Does GLoT allow Wiccans to become TX masons?

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by Plustax, Jan 5, 2014.

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  1. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    I read much on this topic, but never a clear answer. If the answer is NO, & a lodge still permits it to happen what are the consequences for that lodge? Seems to be a hot topic in some areas & yet isn't CLEARLY mandated by GLoT.
     
  2. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    A GL should neither ask, not be biased by, the "brand" of a man's belief. It goes contrary to the foundations of our Craft.
     
  3. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    I believe that you already have the answer to that question... Would the individual's obligation to the fraternity be binding IF sworn to that specific diety?? IF so, the answer would and should be yes.
     
  4. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    I disagree.

    Wicca does not have a central figure. The obligation, at least in my interpretation of it, requires a belief in some kind of supreme being. Wiccans do not typically follow a hierarchy of deities or have one single higher power.
     
  5. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Where is it written that there has to be a "central figure"??

    As long as their commitment to the fraternity is binding by way of "belief in a diety" (in this case higher power or powers)...
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  6. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Isn't that the purpose of having the GAOT? To be the generic representative of that higher power, whatever/whoever it may be?

    What book would a Wiccan take the oath on? Wicca is very decentralized, and doesn't have such things to my knowledge.

    Sent From My Freemasonry Pro App
     
  7. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    The fraterity adapts for other mainstream religious beliefs, why would you belive that this would be such an issue??
     
  8. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    The OP isn't seeking debate on Wicca, so I won't expand my thoughts on that topic in this thread. His is a GLoT-specific question.

    I was merely pointing out an obvious discrepancy between Wiccan practice and Masonic principals.
     
  9. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Every Wiccan I have ever known, when asked if they believe in a supreme being, has answered "yes."
    There is no discrepancy.

    I can't speak for GLTX, but I know for a fact that neither GLNM or GLCA has a prohibition toward any specific religion.
     
  10. Aeelorty

    Aeelorty Registered User

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    From my experience with wiccans they believe in a head female and a head male god/spirit that takes on a duality into one being for many, just like other religions not every wiccan believes the same thing.
     
  11. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Touchy subject for sure. If we allow a Wiccan, then what's to stop a Satanist from petitioning as well? Honestly, religion shouldn't matter. If you're a decent person and serve the Lodge, I'll support you within that environment.
     
  12. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    If anything, Satanism has a closer cosmology to Christianity than Wicca does, and both of them are closer to Christianity than Buddhism is in fundamental cosmology. What SPECIFIC doctrines of Wicca do you claim make it a "gateway" to admitting Satanists to Freemasonry? Could you elucidate, with sources?
     
  13. otherstar

    otherstar Registered User

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    I think you've missed something in Bro. Bowden's comment. He is making a slippery slope argument and inferring from rather vague and general principles. |

    To wit: IF we allow members of X religion; THEN we will have to allow members of Y religion. Since he nowhere attempts to joint these two conditional propositions together via some kind of middle term, that part of his statement fails as an argument and negates your comment.


    The crux of Bro. Bowden's comment, however, rests on this statement: "Honestly, religion shouldn't matter. If you're a decent person and serve the Lodge, I'll support you within that environment." That statement indicates that he really is not trying to advance an argument of his own, but rather to put settle the question based on the Masonic principle that Masonry seeks to make good men better IF they agree to some kind of Deity. Masonry does not specify what kind of Deity (or even Deities) in which one must believe. If Masonry requires belief in ONE Deity, then how could a Hindu be a Mason?

    If I am incorrect in thinking that Masonry (at least in Texas) does not require a belief in One Diety, I would appreciate in Texas it if someone would cite the Law Book of the GLoTx to that effect.
     
  14. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I believe the wording is "belief in *a* supreme deity", although it's really semantics at that point I'd say.
     
  15. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    The Satanist herring always makes me smile. There is nothing about Masonry that would attract such a believer, as our morality is completely contrary to theirs.

    We seem to revisit the "specific religion" argument several times a year, but after the Florida debacle, you'd think enough had been said.
     
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Extremely important point - In the end it is the question on the petition and your answer to it in good conscience that counts. NOT the opinions of other brothers on the meaning of the question and their answer to it. That was their answer in their heart in their good conscience. You need to read the petition and give your answer from your heart in your good conscience and that is ultimately the end of it. All of the rest of the discussion is supporting cast to that point. Read, ponder, answer the questions on the petition. If your sincere answers are yes, then you are welcome to come into our assemblies as a candidate coming up for ballot. The rest of my post is additional context.

    Your religious membership as such should not even be asked by the investigating committee. Your answer is to confirm your belief in a supreme being, done.

    In Florida it was recently made explicit that Wiccans are welcome as brothers there by voting down an edict that banned members of a list of faiths that included Wicca. I realize that's not an answer specific to Texas.

    In California I know a number of Wiccan brothers. In some cases other members of their lodge knew and didn't care or even signed their petitions; in other cases other members of their lodge had no idea and that is how it should be according to our landmarks. I realize that's not an answer specific to Texas.

    It is in our landmarks that we don't discuss religion. If you choose to not discuss religion your fellow members will never know, and that's as it should be. In my mother lodge I was very slow to discuss religion outside the building but I eventually found much wider religious diversity than I initially expected. This answer is general to nearly all jurisdictions and as such does apply to Texas.

    Our landmarks make it clear that we admit candidates who do have religion and our charges make it clear we do not admit atheists. There exist states whose petitions include wording that is explicitly monotheist - The Texas petition has no such wording. That is a Texas specific answer. Some of our members may care but as a jurisdiction we are Masonic and our landmarks don't care - Read into this what you will and ponder on it carefully with regard to future discussion of religion inside and outside of our buildings. Some of our brothers have not thought through what their membership implies and our landmark does teach us to not disturb them in that status. This answer is vaguely worded on purpose and is specific to Texas.

    Modern Wicca draws explicitly from Masonry so much of what we do will be found familiar and comfortable by Wiccans. In spite of the claims of age, modern Wicca is younger than modern Masonry. Please do not think that since modern Wicca draws explicitly from modern Masonry that the goals of the average Mason resemble the goals of the average modern Wiccan. You will likely find a higher percentage of the Wiccan population to be Masons that is true for other faiths because of this history. Not specific to Texas.

    Our degrees tell a story from the Old Testament. Any member of any non-JCI faith needs to be very secure in their faith to be able to draw deep meaning from stories out of someone else's faith. This bit applies to Buddhist, Hindus and Asatruar as much as to Wiccans.

    Wicca at least in theory teaches about a God and Goddess pair. The petition asks about a belief in the existence of a supreme being. If you can locate a Buddhist and you ask about their petition they tend to report pondering the word "existence" for a while. If you can locate a polytheist of one of the very many polytheist faiths that are represented among the brethren they tend to report pondering the word "supreme" for a while. I suggest that you look up the Grand Lodge of Japan which has many polytheist Shinto among their members and extend from that how to approach the petition. Not specific to Texas.

    Elsewhere in the thread there was mention of a slippery slope. Admit members of other faiths and more will join. Absolutely. That slippery slope was jumped down centuries ago by deliberate choice early in the 1700s. Every religion is the world that you have heard of and many you have not heard of are represented among the brethren right now. This is deliberate. There are plenty of Wiccan brothers.

    It was suggested that Satanists might petition. That was a canard, a logical fallacy that does nothing to establish a point of principle. It's a distraction. Satanism appears to be theoretically atheistic yet so is Buddhism and we have plenty of Buddhist members. While it might be interesting in a separate thread to discuss if a Satanist could be sincere in petitioning the topic has as much to do with the question of Wiccan brothers as does how much place Satan has in the Wiccan pantheon - Zero.
     
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  17. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    It's not mandated because it should not be mandated. To call out a list of faiths by name is against our landmarks.

    I find this strange because when I was in line in California a list of pre-approved VSLs plus a method to expand the list was proposed and passed vote. It technically breaks the landmark the same as the more recent Florida edict that banned membership by a specific list of named faith, which of course went down in flames. Explicitly saying yes to a faith is problematic but not nearly so as explicitly saying no to a faith.
     
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  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    An oath is an oath is an oath so a Wiccan does not need a specific book. If the book matters then how sincere were you when you took it? I know non-Christian brothers who did not request their own book be on the altar because an oath is an oath is an oath and the book didn't bother them. It does happen that obligations take place on a KJV VSL that is there for the convenience of the demographic majority not for the individual candidate.
     
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  19. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    In other words, a book is a book is a book. It's just a book that carries no weight and has no meaning?

    Why then is one (at least one) open on the ALTAR at every meeting? Why does every significant oath require placing one's hand on it while reciting said oath? If the book means nothing, then by definition, one's religion must mean nothing...and by all rights the oath also means nothing.

    I'm not saying Wicca is "bad". Or any other for that matter. Can someone take the oath in the absence of any book? Is that possible? If there was a Wiccan group (or insert X religion) looking to charter a new Lodge, would they be approved if they refused to have any book on their altar?
     
  20. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Does not follow from "An oath is an oath is an oath" and is not related to the issue.
     
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