What would you like to see changed in Masonry?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by cemab4y, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I think there is a difference between holding our problems up to the light of day and posting them on a billboard. I do feel that Lodges and Grand Lodges need to be open and upfront about their problems with their membership. Hiding problems doesn't make the go away or help them, they are still waiting there in the dark. I think sites like Masons of Texas are a great place for groups of Masons to come together and discuss their issues and problems. That's why I support sites like ours here, because we don't just sit around and whine, bitch and complain. We sit and discuss the issues and share our thoughts on how best to solve or work around them.

    I don't like leak sites because they don't provide solutions. They take every little issue they can find and beat people with them. To me, they are the same as posting every embrassing detail up on a billboard advertising those shortfalls, and shortfalls only. Just think of all the things we have discovered about Brother Ben Franklin. Now think what would have happened if his every exploit and affair was posted on a billboard. Do you think he would have still been allowed to have as great an impact on the world as he did?
     
  2. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Here is a statement from Thomas Jefferson (NOT a Freemason)

    "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times."
     
  3. Scotty32

    Scotty32 Registered User

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    I will say:
    Better attendance for meetings.
    Stewards exempt from paying dues.
    Repeal the archaic "No alcohol" rule.
    Recognition of PHA.
    Endowment eligibility moved to 20yrs of membership or
    for any PM.
     
  4. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Are you saying you shouldn't buy an endowed membership until you have been a member for 20 years? Interesting.
     
  5. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Without a doubt we need increased attendance for meetings, but we need to make sure we provide people a reason to come.

    Please explain why Stewards should be exempt from paying dues.

    Repealling "No Alcohol" rule would make dinners a bit more fun, but in that same vein, it could also present a big liability to the lodge if something happened to a Brother driving home after having had a drink at lodge.

    Recognition of PHA is being looked at now in Texas according the the Committee on Fraternal Relations report at GL this year.

    I don't know about 20year requirement. I understand your logic, but I think perhaps a better way to go about it would be that the lodge awards the Endowments to brethren they feel are worthy of them for their service and contributions to the lodge.
     
  6. Scotty32

    Scotty32 Registered User

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    -Stewards being exempt from dues is a personal opinion that goes with the individual lodge, not a state-wide rule.
    My experience as a steward for 2yrs, in 2 lodges at the same time, was a tough job. Just suggesting for that term
    that they gave to the lodge in that position. Guess I should ask why in some lodges a tyler is exempt from dues?

    -Alcohol, I can see where some questions can arise. The idea of 'temperance' comes to mind. Is this an issue for the Shrine?
     
  7. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    - An individual lodge might put it in their by-laws that the lodge would pay the Stewards' dues, but each lodge is different. But, you'll find that each position takes on a share of responsibilities. As for why in some lodges the Tiler is exempt, that could be for a couple reasons. The Tiler, according to the GLoT is the only officer position that doesn't have to be a member of the lodge. Some lodges might ask a brother from another lodge to be Tiler. Then in other lodges, the Junior PM might become the Tiler, and some lodges have a tradition of either buying the Junior PM an Endowment or making the a Lifetime Member. So each lodge can do it a bit different.

    - As for alcohol, again there are both pros and cons. I would say the biggest reason would not be temperance but liability. I doubt that GL would want to be caught in a law suit from a drunk driving accident. They could still be named in a law suit for a drunk driving accident, but right now, they can point to the law book and claim that if alcohol was comsumed at a lodge meeting, it was expressly against their laws. But who knows, maybe they will do something like SR and allow wine for scheduled toasts.
     
  8. Scotty32

    Scotty32 Registered User

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    Ok, I'll say it again in layman's terms: Don't that much to where you become intoxicated.
    If you have to get intoxicated every time you drink, it might not be a good idea to drink in the first place.
    Has that ever been an issue in other jurisdictions where it is allowed?
    Its a rule left over from the prohibition era. "We shouldn't be drinking at lodge", "We're men of moral character, we don't need alcohol in our lodge." " Its a liability." "It looks bad for our image."; I've heard them all. I'll also ask again, has this ever been an issue at Shrine Club meetings?
     
  9. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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    We are supposed to be good men and true
    but can't be trusted with a brew or two
     
  10. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I'm not arguing for or against alcohol in the lodge, just stating a possible reason why they haven't changed it. If you feel it is time for a change, I encourage you to find a PM to write up a resolution and submit it to GL to be put before the next GL communication to lift the ban on alcohol in lodges. A change in GL Law is the only way this will come to pass. I, myself, am not a PM so I can not submit resolutions to GL as of yet.
     
  11. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I've been a Shriner for 21 years. Shriners are masons. If what I have seen is a sign I am not sure I would want alcohol in lodge premises. It is not the average member you have to worry about. It is that one or two members that leave drunk and kill someone on the way home from a meeting. The news would love to tell the story of lodges serving alcohol to men that kill people in a DWI accident. The PR would be an absolute nightmare.
     
  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Your concerns are valid. Blaming alcohol for automobile accidents, is like blaming pencils for misspelled words. Reality check. The USA is the only country, where nearly all Masonic lodges are dry. Lodges worldwide, have alcohol. USA lodges, prior to the disaster of Prohibition, Masonic lodges in the USA had malt/vinuous/spiritous beverages. Many fraternal organizations have alcohol.

    I have attended lodges (Virginia,Florida,Indiana), where, immediately after the meeting, many of the membership adjourn to a nearby tavern. Malt(beer)/ Vinuous (Wine)/Spiritous (whiskey) alcoholic beverages are consumed, in moderation. I do not see the difference, if a Mason were to consume in excess, and then be involved in an accident, whether he was served in the lodge, or in the tavern next door.

    The bottom line, is that Masonry needs to grow up, and realize that men are capable of discernment. I find it ludicrous, to go to a Festive board, and men are toasting each other with NeHi grape soda.
     
  13. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I am sorry that I will never be able to agree with you. As a volunteer for victim services I see what the damage to families and the community is after this type of accident. I live in a county with one of the highest DWI rates. This is strange since we have very few bars. I guess I am for prohibition outside of the home.

    I know this sounds crazy. But after attending several death scenes this year, I am not sure I will be able the change my opinion on this one.

    ---------- Post added at 08:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 PM ----------

    BTW, I like the misspelled words metaphor. I use it for gun control.
     
  14. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    I agree; those who support prohibition should never leave their homes... It will much safer there!

    By the way, I take it from your last sentence that you support gun control? You do realize more people die in automobile accidents than DWI accidents and shootings per year; maybe we should have prohibition of the automobile? I'm just sayin'
     
  15. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I believe he uses the metaphor to say that blaming guns for shootings is the same as blaming the pencil for misspelled words.

    Now me personally, I think we lack a few things in being responsible gun owners. Believe me, I am not anti-gun considering I have a decent collection at home. I was raised around guns and shooting guns. I grew up shooting with the local Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Marshal Service. But I am a big believer in gun rights, I also believe that there are some people that should never handle a gun for their own safety as well as the safety of others. Some people simply just don't have the knowledge or level of maturity to properly handle one without endangering everyone around them. One of my good friends owns a gun store, and I have literially seen him take a gun away from a purchasing customer and refuse to sell to them after they started acting like a fool with the gun.
     
  16. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    I am definately a supporter of gun rights. I am actually a supporter of CHL for college professors and eligable college students. It would probably prevent campus shootings. It would at least make them much shorter in duration. There is a least a process for checking on people when they are purchasing guns. Criminals that use guns are treated pretty harshly by the legal system.

    The problem with alcohol is anyone can drink. I have a brother Shriner that has had three DWIs and is still driving. In fact he has his commercial drivers liscense and his truck as a breathalizer connected to the starter. He still drinks a lot a meetings.

    I would rather have him do what my brothers and I do... We meet after lodge for a coke or a beer for further fellowship at a local tavern or resteraunt. We make sure that everyone gets home safely. This has not been my experience at the shrine. How can we assure that lodges will all do the right thing when it comes to alcohol? I believe that if someone is to get this past the grand lodge communiation, there will need to be safety measures presented to protect the PR image of masonry.
     
  17. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    This is an interesting discussion. What is the difference between getting a beer, downstairs in the basement of the lodge building, and going next door, to the tavern for a beer? No difference. When I was in Fort Wayne IN, I met in the downtown Masonic building. The Mizpah Shrine is two blocks away. Alcohol is forbidden in the Masonic building. After lodge meetings, we drove the two blocks to Mizpah Shrine, and had a few brews.

    Brothers should keep an eye on each other, and ensure that no one perverts refreshment, to intemperance or excess. If a brother has had too many, drive him home, or call a cab for him.

    The prohibition against alcohol in our lodge buildings, is obsolete, and it is time for it to head to the trash heap of history. It all boils down to trust. Can our Grand Lodges trust Masons to act like responsible adults, and enjoy adult beverages, like we did for hundreds of years, and like Masons do all over the world?
     
  18. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    There is a big difference. The lodge is not responsible for the alcohol. The tavern is... In Texas the establishment can be held liable. That is the whole point. Drink all you want... Brothers should drink all they want... But lets not make the lodge liable for little Johnny 12 year olds mother dying in a DWI accident.
     
  19. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The lodge is not liable. The stupid, irresponsible, idiot, who drank himself blind, and got behind the wheel is the responsible one. Fraternal organizations (EX: Moose, Elks, Eagles, K of C,etc). have alcohol. Masonic lodges in the USA (prior to the disaster of prohibition) had alcohol. The Shrine and the Grottos have alcohol. Masonic lodges in Canada, England, France, Australia, and all over the world, have alcohol.

    The moderate use of alcohol, will return to USA Freemasonry. It may not be soon, but it is coming.
     
  20. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Whatever... You must be right! That is why several local drinking establishments have been held liable in the last 2 years for DWIs. The lawyers and the judges must not understand the law. Sorry, this will be my last defense of the lodge on this topic in this forum. I just wish I could tell my friends that lost their businesses that the courts were wrong.

    BTW, how does a brother from Kentucky know about Texas liability law?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

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