The Shrine has now been "de-recognized" in Arkansas

Discussion in 'Shrine' started by cemab4y, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

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    The only issue I see with the Shriners for example is that it has created an organziation (Childrens Hospitals) which even though created by Masons could not just shut down tomorrow if all Grand Lodges de-recognized them. In that respect and that respect only it has outgrown the sum of its parts. I would like to think Travelling Man that you would be wrong about dropping the masonic part. I am a Mason and became a Shriner because it is a masonic body that helps kids. The men that make up every Shrine Club and Shrine Center are Masons. As such I would like to think well enough of my brothers that this would never be the case and that Shriners will always be Masons first. The whole purpose of my suggestion is not to hurt the Shrine, but to help the craft and the Shrine If you are joining a Masonic lodge to just be a Shriner then you are joining for the wrong reason in my opinion. I joined a Shrine Club that a Shrine club that started off with just 13 members and it became known as one of the best clubs in its District from a fund raising point of view. My point to that that is that we must emphasize quality over quantity whether it be the Shrine or the Lodge. Larger numbers do not always make for a better experience.
     
  2. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    The sad fact is that the institution they created is bigger than they are and do not receive the financial support from the root institution that they used to receive. While it’s nice to have clubs and all, the most visible part of the institution had to resort to the subsidy of insurance to achieve temporary sustainability. This too will snowball out of control. Without the support of outside interest (i.e. non Masons) it will collapse under its own success. These outside donors will require some sort of recognition for their financial contributions. Do I dare say what the Shrines dues and clubs fees should be to support the institution? There would be massive dropouts if the needs were really met. Someone should have the stones to say what the hospital assessment should really be. I dare to say there wouldn’t be too many Shriners left as it will become a very expensive/exclusive club. Trolling the streets for donations once a year doesn’t quite cut it, now does it?

    That is true for now… If this sniping, struggling political power grabs don’t stop, then for sure!

    (I agree, but there are some that just want to be Shriners, read on). Please note the requirement of YR/SR Mason has already been disposed, what was the purpose of that?

    That’s your opinion and you are welcome to it; however there are many individuals that have that same drive for the Shriners hospitals that are not interested in Masonry period. There’s the rub; there are many that join and want to join the Shriners (that do not necessarily want to be Masons) and if truth be told would demit from all other forms of Masonry if they could. They would rather roll all those initiation fees and dues into the hospital fund, than support petty sniping.

    I’m not arguing with you but just trying to point out the real gravity of the situation. This whole schism is possibly the worst thing that could happen to any of these organizations.
     
  3. sands67

    sands67 Premium Member

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    My Brother...we are not arguing, but discussing. There is no harm in that. :) . I fund raise on a regular basis for our local Shrine Center. I sell tickets, call Bingo and support my local Shrine club. At the same time I support my local lodge in whatever activities it pursues. I enjoy them both because they are Masonic bodies. I hope you are wrong about the future of the Shrine, but i fear you may be right. It will be a sad day if that happens. Sadder that it will be people that forget their roots that will make those decisions.
     
  4. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    I hope that I'm wrong, but the numbers don't look so good. I hope things like the perpetual trusts improve with the economy.
     
  5. Brother Mark

    Brother Mark Registered User

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    The Shrine has now been "de-recognized" in Arkansas

    So if the GLoA does this to the Shiners. What does that do to the Shiners in TX?
     
  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    It has no effect upon Texas Masons or Shriners.
     
  7. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Correct, for the time being; however if this trend continues it may have an impact on the amity between Freemasonry and the Shrine.
     
  8. masonicknight

    masonicknight Registered User

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    Just remember that should you be in a jurisdiction that is having problems with the Shrine, or any other Masonic related body for that matter, and has done what GL of A is doing you will need to follow their rules. It could cause some problems for a visitor if they are unaware of the situation and violate that particular GL's edicts. What we take for granted in our own personal states and what other states do may not match exactly.
     
  9. ironman

    ironman Registered User

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    This story does not gibe with the account given by the Grand Master of Arkansas. I have known several Arkansas Grand Masters quite well and all seemed quite dedicated to freemasonry to the exclusion of practially all else (their families may have taken precedent).
    In addition, they have all been men of extraordinary intelligence and were, in general, very world wise. Not knowing the author of this post, I doubt his veracity.
     
  10. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    I'm not going to get in the middle of a discussion of veracity or lack thereof, but the official communications between the bodies are readily available to folks who look for it - so there is really no need for the discussion to be focused on any single indvidual.

    I think it would be a pretty different ball of wax this sort of thing going on in Texas, for a true fact. Most of the men who have served in the Grand East in Texas, who are in line to serve, and indeed the man serving now are Shriners. In Texas many, many blue lodges are physically hosted within Shrine centers. Everything from Wardens retreats to officer installations are regularly physically held at Shrine centers, at low or no cost. They own a lot of real estate, simple as that, and the ties are very close and real.

    Also, none of the recent states to have a tiff between their GL and Shriners International have Shriners hopsitals. That is a very important point, believe me. Texas has two. They are both very well known, recognizable, and very (very) actively supported - both by Texas Masons and by the cities of Houston and Galveston.

    Could there be a schism one day between Texas GL and the Shrine? Sure, it is possible. But derecognizing the Shrine in Texas would be, truly, a very different ballgame in this state for well and true. And a split would almost assuredly create a surge in Shrine membership and a sharp decline in blue lodges, if push really did come to shove, which I hope to God never happens. But the Shrine, free of their masonic requirement and having no rules against recruiting, could and would market like mad and would surge in a way they haven't since the 1920s or so - safe money bet right there.

    It would be a damned shame, it would break the hearts of Shriners, and I think the chances of it ever happening are pretty well zero - but those are the realities as I see them. The fact that blue lodges across the state make use of Shrine real estate so often, the presence of the hospitals, the relative solvency levels of the two organizations - these things make the chances that Texas Masons would stand for a local political matter exploding taking on a wider nuclear level practically zero. Just my view.
     
  11. ironman

    ironman Registered User

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    Hi Michael,
    Yeah, I am/was a shriner before all this started and even though I am an Arkansas Mason at large in NC, I am bound by the Grand Masters edict. Frankly, our ban on liquor production or sale has been a pain in Arkansas Masonry's neck for a long time, but it is the law in Arkansas and we have to abide by it. As I said before "The Grand Master is sovereign" (in his jurisdiction).

    Blue Lodge (PM)
    Scottish Rite
    York Rite
    OES
    Grotto
     
  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I am not comfortable with the proposition "The Grand Master is sovreign". I prefer to think that the GM is "first among equals", and that the Grand Lodge is a democratic organization, and that the individual membership is sovreign. I am not happy with any Grand Lodge banning alcohol. The national prohibition was repealed many decades ago. I have visited lodges in 5 (five) foreign countries, and only the good old USA, is alcohol banned in lodges. I wish we could just grow up, and have the moderate use of alcohol return to our refreshments.
     
  13. ironman

    ironman Registered User

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    The Grand Master's decisions are audited but only at the end of his term (in Arkansas).
    BTW we are not forbidden to drink only production and sale is banned. Unfortunately that extends to route salesmen and at one time it applied to young men working as waiters in restaurants etc. As I said, its been a pain in the neck for quite awhile.

    Oh, Uh I believe liquor is banned for everyone where you are now...am I right? How's that make you feel?

    Blue Lodge (PM)
    Scottish Rite
    York Rite
    OES
    Grotto
     
  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    George Washington owned a distillery! He could not be a Mason in Arkansas! (Kentucky has this silly rule, even a man who works in a grocery store that sells beer and wine, cannot petition a lodge in KY!) .. Here in Afghanistan, the US Army has banned alcohol. I work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week. Even if I could get booze, I would not have any use for it here! I just wait till I get back home, and enjoy an occasional glass of wine with the wife.
     
  15. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Brother Martin is correct. Sounds like a little "swallowing of the camel" when a simple natt would have done.
     
  16. Chalms

    Chalms Registered User

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    I am a newbie in the sense that I have only been a MM for a year... That said, I have noticed something that seems to be troublesome for the future. Long time Masons, usually Past Masters, seem to use the phrase "un-Masonic behavior" and the variations of that phrase much too loosely. It seems to be used as a warning shot, possibly a "shot across the bow" for other brothers that may have a different view of things.

    Personally, I despise the thought that any MM, especially one with the experience required to reach the highest levels of our great Fraternity (and its other organizations - Shriners, SR, YR, etc), would intimidate, coerce or threaten a brother with charges (trumped up or otherwise) if their brother refuses to conform to their personal view.

    If a brother is acting boorishly we should go to him directly and provide brotherly love and guide him toward the light. These situations sound much more like personal acrimony or wounded pride. While these things are normally occurring items in the course of human history, they should be nipped in the bud amongst Brothers.

    I worry that our deference to our Fraternal leaders is leading to arrogance and an "I/He can do no wrong" attitude. This may be commonplace in our nation's politics, but is has no place in the Craft. We are all to meet on the Level.
     
  17. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    Unfortunately I can tell you it often goes way beyond shots across the bow, including at the lodge level. I heartily agree with the distaste for the term "un-Masonic". In my experience you might as well replace the term with "political" the majority of the time.

    In our situation, one elected officer leveled that accusation at another and it snowballed. The next, more gut wrenching phrase I would never wish another brother to have to sit through was charges of the same brother who leveled the accusation of violations of his obligation. And I do mean gut wrenching, it very nearly destroyed our lodge before it was over with.

    Since that experience, I have found this quote to ring as true as true can be:

    "Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this." - Abraham Lincoln

    There are rare exceptions where you simply have to use the law to protect yourself, your family, the weak, etc. But I came out of the infantry. You settle things as men, between men, and a man who resorts to paperwork is in the wrong line of work.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    So mote it be.
     
  19. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Yes brethren. I do find it most "unmasonic" to badger, nay, bully, folks in the lodge. Pride and Prejudice is more than an apt term for a movie. There is hope for the future if such fine young men as yourself have already learned the the bitter distaste of such common language.

    You are charged with passing on the caution of such a grievous mistake. And, remember, never to utter the poison ... and always live upon the square.
     
  20. CTx Mason

    CTx Mason Registered User

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    I left my lodge due to a bully in one of the chairs, and I believe that when this man sits in the east, the lodge may suffer irreparable damage to its reputation, and several men have already left.

    A house divided cannot stand. When Good Men leave, what will you be left with?
     

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