the assembled Brethren in a humble appeal to a higher power into a sectarian appeal to a particular deity in that sect's pantheon is, in the Lodge room, wrong.
     
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