What issues are important to you?

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Blake Bowden, Aug 29, 2010.

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What is the most important issue the Grand Lodge of Texas should address?

  1. Our declining membership

    13 vote(s)
    27.7%
  2. Extend visitation with Prince Hall

    3 vote(s)
    6.4%
  3. Improve/Update Masonic Education

    17 vote(s)
    36.2%
  4. Be more transparent

    1 vote(s)
    2.1%
  5. Crack down on bigotry and racism

    3 vote(s)
    6.4%
  6. Fiscal responsibility

    9 vote(s)
    19.1%
  7. Publish a GL cipher book

    1 vote(s)
    2.1%
  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  2. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    Other than the cipher, yes.

    All of those are priorities, deciding which one is on top is an interesting question. I'll take them through the prioritization process before I vote, and then post my thoughts.
     
  3. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    This is a tough one to answer. If I can only choose one I will have to think about it as well since all are very important indeed.
     
  4. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    money is always priority #1. once you get that fixed, you can continue to other things
     
  5. Papatom

    Papatom Premium Member Premium Member

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    I have gave thought to this before, 1; PHA does not want us, 2; Money would improve if membership increased, 3; Cyper books should be against GL Law (period), 4; You will not change people about how they feel about other races, they may hide it, but it will still be there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    1. It will soon come up again that PHA does want visitation. I know this for a fact and the original compact had visitation but were instructed to remove it by the Fraternal Relations Committee. We didn't think recognition would pass OUR membership had visitation been there.

    2. You are correct here so what do we do to improve membership. Could it be done by education, being more transparent, etc?

    3. Thats an opinion but I for one feel they are needed. Anyone that has been to a COW forum sees that even that man as asked "Is this how you have it?" when there are more than one member. The Past Masters Voted to allow the use of them in certain methods so why would you recognize something but not embrace it. (Sounds familiar actually)

    4. You are correct but it doesn't belong in Lodge. It goes against most of the teachings of Freemasonry and you should be a Freemason at heart. I don't care if you hold a dues card and 90 titles to have this kind of hatred makes you unable to be a Freemason and therefore do not belong. Your thoughts are your own and should be your own but you can't possibly be a Freemason by having racist beliefs. Again, just my opinions.
     
  7. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I chose education because I think with an improvement and increase in education you can solve many of the other issues. Our declining membership is due to generations becoming complacent and if a member was not intrested or engaged no big deal we had others to take his place. More people are knocking on our door to learn and we need to teach them. Retention and remaining active are the most important to me and if we keep people engaged then we will keep them coming for more.

    Education can also help with some of the issues. If we show that the lessons of massonry do not allow tolerance of racisim or hatred then these guys will leave. I have seen it in my own lodge and it works.

    I think the cipher is the least of our worries. We have several issues that are contributing factors in our decreases of money and membership that we need to address before these and I am excited to see the years to come.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  8. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I would have to say being more transparent, as in being more visibile in our community. I think by being a bigger part of our community and becoming more vested in it, we better ourselves as Masons overall. In the process, people like being part of good things, thus this would else help declining membership. Also by playing a bigger part in our community, and more of the community becoming part of us, it will improve our relations with PHA and hopefully also combat racism as our intergrated community becomes part of us. So I think this will help take care of some of the other priorities and giving them a jumping off point.

    Of course it will go without saying that by enlarging membership with the community, we are going to have to have something valuable to pass along besides just the lesson exemplified by our service in the community through Masonic education.
     
  9. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    I voted education. That's why I joined!
     
  10. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Our declining membership would be solved with education of people becoming true Masons. Transparency should be at the heart of a Mason. Bigotry/racism would be solved by education, the example of what some might set would be frowned on by education and would embolden others to stand against it who might not otherwise.

    If lodges are not doing a yearly budget or going in the hole yearly without changing dues or something else then why would Grand Lodge be required to? If we want to change Grand Lodge we have to start at home.

    Publishing a cipher book to me is a violation of a persons honor and integrity, the more I have thought about it the more I've come to the opinion that I'd never ask any brother to do this.

    Extend visitation with Prince Hall, I've heard a lot of mixed comments on this. People who I've spoken with who have looked at PHA masonry have often commented that they seem more closed minded then AF & AM, this is hearsay because I personally have not looked into joining them. Some claim that it is fact that they wanted visitation others claim just as emphatically that they never wanted this. With their previous GM, visitation being requested seems doubtful. I look at PHA as my brothers and if it occurs I would be glad to see it. Getting tired of the discussion with no concrete facts. Somebody either bring forth facts and not hearsay of previous request/denial or put forth a motion to grand lodge requesting visitation with PHA.

    These are my opinions, it is up to each of us to make things better. All of us would like Rome built in a day but it is impossible.
     
  11. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    My DI, who I was talking with Monday night, mentioned something about PHA. He has a good friend who is one of their Grand Officers. My DI is also in favor of visitation rights between us and them. He also mention that it was them that stopped short of full visitation. When asked why, he said it came down to membership. He said that PHA in Texas has a $5,000 initiation fee and they pay $1,200 a year in dues. He went on to say they were afraid of losing members because of the big difference in dues if full visitation took place.

    Now me personally, I don't know of any PHA Masons to confirm the difference in dues and fees, so I have to take him at his word.
     
  12. David Duke

    David Duke Premium Member

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    I voted education, as Bro. Ows84 stated with education most of the other problems could be solved.
     
  13. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Education without a doubt. If you educate yourself worries and troubles seem to melt away. Knowledge is the ultimate in power.

    Educating ourselves on the Prince Hall Issue seems to cause a ton of confusion in about the temple. Brother Dave I am curious to the DI mention the name of his friend at PHA? We are having a function before long with them and many of there GL officers show up and I would like to to talk with him. A few of us have had first hand conversation with PH brothers and we always recieve a different answer than what we get from our frat. I do not claim to know who wanted what but I do know someone is not telling the truth or there was some severe wire crossing the day the compact was signed and I would like to know who or why.
     
  14. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    He did not mention a name, but I will contact him and see if I can get it.

    Is there any way we could get a copy of the original PH Resolution from 2005 that was voted on and passed? That might help to clear up some of the fog that seems to surround this. Looking at the timeline, it doesn't look like our GL delayed anything since it was submitted after May 2005, it wasn't considered until the GC of 2006. Of course a lot can happen in a year and a half without it being delayed. Either way, I think there is a lot of heresay surrounding this issue, and to intelligently work toward improving relations, we would need to better know where the hold up really is.
     
  15. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    Membership.. ! If we don't do something about the decline .. ! none of the other will matter.. ?
     
  16. MGM357

    MGM357 Registered User

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    Rather than quanity of membership, we need to address quality.
     
  17. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I'd rather have 10,000 amazing brothers than 100,000 'ok' brothers. I know quality is a relative thing, but just my .02.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Registered User

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    I put "crack down on bigotry and racism", and by that I mean that lodges should work very hard to look open-minded and accepting. My experience has been that inside a lodgeroom, tolerance is very real. However, outside a lodgeroom, either at dinner, or even just in public, Masons can be very opinionated about religion and politics, and at times downright mean about other opinions. While everyone is entitled to speak their mind and have their opinions, even strong opinions, I wonder sometimes how many men might have become Masons except they didn't think they'd be accepted because of derogatory comments about their political, religious, or social positions made by Masons going about their lives.

    Whatever the personal opinion of individual Masons, the fact is that the younger generation that lodges are trying so hard to court and bring in are very socially and religiously liberal, and much more likely to be politically liberal, too, even in Texas. So I think it will help our ability to bring in new and younger members if individual Masons try to look a little less intimidating to people less conservative than themselves when out in public.

    At the end of the day, I think the biggest part of our issue with membership is our public perception as a "good ol' boys" club. Public service won't change that. Open houses won't change that. People will just be more inclined to think well of the good ol' boys or be more informed of what they're doing. We have to get people to stop saying "You're a Mason? I think my grandfather was a Mason." If the average Millennial can't picture someone his age or of his political or other persuasion being a Mason, then we have a serious problem.
     
  19. jack357

    jack357 Premium Member

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    "He said that PHA in Texas has a $5,000 initiation fee and they pay $1,200 a year in dues. He went on to say they were afraid of losing members because of the big difference in dues if full visitation took place.

    Now me personally, I don't know of any PHA Masons to confirm the difference in dues and fees, so I have to take him at his word"



    I am positive that those numbers are incorrect. I don't know of any Brother that has paid that much in initiaion fees or dues.
     
  20. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I picked education, as I believe it solves all of the other problems.

    If we are educated Masons and truly practicing Masonry we would:

    Guard the West Gate
    Promote tolerance
    Deplore Racism
    Have trouble keeping men out of the Fraternity because it would be living up to its potential

    All of the other things are symptoms of a greater problem...Masons not practicing Masonry...because they don't even know what Masonry is beyond the brick building they meet in and the ring they where on their finger.
     

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