11 February 2009

Beware the teachings of a Neo-Con Mason...

Beware the teachings of a Neo-Con Mason.

What is a Neo-Con Mason. Well in most but not all cases he is a young Mason not necessarily in age but relatively new to the craft. He is negative. He is intolerant. He has read all the pop books of recent years and sees that Freemasonry is in a shambles due to old men who are misguided and strayed from the original path of Masonry. He is "enlightened" to the "true Masonry" or enchanted by some unseen, unheard, unvisited lodge of dubious European orgin. He thinks the Rites and Appendant bodies have somehow robbed the new Mason of his Masonic experience and only by hunkering down in philosophy and finding the true meanings of the craft lodge will Masonry be restored. He shuns and ridicules the "old Past Master" he finds disdain in his peers that accept officer positions as "sell outs" and "he" alone knows the truth.

Well in my not so humble opinion that's bullshit.

I am very fortunate to be a member of the smallest Grand Lodge in the continental United States. Everybody knows everybody. The GM usually knows your name and in some cases even shops in the same grocery store as you. Change can happen quickly for better or worse.

By accepting a leadership position so many years ago I was able to help make a change. I hope a positive one. I didn't join Freemasonry to be an officer but I joined for varied reasons and today I find myself here.

Freemasonry has so much to offer even for the Neo-Con Mason. However limiting yourself to a single experience limits you to so many things. In a small jurisdiction if you hide in your lodge and mind you some people are not creatures of socialization you limit your experience with those around you. Through my experiences in the AASR and AAONMS and YR I have met Masons from around the state and around the globe. I have sat in lodge in small towns 4 hours from my home. I have sat in Grand Lodges across the sea. Dumb little me from a silly little state. I have visited and made friends because I kept my mind open. I didn't pre-judge a Rite because of some uncomfortable reaction to religion.

I believe in "to each his own" however like our Junior Past Grand Master just addressed in his report to the Grand Lodge at our last communication "we stand on a precipice" we are looking out toward our future. The Neo-Con has much influence on the newly made Mason. Don't take your prejudices and crap in somebody's oatmeal because you don't see the merit in wearing a Fez or think that being a Knight Templar is silly. Now of course you are entitled to your opinion as am I.

Recently I spoke with a newly raised Master Mason who is very excited. He is so "into it". He loves what he has become and he loves his Brothers. He looks forward to and wants to join the YR and AASR. He was saddened though. He shared with me a conversation where a Neo-Con actually discouraged him from joining the Shrine. He was told it was "un-Masonic" and false. He was told it makes us as Masons look stupid to our overseas Brethren and any real true Mason wouldn't even consider joining the Shrine. He then pulled up his trouser leg and showed me the surgical scars from a long ago surgery. That's all I needed to see.

Your Freemasonry and my Freemasonry may always be different and sometimes the same but what happens here today is how we will be measured by the future. We all have opinions just like something else. I don't have the right answer and I do have the right answer. So do you.

As we the members of the household of the faithful carry on our traditions, yes our somewhat silly to some, "American traditions", remember Freemasonry is not broke it just has a patina on it. Cherish what was, encourage what is and teach so that it may become what it will and always has been. A Masonic Family. A family that loves, fights, cries and dreams.

At my initiation I was taught to be cautious....

That's all.