What I like about the Shrine

Discussion in 'Shrine' started by cemab4y, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    If any young person is "put off" or offended by the "Arabian Nights" motif of the Shrine, they are better of leaving the Shrine alone. The Shrine is better off without such people, as well. The symbols are not "antiquated" ; they have only been used since the founding of the Shrine, in the 1870's. Let us examine them:

    The Scimitar stands for the membership, the "backbone" of the Shrine.

    The Sphinx-face stands for the governing body of the Shrine, the imperial council.

    The two claws of the inverted crescent stand for the fraternity and philanthropy. Neither of the claws are identified, because one could not exist without the other.

    The Star is for the thousands of Children who are helped in our hospitals every year. The Star stands front and center in the symbolism, because it is the focus and reason for our existence.

    If any young person finds these symbols offensive, or "antiquated", they should not have anything to do with the Shrine. The Shrine can deal with it.

    The Shrine is NOT a masonic organization, but an organization composed of men who are masons. This sounds like legal nit-picking, but it is actually very important. When Billy Florence and Walter Fleming set up the Shrine in 1870, they wanted to organize a club, which would stress fun and frivolity; which by its very definition is far removed from the serious and ancient teachings of Freemasonry.

    In order to petition (apply) for the Shrine, a man must first be a Craft Mason. With this small pool of potential recruits, and the advanced age of Masons in the USA, the average age of new Shriners, is also creeping upwards.

    Except for the fact that Shriners must be masons first, there is no "integration" with respect to the Scottish Rite, nor of Craft Masonry (nor of ANY other appendant and concordant body). And that is exactly how the Shrine was designed to operate. The Shrine, is an independent stand-alone organization, and has no subordination to ANY lodge, Grand Lodge, the Scottish Rite, nor of any other appendant body anywhere.

    This ensures a full measure of independence for the Shrine. Our philanthropy (Hospitals for children) operate outside of the purview or oversight of any Masonic body. This is necessary, or else the lodges/Grand Lodges would take over the whole organization.

    Most Grand Lodges in the USA, forbid alcoholic beverages within their subordinate lodges. The Shrine permits the moderate use of alcoholic beverages. The grand Lodges forbid gambling, even penny-ante poker games in their lodges. The Shrine has no such restrictions, and the Nobles often enjoy this pastime. The grand Lodges have tight restrictions on fund-raising, raffles, etc. The Shrine is not encumbered by these regulations, and thence can have Circuses, grapefruit sales, etc. Most masonic events are 'stag', while the Shrine has a multitude of events, dances, parties, etc. for the Noble AND his lady. No other Masonic group has more co-ed activities than the Shrine.

    I cherish the Shrine. Certainly, the organization has problems. We are dealing with the problems. Even though the Shrine is far removed from the serious teachings of Craft Masonry; for many people, the Shrine is their most enjoyable part of the masonic experience. This sounds contradictory, but it really is not.

    Like two flying buttresses which support a ceiling, the two opposing experiences of serious self-discovery and self-improvement of Craft masonry, and the relaxation and frivolity of the Shrine experience, work together to support a man's life and spirit. Masonry has its meetings and instructions in private, and the Shrine is an open, public organization, which has parades, and circuses, and all types of public activities.

    These are the "yin and yang" of the Masonic experience. All men have a need for fun and frivolity. If the frivolity can support a marvelous philanthropy, like the Shrine hospitals, then so much the better. The Shrine touches a definite spark, in the spirit of its membership. It reaches to the "boy in the man", the need to celebrate the good things in life, the desire to be public with your joy, the fraternal bond that extends from good fellowship, dining, and the moderate use of alcoholic beverages.

    The Arabian Nights theme of the Shrine, seems archaic, I agree. But this is our splendid tradition, the "anchor" of the whole organization. It hearkens to a simpler time, when men and boys found an escape, from ordinary life, to a world of shieks, and harem girls, and flying carpets, and genies, and the marvelous mysticism of the Thousand and One Nights, and
    the tales of Scheherazade. This experience is not unlike today's youth fascination with the "Harry Potter" books.

    There will always be a fascination, in the mind of men and boys, with mysticism and magic, and flying , whether it be on a flying carpet across the Arabian desert, or flying on a broom at the Hogwart's school. Whether Wizards or Wiziers, the same note of fascination is touched.

    So, let us move on, away from a petty hang-up on symbolism, and forward to a new understanding of the joys of fellowship and fraternity. The Shrine will always be the Shrine, its renaissance is in our hands.

    SO MOTE IT BE!! ES SALEIMU ALEIKUM!!
     
  2. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Do not know much on them just they do a ton for kiddos and put on a heck of a good circus.
     
  3. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I am all for the Shrine, my grandfather who spurred my interest in Masonry was a Shriner and one day I, too, will very likely petition the Shrine.

    With that said, your post seems a bit defensive has someone offended you about the Shrine?
     
  4. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    If these gentlemen wanted to create an institution removed from Masonry why require that only Masons join? I have always wondered how Shriners can drink on Lodge premises since they are a Mason first and the obligation they took prohibits them from doing so? To me the Shrine has always been one of the best aspect of Masonry giving fun hearted Brothers a chance to have fun with good men but I was not aware that the Shrine did not consider themselves a Masonic organazation is that how they get around some of these GL laws?
     
  5. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Many in the shrine want to separate from Masonry all together. Ive talked to many not in the shrine that WANT them to separate! Im a Shriner but they do have a lot of negative press and I can see the argument about them not bringing the best light onto Masonry.
     
  6. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    No one has ever offended me personally. Some people, in England, and some other places are "offended" by the Arabian nights theme of the Shrine. My post was in answer to people who do not like the symbolism of the Shrine.

    I encourage you to petition the Shrine! Our membership is down from 990,000 (1989) to less than 400,000 today!
     
  7. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    ---The Shrine is NOT a "masonic" organization. No Shrine center is under authority of any Grand Lodge. The Imperial Shrine is a Florida corporation, and not subject to the regulations or directives of any Grand Lodge anywhere. The Shrine is a "stand-alone" organization.

    The requirement, that all Shriners must be a Master Mason in good standing, is a membership requirement. That is all.

    The Shrine is therefore a club of men who are Masons, but not a Masonic organization.

    There have been some discussions about the Shrine dropping the Masonic membership requirement, and "going it alone". I am personally opposed to this. If the Shrine ever drops the requirement, I will demit from the Shrine
     
  8. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    at this point and on this point its really semantics...

    What is Masonry and what is the connection to the Shrine?

    In order to become a Shriner, a man must first be a Mason. The fraternity of Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternity in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to the time when stonemasons and other craftsmen gathered in shelter houses or lodges. Over the years, formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade, but by their own desire to be fraternal brothers.

    The basic unit of Masonry is the Blue Lodge, where members earn the first three Masonic Degrees known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. There is no higher degree than that of Master Mason (the Third Degree).

    After he becomes a Master Mason, he can belong to many other organizations which have their roots in Masonry and which have Blue Lodge Masonry as a prerequisite. Only when a man has achieved the status of Master Mason can he petition to become a Noble of Shriners International.

    Other affiliated Masonic organizations include the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Freemasonry (Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A and Canada) and the York Rite.



    Part of me wishes they would drop the MM requirement and connection to Masonry. There has been a lot of bad press coming out of the Jesters and some Shrine activity in the last few years.
     
  9. LRG

    LRG Premium Member

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    Angels we are not.

    I am not a Shriner but they do and have done the work of angelic.

    For this I have personally donated automatic monetary withdrawls to the Shrine Hospital to support the cause of helping those whom need.
     
  10. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    ive been a shriner for seven years and without masons there is no shrine therefore i consider it very masonic. The article that states the opposite is one mans opinion. There is no one true voice very masonry and this does not speak for all shriners. THEY GET AROUND GRAND LODGE LAWS BECAUSE THEYDO NOT MEET IN LODGES. LODGES DO RENT FROM SHRINE BUILDINGS BUT, THE SHRINE DOESNT HOUSE IN BLUE LODGES. AT LEAST NOT TO MY KNOWLEDGE. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE SHRINE IS YOU CAN KLL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE WHICH IS MASONRY WITH A HOBBIE. I CAN HUNT AND FISH WITH OTHER BROTHERS AND OUT OF THIS WE RAISE MONEY FOR THE HOSPITALS. WHEN MY KIDS GET OLDER I CAN TAKE THEM WITH ME. TO ME THAT MEANS ALOT.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  11. fairbanks1363pm

    fairbanks1363pm Registered User

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    not defending any one. the jesters did shed a negative light. so did the moran in new york who shot a brother in a masonic club meeting. when we start picking at our own selves we need to remember the chief good that we do overall. we are not perfect. we have enough people focusing on the small amount of negativity fom our fraternity. which in reality is a very small part.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    If you are confused about the history and purpose of the Shrine, I suggest that you visit this website:

    http://shrinershq.org/files/members/pdf/Mem_ShrinerPrimer.pdf

    The Shrine is a separate, stand-alone organization. It is not affiliated with any Grand Lodge, and therefore is not subject to any Grand Lodge regulations.

    Many Grand Lodges forbid alcohol, raffles, gambling (even penny-ante poker games). Because the Shrine does not come under the authority of any Grand Lodge, these activities are permitted, and encouraged in the Shrine.

    The Shrine was NOT formed as a way to "getting around" any Masonic regulation. The men who started the Shrine in 1872, wanted to have a way to socialize and relax with brother Masons, outside of the Craft Lodge.

    Fine dining, moderate use of alcohol, and fun and frivolity are the heart and soul of the Shrine. Most Shrine activities are co-educational, no organization in the entire Masonic "family" has more activities for the member and his lady, than the Shrine.

    The Shrine also gives the member the opportunity to combine other activities with the Shrine. I enjoy Amateur Radio. I started an Amateur Radio club at Aladdin Shrine. Other nobles enjoy horseback riding, motorcycling, hunting/fishing, flying, boating, clowning. All of these activities can be enjoyed in the Shrine!

    I am 1000% opposed to dropping the requirement that all Nobles must be Master Masons. The masonic requirement is part of our heritage. If the masonic requirement is dropped, and the Shrine decides to "go it alone", I am out of the Shrine.
     
  13. C_Cabra

    C_Cabra Registered User

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    I have considered leaving the Shrine for a number of reasons. None of which have to do with the fine gentlemen who attend the Shrine here in Austin Texas.

    I will tell you that the Jokers organization has a little to do with it and some of the other issues revolving around how money has been managed over the years.

    The funny thing is that it was the Shriners that made the impression on me as a youth and the reason I became a Mason as an adult. However had I done a little more research on them I probably would have never joined.

    If these issues seemed isolated or were a one time occurance I might not "pick" at our organization but some of these issues have been repeated and seem to be some kind of behavioral issue institutionalized within the joker organization. I pretty much got accused of being an anti mason on another masonic website for posting irrefutable documentation and legal actions against Shriners in order to engage in conversation on the topic so I won't make that mistake twice but I will say this:

    Anyone who thinks that the Shrine is somehow separate from Freemasonry is wrong in my opinion. While it may not be a subordinate appendant body it is very much supposed to be the embodiment of what Freemasonry is all about. Let's not forget what the Fez is supposed to stand for. The fact that you must be a Mason to be a Shriner lends a modicum of "masonic credibility" or an endorsment if you will. It implies that Shriners will conduct themselves in a manner behooving a Freemason.

    I realize what good the Shriners do. It is the only reason I am still paying dues to the Shrine. I don't think we should be "protecting our own" when it comes to the Jokers and not engaging in dialogue about it because it may make us look bad. It makes us look bad and complicit to cover it up and keep hush hush about it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Your position is understandable. I am glad that you are keeping up your membership, and contributing to the hospitals. The Shrine is like any other organization with 400,000 members, it has its share of "bad apples". I have absolutely no use for a man, who practices immoral or unmasonic conduct. If a Shriner is involved in illegal activities, he needs to feel the full force of the law. A past potentate in Norfolk,VA is accused of dealing in child pornography. Some members of the Royal Order of Jesters, have been involved in soliciting prostitution, and other disgusting activities.

    When you put on a fez, it is not a license to behave like an idiot. All Shriners should remember, that they are Masons FIRST, and therefore required to keep their obligations, and to behave in a manner, which reflects well on both the Shrine, and the Masonic fraternity.

    I have been a Shriner (off an on) since 1988. I am not now, a current member. In my 21 years of participation, I have never seen any activity, that I was ashamed of, nor any illegal or immoral activity. I have attended two Shriner's conventions (Cleveland, and Kansas City), and I witnessed nothing that I would consider even ridiculous. I have taken my ex-wife to many Shriner's functions, and we were never embarrassed, nor did anyone make any improper comments to her.

    This being said, there is always room for improvement. The Shrine is easily the most public and recognizable aspect of the entire masonic experience. We should keep in mind, that we are the face of the Shrine, and therefore we are doubly obliged to keep our behavior morally straight, and to keep our passions within due bounds. When we participate in refreshments (alcohol), we must not proceed to intemperance or excess. To me, nothing is more disgusting, than a drunken Shriner.

    When I return to the USA, I intend to be very active in the Shrine. My wife enjoys the socials and dinners, very much. Kena Shrine Center is one of the top Shrine centers in the USA, and it was where I was made a Shriner in 1988. The current potentate (Howard Sobel) is a friend of mine, and he runs a tight ship. He personally, ensures that all activities are proper, and all fund-raising is within proper legal guidelines.
     
  15. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    i found out a few days ago that the shrine will allow people with felonies, i find this to be disappointing, because of the work they do for the children, if this is true, ( came from a shriner in illinois), then i have lost any respect i have had for them.......................
     
  16. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    If this is true, it means Masons in Illinois allow felons.
     
  17. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Being convicted of a felony comes with an expulsion in Illinois as long as any member reports the conviction. Several are expelled every year. Some who have long since reformed appeal for readmission every year. As long as it was a long time ago, time and restitution is complete, the members of GL tend to be generous as long as you didn't hurt anyone.

    Before petitioning the story is different. Concealing a conviction comes with expulsion on being reported. Being open about a conviction leaves it up to the members of the lodge. Some lodges are generous (with the same "as long as" above). Some members are not and it only takes one cube.

    California has a similar system with different paperwork.

    I'm not sure how many GLs have this type of policy versus having a ban.

    To my knowledge the Shrine just checks that you are and MM are are current on your dues. They don't check because it has been handled at the blue lodge level.
     
  18. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    That is correct
     
  19. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    well, no one seems to care, as long as you look like an up right mason, and can generate money for the childrens home, shriners hospital,and can bring them in for the i chip program, everyone up to the grand lodge looks the other way, i keep being told that it could drag out for years, and cost the lodge tons of money to get this brother out. although he has a nice facebook page that shows all his good deeds, but doesnt reflect his personal life, and how he loves to beat his wife an inch from her life. but everyone in our town and other lodges know who he is and how he is, so now our lodge cant get but a couple people from another lodge to help with degree work, and now we are barely opening business meetings,because no one wants to be associated with him or the lodge while this brother is still there. or his clandistine bike club. no one all the way to the grand lodge down to the WM, GMDD, area GMDD or other members of our lodge want to rock the boat, those of us who has gone threw the steps by our grand lodges instructions are paying for it.......... im at the point they can turn the lights off and lock the doors....................
     
  20. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    No clauses in your Const. to deal with such a brother ? In ours. a WM can refuse entry to anyone who will disturb the harmony of the lodge - never seen it done, but I've seen WMs willing to do it..
     

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