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. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Well said brother.

    Now, what do you all feel about extending that tenant to the dinning hall? I'm a little perplexed when I hear hatred and fear in the dining hall from people who bray that it is an offense to talk politics, religion, and creed in the lodge room. They don't seem to understand that the damage is already done.
     
  2. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    I think that while it might not be expressly forbidden to discuss those topics in the dinning hall, it is prudent to not discuss them at all while at lodge. Now granted, if it is you and Bro. AB from from your church and you are the only two people in earshot, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise, if in mixed company, use your better judgment.
     
  3. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    I totally agree.
     
  4. fairmanjd

    fairmanjd Registered User

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    What if you are two brothers of different sects who enjoy discussing each other's view of God, however different they may be? I was recently enjoying a meal with a Muslim friend of mine and was thoroughly enjoying the conversation tht went along with it. Obviously, we disagree on much; but that doesn't mean it can't be a respectful disagreement that doesn't negatively affect our fellowship.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  5. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    It's great that two brothers can discuss topics...some just shouldn't be discussed in the lodge room...someone else could over hear and might not be so peaceful or harmonious...just sayin.
     
  6. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    I don't think, that "in lodge" means necessarily, in the lodge building. I think, it means, in the official parts of a lodge meeting. But, I learned several times now, that US brethren have a different perspective, when it comes to their lodge buildings.
     
  7. gnarledrose

    gnarledrose Registered User

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    There's too many preachy BYU Mormons in Utah Freemasonry to ever allow religious discussion in lodge. Guys who just got out of class and ex-Catholic priests don't mix well for some reason.
     
  8. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Rather brother, I take it to be any place you can offend. Lodge, lodge meetings, and premises should be free of the profane world's divisions. Yes, it is a heritage in the United States. It goes back to our Revolutionary and Civil War periods.

    During the Revolutionary War it is written that combatants from both sides actually sat in lodge together before going back to the battlefield. George Washington's troops returned the charter of a British unit captured in battle.

    A Union gunboat commander was buried by a contingent of Union sailors who were assisted by Confederate troops in St. Francisville, Louisiana. This act of masonic brotherhood has been celebrated every spring on the banks of the Mississippi River to this day.

    Here in Texas there it is written about a masonic lodge which nearly ceased to meet while its brethren went off to serve both the Confederacy and the Union during the Civil War. When the brethren came home they returned to lodge and kept the bitter memories of conflict away. That lodge is vibrant and strong today solely because of the ability of those fine brethren to overcome the disagreements.

    Simply said, masonry (to me) is for the celebration of our commonalities and not our differences.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  9. Bro. Bennett

    Bro. Bennett Premium Member

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    OK, let me weigh in on this one. I have in the past had friends of other faiths, they respected my faith as I respected their faith. We held a discussion several times per month, and the starting and ending of such was done with prayer, whether it was me or another one of the group, and we always used our Closing during Our prayer, be it Christian, Muslim, Buddist, etc. And ya know what, no one got offended or stopped coming...
     
  10. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Amen, So Mote it Be, So May it Ever Be out of the Lodge...!
     
  11. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    The Chaplain is praying on behalf of all members of the Lodge. Inserting the specific name of one of his chosen deities is disrespectful of those of other faiths. Yes, it is usually unintentional - old habits die hard, but that does not make it OK. Finding that which we share in common and most importantly, not trying to advance our own religion is a fundamental tenet of Masonry. Chaplains, no matter what their faith, should, more than most of us, be keenly aware of this.
     
  12. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    We have the same problem in boy scouts. Everyone falls into a autodrive state when finishing their prayer. The subconcious autodrive is where most of the specific names from specific religions creeps into the lodge. I am sure that in most cases it is not out of disrespect. We need to talk to those that do it so that they can conciously supress the autodrive...
     
  13. Jacob Johnson

    Jacob Johnson Registered User

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    I agree, most times it's probably not even conscious. BUT that does say something about prayer... We probably shouldn't really EVER pray on autopilot, right?
     
  14. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    You are correct. Prayer should never be on autopilot. Kind of says something about the people, doesn't it. I believe a person who is truely reverent would be shocked to find out they are praying on autopilot. The problem is a Masonic Chaplin is not a minister, priest or other religous leader. He is an officer of an organization made up of men of many faiths. He has an obligation to represent all of them. If his faith does not allow him to do that, he should not take the office.
     
  15. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    So true, but yet sometimes I find myself repeating certain lines or sayings in a prayer without ever thinking about it until after I had already said it. Now when I lead a prayer in Church I make a real effort to think about each and every word so I don't get on autopilot. Each prayer should be from the heart and as such should never be the same. We should always take time to think about what we are saying anything else just wouldn't be from the heart like it is supposed to be.
     
  16. Tony Siciliano

    Tony Siciliano Premium Member

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    I didn't read through all the posts in this thread, so I may be repeating what's already been said.

    I think the premise of the question is wrong. Religion is integral to Freemasonry. This becomes very apparent once you explore the Scottish and York Rites.

    As for the implied question - I think the fact that we are 'religion agnostic' is what makes our Fraternity special. All men meet on the level - not as Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. Unfortunately, it's tough to actually practice this in the Bible Belt...
     
  17. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    It's terribly tough to practice it in the panhandle, as while there are a few Jewish brothers, and a few deists (who were raised Christian, and still have some fundamental Christian overtones) there simply aren't many men of other religions in the area period, much less are they rushing to petition.

    But that said, I've heard stories of brothers of the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths meeting in on blue lodge peacefully in Israel, and its a dream (perhaps a pipe dream) of mine to sit in and visit one of those meetings.
     
  18. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Why do so many ignore their vows and try to bring the profane world into the lodge. There's plenty of time to celebrate their differences in that profane world. How could they miss the meaning of those vows they take? But masonry also teaches us patience my young brothers ... let me know if either of you discover there is enough patience out there. I'm sorely in need!
     
  19. AnthonyBolding

    AnthonyBolding Registered User

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    I don't think we should talk about religion or politics because those are the two major argument starters in America. A lodge is a place where a liberal and Republican can be friends and a Jewish person and a Christian can pray to whoever their God may be. That's what keeps the lodge ancient and brethren brothers.
     
  20. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    I agree entirely that religion does not belong in the Lodge Room.

    A debate arose when a resolution was proposed that would amend our Law Book to make sure that words specifically allowing brothers to wear religious headgear were added. To be clear: they are not specifically forbidden to do so, as I understand it (given current law). I believe the resolution did not pass, go to vote, etc.

    I thought the topic was a moot one. No one wearing a yarmulke is doing so in disrespect of the WM, nor is he wearing it like someone else might wear a baseball cap or cowboy hat. I was alarmed to discover some brothers were adamantly opposed, with statements like "I don't care what your religion is, in Texas you earn that hat" and "that might work elsewhere, but this is Texas."

    Should we forbid religious headgear? Apparently "this is Texas."
     
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