Hypothetical

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by owls84, Aug 15, 2009.

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  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Ok, I have heard by several people that their Lodge requires a certain dress for stated meeting.

    I would like to know lets say a Brother Master Mason from a Lodge in this Jurisdiction shows up and has proper id, wearing shorts and flip flops. He refuses to change. What do you do as Worshipful Master???

    Tell me what do you do and what supports your answer (article, if applicable)

    I have a few of these. I think it is good for us to do some just to prepare for the "what ifs" that way if they happen you are better prepared to do the right thing. So have at it lets hear the answers and I will tell you what I have learned about this.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  2. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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    Personally, if I were in the East?
    I would let him in assuming there was not a prohibition in the Lodge Bylaws (read em know em).

    Second I would make it VERY clear to him that the attitude he just displayed, I would think inconsistent with his obligation as a Mason.

    Third I would make sure the assembled Lodge knew that I had seen the man, reviewed the situation and made a determination AND chastised the man for disrespecting our Lodge traditions when made aware of them but allowed a brother to enter despite his actions.

    If it is in the bylaws how to dress? He is outside the door.

    Actually in my view, if he were truly my brother and I asked him to change he would do it - if within the length
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Good response.
     
  4. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    I would look into why he was present. If you're visiting a Lodge I see imagine showing up casual, if you're on vacation. Most county Lodges tend to be casual. But flip flops? Shorts? I feel a hustle coming on. He would be examined and reexamined.
     
  5. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i don't have a problem with it.
     
  6. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I can't think of a hypothetical good reason to refuse to change if he has a change of clothes.

    If he's traveling and only had those clothes available (imagine a traveling operative mason driving a distance in work clothes and decides to visit suddenly), then it's not an issue.
     
  7. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    WRONG! It doesn't matter what's in your bylaws- read Article 383. You may NOT exclude a Texas Mason unless you KNOW there are charges pending against him. Refuse to admit him due to his dress or any other reason and YOU may be facing charges.

    JBD- your signature indicates that you are JW of one Lodge & SW of another. One of the JW's duties is to be responsible for & familiar with the GL Law. I strongly recommend you spend more time with the book. Read it, know it. Further, I find your statement "I would make sure the assembled Lodge knew that I had seen the man, reviewed the situation and made a determination AND chastised the man for disrespecting our Lodge traditions when made aware of them but allowed a brother to enter despite his actions." to be FAR from Masonic. Your way will ensure that he, and any other Brethren he knows, will NEVER grace your Lodge with their presence.

    The CORRECT thing to do would be, after ascertaining that the Brother is, indeed, a Texas Mason in good standing, to welcome him in with open arms and thank him for thinking enough of your Lodge to want to visit. He will notice how the other Brethren are dressed without anyone telling him, and will, most likely, dress accordingly for his subsequent visits.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  8. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    If it is in the by-laws of that lodge, doesn't that offer a legal conundrum for him entering the lodge if
    1) He is made aware of the bylaws and refused to comply (as opposed to just being unable to at the time)
    2) He is required to be let in to the lodge, to a lodge full of brethren aware of the bylaws and that he refused to comply.

    I haven't reviewed the laws of bringing charges, but it seems like the first order of business could be to bring charges against the brother and escort him out?

    There is a lodge which requires formal wear I'm aware of. I could show up at their meetings looking like a bum and ignoring their bylaws - besides being a tool, I would expect there to be disciplinary action for purposefully disrupting the decorum and bylaws of their established lodge.
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    NO! Any bylaws which conflict with GL Law are invalid.

    What charge would you file? The bylaw regarding dress, if there is one, is of no force or effect. Also, recall your MM obligation, "furthermore #2".

    I agree that your actions would not be in keeping with what I consider Masonic, if you knew their custom & intentionally violated it, but the fact remains that any bylaws restricting the RIGHT of a Texas Mason in good standing to enter ANY Texas Lodge are VOID and NO "disciplinary action" can be had.
     
  10. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    By-laws are approved by the Grand Lodge of Texas, so I'm not sure where that would stand for conflicting with GL.

    There is a lodge nearby that is all formal and "requires" visitors to where some level of formal wear. There bylaws are approved by GL, but I wonder what they actually say and how it would play out.

    Thinking of the last obligations, I supposed I would have to join in order for there to be an issue, not visit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2009
  11. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I expect that you'll find that the dress "requirements" are Lodge custom, NOT bylaws. As such, they are unenforceable.

    Correct, except for the fact that such a bylaw, if it exists, would conflict with GL Law.
     
  12. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    This really seems to be leaning towards saying - there can be no bylaws that requires certain conduct for a MM to enter or sit in a lodge, unless it is redundant of a GL Law..
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Dress and "conduct" are two different things. "Conduct" is already regulated under various parts of GL Law, such as not becoming personal toward another Brother when speaking in Lodge, etc.

    There cannot be a bylaw which conflicts with GL Law, particularly (in the "hypothetical" instance) Article 383, which clearly states that no Lodge may refuse to admit a Texas Mason in good standing.
     
  14. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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    My Brother - it is hard to infer the tone and attitude with which you wrote your comments. I will say from this side they appear to me as offensive. I did not ask for nor solicit in any manner your condemnation, rebuke or other comments. I do not appreciate being lectured to in this forum. If you are going to respond to my post please do so after you understand what I said and what the context of the question presented.

    As far as the rest of your post, I will not respond, I will just say you are entitled to your opinion just as I am mine. Your experiences may be one thing and mine another. I responded to that posting in the context of my Lodges and what I would see needed to be done. I would not pretend to instruct you how to run yours.
     
  15. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Does not the GLoT set the parameters of "decorum" within their own lodge and laws? One would think that this attribute should be naturally inherent. What do you see as “proper attire” when attending your grand lodge?
     
  16. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I guess in my mind, I'm thinking of the Traditional Observance Lodges that have been chartered in Texas. They specifically have formal wear as part of their tradition and make up.
     
  17. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    Great response.

    A lot of law in the GL law book, in which officers should be well informed.
     
  18. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    My reaction to a brother's attire hopefully would be based on these or more issues:

    1. Is the brother at home or visiting?
    2. Is the brother aware of the established usages and customs of this particular lodge?
    3. Is the brother sincere in his actions or is trying to "prove a point"?
    4. Is there mitigating circumstances for his behavior?
    5. How truly offensive are his actions?
    6. Should his actions mean that maybe I should be the one to retire from the lodge?
     
  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The scenario, as I understood it, was that the Brother was visiting, was not aware of the Lodge's custom as to appropriate dress, and refused to conform.

    While I in NO way condone the Brother's intransigence, the facts remain as follows:

    1. Under Grand Lodge of Texas Law, if the Brother is a member in good standing of a Texas Lodge, he may NOT be refused admission.

    2. As JW of the Lodge, JBD should KNOW the Law.

    3. JBD's self-admitted attempt to send the Brother packing and his further "chastisement" of the Brother show not only a lack of knowledge of the Law, but also of basic principles of Masonry, beginning with a little something about "internal & external", which was taught in the EA work and reinforced in the MM degree. Further, the Brother probably "got his back up" due to the manner in which JBD challenged him, which I can certainly understand.

    4. IMO, there is a much better way to handle the situation which would not only welcome the visiting Brother & not embarrass him, but very well might entice him to not only conform, but to visit the Lodge again & bring other Brethren. Wouldn't that be a better resolution than to make everyone upset for NO justifiable reason?

    One of the Lodges of which I am a member has forgotten the "internal not external" lesson also. They have become much more concerned with appearances than content, and, in large part, are declining quickly because of it.
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    "Decorum" as to conduct is addressed in GL Law. The only law regarding "dress" is that the WM's hat shall have a full brim (no "gimme caps").

    You ought to see our Grand Lodge- you'll see Brethren dressed in anything from 3 piece suits to bib overalls, and everything in between, and NO ONE, including the M:.W:., presumes to denigrate a Brother due to his dress.

    Texas is one huge state, and what constitutes "appropriate" dress for Lodge, church, and even court varies greatly. Any "big city" mason who calls me down for wearing jeans to Lodge ain't much of a Brother and, unless he's a GL officer, will look pretty silly wearing a suit in most of my Lodges. YMMV.
     
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