You are not alone my Brother!
The problem most Brothers (and future possible Brothers) shall have with this is the misunderstanding that each of them bring to the word freeborn
when they read it.
(and Free born) did not mean "not born into slavery"
as most people define it today. It meant that the person had a superior or excellent* birth
and more specifically, he was "able of birth",
alluding to all that this simple phrase meant at the time it was first put down in the old charges; and it also implied a whole lot that we have little understanding of in this day and age.
The word freeborn
was used to describe the phrase "able of birth"
at the original time of its use. It is most unfortunate that semantic drift over the years, that was caused by a myriad of factors, has left the meaning of the word freeborn
utterly different from its original intent. The phrase "able of birth"
meant that: No man should ever be allowed to Enter who is unsuitable and who would have anything in his character preventing him from being molded into a Superior or Excellent Craftsmen. (and more specifically, no Master or Fellow Craft shall take into his charge and Apprentice such a man!)
(Shameless Plug) I have written extensively upon this subject within Volume 8 of my Uncommon Masonic Education Series, Building Free Men
. I show the historical basis for what you have just read, if there is further interest in knowing more about the subject. The material just referred to can be found in chapter VIII, but is best supported be reading the supporting chapters leading up to it first.
Yes! You should be bothered, not by the Landmark my Brother, but by the way it is misunderstood and how this misunderstanding is applied in ignorant and unjust ways. I hope that this Further Light shall assist you in being a Light bearer in a dark forest of indifference and ignorance. Good Luck!
Coach John S. Nagy, MM
* The word "Free" within the context of use within the words, Freemason
, originally meant "Excellent; Superior".
(See chapter III for details)