Masons and the Military

Discussion in 'Freemasons in the Military' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    What prevents the GL of TX from chartering a "military" Lodge?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  2. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have been working in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past 6 years. There are no operating F&AM lodges in this part of the world at this time. The only lodges operating on military bases in South-West Asia are Prince Hall lodges. (See my blog at http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com)

    Apparently no Grand Lodges (other than Prince Hall), are interested in chartering a lodge for the military and civilian personnel here in South-West Asia. There was a New York lodge operating for a short while back in 2005, but they closed up.

    See http://www.esmason.com fall 2005 issue page 32

    see also http://www.dcmetronet.com/landseaandairlodge1iraq

    I have been working with the Grand Lodge of New York (F&AM) for some years, trying to re-establish a military lodge here in Iraq.

    If you are interested in discussing military masonry, please join our discussion group at:

    http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/1350075960001
     
  3. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Exclusive Jurisdiction.
     
  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I am in Iraq now. There is no "Grand Lodge of Iraq", and there is no grand Lodge, that has any exclusive jurisdiction here. ANY grand Lodge, could charter a lodge to operate here. In fact, military traveling lodges, operate all over the world. Land, Sea, and Air lodge #1 (UD), Grand Lodge of New York, F&AM, was first chartered in 1917, during World War 1. The lodge operated in Europe, serving military masons in France ,and later Germany. The lodge was inactive between the wars. LSA#1, was re-activated in World War 2, and deactivated. The lodge was again activated during Korea and Vietnam. Land, Sea, and Air lodge was active in 2005, under a charter from the Grand lodge of New York (F&AM). See http://www.esmason.com Fall 2005 issue page32.

    The Grand Lodge of Texas, could charter a military traveling lodge in Iraq/Afghanistan, anytime it chose to. No Grand Lodge has exclusive jurisdiction here, and there would be no problem at all.

    Charles E. Martin
     
  5. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Im not a lawyer but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once... The GLoTX charter states that "Section 3. Be it further enacted, That the jurisdiction of the
    said grand lodge, is coextensive with the limits of Texas, as claimed and defined by the present statutes, as the boundary.
    I havent seen any provisions for creating a Traveling lodge or military lodge (may be missing something). Title II and chapters 3/4 seem to cover HOW and what needs to be done. I think one drawback is the petitioners must be (a) members of GLoTx, (b) demitted or under certificate of good standing. (thats the part Im confused on actually, some things read like they have to demit before signing the petion)
     
  6. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    So basically, where ever Texas goes, so can the GL, although we did go to the Moon.
     
  7. TexMass

    TexMass Registered User

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    When I first visited a lodge in MA, I was told of the several countries that the MA GL has lodges like Japan, Panama Canal, Puerto Rico etc. They asked if TX had anything like that and I told them I didn't think so. I then told them 'but we do have one on the moon'. They looked shocked as I told them the story of Tranquility Lodge. They never talked about it again. :)
     
  8. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    So can I catch a ride with someone to visit Tranquility on the moon? If you pay for gas, I'll get dinner. LOL
     
  9. VinnyC

    VinnyC Registered User

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    I just started a thread about me deploying again. I would be so grateful if GLoTX started a "Military Lodge" for deployed soldiers wanting to find the light. I wrote on one of my threads about why I haven't been initiated yet, was because of times like this...deployments. As some of you may know, there are mostly PHA that are soldiers but one of the main reasons why I rather go towards AF&AM was because of the headaches of attending other lodges if I was a PHA.
    Now since I'm leaving again, I would probably have to wait till I get back...Again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  10. Robert Marshall

    Robert Marshall Secretary, Waco 92 Premium Member

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    A member at my Lodge was forced to put his fellowcraft degree off for year due to military obligations. This is a very interesting and subject and with Fort Hood being in Texas, it would be fitting for Texas to lead the way in Freemasonry in Iraq and Afghanistan. If anyone has an objection, please speak up. I'm curious as to any logical arguments again such a proposition. If none, then why don't we collectively get this going. Bring it up at your stated meetings. Let's toss this around. I think it's a shame that our Brothers overseas are forced inactive. By the very nature of being a soldier, they clearly display many of our principles.
     
  11. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The lodges currently operating in Iraq/Afghanistan are PHA. Mostly chartered by MWPHGL of Oklahoma and PHA Texas. Since no F&AM Grand Lodge has yet seen fit to open a lodge, I think it would be terrific if Texas pioneered the way. I have attended a lodge in Paris,France (Stability Concorde Lodge 19/42), that was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts (F&AM). The National Grand Lodge of France (GLNF), granted a waiver of jurisdiction, so that the Massachusetts lodge could operate in France.

    Land, Sea and Air lodge #1, is chartered by the Grand Lodge of New York (F&AM), and it has operated (not continuosly) since 1917. The charter is currently on display in a Masonic Museum in New York City. The last meeting was in November 2005, at Forward Operating Base Speicher in Iraq.

    I am very sad, that no Grand Lodge in the USA, wishes to sponsor a lodge in Iraq/Afghanistan for the troops and civilians there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  12. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    Texas had a large number of military lodges during the War of Northern aggression.We also had Lahneck# 1186 in Goblenz Germany in 1922-23 and Ort Bavarian in Munich from 1953-1957
     
  13. NickGarner

    NickGarner Premium Member

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    As a soon-to-be retired Soldier and a Texas mason I think that GLoT should charter military lodges. With two of the largest military bases in the Free World, Fort Bliss in El Paso and Fort Hood in Kileen, as well as Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, not to mention Air Force, Navy, and Marine personnel in Texas, the Grand Lodge of Texas should lead the way in military lodges.

    I would think that with the current deployment schedules from Fort Bliss and Fort Hood there would be at any time sufficient members of Texas lodges deployed to make this work.
     
  14. Robert Marshall

    Robert Marshall Secretary, Waco 92 Premium Member

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    Brother Nick, thanks for your service. And thanks also for your input. There we have it folks, directly from an active soldier. Not only should this happen, but there are plenty of capable men to make it happen. In fact, this might be a way to ignite a spark in Texas Freemasonry. Looking back in history, the biggest peaks in numbers have been around wartime. We mustnt break that trend now. Are there any knowledgeable brethren that know the best route one would take to get a movement like this going??
     
  15. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I wish it were that easy. Chartering military Lodges outside of our jurisdiction may create big problems.

    Apparently doing so is a big no no with the glotx and many other gl's. I've been told this is one of the issues we'll have to resolve with the phglotx before full relations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  16. NickGarner

    NickGarner Premium Member

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    Blake,

    I understand what you are saying. The craft, and of course including GLot, is like an aircraft carrier. You can turn one but it takes a lot of time and effort, which I believe is generally a good thing.

    Having said that, I think that this is an issue that merits consideration. There is precedent for military lodges and the procedures for doing so are already in use in other grand jurisdictions. We could use other grand jurisdiction procedures as a guide or template since they would probably have already addressed issues that would be objectionable.

    The Grand Lodge of Texas is made up of and in place to serve the Masons in Texas. This and many other issues, including full recognition of PHA lodges, will come in time as membership changes and new and or different views and attitudes become the norm. If El Paso is any indication, there are lots of new younger Masons joining who will in time shape the craft according to their views and opinions just as our brethren who came this way before us did.


    Fraternally,
     
  17. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have been working in Afghanistan, and Iraq for over six years. I am in Kandahar, Afghanistan now. It is a puzzlement to me, why people in the USA, and especially the leadership of Grand Lodges, are scared to death of chartering a lodge in this part of the world. Why do you think it will create "big problems"? The first lodges chartered in the American colonies, were British military lodges. Many of the masons made in these lodges, went on to found the United States. The Grand Lodges of the USA, have been chartering military lodges, since the War between the states (1861-1865), and probably before that. (historical records are incomplete). The Grand Lodge of the state of New York Chartered Land, Sea, and Air Lodge #1, in 1917. This lodge has been active in the WW1, WW2, Korean, and Vietnam, and Iraq. Its most recent meeting was in November 2005, at Speicher Iraq. See

    http://www.esmason.com Fall 2005 issue, page 32.

    The charter for this lodge was returned to New York( by me), and the charter hangs in a museum in New York City. The Grand Lodge of New York has not yet decided to issue a new working charter for this lodge.

    There are Prince Hall lodges operating all over Iraq and Afghanistan. There is not one, repeat not one F&AMGrand Lodge in the entire United States of America, which has seen fit to issue a charter for a lodge in South-West Asia, since November 2005. I have tried, I have written to the leadership of about a dozen Grand Lodges, and not one has shown any interest at all, in chartering a lodge for the soldiers and civilians on military bases here. Most don't even answer my mail. All I see is indifference.

    There is no "Grand Lodge of Afghanistan" nor "Grand Lodge of Iraq". I am certain that the MWPHGL of Oklahoma and Texas, which charter the Prince Hall lodges here, would have no objection to the chartering of additional lodges here. At Camp Victory, Iraq, there are four (4) lodges, and two (2) eastern star chapters, all of which are PH affiliated. There is no problem at all with "turf", any Grand Lodge in the USA, could charter any lodge, any time it wanted to, without any permission or consultation with Prince Hall (Grand Lodges).

    The Grand Lodge of Nebraska initiated a program, where any 15 Masons, could get a charter from the GL of Neb. The GL of Neb would provide a complete "lodge in a box", and ship it to Afghanistan. This program was called "Swisher kits", named for Lt. Swisher, the first Nebraska freemason, to be killed in Iraq. The word got around quickly, that no Grand Lodge in the USA would accept the degree work, from any of these Nebraska military lodges. The program was dropped, before it even got off the ground. No military lodge was ever chartered by the Grand Lodge of Nebraska.

    As a Freemason, I am personally embarrassed, and ashamed, that no Grand Lodge, anywhere in the USA, has shown any interest in providing Freemasonry, to the troops and civilians in south-west Asia. The soil here is red with the blood of patriots, many Freemasons have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the only response we get from the Masonic community in the USA, is indifference.

    "The opposite of love, is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference." -Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize winner, and holocaust survivor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  18. Bro Whalon

    Bro Whalon Registered User

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    With all this indifference sorrounding the issue of getting a lodge to be chartered in these places of war, wouldnt it be so much easier if we cut out all the humbug and try and come to an median with the Prince Hall Lodges that are already in place. That is one of the many reasons why there are so many PHA masons and OES that are military because they are everywhere you can be sent. as far as deployments and duty stations This makes it as if the Brotherly love never stops and just continues to grow. Unity would be the biggest factor in getting rid of the barriers in which we have installed now that keep this from happening I know that being ignorant goes a long way on both halfs of this issue. Just seems that if we can clear up that little bit of darkness with in that barrier that we can come to an positive outcome and make it so that all who love and work in the freemasonry roles would benefit.

    Behold How Good And How Pleasant It Is For Brotheren To Dwell Together In Unity!
     
  19. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't shoot the messenger...just passing what I've been told...

    Apparently it's all about jurisdictional authority. For example, the glotx won't charter a Lodge in Florida or anywhere else outside of Texas. I assume the same applies overseas. I wish someone on the fraternal relations committee would participate on here lol
     
  20. NickGarner

    NickGarner Premium Member

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    No shooting the messenger here :33:, just enjoying the discourse and discussion :001_cool::thumbup: (and the smileys).

    I simply feel that military lodges are an idea whose time has returned and I think that Texas Masons should lead the way.
     

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