Felony Record

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by bwcornett50, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Your exact argument was made at Grand Lodge last year, but the Brethren voted otherwise. It is what it is.
     
  2. California Master

    California Master Registered User

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    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    As I stated early on in this thread, the man made a choice and got a felony. I never met a criminal who wasn't misunderstood. There's always an excuse.

    I'm 60 years old and have been a Master Mason for 34 years. Prior to becoming a Mason at the age of 26, and after, I have never been arrested or convicted of a felony.

    I know that the responses are mostly one sided. But, this is very near and dear to all Masons. Not every man can be a Mason. Obviously there are those who don't want anything to do with our fraternity. So be it. Me personally, I don't want to lower our standards. If we do,where do we draw the line? Just say no to felons.
     
  3. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    If one wants redemption and forgiveness, one has Christ for that, but not Masonry, right?
     
  4. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    All of what you say is true but I think of my self as more the Ben Franklin type and have to always have to work within mans rules I amy not be able to obay God's rulees. If someone has a felony in islamabod for being a Mason is that a felony here. I beleive the GL rules just use the word felony? Any rule can be changed and automaticly make us felons. Take the thing Hilary is going to sign at the UN in September if not stoped. Are you going to tell the Gov. you have a gun? Doing something that is a felony is and knowing it is the same as being convicted in your hart. The airplane is loading now and I will finish my thought later in Austin.
     
  5. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Did he receive deferred adjudication for this or not? If it is deferred adjudication then the answer is yes he can petition based on edict.
     
  6. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    Brother this information is the kind that causes a bit of a Red Herring when we have these talks, but is an honest mistake made by many.

    The real problem with a term like felony is that a lot of people don't understand what that means and there are a ton of urban legends and an even bigger pile of misunderstandings.

    Federal law relating to vandalism in parks do ban damage and destruction to park buildings, fences, signs, gates, guide posts, trees, vegetation and mineral deposits. The crime is a only a misdemeanor and the guilty part can face $500 fines and six months in jail.

    We had heated debate in Colorado last year at Grand Lodge over this issue where convicted felons can be allowed in. People were not sure what felony meant when they tried to ban it and some of wildest hypothetical were thrown around and 99.9 percent of the information was just blatantly false.

    I understand if a Brother is uninformed; but in Colorado for instance, I think the debate would have benefited from men saying, "I am not sure what a felony is, so this makes me uncomfortable" rather than..."I heard if you take more than one newspaper out of a machine its a felony"...."Oh God! I've done that, I think I'm still a good Mason!"....and so on and so forth.

    I think its okay to admit we don't know something and research it, but before we provide, if even by accident, a falsehood, we should as Dionysius of Halicarnassus said, "Let thy speech be better than silence, or be silent."
     
  7. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    It might be worth reminding folks of some of the things that are unambiguously felonies:


    • Rape
    • Robbery
    • Arson
    • Murder
    • Kidnapping
    • Grand larceny
    • Aggravated assault/battery
    • Treason

    Like I mentioned before, I stood accused as a young man of one of the borderline ones - fleeing the police in a motor vehicle. I will restate, it is elementary and relatively inexpensive for a first time offender to have one of those offenses reduced to a misdemeanor. And those borderline cases make up the extreme margins.

    Look again at the meat of the list. It requires no hypotheticals. Tick off each one of them in your mind and give it some thought, I know I wrestled with it at the last GL when the issue came up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  8. M.Prejean

    M.Prejean Registered User

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    But the list is more exhaustive & hypotheticals are indispensable tools for projecting the results of a decision. I understand that to allow a felon in to the Fraternity would be to gamble with our reputation, so I see why the bright line. In my opinion though, a case-by-case analysis is the right way. Then, any challenge to our reputation could be backed up by the findings.

    Even though we all probably can't imagine a felony being an issue for ourselves, I'm glad we're having this discussion.

    beating_a_dead_horse.jpg Who wants the bat next? :001_smile:
     
  9. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Vandlisam of fedral lands is a Felony and if I were you I would do a lexisnexis search and see how much case law has been acumulated on it since 1972. I don't want to argue with you so it would be good if you did your own research and that is my last post on this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  10. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    I would agree with all, the answer is no. While even the government will allow you to have a security clearance with a felony, we cannot allow it. I understand that circumstances happen, and that good things do happen to good people. But once a precedence is set, it is hard to close the door. My mother lodge has had PMs expelled for felony white collar crimes, so the law is the law.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  11. daviddenboer1

    daviddenboer1 Registered User

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    From my travels throughout Texas and other states there already are felons in the craft. Not sure how arrest records or even convictions are checked. Brothers who've been charged or convicted could just use false documents to gain access to the degrees.

    Unless we have a fingerprint scanner or DNA testing then I'm going to take any brother at his word until I find out otherwise. Also, I heard there were people using false Id cards to gain access to degrees in the past.

    If a brother has a felony, been charged, or even been caught for using false ids whats really stopping them from gaining access? The work is all online and there are multiple associations of masons so who's who is in question.

    Take this app for instance, the user could be anybody...a kid, a female, or even a felon. There's no stopping this issue from occurring so hopefully all of us brethren could think of a better system to verify members if it's a big issue.

    Great topic to discuss! :)

    Dave den Boer
    1417 - Texas - FC
     
  12. rmcgehee

    rmcgehee Registered User

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    In California,starting in 2012,part of the application fee goes to pay for a background check.
    The fee is $15,non-refundable,and goes to Grand Lodge who has a contract with some company to handle.
    That being said,should NOT get in the way of a good committee of investigation
    from the Lodge.
    In my opinion,No Felons Period!
     
  13. tpilgrim

    tpilgrim Registered User

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    I am a felon

    I was unfortunately represented by a cheap attorney, not to mention had no true guidance.. I am pleased to say that I am one of the most active brothers in my district.. I am also a traditionalist and direct a curriculum for esoteric studies.. Ive seen brothers act like children and totally violate obligations.. some people are victims of unfortunate events in life.. Grand lodge will water down masonry with chance to advance shake n bake masons that will further dilute our fraternity but you would rather call them a brother than me? I say shame on you. What happened to tolerance and weighing both sides of all situations?
     
  14. tpilgrim

    tpilgrim Registered User

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    Sure is alot of discussion

    There is alot of religious tones here... do I need to remind all of our oaths and obligations? Most of the craft thinks all there is to masonry is ritual and memorization.. I suggest some research.. Us younger brethren don't want something for nothing.
     
  15. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

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    Re: Sure is alot of discussion

    I don't understand this post. Please help me understand what you just said?
     
  16. Spring TX MM

    Spring TX MM Premium Member

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    Brother, based on the question in the OP(original post), the Brother specifically asked if it was allowed(summarized) based on Texas GL Laws. Based on TX GL Laws, the answer is NO.

    This isn't to say that the person isn't a good man or that some unfortunate set of circumstances befell him in his life at some point. I honestly don't think any response here was meant to judge someone with a felony conviction. The OP asked the question if it was alowed. Many responses are just discussion of personal opinion which all are entitled to. Some supportive and some opposition to the argument but I believe none were meant as a negative judgment towards anyone specifically.

    S&F,
    Kyle
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2012
  17. Spring TX MM

    Spring TX MM Premium Member

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    To this post, I say in my opinion, we shouldn't expect anything in return. We should have the satisfaction of giving to something greater without the thought of receiving anything in return. The process of becoming "better men" is entangled with the act of living and sharing our principle tenets.

    S&F,
    Kyle
     
  18. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    But is this a rational thing? We both know there are plenty of unjust laws.

    Now, I know that Michael Hatley brings up the valuable fact that most minor felonies get reduced, and that makes up for a little bit.

    To change the subject slightly, what if you were convicted of a felony in another country? Would that make someone ineligible to be made a Mason in Texas?
     
  19. tpilgrim

    tpilgrim Registered User

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    Nothing expected

    again, I am a traditionalist who feels it an honor to be called a brother.. My point is.. I believe circumstances tell a story too. I knows I give 110% in and out of lodge and it is disheartening to see a brother want to wear the Jersey but not play on the team.
     
  20. Spring TX MM

    Spring TX MM Premium Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    again, I am a traditionalist who feels it an honor to be called a brother.. My point is.. I believe circumstances tell a story too. I knows I give 110% in and out of lodge and it is disheartening to see a brother want to wear the Jersey but not play on the team.[/QUOTE]

    I'm sorry, I am confused. Who and what are you referencing about wearing the Jersey and not playing on the team? I understand the analogy. I'm confused as to what prompted you bringing it up. I understand traditionalists and other types. In several of your posts you mentioned how dedicated you are. Did someone question your dedication? Again, my apology if I missed something or made an error in some way.

    S&F,
    Kyle

    Please excuse me if I've strayed too far off topic.
     

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