Would This Pronouncement Still Be Acceptable Today?

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Jan 19, 2015.

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    Let me start by saying that I am not a Scottish Rite Mason. I've been interested in joining but I just have not found the time. However, I was fortunate to get my hands on a copy of the History of the Scottish Rite of Minnesota: 1856 to 2001, which can now be found on the Orient of Minnesota's website.

    The History of the Scottish Rite of Minnesota has a lot of great information concerning not just Minnesota Scottish Rite but Minnesota Masonry. As I was reading the book, I arrived at this curious statement.

    The Scottish Rite, between the two world wars, published the following policies of the Supreme Council (no longer in force). These were reprinted in the Oct. 1927 Scottish Rite Sun.

    The Supreme Council has always favored free public education, the use of English as the language of instruction, the separation of church and state and the inculcation of patriotism in the schools. Additionally the Supreme Council favors:​
    1. A federal department of education with a secretary in the President's cabinet.
    2. A national university at Washington, supported by the government.
    3. The compulsory use of English as the language of instruction in the grammar grades.
    4. Adequate provision for the education of the alien population, not only in cultural and vocational subjects, but especially in the principles of American institutions and popular sovereignty.
    5. The entire separation of church and state and opposition to every attempt to appropriate public moneys, directly or indirectly, for the support of sectarian institutions.
    6. The American public school, non-partisan, non-sectarian, efficient, democratic, for all the children of all the people; equal educational opportunities for all.
    7. The inculcation of patriotism, love of the flag, respect for law and order and underlying loyalty to constitutional government.
    Obviously, this list is out of date but I find this list to be curious in our modern context. From my perspective, the list shows a desire by an organization to affect public life in a positive way. I sometimes wonder if we need a better enumerated, more concrete explanation of what we want to see in the world.

    My question for all the Scottish Rite Masons, do you agree with most or all of this list? Leave a comment below.

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  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The prohibition in the landmarks is against partisan politics not against political principles in general. We need to be conservative about any political discussion because the boundaries are different brother to brother. The above is clearly an attempt to state away from partisans stances during that era in that environment. If there are brothers who now consider such issues to be partisan then that needs to be taken into account now.

    A century and a half ago it was new and controversial that elementary school be paid for by taxes. A century ago it was new and controversial that high school be paid for by taxes. A half century ago the system of associates degrees was chartered. Now it is controversial that associates school be paid for by taxes? Which is partisan and which is not? My intent is for that to be a rhetorical question not a poll. I suspect all of the topics started out in the partisan arena.

    There is also a spectrum between patriotism and nationalism. Masonry teaches an international perspective. Maybe the difference runs like this - How would you react to a parallel list from a different country that supports its majority language and its current system of government? We are enjoined to be good citizens of just governments and that's a pretty broad injunction.

    Pike dates form the Civil War. Statements from his era can be expected to include statements about loyalty to the Union because that's how peace needed to be achieved after that war. I don't find that aspect partisan but I do find it dated.
     

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