Cooties

This was posted in a list group and comes from a public communication, from the Grand Lodge of Montana. Make your own judgments, come to your own conclusions, but personally, I do not think girls have cooties, and we should consider living to our principals of equality.

So why is Freemasonry an exclusive boys club? Do girls have cooties?

Montana — Co-Freemasonry — Warning

“THE LEVEL — Grand Lodge AF&AM of Montana — MAY 2006 — NO. 422
Jack D. Anderson — Grand Master 2005-2006

It is with trepidation that I must inform you of a disturbing fact. Co-Freemasonry has arrived in northwestern Montana and this organization is clandestine to us. I feel I must warn you of the danger that it supplies. This order of Masonry comes from France and has been around since 1893 and will open its doors to you to visit and/or affiliate with them by simply showing your current dues card. For those of you who are on the web, the address to the frequently asked questions is http://www.comasonic.org/faq_text.html . It is obvious that we cannot have any “official” or unofficial contact with Le Droit Humain. I am asking that all Montana Lodges please conduct some Masonic education with your members and remind them of their third degree obligation, particularly the fifth I furthermore … “will not be present at.” and the sixth I furthermore … “will not visit … or converse with …”. Our brothers will thus be reminded that visiting them, affiliating with them, or discussion Masonry with their members is prohibited by our obligation as well as the Code of Statutes Sections 46020 C4, and 46020 E. We must not vouch for a member of that organization to allow him to visit one of our lodges. Any brother doing any of these things would surely subject himself to a Masonic Trial and subsequent discipline of reprimand, suspension, or expulsion. In summary, we should inform our Brethren of this development; we should not make any public statements or give any sign of confrontation outside of the Lodge towards them. Legally, in these Great United States of ours, they have as much of a right to exist as we do. Our examination committees MUST be more vigilant to be ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that any visitors to our Lodges are members of a Grand Lodge that is recognized by the Grand Lodge of Montana. Use the current “List of Lodges — Masonic 2006” booklet mailed to you this spring. Guard well the west gate my Brethren!

Is it right, or is it wrong to exclude women? What do you think?

Some insight:
A quick piece on George Washington Union Freemasonry (Co-Masonry)
and a brief on Le Droit Humane

The mentioned groups site: Le Droit Humane

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~ by Greg on August 11, 2006.

18 Responses to “Cooties”

  1. yes, it is a right.
    is it right, though, that is open for debate.
    In america, the land of the free, men and women should have the right to start any organization, with any stipulation on membership they want. As long as it is not a “gov’t” sponsored group, then it should be open to all.
    But a private group should be able to set any restrictions or qualifications for membership.

    Now on the topic of co-masonry. I feel any brother who has the interest in visiting, joining or fraternizing with this group should have the right without fear of repercussions. I personally want to be involved in a men’s only group. I have no problem with a co masonic body. ANy time masonry/light may be spread, the better for all humankind, and is that not one f the goals of free masonry?
    The betterment of humankind.
    I can’t believe that a mason would turn to stone or be damned if he sat in a co masonic lodge? It could only be educational, and should not that be the aim of all the masonic groups?
    Educating each other.
    If a man from a co masonic lodge wanted to attend a regular lodge meeting, he should be able to. He won’t defile or desecrate our lodge meeting or members.
    Let’s keep our groups the way they are, just recognize these masonic bodies and let’s spread the light together.

  2. First off, part of the obligation – the deal that we made – to become (A)F&AM Masons is that we will not “communicate Masonically” with those from unrecognized jurisdictions. Turning to stone or having the world end doesn’t factor into it. If one believes in their Masonic ideals, then one needs to keep that in the back of his mind.

    That said, there is nothing forbidding us from all other forms of communication. And frankly, I don’t get the part about not having “unoffcial” contact. A joint picnic? A meet’n’greet barbecue? What if it’s your neighbor? You can’t have coffee together? Feh!

    The only “disturbing” thing to me is that MW Anderson finds the introduction of a Co-Masonic lodge to be something on the order of Joe McCarthy finding some “reds”. Last I looked, Montana was a big, honkin’ state; I’m pretty sure that scores of AF&AM Montanans will not be associating willy-nilly with the profane.

    The Tao of Masonry

  3. Brother Tom,

    Those obligations, at least for me, were prefaced with assurance from the Worshipful Master that the obligations which I was about to accept would in no way affect the duties I owe to myself or my neighbors, or to God.

    As a Mason, and as a member of the human race, it is my duty to share Brotherly Love (as well as Relief and Truth) with other Masons, and to mankind at large. This duty supercedes any promise I made to any Grand Lodge. If their politically-inspired recognitions and withholdings of recognitions interferes with the performance of a duty to a higher power (myself, my neighbors, my God) then I can safely and Masonically do so, despite their claim that I’d be breaking an obligation. No breaking of an obligation has occurred, and no conviction for unmasonic conduct in a Masonic trial would be legitimate.

    Widow’s Son
    BurningTaper.com

  4. I respect Co-Masonry, but at the same time I recognize that my obligations, taken in the name of God, prohibit me from engaging in Masonic communication with them.

    But, what I wish would happen, and what I think would remedy this situation to a large degree would be allowance for Dual Membership. Just as a Mason can be an Odd Fellow, and much of the secret work and practices are similar, I think a Mason should also be allowed to become a Co-Mason, but in so doing, should have to pass through the three degrees under the auspices of the Co-Masonic lodge, receive NEW secrets from that Lodge, (even if they happen to be similar or identical, they are still new secrets, because he should not be allowed to reveal the AF&AM work to them by confirming or denying the level of similarities.) In other words, I believe each group should be taken for what it is, and recognition can still remain stubborn but dual membership treating them as entirely separate fraternities would really open a lot of doors.

    I realize this isn’t close to reality now or any time in the near future, but it seems like a possible step – a step that Grand Lodges would be willing to take, and that would not require blatantly violating our obligations.

    The only tough bit would be recognizing the difference between making a woman a Mason (forbidden) and making a woman a Co-Mason (which, if considered a different order, should be permitted).

    I believe the AF&AM system is producing GOOD Masons, and that through being such a enlightenment/freedom oriented group, in due time we shall have these types of freedoms in our Grand Lodges.

  5. strength in numbers, brothers.
    An ditto to Mary and the windows son, I too realized as master of my lodge that the leaders and GL were not too concerned whether they upheld their oaths, but they sure waned the rest to.
    I almost refused to obligate a candidate in the MM degree knowing paert of that pbligation was being violated, and no one seemed to care!
    So the obligations only hold weight until there is a subjective interference to ones duty to god, neighbor, oneself.

  6. No official connections I can understand, but banning Brr.: from unofficial affiliations is exceeding his powers.

  7. But, what I wish would happen, and what I think would remedy this situation to a large degree would be allowance for Dual Membership.

    Here’s part of the problem: At some point, GLs agreed to some kind of territorial exclusivity. The lodge up at the north edge of Conn might have a lot of brothers who moved to Mass for work, but the GL of Mass is not going to allow them to get together to form a lodge belonging to the GL of Conn.

    Similarly, there is an issue of exclusivity of the organization itself. For example, I can open up a burger joint, but I damn well better not call it McDonalds or Burger King. In so doing, I’m creating counterfeit McD burgers. While they may well be very good burgers, as far as McD is concerned, they are not authorized McD burgers.

    Now apply that logic to Masonry: If I start my own group and call it Ancient Free and Accurate Machinists (AF&AM), I’m cool. I can have 3 degrees, wear aprons in parades, and have quarterly fish fry nights and pasta dinners. I can make it so there is no other distinguishing characteristics, and there would be no issue with Machinists joining the local Mason lodge, and vice versa. But if I cange the name and call my club “… Accurate Masons”, then there’s an issue because the McDs hasn’t licensed my franchise… er, I mean the mainstream AF&AM hasn’t recognized me because I’m claiming to be the same as them.

  8. The reasoning that you can dump any part of the obligation at any time using the “duty to God, Country, Neighbor…” can be used as an excuse to make the obligation entirely meaningless.

    I don’t see that part of the obligation as taking in to account changes in opinion about issues of recognition. It is a bit of s stretch to say that it is your duty to your neighbor, yourself (or even to God) to recognize another Masonic jurisdiction.

    When you became a Mason you agree to abide by the laws, rules, and regulations of a lodge. If you don’t like those rules there are appropriate ways through the process of resolutions and voting at Grand Lodge to change the rules.

    Taking an obligation means that you are subject to that obligation or it has no meaning.

  9. true, but in a free born man’s mind, if his “body/org” in which he took the obligations to, are not living up to them,in his opinion(part of being Free), it is his duty to be unobligated to try to bring back the integrity.
    Once any leader/rep/authority figure of any org stops adhering to the rules, regulations, oaths tenets, etc., all bets are off.
    You then resort back to the default duties: god, neighbor, self.
    Man can live in harmony without masons and the masonic org., but man cannot function properly and harmoniously if he does not adhere to those duties first and foremost.
    Duty to god, neighbor and self supercede a made up, extra curricular groups “demands”.
    In a free society that is. IMHO

  10. TB: It is a bit of s stretch to say that it is your duty to your neighbor, yourself (or even to God) to recognize another Masonic jurisdiction.

    And that is the argument reduced to its essence. Whle we may accept that others are brothers and sisters under the fatherhood/motherhood of God, we obligated ourselves to not sit in lodge with those calling themselves Masons that our own GL does not recognize.

    TC: Once any leader/rep/authority figure of any org stops adhering to the rules, regulations, oaths tenets, etc., all bets are off.

    Once any person of an organization stops adhering to the rules, oaths, tenets, etc., then all bets are off.

    I, like many other of my Masonic brethren, have absolutely no problem in accepting that women are Masons, as are many, many men of unrecognized jurisdictions. I chat with a few of them in other venues, and have learned a little about how their lodges operate. Some of it is really interesting and I’d love to see it first-hand… but that brings me back to that last paragraph. If I do that, then can I fault a brother who oversteps a different line? For example, if I break that part of my obligation, then what can I say to a brother who cheats or defrauds another?

    The Tao of Masonry

  11. I am a new mason, only this year. I will take my oaths seriously, for that is why I took them at all.

    Freemasonry is helping me to become a better man, my wife is helping me to become a better husband, both are helping me to become a better father.

    She must build her temple and I must build mine. But if they follow identical plans, or if they have identical influences, then there would be a loss.

    I would appreciate my wife not being taught to become a better man.

    Brother Lee
    Cambridge, MA

  12. “I would appreciate my wife not being taught to become a better man…”

    Why not let the women decide? And why are we men so arrogant to chose for them?

    I feel we are arguing the same way Ratzinger does to exclude women from priesthood, saying men and women must follow different plans… but who decides that? Why not let free humans chose their fate? It is so common that the elites are mistaken, but it so common that a human person knows what God speaks to him or her instead…

    Arrogance is hurting a lot freemansonry worldwide, not only losing the women gifts, but also young men… may be the real question is: freemasony is for being better men or better human beings?

  13. Recently, my wife picked me up after a lodge meeting. She came down into the basement and we were all drinking coffee and chatting. When she walked in, there was a hush. The evening, as it was, had ended. Why, I don’t know.

    Freemasonry helps men. As a wise man once said, “There are no human beings, only men and women.”

    Br.Lee

  14. She must build her temple and I must build mine. But if they follow identical plans, or if they have identical influences, then there would be a loss.

    Could you explain what this “loss” would be? I don’t know about other readers, but I’m confused by this. In our culture, men and women are schooled together, go to church or synagogue together, work together, shop together, etc. I dont’ see any evidence of “loss”, and in fact, I think that most of us have experienced some “gain”, at least in the form of acquiring a better understanding of each other, not to mention the slow but assured tendency to not look at each other as sex/money objects anymore.

  15. Men and women work together in many ways and in many things. What we build is wonderful.

    Would it ever serve a child, for example, if his father and mother were really “on the same page?” By this I mean respond in exactly the same way to a problem. Is there a reason why men and women endure conflicts about how to get things done?

    We are different. That doesn’t mean that we don’t work and learn things together. But we also need our own space to grow as ourselves.

    This is one of the things Masonry offers: a place to go to become better with the help of other men who have been there.

    No matter how far I have traveled, I have never taken a women’s step. I hope Freemasonry remains that haven for personal strength and growth.

    Br.Lee

  16. Pity how the past, the patriarcal forces, defend themselves. Before they said it was not natural women to vote, no they said – as then – there is no humanhood, but men and women… So we do not share nothing?

    Freemasony does not help men, helps humankind, women included. So, why some mason fear women so much? They are different they say. So the Otherness is the barrier, but what about sameness. We both are created at the image of G-d, that say that it was not good to Adam to be alone… so why is freemasonry despiting women´gifts? Fear i guess, but to overcome fear we should have love…

  17. possesiveness and an inability to change

  18. Your questions as presented:”So why is Freemasonry an exclusive boys club? Do girls have cooties?” ,although legitimate topics, infer a message from Montana’s Grand Lodge that simply isn’t there. The real question should be: Why has this grand lodge warned about co-masonry? Simply because it is considered irregular or clandestine.Why is this important? There is a history expelled masons etc. starting their own lodges and calling themselves masons. In nearly every state, there is nothing to stop anyone from starting a lodge, using the square and compasses as symbols, or otherwise presenting themselves to the community as freemasons. In New York State there are dozens of clandestine or otherwise irregular “grand lodges” that may or may not uphold our values as masons. These irregular lodges have the ability to tarnish the reputation of freemasonry. I don’t know if co-masonry falls in this category, and the in depth investigation to find out would require doing that which I said I would not do. Guess I’ll never know.

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