To Shrine or Not To Shrine...

Discussion in 'Shrine' started by Bro_Vick, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    Yesterday I did the reunion for the Scottish Rite (more on that in another post). At it of course the Shrine membership committee came by to hand out applications. Now normally I roll my eyes at this, but it seems that our local Shrine is doing something they haven't done in a while, wave all fees and first year dues if you sign up.

    I have to admit, that I am actually seriously considering it. I am already a member of the Grotto, so I don't know if I want another funny hat society. ;)

    Also the Shrine is a notorious time sucker, and I hate to be a member of something just to hold the card.

    So I haven't decided yet, but now for the first time I am seriously considering it.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

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    Various Shrines have been offering similar discounts for the last few years now. Hella Shrine of Garland, TX has been offering membership for around $100. The cost covers your fez and the per capita to International.

    I joined a few years ago on the same kind of offer. I made initiation, but have yet to make any other event. I do not have the time to dedicate right now. Soon though, very soon!!
     
  3. Bro Mike

    Bro Mike Registered User

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    I carry the card and that is all. It seemed that no matter how much time I was able to set aside, there were always many more requests that I could cover. With layoff and uncertain job prospects last year I swore off all Shrine work and I am good with that decision for now.
     
  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Went through the SR, YR and had an app filled for the Shrine, but didn't turn it it. I don't want to experience everything Masonry offers, in regards to Degrees, in a matter of years, but a lifetime. I became a card carrier, not a member. That being said, after my tenure in the East winds down (20 days yay!), I'm taking things SLOOOOOOOW and will probably enjoy the Craft more than I ever have.
     
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  5. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    When I went through the Scottish Rite degrees in 2010 out in El Paso, those Shrine boys were doing pretty much the same thing...lol I don't really remember what kind of deal they were throwing out there to join, but I remember just about every break Shrine guys would come up to all of us candidates and start talking to us about joining. They would even catch us going to get a cup of coffee or water alone and start their spill lol.

    To this day, I really have no idea why I would join the Shrine. Nothing against them at all, I just still haven't gotten my questions answered about them. Prolly my fault for not really asking in detail, but I really have no clue what they are about or what they are for. I have made that statement to a couple of Shrine guys, and the only answer response I get is a smile and "its the playground of Masonry", or "join and find out"...lol I joined Masonry, the York Rite, and Scottish Rite because I obtained a pretty good idea what they were, what they were about, and what they did and all that seemed to be right in the direction of what I wanted for me and in the direction I wanted to take myself in life as a man. To this day, I still have no real big interst in joining the Shrine.

    However, that doesn't mean I have anything against the Shrine or anyone that is. I just don't know enough about it. And like I said, that is partially my fault because I haven't yet sat down with a Shrine member and said "Okay, seriously. Whats it about?" I am VERY certain that I will eventually join and be happy that I did. Just right now, even being a single guy with no real family, I am starting to find it hard to balance all my Masonic duties in Blue Lodge, York Rite, and Scottish Rite. I just got elected Junior Warden in my lodge, they are of course always looking for help in my Chapter, Council and Commandery, and with Scottish Rite I am the President of the Scottish Rite club in my area. I really want to be active and fulfill my roles in all of these, so if I join one more organization, I might as well move into a Lodge...lol Like many of the Brothers, I don't want to just join and be a card carrier. I want to be active and do my part. Later on in life once I feel I have contributed enough to these three groups, I can put one of them in the backseat and hit up the Shriners. I really do look forward to that day, actually.

    Good luck with your choice on it! I'm sure you won't be disappointed with it. Lol let me know what you thing, too ;) lol
     
  6. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Where is this other post about your Scottish Rite Reunion? Really intersted in reading it, but can't find it. Has it not been posted yet? Also, look for a PM from me. Want to ask you something about the Grotto....
     
  7. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

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    No, I haven't posted it yet. I am doing a book review right now, then I will post it. Sent you a PM back, let me know if you got it, I can't tell with the PM if it got actually sent or not.

    S&F,
    -Bro Vick
     
  8. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    I joined te Hella Shrine & my wife & I are really enjoying it. I don't get why or how people say it's a playground for Masons. I do feel that it's much more family oriented than any lodges I've attended in my 25+ years as a mason. It has many fund raisers which all go toward the Shrine Hospitals in Galveston & Houston. The things that are done & donated to these hospitals is phenominal. I found out that the Scottish Rite Hospital was actually a Shrine hospital at one time, but the operating costs for 3 hospitals was too much to take on so it was transferred to the Scottish Rite. I have joined the Clown unit and having a great time. Attended the TSA (Texas Shrine Association) competition in Tyler a couple of weeks ago. Hella took 22 trophies this year. Seeing the eyes in Children as they see a clown is a great feeling in knowing that I've put a smile on the little person. Actually seeing old & young laughing & smiling is great. I'm very glad I joined the Shrine. Looking forward to our trip to Galveston soon to visit the children at the hospital. I also notice the Shriners during meetings Always refer to Masonry as being the start of it all. In spite of what some say or think, it's not drinking & partying all the time as there is a time for that & certainly not during meetings or Official gatherings. Those that are curious or interested should really look in to it..... you might just really like what you find.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  9. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Yea, I got it. Sorry it took me a little bit longer than I was planning to reply to ya.

    Oh, yea I'm pretty sure that its not all about drinking and partying all the time. I hope that I didn't sound like that is what I thought Shriners do all the time. I was just meaning that the main response I get is the "playground" thing. I like to have a couple drinks every once in a while and have a really good time, so I'm not against that by anymores. I just don't know if it is a recruitment or marketing thing for the Shriner guys to just automatically say "its the playground of Masonry" or what, but when a curious Brother is asking about the organization its okay to joke and play around a little, but at least give him a little seriousness..lol After getting the playground response, I ask with a smile something along the lines of "okay, why is it the playground or why is it so fun". And that is always when it is met with the response of "join and find out" or something like that. I always get those two responses, and after getting the second answer I just say screw it and not even worry about it...lol

    Honestly, if I would have had just ONE person tell me about the Shrine in the manner that you just did I would have STRONGLY considered a LONG time ago to go ahead and join the Shrine. Might have done it by now. But I just got tired of the "playground" games and decided I would wait. Like I said, I never believed that the majority of what the Shriners do is drink and party, I just didn't ever get the urge to look more into things because I couldn't ever get past hearing the "playground" thing...lol

    So, thank you for your post. That was really good to read :)
     
  10. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    No problem Bro. Michael. I can understand your frustration sometimes on not getting an answer when all your doing is asking what the Shrine is all about. Guess it kinda brings back memories for me when I was wanting to find out about the Masons because at I first I thought it was just a bunch of secret, devil worshiping KKK members! ha ha Hey, that was what I was lead to believe when I was in the military (many many moons ago). ha ha As I researched and checked (and checked some more), I found out different. Enough that I took the step to petition a Lodge in Georgia while stationed there.
    I believe that the Shriners are pushing for recruitment just as Masons are doing as we're losing membership in all of our Masonic fraternaties. To me.. they're all good and serve as great philantropic(sc) organizations to better mankind. Although I'm a Junior Officer in our Local Masonic Lodge, I actually find it more fun (and perhaps more rewarding) in working with the Shriners (here lately). Maybe it's because I'm doing more for children with the Shriners and I enjoy that. Long ago... when I was at Walter Reed with my son (trying to save his eye from an injury) I recall seeing clowns coming in to visit the kids and I believe that made a long and lasting impression on me. Although the kids were very sick (and some dying... they smiled and were happy to see a clown). It's kinda like a young boy in Galveston Shrine Hospital who had 90% burns (no hands, no ears), but laughed and laughed thru his scarred face when he saw the clowns coming to the hospital. I heard stories that all he wanted was an ear just to have an ear ring. Imagine that... Well, he finally had ears made there and he was smiles all the time. He couldn't believe how much better he could hear. So..... it's for reasons like that I say... "It's Great to be a Mason & a Shriner". ha ha Sorry.. I've rambled on too long. Hey Brother, also want to Thank You for your service to our country. I'm proud to say that it takes a special breed to do what you, me and others have done.
     
  11. Ashlar

    Ashlar Registered User

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    The Shrine has never been something I have been interested in , it is not what I am looking for in Masonry . But I do have fun at their pig roasts , Delicious !!!! You boys sure do know how to throw a party .
     
  12. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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    I appreciate the Shriners and everything they do for children but I doubt I will take that path. for one, Clowns creep me out, I am honestly a bit afraid of them and get the chills. No, not because of any movie either...just the whole paint and the way they act and stuff it just gives me the chills...I don't know why... perhaps the main reason though is that the Shrine has nothing to do with Islam or the Middle east, to me it seems almost offensive to Arabs and kind of seems like a mockery of the culture...

    If anyone can throw some light my way as to why it should not be seen as offensive I'd appreciate it. I am not Arabic or Muslim at all, but still can't help but feel this way.
     
  13. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    interesting....... I wonder if Masons from England (where Masonry started) feel the same way about Masons from the U.S. & other countries ... How its been changed, diluted or modified from the way it started in England... Maybe they too feel its a mockery. Just wondering....



     
  14. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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    I don't believe England feels this way because they know Masonry did not start in England. Masonry has it's roots in much older times and Masonry was around before the UGLE was formed...the UGLE was formed by combining more than one already existing lodge. While modern Masonry did start in 1717 with the formation of the UGLE, The oldest Masonic document found to date dates back to about 1390 (The Regius Poem). If the UGLE did not support lodges in America and across the globe, I doubt they would grant charters as such. American Masonry has it's roots in English Masonry so I don't think they feel it is a mockery, but then again I am not English :)

    As far as joining the Shriners goes, I know it isn't for me because I doubt the rituals would mean much to me knowing how the Shrine started, by a couple of brother Masons who wanted something more and formed the Shrine. For someone like me who likes to be connected to something ancient and traditional, going through the rituals of the Shriners full well knowing that its formation is not truly imbedded in an Ancient Arabic order is disappointing (to me), the name is misleading in my opinion. While I do believe they are Noble and I wholeheartedly support their mission, I personally can not undertake membership, my heart will not allow me to. I do not wish to offend any of my brothers who are Shriners and I fully support the Shriners organization for all they have done, all they will do, and I have no problem donating to the cause because I know my money is in good hands, the hands of my Brother Masons.
     
  15. MitchN

    MitchN Registered User

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    hmm, whats the Shrine about.. the answer is both simple and complex... the simple... "Having fun and helping kids", the rest is complex because honestly the answer depends on the brother joining and his intrests and enjoyments in life, both inside and outside of masonry, I am an avid motorcyclist and thus the Motor Corps unit is for me.. I will probably also join the Woodworking club they have recently formed at my Shrine, because that is another hobby of mine... I am also looking at presenting the idea of a Cyber Shrine club. There are other Units and Clubs for various intrests Golf, Clowns, go carts, bands, singers, Masonic Degree Teams to help smaller lodges put on degrees.... the list goes on.. and doing all of the above things in the company of Brothers... And yes we party a bit.. blowing off steam from our ussual vocations and the work we do for the Hospitals. .. we do so with our Brothers and wives.

    And we have something else.. active charity.. most lodges I have seen.. do a lot of what I call checkbook charity, which is good and generous on their part but a bit distant, the Shrine gets out and is on the other side of the checkbook.. taking donations and seeing to it they get to those children in need. either by wearing a fez and shaking a bucket on a street corner. Driving kids to the Hospitals, taking toy donations to the kids.. for me it's much more rewarding then raising my hand in Lodge to say yes thats a worthy cause give them some money, (the opportunities for actively doing something to help are decidedly fewer in Blue Lodge)

    The middle east theme of the Shrine was devised when most (in the US) didn't have any idea about that area of the world.. it was deemed to be a rich and beautiful (and a little mysterious) backdrop to pagentry and fun.

    Well this post has gone on long enough.. I would be happy to answer any questions
     
  16. promason

    promason Registered User

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    Shriners are wonderful humans
     
  17. promason

    promason Registered User

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    Of course,I include beyond them every faithfull Mason
     
  18. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

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    I would wait at least a year before joining the shrine or appendent body. I joined the shrine after I became a master mason (too soon on my part) because I thought I could get involved. Well as I've later found out all the events are downtown and too far to attend. So I have settled for the once monthly shrine club meeting. If I had to do it all over again I would have joined the Scottish rite. In fact I might do that... Ask lots of questions before you join and ask if you can go to a shrine meeting or club meeting to check it out first.
     
  19. Heirophant

    Heirophant Registered User

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    "To Shrine or not to Shrine .... " ?

    Do yourself a favour and Shrine :)

    'Shrine on you crazy diamond' .... bwahaha!


    Adrian
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  20. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    In my neck of the woods, the Shrine is something you do as a couple. From poker night where the ladies play bingo and the fellas play cards, to dances, etc the Shriner's ladies are very involved. In fact looking at the next two month's calendar, which has all kinds of stuff on it from darts to bowling to poker nights etc, it is tough to find one that you won't see 90% of the men there either with a lady on their arm or indeed either organizing the event itself or doing the setup/teardown in some way.

    That isn't to say that the single mason wouldn't enjoy the Shrine, but the married Shriner who lives near a Shrine will rarely, if ever, lack for things to do with his lady I reckon. The ladies in my unit actually have a cute little uniform they all wear....you ever see Grease? Like the Pink Ladies. Except they do crafts and stuff. It is less corny that it sounds.....or well, just as corny, but its good fun that grows on you. Once your wife buys into it (and I thought mine wouldn't, but did with both feet), it makes the entire masonry thing something she becomes connected to.

    If you're married and think to yourself, man, I wish there was something to do besides go out to eat, or go to a movie, ad naseum - do yourself a favor and join the Shrine. I think what it is that makes it so easy to dig for the men's other half is that there are other ladies there who welcome them, and because the Shrine doesn't take itself too serious....it is sorta like a collaborating friendly wink about the somewhat more conservative work we do at Blue Lodge.
     

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