What would you like to see changed in Masonry?

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

  1. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    My sister and her husband are both attorneys. The concept in law is called the "Dram Shop Theory", or "Dram Shop Law". Depending on the state of jurisdiction, establishments that serve alcoholic beverages, can be held to liability if it can be proved that the establishment was negligent in their business activities, which led to a fatality. In most states, non-profit organizations have some limited immunity, in such cases.

    Texas has a "Dram Shop Law" see

    Tex. Alco. Bev. Code Ann. § 2.02.

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_texas_have_a_dram_shop_act#ixzz1EKSELwsi

    When a non-profit organization or an individual serves alcohol to a person, and the person is involved in a fatality, the non-profit and/or the individual has immunity (in most states, including California).

    A Masonic lodge, serving alcohol, can monitor the consumption, and have good control over anyone who perverts refreshment into intemperance or excess.


    If the USA (including Texas), were really serious about reducing alcohol-related fatalities, more effective measures could be taken, than what we are seeing now. The major problem in Texas, with respect to drunk-driving, is repeat offenders, See:

    http://www.prweb.com/releases/austin-accident-attorney/texas-drunk-driving-crash/prweb4983994.htm

    Freemasonry was established in the "Goose and Gridiron Tavern" in 1717, an alcohol-serving establishment. Alcohol was served in lodges, for many years, until the disaster of Prohibition. Alcohol is served in lodge buildings all over the world (except in most USA lodges). The Shrine and the Grotto, have alcohol.

    I find it silly, to go to a festive board, or a table lodge, and see grown men toasting each other, with NeHi grape.

    Alcohol will return to our lodges, our festive boards, our table lodges, and our periods of refreshment. It is only a matter of time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  2. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    if it's a "BYOB" kind of thing, then you don't need a liquor license and you don't have the same kind of "bar sold too much alcohol to a guy" problem.
     
  3. Paul E. Wunsche

    Paul E. Wunsche Registered User

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    I agree, that we need to increse the attendance at our meetings. However I do not feel that serving drinks will do the trick. I think that we need more Masonic Education. Our new members can learn from our older members and belive it or not our older members can learn from our new members.
     
  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I agree 1000%! I would love to see more Masonic education, as part of an overall "reworking" of our lodge meetings. We need to have more Masonic education, for our membership, as well as more interesting programs at the meetings. The state of Maryland has a tradition of exciting, stimulating programs at their lodge meetings. I have seen Civil War impersonators, and law enforcement programs. If our meetings were exciting and informative, they would be "standing room only".

    Nevertheless, if we had festive boards, with excellent food and libations, that would also help to bolster attendance. Greasy fried chicken and "wallpaper paste" mashed potatoes, and kool-aid, just ain't cuttin' it.
     
  5. tomgndallas

    tomgndallas Registered User

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    From my experience, more philanthropic activities in the blue lodges, the SR and Shrine have it covered pretty well already. Continued awareness of the fraternity, the good things it does, moral building and all that good stuff (the whole perfect ashlar bit). In addition, I cannot stress masonic education more. I believe it is our own personal responsibility and some lodges do it well by offering study groups and candidate coaches and officer classes...however some lodges completely lack.
     
  6. Paul E. Wunsche

    Paul E. Wunsche Registered User

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    I agree that festive boards are a great way to help with attendance. They are also a great way to promote unity with our appendant bodies. I remeber when the Houston Scottish Rite and Arbia Shrine would hold there annual festive board, there would be several hundred couples in attendance. Unfortunately the attendace dropped to a very low number and we quit having them. The thing that I am against is serving alcohol in the lodge building, I don't mind if after lodge the brothers meet at a local establishment for a few drinks as long as it is done in moderation. We must remeber that there will always be a group of people looking for anything negative to hold against our fraternity,and I do not want to give them any ammunition.
     
  7. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The Shrine is an appendant/concordant body of Masonry. Every Shriner is a Mason. The Grotto is an appendant/concordant body of Masonry. Every Prophet is a Mason. These organizations serve alcohol. Should the Shrine and Grotto cease serving alcohol? Freemasonry was founded in a tavern. The "Goose and Gridiron" tavern, in 1717. Lodges in every other country, except the USA, serve alcohol at their festive boards, dinners, and at refreshment. It was only with the advent of Prohibition, that lodges in the USA dropped alcohol.

    Masonry is going to grow up someday.
     
  8. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Festive boards are also part of the Blue Lodge; it’s really rather sad (as mentioned here before) that we in the U.S. are such teetotalers, it’s embarrassing. It’s amazing with our puritanical prudishness that we think it’s alright for the shrine, grotto, scottish rite to imbibe; but not the original root of these organisations that first convened in taverns. I’m starting to wonder if it’s those other organisations that want to keep the blue lodges dry? (Just a thought). I recall European brethren betting on whether I would drink tea instead of ale.

    Whether we imbibe in lodge or a tavern is irrelevant; moderation is key, we are grown men and we should ever act as such!

    Like Bro. cemab4y said American “Masonry is going to grow up someday”, maybe it should be sooner rather than later?
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    bump- There are some terrific ideas here
     
  10. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother, I agree entirely. When I hear about the festive boards in Canadian and English Lodges, I wonder why we would prohibit such a grand practice in fraternity. There is definitely a new generation coming into Lodge, though, so I look forward to the positive change to come in my life time.

    Our Lodge has started using email and has a real working website finally! Now to try and convince my secretary to print out the minutes and distribute them prior to the meeting so we can just move on to more important business in the Tyled meeting.
     
  11. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    Cemab4y,

    This was a great post you started. I enjoyed all the responses. They were originally posted before I joined the site. As a fairly new MM I can see how lodge meetings can become somewhat boring and repetitive after many years of just listening to minutes and other normal business. Masonic education is something I crave, and cross my fingers it will be given when I attend meetings. I did enjoy the ALL program, which did address some of your concerns for new MM. I also think allowing visitation between PH lodges might be attractive to the newer generation Masons, but unfortunately there is still a lot of the older school brothers who will not buy into it, and in a short time, I've already seen how it causes issues within a lodge. I believe pride in your lodge is very important. One of my coworkers who is a new PH Mason, had to participate with other new candidates in a lodge project. Whether it was painting the outside of the lodge, or doing a fund raiser for a new sign or kitchen appliance, it was a way for them to contribute and leave their mark on their lodge. I've also heard some of the older brothers at my lodge say having good meals before stated meetings will attract some of the members who haven't attended in a long time. Maybe allowing a beer or two will also help.
     
  12. Brian Morton

    Brian Morton Registered User

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    Fantastic statement. I just transfered to San Antonio from Seattle and I had no idea the difference in outlooks. No one had problems in WA and I'm sure if they did keys were taken or rides were given.
     
  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The Grand Lodge of Maryland has a "MasonicAcademy"

    Please see:

    THE MARYLAND MASONIC ACADEMY IS NOW ONLINE

    Pillar of the Craft and Fellow of the Craft Are Now Easily Accessible!
    After many month's of work, the Grand Lodge of Maryland is pleased to announce that both the Pillar of the Craft and Fellow of the Craft Education Programs are now available to all Maryland Master Masons through our Grand Lodge Masonic Membership Manager.

    All Maryland Masons have access to their own personal information page on the Membership Manager which is located at glmd.org.

    If you have yet to log on to the Membership Manager for the first time, it is very easy to do - all you need is your name and your Membership Number, which can be found on your 2017 Dues Card. You can log in right now by clicking here.

    Once you have logged in, you will be directed to your personal home page on the site. On the right side of the page you will see a large red button that looks like this:



    Just click the red button and you will be taken to the Maryland Masonic Academy Online!

    The Fellow of the Craft consists of three modules. When you complete your registration (the $30 fee may be paid right on the site by credit card), the first module will be unlocked. Take the accompanying exam when you have prepared. If you receive a passing score, the second module will automatically unlock. When you have completed all three modules and passed their exams, you will be eligible to receive a lovely Fellow of the Craft patent to proudly display.

    The Pillar of the Craft works in a similar fashion, but is much more in-depth. To be eligible you must first successfully complete the Fellow of the Craft certification. The Pillar of the Craft consists of five modules named for the five ancient and original Orders of Architecture. The registration cost, payable online is $50. The five modules will unlock in sequence one at a time.

    The Pillar of the Craft requires several supplementary reading materials as follows:
    • The Maryland Masonic Manual - available from Lodge Secretaries
    • The Maryland Masonic Book of Public Ceremonies - also available from Lodge Secretaries.
    • The Book of Constitution - available for download directly on the Membership Manager.
    • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry by S. Brent Morris - available for purchase from the Grand Lodge Office or at online retailers like Amazon.com.
    • Operative Freemasonry A Manual for Restoring Light and Vitality to the Fraternity by Kirk C. White. Available at online retailers like Amazon.com.
    • Lodge Leadership A 5 Step Guide to Masonic Reform by Matt Nelson. Also available at online retailers like Amazon.com.

    Upon successful completion of all five modules, you will unlock the culmination of the program - the Arch. The Arch requires you to prepare a Masonic Research paper and present it either to one of our Research Lodges or in your home lodge. A list of selected topics will be provided to you to choose from. Upon satisfactory completion, you will be eligible to receive your personalized Pillar of the Craft patent

    also: http://www.glmd.org
     
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  14. goomba

    goomba Neo-Antient Site Benefactor

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    I completed the Fellow of the Craft last week. I think it's a good start for Masonic education and hope every Master Mason completes it. In a few weeks I'm going to sign up for the Pillar of the Craft.
     
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  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Great, congratulations Brother!
     
  16. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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  17. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    While I like this question and there are many things I'd personally like to seen changed, it seems to be a point of contention in the Craft. I've answered these questions before and it never fails people start getting offended and that's the last thing I would want. Some Brothers call others snobby or pretentious while others call some 'Rotary Club' or lazy. The one thing I'll say is that I wish the standard in the U.S. was Traditional Observance. As far as in lodge experience, that would solve a lot of our presentation, 'guarding the West' and recruiting. It's a no-brainer to me but I'll leave it at that.
     
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  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Could you give me the definition of Traditional Observance in a nutshell?
     
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  19. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    -http://observingthecraft.com/EightSteps.pdf
    -http://masonicrestorationfoundation.org/documents.html

    Bro. Warrior, these links have good resources. The Eight Steps one is specifically some things that essentially make up a T.O. lodge. Pretty interesting stuff. I am not sure, but it's how I imagine most overseas lodges are. Specifically in Europe, India (as one Bro. had posted some pics here), Istanbul and other places.
     
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  20. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Warrior1256 likes this.

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