In Need of Advice...

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by TravelingBrother, May 29, 2020.

  1. TravelingBrother

    TravelingBrother Registered User

    My Brothers,

    I come to you in the most humble manner. I feel as though I should get advice on a troubling issue I have experienced for quite some time.

    Some background.

    My mother lodge, which I am currently a JD in, is predominately hispanic. I have grown to love many of my brothers very much, and I have truly done my very best to try and see through some of the other brothers' faults. However, more frequently than not, I hear very hateful, racist and homophobic remarks from a few of the “regulars” that come to lodge. These comments are made openly and are incredibly nonchalant in front of the senior members of the lodge – some of which have made these unacceptable comments themselves. I have spoken to a Past Master regarding this issue, but his best advice was to stay focused on my work and remember my Obligations where others don't.

    Our lodge is considered “family friendly”. In a typical setting, this would be wonderful. However, many of my family members are mixed-race. My wife and I have an interracial marriage. My father-in-law is black. My adopted son is black. In the grand scheme of things, this should not matter whatsoever. As much as I love many of my brothers, I do not feel comfortable in bringing my family to the lodge. This saddens me incredibly much. Lodge installation last year was bittersweet for me as I opted for my family not to attend. My own father-in-law has expressed interest in becoming a Mason. I have since brought him over to another lodge that I belong to.

    There are so many great Brothers in my mother lodge, and the hundreds I have met across my travels. They truly live their Masonic obligations, and remember these key principles throughout their daily lives.

    As the Masonic year soon comes to an end, the process of elections has begun – even in the midst of this pandemic. During this time, I have taken advantage of the time given and truly studied my work and what it is I want from our Craft. A large part of me wants to “ the change I want to see in the the lodge" (sounds cliché). There is a large part of me that wants to drop out of the line completely.

    I am just so torn about whether to demit from my mother lodge altogether. If so, I will truly miss some of my Brothers. At the same time, if this level of behavior, which is truly unbecoming of a Mason, has been accepted for a number of years within this lodge, I don't know if anything will change going forward.

    I humbly request your insight or words of wisdom.
    Forthright likes this.
  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    I recall the EA apron charge about withdrawing from the lodge/temple if there is a brother with whom you are at variance.

    The importance of this is that the Light is attracted to harmony and Light is repelled by lack of brotherly love. I have resigned from the same lodge twice (in different decades) because of brethren with whom I was not prepared to sit.

    If Masonry is more than a social and charitable institution then the flow of Light is fundamental to the spiritual progress of the brethren.
  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    You mention speaking to a Past Master, have you spoken to the Seated Master or the Wardens? This is an issue that cannot be ignored, a behavior that goes against everything Masonry stands for.
    I have seen it swept under the rug before and watched that action nearly destroy two Lodges and an Orient, and permanently damaged the relationship between them.
    Bloke and TravelingBrother like this.
  4. TravelingBrother

    TravelingBrother Registered User

    I agree, wholeheartedly, that their behavior goes against everything Masonry stands for. Unfortunately, I do not feel comfortable discussing the matter with our current WM as he has participated in this behavior as well. He is also very close friends outside of lodge with the others in question.
  5. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    In that case I would have to find another lodge.
  6. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    I would go the next Master and discuss it with him if the current one participates and/or tolerates this behavior.

    You are in a tricky spot. I do not envy you. I had the same problem around homophobia with a few making comments. I think it lost us an applicant a few years ago. My tack was to speak to people I knew in the lodge and gently work as a force for good. My sister actually helped a lot, she was at a function and, in her special diplomatic way (no, I am not being ironic, she does have a special diplomatic way) while she and her husband was volunteering for us, pointed our her son (my nephew) was gay....

    Sadly, I think the path is change the lodge or leave it, and if trying to change, try to work out how and how long you will try. For me, withdrawal was not an option, esp because we were talking about two guys who, although lovely, they are not the future of our lodge. And I want our future to be within Masonic values and this sort of prejudice, especially racism, is not within Masonic Values.

    When I approached the next master, I would be talking about how you are struggling with something which seems to conflict with something you see within the behavior of some members which seems not to agree with the values of Freemasonry, but would tread gently.. I would be telling him you don't invite your family to the lodge to protect them (and it) from potential conflict, but that the possibility of that risk only arises because of prejudice you perceive.

    At the end of the day, you are talking about your son. Any questions about him joining Freemasonry in the future should not be about his skin colour. And we all know where our priorities should be as good Freemasons.
    1 Family
    2 Work.
    3 Lodge.
  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

  8. Tylerl90

    Tylerl90 Registered User

    Now more than ever, Masons must remember and abide by the obligations the took upon the VSL. If we are in a regular Lodge where your Brothers aren’t very Brotherly, or you feel equality is not there (as it should always be), then you must seek to correct it. If that fails, do what you must and seek a Lodge that better adheres to their obligations.

    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry mobile app
    Bloke likes this.

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