A single enemy?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by cog41, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

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    There have been many discussions, debates and articles written about masonry's decline, it's falling membership, it's political influence, blah blah blah. But with that in mind let's look forward and ask, "Does Freemasonry have one single source that can be considered the enemy? Or are there several to be viewed as enemies to the Brotherhood?

    Is it the same ole anti masonic rhetoric and material that has grown in popularity with the aid of the interent?
    Can the above be considered with shows presented on the History and Discovery channels?

    Is it the church, synagogue or mosque?

    Is it the growing number of conspiracy buffs and groups that have their own websites, radio stations and seem to gain more supporters with each anti govt. fad or anti business craze that comes along?

    Or does the enemy reside within the lodge itself?
    Is there a group within our midst promoting discord, and thus hampering growth?
    Is there a group that is so resistant to change that it would take a war to change their mind?

    Are we just a tired ole fraternity that needs an overhaul?


    No rants, just honest opinions please.
     
  2. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

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    I've discussed the above with co-workers and others who have asked me about Masonry, as they offered their "opinions" about the fraternity.

    I wish more brethren would join the forum and discuss these things.

    I find it valuable when we can share opinions of others with our locals who don't think anyone outside their community has a difference of opinion.
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    In my humble opinion, the only enemy I've encountered has been within the walls of my Lodge. A handful of Brethren who cause discord can do more damage than any outside influence every could.
     
  4. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I agree Bro. Blake. It seems that many times we are our own worst enemy. The things that seem to be the least trivial become the biggest burdens.

    As an example Tuesday night we held our elections for 2012 and before the meeting we were all standing around and talking. A story was relayed about one of our DDGMs. He went to inspect the books of one of the Lodges in his district. The WM said to let him know when he was coming so he could be there while he was doing his inspection. The DDGM brought with him another person from another Lodge that had apparently had a falling out with some of the Lodge that was to be inspected. That just makes for trouble to start. Well, the inspection took place without the WM being present. A few days later he heard that there was going to Masonic charges filed against him and all the officers. No one was able to ascertain exactly what the charges were for other than "cooking" the books. Other people inspected the books and could find no reason for the charges. As far as I know nothing came about but I am not sure. It appears though that the DDGM and this other person were basically out to get whomever they could at that Lodge. These types of things are the ones that do the most damage to our Fraternity. The infighting, the bickering over stupid things, and people getting their feelings hurt because a vote didn't go their way are the biggest problems we face.

    The conspiracy nuts have been there for years and has made no real impact in the grand scheme of things. It is us Brothers that pose the greatest threat. If more people would take their obligations to heart and not just repeat them a couple of times we could see a real change. Sadly though the human nature will usually prevail and the egos will never be removed from the Lodge Room. It seems for many Brotherly Love can only prevail when it benefits them the most.
     
  5. CTx Mason

    CTx Mason Registered User

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    In a word, Ignorance.
    I became a Mason to follow in the footsteps of men like my grandfather, to have fellowship with other Good Men and to become a better man, father and husband.
     
  6. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Freemasonry is something people see on TV or in movies and get curious about, or they know of the hush-hush nature of the fraternity. Maybe they heard something from a recent initiate about how cool his initiation was.

    Then they come in and realize what we really do: read the minutes and pay the bills. Masonic education, festive boards, and so on are things we should encourage. Instead, there is an old culture in Texas that says you should be able to show up in jeans, talk about the next fundraiser, and go home. There's nothing wrong with that. It's still brotherhood. But it's not inherently Masonic.

    Some brothers might keep their memberships if only because of how cheap the dues are. I genuinely believe Texas freemasonry needs to reassess itself. As it is, only relatively wealthy and retired (or free to do as they please) brothers can run for Grand Master currently. You can't start a Lodge in a county (if another Lodge exists) with less than 50 brothers!

    When's the last time you sat in Lodge with 50 brothers? The TO or EC ideas of small intimate lodges cannot be pursued here except by taking over a dying lodge and reinventing it. A good small lodge of 10 brothers that meets once a quarter for fellowship and masonic education is far more rewarding, in my opinion, than the lodge that meets every 2 weeks to hear the minutes, pay the electric bill, hear some arguing over why the electric bill is so high, and then holds an insane number of floor schools.
     
  7. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    We have met the enemy and it is ourselves? Quite possibly. Fear, ignorance, and a large helping of prejudices. I'm a firm believer that we don't need quantity, but quality. That would help greatly. But there is another issue at hand. How many of us continue to grow in masonry? How many of us insist on living masonry?

    Those, gentlemen, are two questions we must all weigh at all times going forward.
     
  8. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    I think there is a lack of discipline and respect in general. I recently watched the SW and JW texting non stop during an EA degree. I was disappointed and embarrassed. That is a moment the candidate will remember for a long time and he deserves the best degree possible, not to mention he paid good money. I never went back to visit that Lodge. When I went through the YR, I overheard 2 brothers insult another candidate they didn't know because he showed up in a suit and tie, again, embarrassed and it took away from the experience. Yes, we are our own worst enemy. I do know that many Masons are disappointed due to the lack of Masonic education and brotherhood in their Lodges. After a few stated meetings of going over bills and fundraisers, their attendance begins to decline, but this issue can be addressed and fixed if everyone comes together and makes it happen. My hat goes off to our PHA brothers, from what I see and hear from the ones I know, they are doing better at masonic education and appearance.
     
  9. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I think we've hit the nail on the head a few times here. My thoughts are that society has become so casual that the craft just doesn't get taken seriously anymore by a lot of it's members.

    We are our own worst enemy, if we don't take ourselves more seriously then why should we expect anyone else to?
     
  10. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

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    Well, looks like we have found the enemy and it's Us. Least it seems to be the consensous so far. But, I think we'll make it.
     
  11. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I know we will make it. It may sound a little off, but I think if we could get more people to act and think like the 99.9% of us do here on this forum then we could make huge strides in getting the Craft back to where it belongs. In my short time here on this forum have never seen so many Brothers with a deep respect and love for the Craft like I see here day in and day out. It may just be me but I think this is one of the finest assemblages of Masons that could be found anywhere. If more people were to act and think like Masons then some of the problems we face would be history.
     
  12. MMWoody

    MMWoody Registered User

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    Great topic for discussion. I personally am not active in the Lodge and really haven’t been since being raised in October of last year. My reasons for not being as active as I like are typical young family, demanding job and daily things. I can say however, that I feel that the brothers that do not promote Masonry in a positive light and the brothers that are not willing to let newcomers into the inner circles that are within the lodge. I have been kind of surprised at the lack of warmth I have felt from the brothers I have encountered. I turned to Masonry after much research and by being impressed by the men that I knew that were brothers. I would have to agree that we are need of an over hall that needs to start from within. Times have changed and we as a fraternity should be trying to evolve with those changes. Just my opinion of course.
     
  13. songdogshooter41

    songdogshooter41 Registered User

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    If we look at society as a whole, the decline in membership is across the board. Churches, other fraternities ( Eagles, Lions, Rotary) are all running short on active members.

    I joined Masonry to be a part of something bigger than myself. I looked into all three before mentioned groups and didn't see what I was looking for. When I found Masonry it was spot on what I wanted. What I needed.

    Our lodge is dying. We have 55 members, and probably 80% of those are in their sixties or older. A couple of the "old-timers" are active in the lodge. Once they are gone though, its going to be harder for the younger generation to get up to speed.

    The infighting and sore egos is a problem, but what I see in our lodge is we pay our dues and go to a buisness meeting once a month. Our lodge just isn't offering masonry to our members.
     
  14. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Thread promoted to our Facebook page...
     
  15. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    Sad to say, that is the predominant situation around my district and is why I no longer attend lodge.
    I know, "stay in there and fight for the changes I think are necessary". I've done that for the last 10 yrs and have learned that the vast majority of members are happy with their "social, service club" Freemasonry.

    Frankly, I've reached the point that I no longer care.
     
  16. Steve Cumbie

    Steve Cumbie Registered User

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    I see Brothers that take our obligations seriously and give their all.

    On the same hand I see Brothers that can not see what it is all about if it hit them in the face.

    I personally believe you need to have fun no matter what you do even when it is hard.

    I've heard all kinds of reasons why Brothers will not attend Lodge some good and a lot poor excuses

    As I stated in other post "It makes no sense to me to work so hard in learning the work then not apply it"

    I know that to get a pack house send out Summons that you are going to raise dues they come near & far

    which is sad. Because our Lodges can not take of their self with out us not 3 or more but every member.

    On a closing note I believe that becoming Mason has change my life so much for the better.

    This is my favorite part of all 3 Degrees

    TO LEARN,,,TO SUBDUE MY PASSIONS,,,,IN MASONRY
     
  17. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    I have to whole heartily agree; as far as the limits placed on the formation of TO or EC lodges appears to be a veiled attempt to protect failing smaller lodges. It looks like a roadblock to change. Or could it be the, "not invented here" syndrome?
     
  18. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Must agree!

    Brethren, We spend too much time worrying about keeping this thing as large as possible. True initiation was never for the masses. The mystic orders were only for those most deserving and willing to see the light. In my humble opinion, this is why so much trouble, strife, and disappointment exist.

    We're trying to mix a social club, whether VFW or Elks with a mystic order. That's a very tall order indeed. Expect things to be rocky. I believe the proponents of teaching masonry are dead on.

    When we start teaching masonry to those who come seeking it, we're going to get the magic back. Thoughtful members of our leadership worldwide are telling us just that. Look to the light!

    We have no right to set on our laurels and complain. Crawl up on that beehive and start spending as much time with MMs and you do candidates. Form clubs within the lodge that teach masonry only to the MMs. Things beyond the fundamentals. Things that interrupt those fundamentals. If you have no one in your midst schooled in those fundamentals, travel, learn, seek together more light.

    When we're all looking to the light intolerances in all their forms magically disappear. We truly have no time to dwell on them. Our interests and wills are of one accord. Remember those feeling you had the night of initiation. You were uncomfortable, off balance, and receptive to (nay craving) more. This is and ever has been the path to knowledge.

    Now ... my horse is tired. Let's all go out for a chilly dog and an order of fries. Masonic comfort food of the highest order. :blushing:
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  19. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

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    I for one hope the social club aspirations get smothered.
    I also agree with Mac and Traveling Man about the smaller lodges. They(we) are of extreme importance indeed but should be given the chance for other ideas and methods for their own survival.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012

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