2011 Proposed Grand Lodge Resolutions

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by owls84, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Have at em boys...

    RESOLUTIONS

    Amend Art. 331 & 332 to do business in the Master’s 1. Degree – R. H. “Bob†Waters

    Delete Art. 163d to terminate the GL Insurance Reserve 2. Fund and return the contributions to the Lodges
    – Richard “Rick†Townsend and Jack M. Harper, II.

    Amend Art. 125 to permit the Grand Lodge Assistance 3. Fund to Brethren in good standing and their families suffering from incapacitating disabilities or disease, as the Committee may determine to enable the Trustees to broaden the use of this fund – Richard “Rick†Townsend

    Amend Art. 163, sections 7, 8, 10, 11, and 13 to account 4. for no more than $19 (vice $25) in per capita fees for two years. – LeShon Laird

    Amend Article 316 to exempt military members serving 5. in a declared war zone from Lodge dues and GL per capita – Mina Lodge #1456, Jerry Woehl, Secretary

    Amend Article 318s, Section 4, to provide for distribution 6. of the MEF income (50% to the Lodges and 50% to be reinvested in the MEF) when the endowment unit is less than $100 – Lonnie Irvin Daylight #1309

    Amend the GL Laws to require a quarterly report be 7. sent to Lodges summarizing the current value of the Endowed Memberships and the financial status of Charitable Funds (Income and Expense) – Robert W. Black & John Wilkerson

    Amend GL Laws to require all petitioners for the Masonic 8. Degrees or for Reinstatement to undergo a professional background check as directed by the Grand Lodge and at the expense of the petitioner – Robert J. Glasgow

    Amend Masonic Form 26 to specify that the petitioner 9. acknowledges and agrees to the requirement for a background check, the use of his SSN, and that his degree fees will include the cost of the investigation. – Oak Cliff Lodge #705.

    Add Art. 404a and 307a to require a formal professional 10. background investigation of the petitioner for the degrees and require him to pay the fee for the investigation
    – Robert W. Foster

    Amend Art. 506 that no petition with a felony conviction 11. is eligible to receive the degrees and that any undisclosed or concealed felony conviction of any Mason will result in automatic expulsion from Masonry by the Grand Lodge of Texas. – Mike Whitis & Tom Hancock

    Amend Art. 506, 12. Automatic Suspension or Expulsion to add “misdemeanor involving moral turpitude†as a reason for automatic suspension or expulsion, and defining “moral turpitude†as that used by the U.S. Department of State Affairs. – Floyd Trammell

    Amend Article I, Section 2, Constitution to forbid the 13. discussion of politics and religion in the Grand Lodge and in its Subordinate Lodges – Leonard P. Harvey

    Delete Art. 505, paragraph 37 to repeal the Masonic 14. disciplinary violation to “Make any negative reference or take any negative action in regard to a petitioner’s or member’s faith, creed, or race at anytime.†– Jodie R. Harris, Jr.

    Amend Articles 300, 301, 302, 232a, 303, & 332 to permit 15. Lodge Officer Installations to be conducted under Article 232a, Certain Open Meetings Permitted, in lieu of opening a Master Masons Lodge – Kenneth H. Kennedy

    Amend the Grand Lodge Laws to require all cell phones 16. to be turned off before any meeting begins – Garlon E. Evans

    Change the name of San Juan Lodge #1173 to Llano 17. Grande Lodge #1173 – San Juan #1173
    Revise the following Masonic Districts: 41, 83 (eliminating 18. 59), 80, 81, 93-B, 94, 96 (eliminating 97) – James M. McCrae

    Amend Art. 284b to require all WM of subordinate 19. Lodges to ensure the filing of an IRS Form 990, 990 EZ, or 990N and provide a copy to the Grand Secretary’s office on or before November 15, and directs the finance Committee to monitor the process. – “Rick†Townsend.

    Revise Art. 271 for the Worshipful Master to remove 20. or replace subordinate Lodge officers. – Richard H. McCowan, Jason C. Dworsky, Willis S. Howard III, & Charlie D. Riley.

    Grand Master’s Recommendatations

    Rescind the Three Blackball Rule by amending Art. 1. 352, 389, 418, 420, 421425, 428, and 429. Purpose to enhance the selection of qualified candidates. The recommendation will effect reinstatements in a Lodge or the petition to affiliate with a Lodge. One blackball or protest will stop actions on joining the Lodge.

    Clarify the requirements for a Worshipful Master and 2. each Warden to be qualified for installation. All three must be able to open and close the four Lodges using the proper ritual approved by the Committee on Work, and each must have completed an approved Grand Lodge administrative course. The recommendation modifies Articles 276, 276a, and 297a.
     
  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Y'all may recall me telling you about PGM Patterson's "committee report" regarding Art. 505.37 at Grand Lodge last year. For those who missed it, here's the transcript of his remarks from the 2010 Proceedings:

    "I am Boyd Patterson, Past Master of Washington Lodge 1117 and Member of the Purposes and Policies Committee.

    This committee expresses our conviction that religious toleration and respect are indispensable in the practice of true Freemasonry. We support the adoption of Resolution No. 11 for this reason.

    It is impossible to reconcile our philosophy and its principles of the practice of brotherly love, relief and truth with personal conduct which would treat any petitioner with disdain based upon his religion or race.

    Religious and racial intolerance are so contrary to what Masonry stands for that we are unable to conceive of the circumstances under which either can be deemed acceptable conduct by a Mason.

    As we owe an obligation of respect to each other, so should we be bound in our determination of who is fitted to become a member among us. To demean a petitioner by assailing his religion or the color of his skin is to demonstrate a character unworthy of a Mason.

    The Committee on Purposes and Policies urges the adoption of Resolution No. 11."
     
  3. Bro. Brad Marrs

    Bro. Brad Marrs Premium Member

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    Thanks for reiterating this Brother Bill. It's well said, both times.
     
  4. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    I look forward to the day this actually becomes a reality, and not just another example of "do as I say, not as I do." I read and hear a lot about how we as Masons should never judge someone based on external qualifications, but I've seen mainstream and PHA both tell potential candidates they can petition their Lodge, however, they ensure they reiterate that mainstream is mostly white, and PHA is mostly black, and you may feel more comfortable with the other. Hopefully we will be able to not just have recognition, but visitation and shared Masonic education. We can learn a lot from each other.
     
  5. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Just my .02...

    Honestly, I wonder what would motivate someone to even write up this resolution. I understand others may feel differently, but it would seem like a step back for me.

    Having read over these resolutions in full, the arguments presented in favor of this seem geared towards making Freemasonry a more Christian oriented fraternity. Again, that was my interpretation.

    As for cell phones on in the lodge? This seems like a waste of time to bring up to me as well, let the lodges police etiquette like that on their own, there don't need to be any laws regulating that.

    I really like all of the other resolutions however.
     
  6. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    If a black man approached me about joining our lodge I would treat him like any other candidate.

    At the same time I would be honest with him and point out that he would probably be one of the only black members in our district. If he's willing to accept that then more power to him!

    I don't see any harm in pointing out the demographic differences between GLOT and PHA, I'd want potential candidates to make the most informed decision they can about joining. If you ask me, it'd be better than not informing him and him coming to the realization that most the lodges in the area are white 'good ol' boy' clubs, some of which have racist members.

    A bit off topic but I wanted to address a point. :)
     
  7. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    I probably wasn't clear in my statement, and was trying to water it down. I've seen it be more than just a heads up, "hey, you may want to check out the other Lodges." It's more if a foot stomp, wink wink, we'll call you don't call us situation. Sorry if we are off topic. I forsee this being something on paper and not actually practiced or enforced.
     
  8. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I wonder what the committee will recommend this year. On the same note, was it not just 4 or 5 years ago that we switched to 3 balls reject and yet in so short of time there is a recommendation from the GM to change it back? I wonder if the committee will switch views on this as well since they supported the change to 3 balls reject. Funny still to me how I posted a poll asking where the failure was in our election of candidates and not one person said the 3 balls were the cause yet this is where the decision was made to make the change. It's like putting a band-aid on a sliced artery.

    On a side note, there are a few resolutions on not allowing ANYONE in with a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony and I really don't like this and think it should be up the investigation committee to do their job. I had a guy that at a young age was convicted of theft by check. Due to the amount it was a felony and he did probation. He was/is a great asset to the Lodge. To generally exclude them then why even have an investigation committee? If they pass a background check (like the proposed), pay their money, and they get passed the one ball rejection, why would you need to spend a month on getting to know them? Just make the process responsible instead of the individuals on the investigation committee. Its not the process that fails it's the people. What do you do about the members that already have felonies or were convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude? Do they get amnesty? I know a PM that had a DWI before he was in the Fraternity, he would not have been given a chance under the proposed changes.

    I thought that was the point, to make good men and make them change to be better? If men can't change then what is Masonry for? Might as well change your slogan to, taking good men away from their families 2 - 3 nights a week with no reason.

    Just my opinion of coarse. I believe every action has a reaction and one must think of the reactions before acting.
     
  9. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I think that sometimes people can be a little overzealous when it comes to crimes. If someone comes to petition and they are 40 but they committed a crime like your example when they were younger but have been of upstanding character since why would not allow them in? We have all made mistakes in our lives and it is the ones that learn from them and don't repeat them that should be considered. Not the ones that keep repeating the cycle over and over again. I wonder if some of those that propose changes like this would want people digging into their past? Everyone has some bones in the closet and some have complete skeletons or maybe two. It is the moral character of the man today that matters not what he was like 25 years ago. I am sure if we look back into our pasts we could all find something that at one time or another would have kept us out of this great Fraternity and it would be a shame to turn someone away just because they messed up once years ago.
     
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Amen, Bro. Brent. My religion, as I'm sure most of y'all's, preaches redemption. Most of us did stupid things back when we were teenagers. In Texas during the 60's & 70's, possession of any amount of marijuana, as little as a roach, was a felony. Should we automatically reject a good man just because he tried a joint 40 years ago?

    Our law book is already too thick, and many of our laws are knee-jerk reactions to things that have happened in a small number of Lodges. My feeling is that, in most instances, things should be left up to the individual Lodge and, if a problem develops, deal with the Lodge in question rather than punishing us all. As always, YMMV.
     
  11. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    What goes through may tell us a lot.
     
  12. barryguitar

    barryguitar Registered User

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    There is only one issue before us in Texas, that is whether or not to extend full recognition and visitation rights to our Prince Hall Brothers. I cant help but notice that it's not on the agenda. All of these resolutions are frivolous and do nothing to improve retention or expansion. Every one of these resolutions involves either a money grab, power grab, or an attempt to tie the hands of the independent lodges when making their own decisions. If we need a LAW to tell us to turn off our cell-phones then something is strangely amiss. I strongly encourage all grand lodge voters to reject each and every one of these resolutions. Not a single one of these should have made it through committee.
     
  13. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm curious, what is the process for writing a resolution anyhow? I was under the impression any master mason could submit one.

    I agree we don't need laws telling us to turn off our phones. That should be left to the discretion of individual lodges and not because we have some law policing our actions.

    As I mentioned before, I happen to like a large majority of these resolutions. I'll let the votes decide what direction Texas Masons want to head in though.
     
  14. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    A resolution must be submitted in writing by a Lodge or a Texas Past Master by May 17, to the Grand Secretary's office. It will be reviewed by the Masonic Jurisprudence Committee to make sure it is in proper form, then referred to whatever committee the Grand Master chooses to study and report on it. You may have an opportunity to appear before that committee to discuss it with them.
     
  15. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    This is one thing that is wrong with our country, not enough states rights. I am almost always for home rule.
     
  16. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Does anyone know if many resolutions get submitted every year? Or how many get dropped?

    I ask because you'd think if the GLOT/Prince Hall situation would receive resolutions to fix it if enough people felt so strongly about it.
     
  17. tsewall

    tsewall Registered User

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    Its particularly worrisome to me especially if the state in which the felony (or moral turpitude) committed doesn't have the same laws here in Texas. I'm thinking of a gentleman in Florida on TV recently for refusing to use pesticides which were chemical relatives of agent orange on his lawn who was convicted of a felony. There are some strange laws out there. Let the investigating do their job and trust the brethren to use sound judgement.

    On a side note, there are a few resolutions on not allowing ANYONE in with a crime involving moral turpitude or a felony and I really don't like this and think it should be up the investigation committee to do their job.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2011
  18. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    One has to wonder; where to draw the line? Good being…

    This was told me by some brethren after some individuals were trying to contest a ballot of a candidate:
    “I didn’t know we were a rehabilitation institution…â€
    Even after explaining this candidate was granted an “pardon based on innocence“.
    I was under the impression that in order to build an outstanding edifice one must start with a sound foundation, no? Why are we constantly marginalising excellence, while rewarding mediocrity?
    I was under the impression we came here to improve ourselves… not rehabilitate.
    Then what?
     
  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Isn't that what "taking a good man & making him better" means?
     
  20. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    It really depends on what you define 'good' as. When I first joined Freemasonry, at least at my lodge, there really much depth to the investigation process and ,providing you weren't a felon, the investigation committee didn't really give it a lot of thought.

    Did that mean all initiates were good men? No, it just meant they could stay out of trouble or convince their investigators they've turned their life around.

    So while we should take good men and make them better, we're not a rehabilitation institution, as stated previously. In my mind the good men we should be looking for are those types that already demonstrate some degree of morals and attributes we try to foster as masons.

    If a felony keeps a man from being a Mason that is unfortunate, but in some cases it might not be easy to tell how much he's reformed until it's too late. There's also Masonry's reputation to consider as well, especially in smaller communities, when people wonder why our noble and selective fraternity is admitting felons.

    Just my two cents though. A lot of people seem concerned when stricter requirements for joining get brought up but I believe you can have quality or you can have quantity, but you can't have both.
     

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