A question of ethics.

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by vanderson78102, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

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    We got into a discussion this morning that I thought the brethren here could answer.

    Is there any kind of rule about drinking to excess in masonic law? I ask because we were discussing myself and another brother going to a non lodge function where there will be alcohol served. One of our older members halfway scolded us and said, "A Master Mason can't get drunk or go to bars!" stating it would not be subduing passions and was behavior embarassing to the lodge. What exactly would masonic law say if anything on this? I'm thinking it would be more of a personal morals decision as it doesn't say in any of the obligations that one cannot drink alcohol.

    Keep in mind that the brother in question is a teetotaler, so he has a bias about alcohol to begin with.
     
  2. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    If you look into lodge minutes from around the 20's you'll find that they would bring charges against members that got drunk... so I'm sure there are some old laws that specifically deal with it.

    In terms of nowadays, masons will "blow up" a hotel bar. Have you been to crickets or one of the many banquets after grand lodge?

    For me, personally, if you do something stupid while drinking, you're still fully responsible for all of your actions, but actually raising a pint isn't necessarily what you're doing wrong.
     
  3. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    My pastor side that if you do something that looks bad please don’t tell them you go to his church. Makes since to me, can we apply that to our fraternity?
     
  4. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    The Charges of a Freemason say that you are to avoid 'gluttony or drunkenness' .

    So eat ,drink ,and enjoy. Just do so within a certain boundary.
     
  5. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    jones:

    my first answer: yes. a lot of college fraternities prevent members from having the "letters on" while drinking/etc. it does make sense.

    my slightly delayed second answer is:

    no, because that makes me think of going to mass. some folks think being a mason is a bad thing at my church, and would prefer i didn't tell anyone up there about it. i tell them, this is who i am and get over it. if they'd like to keep me from going to that mass, i'll still be catholic.



    hiding the fact that some masons drink doesn't change anything but the public perception, and it doesn't make the fraternity better as a whole. you can't deal with a problem and sweet it under the rug at the same time.

    on a lighter note, after re-reading this post, i realize that i've subconsciously inferred that catholicism and alcohol are related.
     
  6. Bigmel

    Bigmel Premium Member Premium Member

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    I live in Twin City, Half in Texas and the other half in Arkansas. We have Texas and Arkansas Grand Jurisdiction, I recently had a discussion with Arkansas Grand Lodge Officer. He stated the reason he did not approve Plural memberships in other Grand Jurisdiction was when they came back home they have to be expelled from AR Lodge because of Liquor involvement. In Arkansas you cannot have a/or run a business that sells Liquor. Or have a State Liquor License in your name or you will be talked to and/or asked to leave the lodge
     
  7. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    Nothing wrong with having a drink or 3 :)
    You can even have a sip -red wine-in church.

    But we must remember are actions and keep them within due bounds.
     
  8. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    "To see that none pervert the purpose of refreshment into INTEMPERANCE or EXCESS!"
     
  9. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    IMHO, going into a bar is a personal decision. My mentor once admonished me to never frequent any place, especially while wearing a masonic ring, that I would be be ashamed to find my wife, mother, sister, or daughter. I asked him if occasionally instead of frequently would be OK. He just rolled his eyes at me.
     
  10. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    In some Grand Lodge Jurisdiction it is not uncommon to have Wine with your Meal. While most if not all which allow this have a 1 glass limit. Alcohol prohibition is primarily a bible belt mentality. There have been quiet a few studies which have proven and disproved the benefits of alcohol in regards to our health.

    Having said this I think that we are all accountable for our actions to ourselves and our brothers. For example the brother who drives like a bat out of hell and has the S & C on his car, or the brother who is adorned in S & C and curses in public. These are just some of the examples that you can list. Alcohol is alcohol who cares but if it causes us to be the fool while representing Masonry then perhaps we should reevaluate who we are. All things have there place, I happen to like a Scotch with my steak while I'm out at a restaurant. Figure something needs to cook the steak while it is going down.

    Just my two cents.
     
  11. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

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    Good answers all of you. Thank you for giving me some things to reflect on.
     
  12. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    There are Masonic functions where alcohol is served. The Grand Lodge of Texas once published a bulletin on festive boards where alcohol would likely be served, (not in the Lodge-room of course). They did however say that such events should not turn into drunken bashes of something of that nature.

    The Charge to the Entered Apprentice, (Monitor of the Lodge, Grand Lodge of Texas, A. F. & A. M.), includes the words: "...and to yourself, in avoiding all irregularity and intemperance, which may impair your faculties, or debase the dignity of your profession..." I do not think this means I can't have a drink but I do think it reminds me to be cautious.
     
  13. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    These are great points. Personally, if I am in public I will remove any indication I am a Mason so someone that does not know me can get the wrong impression.
     
  14. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i put it on in case the cops try to arrest me, maybe my masonic paraphernalia will get me out of it.

    /KIDDING.
     
  15. Chris_Ryland

    Chris_Ryland Registered User

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    Most of our appendant bodies--ie. Shriners, York Rite---have functions and/or ceremonies that involve alcohol. I believe that there is a place for everything in moderation.
     
  16. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    When we study Masonic jurisprudence we find that many of the laws and rules pertaining to drink were created post Morgan Affair in order to appease the Victorian Christian march upon the land. It was an apology in a way to say, "Hey look at us, we are should be liked by the church...please like us again."

    Certainly there were not such prohibitions at the formation of what we now call modern Masonry as many of the lodges met in or above pubs, inns, and bars. To be intoxicated literally meant to be full of poison. There are many more poisons to be drunk on than a little snip or dram of the good stuff in my estimation. Greed, hatred, gossip, and intolerance are far more dangerous to the Fraternity than a man who ties one in the company of good friends and harms no one but himself and a lonely toilet stall the next morning. Just my two cents.
     
  17. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    Incidently you can drink at lodge in Colorado and I have never seen it cause a single problem.
     
  18. wwinger

    wwinger Registered User

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    Well said!
     
  19. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    I take the opposite tack; this is to remind me to keep my passions within due bounds… Something to remember for those that endorse Masonic license plates? But hey, that’s just me.

    We must share the same mentor… When one looks into the mirror one must be reminded that this is someone’s impression of a Mason.
     
  20. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I think it is important to keep in mind that standards for a wife, mother, sister or daughter are different. I get what the man was saying, but reason and logic would dictate that we should simply govern ourselves accordingly.

    For instance, I would be ashamed to find my sister in the men's restroom at any facility....and if I found my child at my favorite Martini bar, given their current age, I would deliver a loving, but severe, "butt whoopin').

    My point being is that shame isn't necessarily the level by which we should hold ourselves. We are told that we should engage in the "practice of every commendable virtue." This is, quite frankly, a higher standard that simply doing that which is one level above shame.

    That being said, a reasoned and logical approach to our guilt is essentially necessary. And, we must recognize that all are different. That is why the Apostle Paul said that if for one man it is not a sin to eat meat sacrificed to idols, then he should eat his fill. If, for another, he believes strongly it is a sin, he should not.

    So we must be careful not to inflict the title of shameful upon a simple norm because we have been raised a particular way and for us it is a sin.

    My Southern Baptist friend believes that alcohol is a tool of the devil. I believe that a good Scotch paired with the correct cigar is proof of Deity....so he would be ashamed to sit and imbibe with me and he does not. On the contrary, I do not believe his personal decision means that I should bare his shame and I do not.
     

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