Religion and Politics

Discussion in 'The Scottish Rite' started by Brother Secretary, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. We've touched on this matter in various other threads but I felt it should be restated here. All those interested in becoming Scottish Rite Masons should please be aware of a few things.

    In our craft lodges where we are often reminded that we don't discuss religion and politics. The Higher Degrees of the Ecossais touch on a bit of history and a ton of religion and politics.

    Were I to visit Western Europe, Great Brittan, or any Asian lands under the jurisdiction of UGLE I would certainly visit lodges and have no problem introducing myself as a Master Mason. I would keep the fact that I was a 32nd Degree Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret to myself for one simple reason: These degrees are conferred a bit different there. They are conferred once per year and in the interim a candidate may spend the year (or years) studying and researching the degree and writing and presenting papers on it before petition for the next one. Thus if you meet in those jurisdictions a 32nd degree Mason you will be speaking to a man at least in his 60s. Added to which as I understand it regardless of work you'll not progress past 14th unless you have money, linage, or Her Majesty the Queen calls you Sir. That having been said, it is not to detract from you becoming a 32nd that you do it in 3 or 4 days as opposed to 30 years. I seem to recall we fought a war so we didn't have to do things the way they do them in England. Like when you were obligated a MM in Texas you were told, "you're now entitled to receive all the light this lodge can bestow." Not that you had it... or it was miracle into your brain... or that someone was going to spoon feed it to you, but now not only had you permission to go get it, it was your right... your responsibility to go get it. Going through the one to four day Reunions gives you the keys to unlock the doors. You must find those doors... but not alone, there are many around looking for them too. This is a journey not a destination.

    You will see folks wearing Caps (no, they're not Bell Hop's caps they're Knight's Caps) they're part of your uniform and are not worn in public and not removed during the meetings even during prayer. The 32nd Degree Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret wears the Black Cap. In some Valleys 32nds that have distinguished though dedicated and selfless service may be invited to join the Knights of Saint Andrew and in addition to their Black Caps may wear a Scottish tartan, sash, or pin. After 46 months of similar dedicated and selfless service a 32nd is eligible to be considered for investiture of the rank of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor. Then holding the rank of 32 KCCH he wears a Red Cap. After 46 months of similar dedicated and selfless service a 32nd KCCH is eligible to be considered for Coronation as 33rd Degree Inspector General Honorary. Of all SR Masons in the Southern Jurisdiction only about 2% will ever be invested KCCH and only about 2% of those will become 33rds.

    It should be here noted that being a 32nd Degree Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret is accomplished by attending a Reunion. Being invited to join the Knights of Saint Andrew, invested 32nd KCCH, or the Coronation of 33rd IGH are all honors. There are always more deserving Brothers than there are honors to bestow. Likewise and most importantly you don't ask for honors. As well, we work for the sake of work (remember the Bee Hive from your MM lecture), we work for the sake of our Rite and community, we work so that one day we may perhaps find the internal and solemn pride that can be found in only in the humble service of our fellow man. We do not work for honors.

    As the Craft Lodge and York Rite are organizationally a democracy. The Scottish Rite is not. As we wear knights caps the Scottish Rite is organized as an order of Knighthood. Currently the SR is headed up by Illustrious Ronald Seale who's title is Sovereign Grand Commander. The Orient of Texas is commanded by Sovereign Grand Inspector General (SGIG) Douglas Adkins. The SGIG has a Personal Representative in each Valley. For example Ill. Robert Northcutt in the Valley of Austin or Ill. Pete Normand in the Valley of Houston.

    I should close this with a quote from the TLR 2006 Anson Jones Lecture delivered by Grand Commander Seale ( http://pentium2.gower.net/Community/tlr/Anson Jones Lecture 2006.pdf ) :

    "I've heard masonry defined as, 'A peculiar system or morality, veiled allegory, illustrated by symbolism.' Boy that sounds like marketing... doesn't it? How, then, do we answer the question, “What is Freemasonry?” I am sure there are many valid responses, but one of the best philosophical definitions, or explanations that I know, came from the wise hand of Albert Pike, who wrote that “Freemasonry is advancement towards the Light, on all lines of progress, moral, intellectual and spiritual….” Pause for a moment and listen to that once more: “Freemasonry is advancement towards the Light, on all lines of progress, moral, intellectual and spiritual….” For Pike, Freemasonry is the apostle, preacher and advocate of Truth alone, and as such it requires the performance of duty.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2009
  2. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    Thank you for sharing this information!
     
  3. no problem. Brother! Actually.... it's my duty :D

    "The enfranchisement of human thought our supreme wish"
     
  4. Scotty32

    Scotty32 Registered User

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    Great post. I went through the degrees in 2 days. When I finished, I had a good way to drive coming from Houston which allowed me time to think about it. It was truly a great thing that I did. They were great points and ideas to think about. I had more questions though. Thank God for A Bridge To Light. Going to watch the degrees again this weekend and I hope to get even more out of it a second time.
     
  5. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    After you go through them you can sit through them again?
     
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Not only CAN you, you are encouraged too. Also in most valleys you will be given the chance to participate in them. Im part of the 31º team in the Valley of Dallas. I think everyone has a particular degree that really impressed them, the 31 is mine!
     
  7. In this journey you will be taken from the rubbish of Solomon's temple to a battlefield in Scotland to a graveyard in France.

    I really liked the Graveyard in France thus for about the last four years I've participated in the 30th.

    Like the first time you saw an EA degree as just an observer rather a participant it was a new experience more than likely an intellectual rather than an emotional one, so too shall be the first time you see Perfect Elu, Knight Rose Croix, Knight of Saint Andrew and so forth. And so the first you taught an FC Proficiency, served as MC in an EA degree, or gave a Masters Lecture you began to understand the deeper meaning of the words, so too shall be the experience found sword fighting in the 29th or being a Frank Judge in the 30th.

    In obtaining a part of the abundance of light found in the Higher Degrees of the Ecossais reading Pike and the various commentaries upon his works are a part of it, applying those lessons to your business, religious, community, and family relationships is a part of it, teaching kids how to read and feeding the hungry is part of it, the understand and the performance of duty is a key part of it, and participating in your Valley especially at Reunions and helping to impart this light onto other Brothers is a huge part of it.

    IT being a journey. Becoming a 32nd Mason is not a destination, it is in fact the beginning of a Journey. The first step of that journey is at a reunion in your local Valley. Not to solicit membership, but all should please feel free to PM or email me ( austin.thistle@gmail.com ) for details on becoming a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. My duties for the Valley of Austin have put me in touch with most Personal Reps and General Secretaries in the Orient of Texas. Even if you're not an Austin candidate, it would be my pleasure ( and my duty ) to get you to the right person in your area.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2009

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