Masonic Law Question

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by owls84, Jul 22, 2009.

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In your Opinion, does this give the Lodge the ability to hold people accountable?

  1. Yes, If so explain the extent of the punishment that can be handed out.

    29 vote(s)
    78.4%
  2. No, punishment can only be given by Grand Lodge. State where this is found.

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  1. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Ok so Im going through my law book (digital of coarse) and I came across this section how do you guys interpret this?

    From the Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas

    1. OF BEHAVIOR IN THE LODGE WHILE CONSTITUTED.
    You are not to hold private committees, or separate
    conversations, without leave from the Master, nor to talk of
    anything impertinent or unseemly, nor interrupt the Master
    or Wardens, or any Brother speaking to the Master; nor behave
    yourself ludicrously or jestingly while the Lodge is engaged in what
    is serious and solemn; not use any unbecoming language upon any
    pretense whatsoever; but to pay due reverence to your Master,
    Wardens and Fellows, and put them to worship.

    If any complaint be brought, the Brother found guilty shall
    stand to the award and determination of the Lodge, who are the
    proper and competent judges of all such controversies (unless you
    carry it by appeal to the Grand Lodge), and to whom they ought
    to be referred, unless a lord’s work be hindered the meanwhile, in
    which case a particular reference may be made; but you must never
    go to law about what concerneth Masonry, without an absolute
    necessity apparent to the Lodge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  2. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    Simply, GL prohibits talking in lodge except that allowed by the Master.

    The second paragraph call on the lodge to solve its own problems and appears to admonish a lodge and its members to not 'go to law' , which I would take to mean not to involve the courts (by lawsuit) or calling the police, unless absolutely necessary (someone pulls a gun).
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    You gavel once and call them out second gaverl they are outta there and have to leave the meeting, if that is not punishment enough not sure what else could be done unless like stated earlier it is extreme.
     
  4. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Not sure what you mean by "punishment," but there isn't much an individual lodge can do, other than have it's members file charges, and let GL handle it.
     
  5. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    The Lodge could expel said disruptive member for the duration of the meeting.

    The Master could specifically call the Bro out, "Bro Wilson we're trying to have a meeting of Freemasons here could you take your conversation about the Dallas Cowboys outside the Lodge."
     
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Very good question! Which brings up one I was thinking of the other night: Can violations of the Charges be grounds for Masonic Disciplinary Procedures to be filed? It would seem if yes then most of the issues about racism would fall under these guidelines.
     
  7. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Depends on what was said. That is the beauty of the bigot; they are usually also blessed with big loud mouths.:p
     
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  8. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    So when I read this, to think this allows a WM to hand a disciplinary action out to a member that is warranted is wrong. I took it as it could be done then appealed to GL if needed. I read this as Lodges to have the ability to govern themselves, within reason of coarse, but there are appeals that can be done. Checks and balances. I just wondered as with a lot of Masonry has just be lost because it is no longer practiced. So back to the Vote? What is your take on it?

    Could be completly wrong but thats why I open it up for discussion. I have so many more. I love these law questions, it really gets me thinking. BTW Brother Sonny I can see your interpritation and it makes sense to me. Thanks.
     
  9. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    I voted NO. Punishment can only really be administered after a trial, which I read as falling under GL. The WM can correct the situation and have the brother escorted out to restore peace and harmony. Something more permanent would require a trial I do believe.
     
  10. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    YES, Art. 504 covers this.

    your welcome Josh.
     
  11. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Im still not sure it does... part of the introduction states that the old charges are for reference only.
     
  12. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Where is this covered? I know in the GL Law it discusses this being done by the Grand Master but what gives the WM the power to do this? Other then the WM charge to keep peace and harmony? Is there anything? If not what stops the WM from expelling a mason for a period of time until charges or appeal to the GL can be filed?
     
  13. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    I've gotta read up on this. Wendell, where would i find the introduction that states the charges for are for reference? This is very curious.
     
  14. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    The punishment that can be handed out, is the brother who is being disruptive can be asked to leave the lodge room. This in itself should be enough to convince a true brother that he has acted out of line and he should be embarrased by this fact. We are after all supposed to be brothers, and a step above regular society. If he is truly a mason, then he should act like one and Use the Compasses to get himself in line.
     
  15. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    I did not see the word Charge in art 504 at all and that they are binding unless they mean for customs to cover the Charges?
     
  16. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Josh, I'm not sure if that is in the law book, but it is in our bylaws.
     
  17. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    Customs would make sense also. The charges are part of the Constitution. The obligation binds you to the Constitution. Simple stated, the Charges of a Freemason represent the foundations of Masonic law and are included in the Ancient Landmarks. The Magna Carta if you will. You'll notice no Grand Lodge can be recognized without accepting and adhering to the Charges. Failure to do so can mean withdrawal of recognition.
     
  18. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Interesting quote about the Ancient Landmarks: http://www.grandlodgeoftexas.org/masonic_educational_programs/2007/landmarks.php

    Within the Master's Charge is found that "The ancient landmarks of the order, entrusted to your care, you are carefully to preserve; and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the fraternity", but further monitorial references to the "ancient landmarks" are lacking. As with the symbols and allegories, here lies an area for personal thought and reflection.

    The term, landmark, can be traced to ancient times, in that the placement of stones to "mark" land parcels, boundaries, and roadways was an important aspect of early peoples and civilizations. The penalties for moving such landmarks were most severe since land was considered a part of one's inheritance and both the future, and past, of a family depended upon such wealth.

    For the Freemason the landmarks of the Craft mark the path by which he is to guide and direct his actions. The boundaries of moral conduct and the tracing a design upon the Trestle board should follow the paths of those who have preceded us and the lessons of the Degrees should serve as guideposts to a good and productive life.

    Unfortunately there no definitive list or clarification of the "ancient landmarks", although Brother Albert Mackey developed a list of some 25 "landmarks" which were presented in 1858 in several texts. He noted the definition that "Landmarks … are the unwritten laws of the Order, derived from those ancient and universal customs which date at so remote a period that we have no record of their origin". Similarly Brother Arthur Waite states in his "New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry" under landmarks that "there is no recitation of their number or nature" and many authors have written upon the subject. , but with no definitive answers.

    Consequently each of us is at liberty to reflect upon what customs are central to the Craft and so universal as to serve as a "landmark", but there is one place to begin. The requirement of a belief in the existence of God, so essential to the Degrees and each member of the Craft. Our Fraternity depends upon such a requirement in order to insure the merit of initiates in their obligations and commitment. As an established requisite of the Fraternity, now, in the past, and the future, this requirement might well be a "ancient landmark".

    Other landmarks, as with many lessons of the Craft, are there to be found by the individual Mason as he seeks his path. The serious questions to ask are, "What are the landmarks for my life?", "Where is my path?", and "How do I find my 'Spiritual Home'?'. Upon reflection, "What guide posts are so ancient, so universal, and so basic, as to mark my footsteps?".
     
  19. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    Good Find Wyndell.
     
  20. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

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    Very nice answer indeed.
     

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