Why is it so hard to get Masons to join the Commandery?

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by David Melear, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. David Melear

    David Melear Right Eminent Grand Commander Premium Member

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    This is a question I have had for a long time, and I would like ask the members of this website their options on the topic?

    Why if you are a Christian and a Mason, would you not want to join the Commandery?
     
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  2. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Many join and think it is dull. Many join and believe that the work takes to much dedication. These members go back to the lodge and recruit members for the Scottish rite. My issue is distance. A 45-50 mile drive to a commandery meeting is out of the question with today's gas prices. I have been a commandery member for 21 years, but have found no reason to attend.
     
  3. dpteskeys

    dpteskeys Registered User

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    I believe we should be pinning every new master mason with a Masonic pin on behalf of the York Rite bodies, letting them know that we are here for them. Just like the Scottish Rite does
     
  4. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    A better question might be, what has the Commandery to offer Christian Masons, particularly those of the target demographic? In other words, the same question that Freemasonry in general should be asking of itself, albeit without the sectarian qualification. As Brother Beathard observes, there need to be a reasons (and at least one good one for those who must travel any distance) to join and attend.
     
  5. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

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    I'm a Christian and a Mason...I plan to petition in the near future, but until recently, I had neither the desire (no one really talks about what it does or why it is beneficial) or the inclination to do so. I don't think anyone needs to be a "salesman" about it, but it would be nice to have some discussions as to how it benefits a Master Mason in his Masonic Journey. That's just my two cents...
     
  6. Bill Hosler

    Bill Hosler Registered User

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    In my personal opinion there aren't many of the younger Brethren who want to sink a couple of grand into a civil war uniform and a funny hat and spend their off hours learning to march.

    It may be some fellows cup of tea but it isn't mine. I have heard many other brethren who have expressed the same sentiment.
     
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  7. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    I found that the very precept in conflict with the basic idea of "Freemasonry". Maybe the very idea that Commandery is perceived as exclusionary? Or that the attrition rate makes this feat almost impossible? Or how about the fact that very few memorize the ritual; and “reads them", how sad!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  8. dpteskeys

    dpteskeys Registered User

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    I really like wearing my Mexican General hat,,,,, LOL
     
  9. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Perhaps the "exclusionary" nature of Commandery is a factor, but I have never heard any Christian Brother even hit at such. On the other hand, I have heard many of them make the same comments that Brother Hosler has. As a path to actually advance one's understanding and involvement in Freemasonry, it is frequently a dead end.

    I have the same complaint about the Scottish Rite though my experience was limited to one small Valley, it left me frustrated and, ultimately, disinterested. The entire focus of the Valley was the operation of it's Rite Care operation, a laudable activity, without question, but there was no interest, and I mean absolutely none, in exploring the wonderful lessons that are a part of that rite.
     
  10. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    What I find abhorrent is the same prerequisite as found in the Swedish Rite; anything that divides us as a band of brothers is not in any way fruitful. It may become evident that these dependant bodies (notice, I said: dependant not appendant bodies) will hurt in their futures from lack of action in the past; they ignored the loss of membership from their seed bodies, but were there when you were raised etc. (this includes the shrine). The only exception may be those red lodges…
     
  11. Bill Hosler

    Bill Hosler Registered User

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    I have always been lead to believe that the Commandery doesn't require a Sir Knight to be a Christian but be willing to "raise his sword in defense of the Christian religion".

    I know several Jewish Masons who are in the Knights Templar and nothing has ever been said about their religious views
     
  12. relapse98

    relapse98 Registered User

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    I just don't currently have the time. I'm usually at the lodge on Tuesdays, some scout function or another on Thursday's and some Saturday's. I'm also on my hoa board which meets sporadically and church trustees once a month. Maybe when my kids are in college in 10 years. I don't have anymore time to spread around.
     
  13. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    While that may be true to your observations; while I was in the Commandery I’ve witnessed some of the most religious bigotry that I’ve seen in my life, that was the main reason I dropped out. One would think that a Sir Knight should be willing to raise his sword in the defence of the Jewish faith also? After all what were the crusades really about?
     
  14. Bill Hosler

    Bill Hosler Registered User

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    I totally agree Brother. I left the York Rite for reasons somewhat like yours. I was the sitting Emmient Commander when I left.

    Another thing that angered me was my daughter was going blind and needed an eye operation. I talked to the KT eye foundation about help so she could get they operation. We were refused because she Is a British national. The KTEF will only help American citizens. Even though I am a citizen and a Brother of the same fraternity they refused. They cared more about national origin than a little girl going blind.
     
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  15. Ol Kev

    Ol Kev Registered User

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    I have read both of the recent threads regarding the Commandery that were started by the Grand Commander in Texas. As an EA, I am both intrigued and startled at the responses in each thread. Before I petitioned, I researched Freemasonry in pretty good detail and I thought future participation in the York Rite would be a no brainer. However, if I were eligible at this point in time, to become a Knight Templar would be cost prohibitive. The York Rite here in this area is not near as strong as the Scottish Rite for reasons I have not be able to figure out, but at this point in time I must concentrate on my EA proficiency . . .

    I am looking forward however to more responses in these two threads.
     
  16. Ol Kev

    Ol Kev Registered User

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    I have read both threads started by the Grand Commander of Texas and must say that I was both intrigued and startled by the responses in those threads. I am an EA working on my proficiency work but, before I turned in my petition I researched Freemasonry pretty thoroughly and thought that when the time was right, the York Rite would be a no brainer. Unfortunately, the following in this area is nowhere near as strong as the Scottish Rite for reasons I have yet to figure out. If I were eligible at this point in time, costs would be too prohibitive.

    For now, I must return to my EA proficiency work but I look forward to more responses in those two threads.
     
  17. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Please keep in mind, "your actual mileage may vary", that is to say I’m not disparaging the institution, some individuals experiences are quite different than others. While some may have just a local view of our institution there are others that have been “off the farm†so to speak. My personal belief is that the York Rite as an institution is not what Freemasonry is about; specifically the group where I used to be a member. That’s not to say the others may be completely different, of this I’m sure. Whilst this may be some others cup of tea, it’s not mine. I would not judge all of the York Rite bodies by what you read here. I know I will never become a member of any appendant body that requires I be a York Rite Mason. Maybe a Mark Mason or a Mark Mariner but that’s as far as I will go, probably in my whole Masonic career (because of it). But like I said that choice is my personal one as I’ve explained. I would not recommend you follow my path for the reasons I gave for the choice is yours and yours alone. I would however highly recommend that you follow through on you path to enlightenment. I think your blue lodge needs your attention as much as you can give of it. Travel on worthy brother, travel on.

    York Rite having nothing to do with York; nor Scottish Rite having nothing to do with Scotland! WoW!

    Ps. The Scottish Rite has always been the larger body of these two organisations.

    Dryfoos Letters on Freemasonry at MIT
     
  18. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Meh...
    I agree that the idea of an exclusionary qualification such as "Christians only" is hardly Masonic, but I don't lose any sleep over it. My Brothers who are members of the Commandery are no more "Masons" than I am, so I don't begrudge them having whatever rules they want re. membership. Truly, whatever my Christian, or Muslim, or Hindu, or Wiccan Brethren want to do together to celebrate/examine their common beliefs in a Masonic context is probably something I would support, as long as it doesn't prevent all of our Brethren from enjoying the full range of what Freemasonry proper has to offer.
     
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  19. David Melear

    David Melear Right Eminent Grand Commander Premium Member

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    I am a member of Lubbock Scottish Rite and have been for a very long time. Just one thing to remember, the Lubbock Scottish Rite valley is very large so you have members from Midland/Odessa area, not sure where is officially ends, to the top and the Texas Panhandle. Lubbock York Rite is mostly made up for masons from the Lubbock area. This may be the reason it appears to stronger. Many of those members are also York Rite and we discuss both organizations when we are together.

    ---------- Post added at 08:22 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:06 AM ----------

    You are correct about the Order of the Temple which is the final degree of the Commandery. However, one of the earlier Orders forces you to answer a question that many non-Christians might be unwilling to answer. I work with several members who have roots in both the Christian and Jewish Religions, and no one has ever made any negative statements about them. I my option, if a person is willing to agree to the basic tenants of the organization, either York, Scottish, or Shrine, then they should be allowed to join.
    In my Commandery after the Order are completed, religions is never brought up again.

    ---------- Post added at 08:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:22 AM ----------

    In the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, we have a program called the Master Craftsman. I would recommend if you have access to it that you would take the exams and complete the course. It explains some of the degrees very well, but does talk about the origin of the Scottish Rite and touches on the origin of the York Rite briefly.

    The Scottish Rite earned its name because of the degree it started with were called Scottish High Masons Degree. The rite itself began in France, but was organized into what we know today in the United States. That is why you will hear the Southern Jurisdiction referred to as the Mother Council of the world. Of course the book and exam were published by the Southern Jurisdiction so they can say whatever they want to. However, I have read that in other book as well.

    The York Rite was organized in the city of York in England, and later took its name from that city.
     
  20. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Hum; not that I need “program” to introduce me to Masonic history…

    The name "York Rite" is an inexcusable blunder; at least an unfortunate mistake. There never was a York Rite. It is unnecessary to enter upon any discussion as to the claims of the York Grand Lodge or a York system of Freemasonry as the question has been settled beyond controversy. The name "York Rite" is an inheritance from the forefathers of Freemasonry in the United States, who were more skilled in ritual tinkering than in the history of Freemasonry. This becomes especially apparent, when one remembers that the ephemeral Grand Lodge of York never chartered a single Lodge in America. The Freemasonry of the United States began under the Provincial Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, then under the Grand Lodge of England (Moderns) with Price as Grand Master. The Grand Lodge of England (Ancients) and the Grand Lodge of Scotland chartered Lodges in America, and it is reasonably possible, that before the union of the two Grand Lodges of England, the Royal Arch and the Masonic Orders of Christian Knighthood were conferred in this Country by the Military Lodges connected with the Irish Regiments stationed in the Colonies. To sum it all up, our so-called York Rite is the English Rite dressed in more fantastic clothing.

    The name "York Rite" should be eliminated and the name English Rite substituted. In view of the foregoing facts as to what constitute a Rite, we in the United States are practicing or have formulated an American system of the English Rite; not an American Rite as it is frequently erroneously called, but a system of Degrees of the English Rite; it should be known as the English Rite, or Anglo-Saxon Rite.

    -Source: The Builder - November 1916

    So let me re quote myself:

     

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