Stepping Down from an Officer Position?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by TravelingBrother, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. TravelingBrother

    TravelingBrother Registered User

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    I am currently the JW for my current lodge. I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Although I am JW, I do not see myself, or have been treated, as a member of leadership of the Lodge. I do not have a voice in lodge affairs. There are numerous issues occurring within our lodge which are immoral and unethical. In fear of retribution, I cannot go to senior officer leadership within the lodge as I feel it would fall on deaf ears.

    I would like to serve my term in the role. But, I am incredibly broken down by what is occurring.

    Is it possible to step down in an officer position without recourse?

    Any words of advice and/or encouragement would mean a great deal.
     
  2. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    If the issues do not directly involve the SW and WM, you must go to them. If the SW and / or WM ARE involved, you need to take your concerns to the DDGM.

    Frankly last year when I was JW, I had little say in how the Lodge was run. The WM organizes his year and the JW basically observes and does whatever is assigned to him. In my Lodge there is a LOT on the JW's plate, organizing Trestle Boards for Extra Meetings, Coordinating food and the Stewards, finding Brethren to fill in on Chairs when Appointed Officers can't attend meetings, etc, etc.. The WM tended to not involve me too much in day to day issues in order to not put too much on my plate. This all changed when I was elected Senior Warden for this year.

    You ask "Is it possible to step down in an (elected - my addition) Officer position without recourse?" The answer is yes, it is POSSIBLE, but not likely. Unless you have a family / personal reason and / or can't learn the work necessary (notice I said 'can't' not 'won't') rightfully or not, you will be putting the Lodge in a tough position, particularly if you are close to elections.

    Remember the old quote "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." Whatever improprieties you have knowledge of need to be brought to light. Your Lodge should have a grievance committee, you can contact your DDGM and your Grand Lodge, no doubt has a grievance committee as well.
     
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Exactly!
     
  4. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    Not sure how it is in your jurisdiction but we have people drop out of office quite regularly-
    It’s a volunteer organisation, there’s only so much sass they can throw around before they get told where they can go.
     
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  5. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I’m sorry you are going through this.

    As noted by another, my experience is that a JW has little organizational authority when the WM is present.

    You indicate fear of retribution. What retribution? It’s a masonic lodge. They can’t take away your birthday. If the situation is so bad that you are thinking of abandoning your office, what else can you be worried about?

    As to whether you can resign your office, that depends on your constitution. In my mother GL, this can only be done if you move from the jurisdiction. I can’t answer as to yours.

    I would urge that if those allegedly committing acts are your Masonic superiors, you contact your GL. If you have a DDGM (two of mine do not), start there, also as indicated by Br Keith. It may be time to learn how to file masonic charges. Speak to a senior brother before doing so.
     
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  6. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    If I may interject, as a reminder, in order for change to occur in your Lodge, it will need new leadership and perhaps in two years when you're the WM you can make those necessary changes. If the 'good ol' boys' club is in effect there, it'll take change to end that or the Lodge will probably fail in the long (or short) run anyways. That formula has not been working lately (last 40+ years) Patience is a virtue. Justice, fortitude, temperance and prudence are as well. Best of luck to you, Brother.
     
  7. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    It is also interesting to note, that here in PA, if Masonic Charges result in a Masonic Trial in the Lodge, the Junior Warden presides over the Trial. I have no idea if this is the case in other jurisdictions. This is another reason here why the JW is kept out of the discussion in most issues of contention.
     
  8. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    Why do people who seek power become Mason's ? No one outside of the lodge cares what chair you hold or what apron you wear. And none of the 3 chairs pays money to sit in one.
     
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  9. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    When the west gate was no longer guarded, every Tom, Dick and Harry joined; some of which joined to feel important I suppose. You're right, no title in Freemasonry means a thing to most people outside the fraternity....accept 33rds, people are really hung up on 33rd degree Masons lol.
     
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  10. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    And shriners.
     
  11. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Ironically, some might even argue whether they are masonic or not.
     
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  12. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I, for one, don't think they mean a thing inside the fraternity either.

    Everytime I hear someone being specially introduced as his most worshipful grand illustrious distinguished omnipotent poobah, about 5 minutes after being told we meet on the level, I can't help but think of Animal Farm.
    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"
     
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  13. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I hear you but I do know my role as a sideliner and officers' roles within lodge, district or GL. The inmates can't be running the asylum.
     
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  14. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    The issue of whether we meet on the level as to our Masonic position: It is my view that when in lodge, we meet on the level as to our profane position, and when out of lodge, we are on the level as to our Masonic Office.

    A Master has certain powers when acting in office, varying by jurisdiction. For instance, in my mother jurisdiction, a Master's ruling cannot be appealed. In most, he governs the lodge when it is at work. In many, he can rap a person down. In some, stop the meetings and conduct a disciplinary process for acts in the lodge.

    If you have served as Master in the US, I suspect you assented to the ancient charges (in the language of that time), including the "homage" due a Grand Master and his officers for the time being, and "veneration" of the successors of the original rulers. You may have assented to the Ancient Charges. Those indidicate in the language of that century the "reverence" due a Master and wardens.

    It is typical in English speaking jurisdictions to have a charge to the brethren at the installation/investiture: " brethren, such is the nature of our institution that as some must of necessity rule and teach, so others must learn to submit and obey."

    Importantly, it continues: "Humility in each is an essential duty."

    Thus, the ritual supports both points: we do not meet on the level, but we are equal as men.

    In many jurisdictions, a grand master has near plenary power.

    It is common that Masonic lodges are constructed so that officers sit above others during the meeting. That, you will agree, means they are physically not on the level. You will agree that in Masonry, our ritual is symbolic. There is symbolic meaning to this physical placement during the meeting. And, at the end of a meeting, the officers step down from the elevated positions to show they again meet on the level as to masonic rank.

    Let me put it another way: Unless you are self employed, someone in your workplace has the power to fire you. While you are equal as to your humanity, clearly, you are not on the level in the workplace. If you are in the military, while we teach that everyone is equal, clearly, you know that we do not meet on the level.

    I have been a judge and an attorney. When I appear before a judge as an attorney, we are neither physically nor professionally on the level, even though we are equal as human beings and I may be more the knowledgeable. If you are a criminal defendant, and the judge has the power to place you in prison, you will surely agree that you're not meeting on the level, even though you are due the respect of a fellow being.
     
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  15. bro.william

    bro.william Premium Member

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    It's possibly worth saying that the roots of masonic ritual as we have it today are squarely placed in the Enlightenment, whereas we're now in the post-modern era. Mainstream Enlightenment philosophy, whilst rejecting the notion that some human beings were (by divine right) of more inherent worth than others – kings, lords, etc. – by no means did away with a concept of the right order of things. To the contrary, they believed in the power of rigorous logic and rationality to uncover the objective right order of things, whereas the post-modernism with which modern society largely operates suggests that such a concept is itself by nature subjective. In the Enlightenment view, men can meet "on the level" as human beings, all endowed with the same core worth by their creator, and they should be treated accordingly; but there still has to be and should be some way to organise the lot of them into a worthy, functioning society, and it's perfectly reasonable to pay respect to the people who do so. A person may or may not agree, of course, but this is the language we've inherited, and the philosophical underpinnings beneath it.
     
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  16. Thomas Stright

    Thomas Stright Premium Member

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    Which is funny since none exist....
     
  17. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

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    Not sure what you mean here, unless you are simply being pedantic in that CLewey44 didn't say "33rd Degree AASR Masons." I am pretty sure we all knew what he meant when he said "33rd Degree Masons."
     
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