FREEMASONRY ? whats that?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by curt, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. curt

    curt Premium Member

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    When I was a boy growing up on a farm, we would come to town a couple of times a week to get supplies. We always passed the lodge as it was on the main street of the town we lived nearest to. My Pa wasnt a mason back then and I used to grill him about it. He would say to me, "I really dont know much about those guys son, I think they are a gentlemans club. " We really never saw any of them once they left the meeting. They just blended back into the general public and that was that.

    Later, my Pa and then I became freemasons and I attended lodge and it became the same scenario. We would attend and then go eat and then go home. Now , people ask me all the time about becoming a Mason and I tell them what I can and I tell them how to begin, but when they ask me ,"what do you guys do after the meetings" ? I dont really know what to tell them anymore, because to be truthful, its not much of anything.

    In short Brothers, I really feel that we need to get out of the lodges and into the streets and get our hands dirty. Not to discredit or defame any other organizations, but I recently saw a television ad for the "Knights of columbus" . Do the masons have anything like that? If it werent for the history channel , I wonder, would people even know we existed? I will welcome any and all opinions. GOD Bless !
     
  2. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Brother Curt,

    I, like I assume you are, am thankful for all the good work being done by the Knights of Columbus. So, would I assume, are 99.9% of true masons out there. We're pleased to know that there are good men (and women) the world over doing their part to make this a more sane journey through life and that they are making an effort to iron out some of the rough spots along the way.

    That said, I think we are doing a good job too. When we do it! Here is the point We all need to do as much as we can to make this world a better place. If your lodge has become a gentlemen's club then they have lost their way. Apathy is brought on by many things but it doesn't stand up too well when confronted with ACTION. All it takes is a spark. A spark and a little kindling.

    Start a conversation about this concern, even if you have to wait for an audience from the Knife and Fork committee. Your best luck may be in the study groups among the brothers working their way through the esoteric work or it could be with the wise ole owl who just doesn't say much anymore. Someone in the group remembers a just reason for becoming a member of the brotherhood and will spark to life when that reason is revisited.

    You may be looking for a leader to lead the group out of apathy. Often, that search doesn't have to go much past the mirror that stares back at us each morning. If it itches brother, scratch it! You're going to be surprised with the results!:29:
     
  3. curt

    curt Premium Member

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    Thank you wise Brother
     
  4. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    Hah, I saw the thread title and though "oh here comes a lock." Great post.

    In reply to your post, however, I will have to temper it just a wee bit. I believe a lot of brethren do "get out on the street" and do great things. Most of the men I know from lodge are great men.

    Do we do things as a lodge, though? No, those have really always failed. I still believe that it's lodge that teaches us to be great men, and then go out and find your way. Travel and earn the wages of a master mason. A lodge itself is not a charity, and I can't count how many times we've failed miserably when it comes to organizing volunteer activities as a group. We're all burned out from busting ass in other ways.

    edit: in rereading everything, I realize I may have missed what you meant entirely.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  5. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I once suggested that our lodge volunteer to "adopt a street", and keep it litter-free. I was nearly tarred and feathered. I would love for my lodge, to get more involved in the community, and help with projects:

    -Underwrite a public TV show, to help people get their GED certificate.
    -Help with adult literacy, open up our lodge to classes to help people learn to read.
    -Start an employment advisory service, and assist people in seeking work.
    -Mentor "at-risk" youth, and assist young people with academic tutoring, and assistance in obtaining college financial aid.
    -Start an "Angel fund", and provide charitable assistance in obtaining warm clothing for underprivileged youth, and providing computers and internet service for low-income families.
    -Start a "Square and Compasses Club", so that masons and their families could enjoy wholesome family-based activities, like barbecues and dances.

    I have suggested all of these activities to my home lodge, all were shot down, killed, and buried.

    Your lodge sounds a lot like my lodge.
     
  6. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Proceeding on an admittedly incomplete understanding of what is meant by "...get out of the lodges and into the streets and get our hands dirty..."

    Almost a century's worth of institutionalized philanthropy notwithstanding, it must be said that Freemasonry was not meant to be that (a philanthropic institution). Don't get me wrong. It is not my wish to take anything away from the Shrine and their magnificent charitable work, and the Scottish Rite's "Childhood Language Program" is a worthy pursuit if ever there was one. While we could debate the worth of associating those organizations and their highly successful charities with Freemasonry, I don't wish to do so here. I do, however, wish to make it clear that Freemasonry, while teaching the importance of "charity", should not be seen as a charitable institution. If organized community service is what you seek, there are many organizations that exist for that express purpose.

    Now, that's not to say that as Masons we are en enjoined from giving of our time or treasure, even collectively, just that such activity is not our "raison d'etre". It does not matter to me if people know we exist. If we do what we are supposed to do, recognition is likely to follow, but it is the doing that is the goal, not the laurels. Keep in mind that "what we are supposed to do", as an institution, is, by and large, something quite apart from charity or community service.

    It is also substantially more than a business meeting and a second-rate dinner once a month, so your question is still valid. Brother jwhoff's suggestions are a very good place to start.
     
  7. mch4970

    mch4970 Premium Member

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    I currently have the same thoughts as JTM. The lodge is to make good men better and to let those men lead their community as individuals.

    If the lodge chooses not to participate, then so what? Go out and do it anyway if one feels so inclined. I've described Freemasonry like Sunday School on steroids. Isn't that somewhat accurate? Change the heading of this thread to "Sunday School? What's that?" and you can likely come up with an appropriate definition for the Craft.
     
  8. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    As an aside, though somewhat related, I'm twenty three years old. I've been a Mason a little over a year, a Master Mason for only a few months. There are many people my age who don't know what Freemasonry is at all. One person in particular had never even heard the term. We had sat down to dinner, a group of friends, and one of the waiters happened to be a Mason, saw my ring, and made a Masonic reference. A couple of the friends could tell he had just said something directed to me, but didn't know what was up.

    So I proceeded to tell them that I'm a Freemason, he saw my ring, and he was just taking extra care to ensure that our table was taken care of, brothers looking after brothers, even though we've never met. Most of them thought it was cool than an organization that holds to its ideals existed. One of the girls didn't understand though. She asked me, "When you say you're a Freemason, what is that? What does that mean?" So I proceeded to make the college fraternity analogy (carefully, with caveats), explain a bit about our ideals, etc.

    All that is to say, in my experience many in people in my generation don't know what Freemasonry is. At all. You can petition an organization that you don't even know exists. While our primary purpose may be esoteric, ethical, and moral, etc, we have to make ourselves visible, and often times charity is a very simple way to do that, hence why I think its been so common, that and it aligns with our ideals so closely.

    So is the lodge a charitable organization? No. But it's a great way for people to simply be aware of us. That's a huge part of the recruitment battle right there.

    ----

    Also, even further off topic, our lodge building is in a residential neighborhood, and blends into things pretty well. I bet you if you polled everyone in Canyon and asked them, "Is there a Masonic Lodge in Canyon?" most of them would have absolutely no idea. A good chunk of this is our fault as a lodge for not being more active in the community. I repeat, you can't petition for the degrees of an organization that you've never even heard of!
     

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