Shrine in Arkansas drops MM requirement

Discussion in 'Shrine' started by Brennan, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Brennan

    Brennan Registered User

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  2. Howard1977

    Howard1977 Registered User

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    This doesn't bode well.......

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  3. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    This is absurd. Absolutely absurd.
     
  4. 4thGenMason

    4thGenMason Registered User

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    I'm a mason and former Shriner. I hate to say it but the shrine in Arkansas is in a pit I don't see them climbing out of. Not only did they drop the requirements, the diluted the ceremony to nothing. When I entered the shrine, they took all the candidates to the center of lodge and read a short 2 page "summary" and told us the passwords etc. It took maybe an hour.

    I asked why they did it and was told it was due to younger initiates joining, and not having the time or desire to memorize lengthy parts that might be considered boring.

    My fellow brothers, I find this very disturbing. So much is at risk of being lost forever. With how much it has progressed thus far, the future of the shrine in Arkansas appears dismal.
     
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  5. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    It is indeed disturbing and disappointing.
     
  6. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Well then, I would logically suppose that the Shrine in Arkansas is no longer a masonic organization.

    Now the question is, can a mason of Arkansas become or remain a member of the Shrine? One might wait for a clarification before making any personal decisions.
     
  7. 4thGenMason

    4thGenMason Registered User

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    No, I received a letter saying you cannot be both. If you wish to remain in shrine, you must withdraw from blue lodge.
     
  8. Dis1Recording

    Dis1Recording Registered User

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    INCREDIBLE!!! I wonder if this information is exposed to the Grand Lodge in your area.


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  9. 4thGenMason

    4thGenMason Registered User

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    Honestly I'm not sure :/ I would imagine so, but can't say for sure. I'll try and dig up the letter and post it on one of my days off.
     
  10. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    The answer is no. Shriners International is a clandestine organization within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas.

    ARGL Letter 8-6-2013 Shrine clarification.jpg
     
  11. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The reason the Shrine pulled the requirement in Arkansas is the GLofAR has been expelling brothers unMasonically without trials. Now GLofAR is going to expel brothers unMasonically for staying in an organization that has separated itself from GLofAR? "Self expelled"? What a mess. No wonder brothers are crossing jurisdiction lines to affiliate.

    I pray for Masonry to pervade the Arkansas grand line. For all brothers expelled without trial for be reinstated. For peace reign among our orders. There's a bit of the ritual in California that isn't present in other rituals I've learned. It teaches that brothers who observe the lessons stay among the workers while those who do not end up metaphorically outcasts - Please come back among the workers members of the grand line.
     
  12. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    If this happened in NM it would leave at least one Lodge homeless...
    A shame for all concerned.
     
  13. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    Not un-Masonic, but authorized under the Digest. I wish some few folks had taken a little more time to whisper good council, but that was a problem of the times. The records are freely available there in the 2012 & 2013 Proceedings, and the expulsions were upheld by the Grand Lodge at the following convocations.

    Scimitar Shrine is just a few minutes down the road from my lodge, and Sahara is just 45 minutes south from here. I am familiar with most of the GL officers involved, as well as most of the Shriners. I am not a Shriner, nor does it look like I will have an opportunity to be, but having observed the guys left over there at Scimitar for the past two years, as well as the ongoing fuss, I can't really think of anything they do that would make me want to become a Shriner any more. What has gotten out over the web has been pretty much a one-sided story, and somewhat incomplete.

    We've had some pretty good shifts in the ARGL line in the past year, and things are looking up. But the local Shriners, with the backing of their imperial staff, have dug themselves into a pretty deep hole, and are still digging.
     
  14. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

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    I don't like the fact that non masons can now join the Shrine but I don't see how they have dug themselves a hole. I also don't understand how the Grand Lodge can stop a member from being a part of the Shrine since the Master Mason requirement is no longer there.

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  15. 4thGenMason

    4thGenMason Registered User

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    That's a very good question sands67. That's why it seems to be personally motivated. If they're worried about the secrets of masonry being discussed unlawfully, they should be looking at the people they raised. If they take their oath seriously it's not an issue. I am sure there is much that hasn't been brought to light, but all I know is something just isn't right about it. I pray someday they work things out.
     
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    There is a difference between power and authority. And there is also an issue of how deeply you want to think it through.

    The GM's authority extends to issues related to Masonry. The GM's power extends to the degree brothers will obey him in excess of that authority. By removing itself from Masonry in Arkansas the Shrine removed itself from the Arkansas GM's authority but not from the Arkansas GM's power. Sort of. Maybe. At least that's what I think the Shrine intended to attempt.

    The problem is the Shrine did NOT remove itself from Masonry elsewhere. In Arkansas, is it up to the individual brother to view the Shrine as a Masonic order? After all it is in other states. To me that's a matter where the GM can make a ruling/decision/edict that is in effect during his term. As usual in most/all jurisdictions it needs to go to the floor of GL at the end of his year to be ratified to make the ruling/decision/edict permanent. I recommend Arkansas brothers vote it down in flames, but then again I recommended Shrine brothers vote the move down in flames as well. I haven't been through the line in Arkansas or in the Shrine. Yet. Maybe some day.

    Or the next GM in line can issue the same ruling/decision/edict and like it says on shampoo bottles "lather, rinse, repeat". If that happens in my opinion the situation moves from the realm of shampoo to the realm of real poo. Or words to that effect.

    The Imperial Shrine has been maneuvering for years trying to distance itself from Grand Lodge sovereignty. The mess by the Arkansas grand line threw them a slow ball right up the center. It's like an Abbot and Costello movie. Abbot pitching throws. Costello at bat swings, connects and the ball goes straight to Abbot's groin then bounces back and clips Costello in the eye as he runs for first ... Would that both were out of the game.
     
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  17. 4thGenMason

    4thGenMason Registered User

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    I like the perspective you've put things into. I'm curious, in your opinion why would the shrine attempt to distance themselves from the GM's authority and power? It certainly raises many questions.
     
  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    To me it resolves around drink and imperial organization.

    Drink - Masonry includes the festive board everywhere but the US (or the Americas?). Somewhere around a century ago the festive board was dropped in some combination of movement towards Prohibition plus WWI rationing support. The US tradition of the festive board seems to have died out across a couple of decades. Sure enough that's when the Shrine was formed. For some reason after WWI rationing was stopped and Prohibition was repealed jurisdictions did not add dinner and drinks back into their traditions. I think it's easy to drop a tradition when there's a need for it but it's hard to add a tradition back after about a decade because then you have active PMs saying they've never done it that way. Now we have a century of brothers not drinking at lodge so they go to the Shrine to drink and none of us have seen it any other way except in history books and other countries since before our grandfathers were Raised.

    Any GM who resists drink puts himself at odds with the Shrine whether that's intended or not. Since some states have strict laws about drink it's not even a matter of choice in those states. And since there is no drink at lodge the Shrine has always needed to own its own facilities.

    I've been to one Table Lodge where wine was served. It took special insurance, a temporary license and about a year of wrangling with the GM to get dispensation to do that. I've been to several Table Lodges held in our own buildings with the only drink being grape juice. It's okay but not nearly as festive. I've been to a couple of Table Lodges at a private dining hall with a liquor license where the bar was closed just before tiling. I've been to several Table Lodges at the Shrine center where the bar was open before the meeting then closed just before tiling. The laws are one hurdle but GL rules tend to be more restrictive than local laws. It's a single reason coming from two directions. If you've never been to festive board or Table Lodge they are similar. Think of early meetings in taverns with dinner, ale, tiling and brothers giving informal talks on principles that eventually got quoted and memorized as our lectures. What we now have is the lectures without the dinner and ale. Now we have the Shrine for the missing part.

    And yet, and yet .... When I petitioned for my degrees I knew the Elks had a bar and the Masons didn't drink at their buildings. It helped me chose to petition to become a Mason. Before I became a Mason I saw the rule against drink as an advantage. But eventually I joined the Shrine. I'm active at blue lodge not active at Shrine but I did join and been to meetings and events.

    The Shrine gradually grows to more countries. It has troubles breaking into countries that still have a festive board tradition.
     
  19. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Imperial organization - In my opinion the other half of the issue between Shrine and grand lodges is the differing organizations. As the Shrine is a single entity across the world, it is not set up to handle every state having it's own rules. This eventually leads to issues. It's sort of like the UN and countries.

    Most of the time the Shrine and the local GL get along. Brothers play well together and it works.

    Every so often there is conflict over some detail. When brothers play well together it works.

    Positions with impressive titles do draw guys who want that, though. It's already a given that Shrine and GL disagree on drink and social events so they need separate facilities. Mix big egos in this and we get a point where brothers don't play well together. It's like the UN trying to call in troops but those troops are supplied to the UN by the local countries. My troops aren't going to that battle ...

    Imagine a country well the locals were more in charge than the nationals. Germany and the Kaiser were like that before Bismark. Italy was even more like that before Garibaldi as they didn't even have an Emperor who was theoretically in charge. Having two Emperors has much to do with why Rome fell the way it did.

    Those of us who are Masons and Shriners answer to two sets of leaderships. When they clash it's up to us to talk them down from the brink or to take sides. History says it won't last forever.
     
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  20. docpearce

    docpearce Registered User

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