Inter-Visitation, Politics and Racism in Texas

Discussion in 'Prince Hall Freemasonry' started by Blake Bowden, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. bupton52

    bupton52 Moderator Premium Member

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    I agree with Bro. Bowden, what is the big secret? I would like to be kept in the loop and Im pretty sure that many brothers would.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  2. kosei

    kosei Premium Member

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    I have more respect for an open racist than a person who is a closet racist!
     
  3. kyfreemason357

    kyfreemason357 Registered User

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    Question is how do u recognize without conversely in a Masonic manner with a clandestine or unrecognized GL
     
  4. kosei

    kosei Premium Member

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    When you find out the person is a mason and yall are in the state of Texas, if he is not a member of The Grand Lodge of Texas or the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Texas PHA, he is a member of a clandestine Grand Lodge
     
  5. robert leachman

    robert leachman Registered User

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  6. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

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    I am a firm believer in progress in my chosen vocation (15 year Veteran Sgt. of Houston Police Dept.), so it's a no-brainer that I would be in FULL support of progress which would bring Inter-Visitation between the two Masonic Bodies. Brothers who have spoken the TRUTH about the obstacles which stand in our way should also realize that this race will be a marathon, not a sprint. There is an entire 130 plus years of Prince Hall Masonic History here in Texas, and at THAT TIME in our History, a Black Man was only a decade or so past emancipation from the Historical Nightmare we remember as Chattel Slavery. So, it would stand to reason why they felt the need and desire to form their own Grand Lodge, and establish Subordinate Lodges in this same Jurisdiction as the Mainstream GLoTx.

    We have indeed progressed, and I have read many of the responses to threads written on this very forum where mutual visitation was DISCUSSED as a 5-10 year possibility, in one of Blake's previous threads about our vision of Masonry in 5-10 years. We are actually digressing with the 2007 compact, which established the "MUTUAL RECOGNITION" between the two Masonic Bodies, but did not call for MUTUAL VISITATION to accompany this compact. And, it is a sad coincidence that the 9 States in the South that fought for the right to preserve Chattel Slavery, are the same who put forth the most resistance as it relates to RECOGNITION and VISITATION with a Brother Prince Hall Mason, simply because of the color of his skin, and lack of knowledge about the Masonry which he practices.

    I applaud Bro. Bowden for presenting the issue to the forum, and I also commend the Brothers who have the nerve to step up in support of what we know is the right thing to do. This recognition without visitation brings those of us who are students of History back to the "separate but equal" doctrine established in the Plessy v Ferguson court case. Why should Masonry embrace "Brotherhood", but deny a Man an opportunity to visit a different Lodge and LEARN?? It also brings forth emotions in some of us who have grandparents and parents who had to live entire lives in a separate culture with "Jim Crow Laws" as the order of the day, grow up being called every name in the book, and great grandparents who were freed slaves. Our ancestors kept their Masonic affiliations secret oftentimes, because the Lodge and Church usually met in the same building, and faced threats of violence and intimidation from those who felt they were "less than a Man", because these two institutions were pillars of the Black community at that time. I will not defend any of MY Elder Brothers who are not proponents of progress, even though I can understand from whence their anger comes.


    There are HUGE OBSTACLES in the way of us being able to "dwell together in Unity", as Psalm 133 dictates. Most of these obstacles are not impossible to cross; however, it will take Brothers who TRULY choose to live their lives according to their obligation, and also the tenets of our time honored institution, Brotherly Love, Relief, and TRUTH. Brotherly Love is named first, in my opinion, because it is the tenet that MUST be established in order for the other two to flourish. We choose to do for those in our own Lodge that we know and love, but when will we be willing to VISIT a Lodge as a group of Brethren, and simply OBSERVE business and the Ritual being conducted? The mutual visitation will eradicate a lot of the ignorance, misconceptions, and long held bigotry (on BOTH sides), because it will show the individual Brother that his love for the Craft is EQUAL to the next Man's love for what he holds as his own. Relief comes in many forms and fashions, and mutual visitation can also aid in the positive image of Masonry in the community at large, who only see MASONS fellowshipping, and supporting one another at charity functions and fundraisers, not "Black Masons" and "White Masons".

    TRUTH will be the most diffcult tenet to address and embrace, simply because there are a lot of old mindsets that may not EVER be changed. If a Man leaves this Craft simply because of its progress, then perhaps he was always part of the problem to begin with. There are a LOT of issues which must be addressed, but I submit to this forum that the Men who lead the way in this sojourn, will be the Men who SHOULD be leaders in their respective GL's. Leadership is in those who make the difficult and perhaps even the unpopular decision, but stand behind it because it is what GOD calls for in us as Christians. Each Brother Mason professes a belief in a Supreme Being, the GAOTU. What does this Book of Life (VSL) which sits on every Altar in every Regular Lodge call for Men of Faith to do in their daily walk?

    I am in full support for the maintenance of both Masonic Bodies because of the History and Legacy tied to each; however, we MUST press forward and follow the lead of other, more progressive States who allow mutual visitation as a benefit of mutual recognition. A State should not have one without the other. If I am not welcome in YOUR Lodge simply because I happen to have skin that is darker than your own, the problem isn't with ME or my Masonry that I practice-----the problem lies within those with the shackles on their MINDS, who refuse to avail themselves to a possibility that there is no COMPETITION in Masonry. My Masonry IS YOUR Masonry. OUR forms of Masonry are both recognized by the UGLE. How dare anyone call ANY Prince Hall Mason "clandestine", or "not recognized"? Our Charter is the ONLY original one issued by the Grand Lodge of England, still in possession of the Masonic Body to which it was issued in the United States. It's in a Bank Vault in Boston, Mass.

    Once we educate one another about how we practice and study this Craft of OURS, we will see that there are not many differences in the information, or Ritual. The tenet of TRUTH will be the most difficult to embrace for some, but it will also be the most LIBERATING for those who choose to embrace it..............I choose to call Masonry a "PROGRESSIVE SCIENCE", because this Craft and all of its History, Philosophy, and Literature, is indeed a BEAUTIFUL THING. In 2012, how progressive are we, if some still choose to hold on to the ideals of the mid-20th century?? It is PAST time that we move forward, appreciating its beauty as Brothers under ONE SQUARE AND COMPASS, rather than holding on to the ideals and ways of the late 1800's-early 1900's..............And, last, KUDOS again to Brother Blake Bowden for putting this topic in a forum where it can be discussed and addressed. Humbly and Fraternally Submitted, Bro. Vincent C. Jones, Sr., Bayou City Lodge #228, PHA, F&AM, Houston, Texas
     
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  7. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

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    And, a quick post script to the issue of VERIFICATION of a Brother's status........This is not difficult. As brother Kosei stated above, if a Man is a DUES PAID member of the GLoTx or MWPHGLoTX, he will have a Dues Card, with his Name, Lodge Number, and Grand Lodge of affiliation on the card. Any other GL is considered to be clandestine............Both GL's have websites, where a Lodge's existence can be verified. Both GL's also have offices with employees who are able to be reached by phone. Out of respect, the visits would or SHOULD be scheduled through the Masters of said Lodges, with a date mutually agreed upon, for this to work. That gives parties time to do their "verification", if needed. And, I will also agree with Brother Kosei on an additional note......I have MORE respect for a Man who is open with his bigotry, if this is the sole reason for his resistance to mutual visitation. I know where we stand, I realize that the issue isn't one I caused, and I also know who possesses the shackles on his mind.....................BRO JONES
     
  8. towerbuilder7

    towerbuilder7 Moderator Premium Member

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    Brothers, AN EXCELLENT BOOK which addresses this very topic is "Recognizing Prince Hall:An Eleven Year Journey to Honesty", by Dan Weatherington......(bought on Amazon.com)......It's only about 150 pages, and I read it in two days, on lunch breaks at work, and after the kids and Wife were asleep at home. It is about the struggle Mainstream Brothers in NC had with this very issue of recognition of PHA Brothers............It also has some ugly truths in it, which are not foreign to some of us in Texas............It is an eye opener, and a Man ought to be able to learn something from this book, good or bad....................Bro Jones
     

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