Are we isolationists? Will this be our downfall?

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Timothy Fleischer, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    Brothers,

    Please read the following essay from Worshipful Brother Frederic L. Milliken.
    I found it on phoenixmasonry.org.
    By the way, phoenixmasonry.org is a treasure trove of information and Masonic literature. Add it to your favorites and bookmark it to find your way there for future study.


    Here is the link to the essay


    http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/american_mainstream_masonry.htm
     
  2. mark!

    mark! Guest

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    I agree with a lot of the things the essay talks about, but some of the things it complains about, persay us claiming to be Texas Masons and such, I'm not so sure. We claim to be Texas Masons because we can't claim to be American Masons without some jurisdiction telling us that's not right. Maybe if we did claim to be American Masons the 50 Grand Lodges would get together because they found out they could claim jurisdiction together and claim more dues, and if you wanted to claim yourself as an American Mason that meant you belonged to another lodge, plural memberships, plural dues. I feel, and I'm absolutely positive I will rub someone the wrong way here, that the generation gap is what is holding Masons back in a lot of areas. Younger Masons want technology to be incorporated because of the great things it provides, WHILE KEEPING TRADITION in the lodge. We want to bridge the racial gap that we have. And in due time, well in time anyway, things will all change. We will embrace the things that will help us grow, because we really do believe that in time, it will be sink or swim. We will have to change how we do things, being a Mason won't mean being an isolated organization anymore, it will mean getting out and making ourselves known to the masses who have absolutely no idea who or what we are and what we stand for. Masonry has spent so many centuries telling nothing, saying nothing, sitting back because good men came forward to join but now being a good man is something that's frowned upon, not having a criminal record means you're boring, bland, not any fun. Don't get drunk and crazy on the weekends? You're not in with the in crowd.

    We as Masons must learn that times are changing, and like all things, we have to embrace the change, or get out of the way of change. Too many feel that if we change, that automatically means we must give up tradition, give up what we believe and what we cherish as induvidualism. That, my brothers and friends, is not the case. We must learn to change while grasping tightly to our past, keeping all traditions, rituals, and history in tact and present in our work. There are 1000's of articles about the declining lodge numbers, just look here and see the articles written about not having members in the seats, and the threads asking for advice on how to get non active members back in the lodge. We, as "field" Masons, those of us who are out here, living the Masonic life, SEE and KNOW this. But, I fear those who oversee the Masonic laws and such do not see what we do. They are in large jurisdictions and have Masonic communication on a daily basis because it's business, it's a necessity to them however to us, it has become something that gets pushed back. We, as operative masons do not conduct business all day every day as the Grand Lodge officers may do, so we see the declining memberships, we're hit by study nights of 2 or 3 brothers, we feel, to the highest degree, the impact of brothers not showing up to lodge.
     
  3. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I think was well reasoned. I agree with some and disagree with others. I think the problem he is truly referring too that exclusive jurisdiction has caused is how to recognize PHA Masonry when claiming there can not be two GL's in the same area state. But there is a Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London, the UGLoG with four GL's operating underneath the umbrella of the Grand Master of the United GL's in Germany and he has no authority or power over any of the actual GL's, all have their own ritual, their own GM, and their own constitutions.

    So, in theory, we it can be done and something can be figured out.

    But, I don't think that allowing states to govern themselves is such a bad idea. American, just landmass wise is huge. Some of our European counterparts can fit their countries in the land mass of Oregon (Germany for instance with FOUR grand lodges).

    So I don't think seeking to lump everyone into one GL or one set of "American Masons" mold is smart. In Scotland, the GL have very little power and lodges are even allowed to establish their own ritual.

    I am not big on big government. Keep it small, keep it simple. You can't legislate thought. Masonry promotes free thought. That means we will deal with things like racism and the like. That's okay in my book.
     
  4. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    I agree with Cliff. We have 13,000 freemasons in Germany, divided into 5 (not 4) grand lodges. The smallest have about 300 members. It is really a question, if one of those really needs to be a GL with all the grand honours and posts. Her lodges could be managed by another GL as well. Our largest GL has about 9000 members, and unter their jurisdiction exist about 5 or 6 different rituals. There is a GL standard ritual, that all new lodges must accept, but there are many lodges, that are older than this post-war-GL, and they are allowed to keep their historical ritual or change it to the new one.

    Our GLs have a size, that they can be managed by honorary offices. Most GLs employ 1 or 2 profane secretaries to assist the Grand Secretary and Grand Master. If a grand officer has management skills, it is good (and wished and hoped for), but common sense is usually enough to run a grand lodge. Well, our lodge buildings don't look like palaces or cathedrals, not even the GL buildings. You cannot afford those with our numbers, but that's not what freemasonry is all about, isn't it?

    Centralization just rise opposition. The local excentricities or idiosyncrasies cannot be dealt with, the brothers don't feel represented, they grow afar from their GL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  5. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    I'm going to post something below that I wrote last year. I think it best sums up my feelings on local vs broad jurisdiction..

    [FONT=&quot]A Once Self Governed Freeman[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A Declaration to/of/against Federal Authorities[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]No man shall be a more fervent servant than I to the idea of civility and all that is associated with the creation, preservation, and benefits a civil society bestows upon its subjects. Notwithstanding, I also understand, stand behind, and stand for the inevitable violent means by which civility is so often birthed and reared. The infamous words of Patrick Hendry, that great instigator of liberty, civility, and patriotism, ring vibrantly in every aspect of civility. So basic is the idea of civility though liberty that its very essence presents itself in the foundational declaration of the most free nation this great earth has ever had the honour of hosting. “We hold these truths to be self evident…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” Those great founders who took upon their shoulders the creation of a more perfect union understood the Union’s perfection solely depends on those unalienable rights of individual man: rights which propels and encourages man to achieve happiness in whatsoever pursuit he chooses within the constraints of other’s unalienable rights. Thus created is the most profitable and free union on earth. Also created is the very fundamental role of any governing body over free men. To maintain these securities, men must be allowed election amongst themselves, a council to oversee, govern , and protect. It thus becomes apparent that communities of free men govern themselves to their needs. To a larger group such as a more perfect Union, communities must also be allowed to elect amongst themselves representatives for that Union. This union, whether a country, state, or nation, must still only consider the affairs of those it governs. How can one body of governance consider the affairs of all within? This question stands as trivial when considering small communities. The question naturally turns as “How can a local governance NOT represent the needs of that locale?” Thereto, any larger governing body must not broaden its scope for governing, but must focus on only protecting unalienable rights for all within its boundaries. For how can it fairly do anything other? Exhaustively explored is this concept in the documents “The Federalist” and “Anti Federalist” papers. Great danger for the free man looms with broad government. As such, the scope and power of the grand council must be and have been enumerated in our blessed Constitution of the United States of America. The source of all patriotism derives from the protection of unalienable rights by a federal body thus forming a “more perfect union.”[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    Is has recently become apparent that through several decades of incremental borrowing of unenumerated or misinterpreted powers, the great council of our Union now only represents themselves and the shallow name of the Union rather than those unalienable rights for which they swore to protect. History now finds a repeating of itself with a governing body thrusting agendas neither enumerated nor desired through and by the freeman. Letters, cries, please, protests, and violent acts have been ignored and even mocked for decades. What choice is left to the free men of this great Union, I ask? Is it necessary to “dissolve the political bands” and “declare the causes which impel them to the separation?” When left without appropriate representation in a governing body, when left prostrate and unable to drive back tyrannical taxation through peaceful means, when left with empty pockets while facing a fat governing body, what choice is left to the free man? Let this letter precede the inevitable to you sitting on your temporary congressional thrones. The relentless desire to govern where governance is neither wanted, needed, nor enumerated will end you. The free men and women of this glorious Union will squirm, kick, and bring terrible pain to those holding them in this womb of governmental prison. Only so far will a free man be coaxed to remain in that dark womb with false pretenses of a greater good and lasting security. And I promise that when the natural course of man leads to its bursting from this false womb, no army or force will hold back the tide of liberty. The very essence of this incredible Republic resides in individual freedom: freedom of self governance. The current virus of thought that a federal government can broadly legislate for the greater good will eventually bring about death to the host unless the virus is irradiated. My fellow Americans, when you place yourself between the unstoppable force that is freedom and the immovable object that is unalienable rights, you are in dire jeopardy of exhaling your final legislating breath.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    Let this letter serve as foresight. Treading in areas neither allowed nor wanted will only cause the deadly snake to sink its fang deep into the calf of tyranny.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Give me Liberty or give me death![/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010

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