After Florida Grand Master Ruling, Pagans and Freemasons Speak Out

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  December 4, 2012 — 48 Comments

Yesterday I highlighted a ruling from Jorge L. Aladro, Grand Master of Florida’s Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, which barred membership to Pagans, Gnostics, and agnostics, and made it plain that any current Pagan members would be evicted from the order.

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“Therefore, as Grand Master, it is my Ruling and Decision that none of the above mentioned beliefs and/or practices [Paganism, Wiccan and Odinism, and secondarily Agnosticism and Gnosticism] are compatible with Freemasonry since they do not believe or practice one or more of the prerequisites to be a candidate for Masonry listed above.  Further, any member of the Craft that professes to be a member of one of the groups mentioned above shall tender his resignation or suffer himself to a Trial Commission whose final outcome will be expulsion since there is no provision to allow anything contrary to the Ancient Landmarks.”

Since then, many Freemasons, Pagans, and Pagan Freemasons have spoken out about this ruling, with most decrying the move as against the principles of their order. Most notably, one of the Florida Pagans at the center of this controversy, Corey Bryson, has had his story published at the Freemason Information blog, and at the Florida bureau of the Pagan Newswire Collective.

Jorge L. Aladro

Jorge L. Aladro,

“A few weeks later, I received an email stating that I was to appear before the vigilance committee of my lodge by order of the Grand Master. I appeared before the committee with the assistance of a PM of my lodge who volunteered to assist me. I was asked again the questions relating to 32:16 of the Florida Masonic Digest, and again honestly answered the questions, in agreement with the Digest. I was asked if I was a Pagan, and explained that I used that term to describe my religious practices, but not my belief. Paganism is not Orthodox, and has no set doctrines. It is merely a blanket term for non-Abrahamic faiths. In definition of my beliefs, I stated that I was primarily a Deist. I was further asked if I could uphold Masonic Morality, as exemplified by the Golden Rule and the 10 commandments. I explained that the Golden Rule was a value to aspire to. Concerning the 10 Commandments, I had to educate the committee on the fact that the first 5 commandments were religious commandments that only really apply to Jews, but that the second 5 were values to aspire to as well.

The Committee concluded that there was no reason for further action in my case. Apparently the Grand Master was not satisfied with this decision, and proceeded to issue his Ruling.

After reading the ruling, I felt that I had no choice per my Master Mason Obligation other than to resign as a Mason. This morning, I went to my lodge and submitted my letter of resignation to the Secretary, along with my dues card.”

The Freemason who posted Bryson’s testimony, Frederic Milliken, went on to comment that “we are told as Masons to avoid all sectarian religious discussion yet that is exactly what the Mainstream Grand Master of Florida Has done,” and noted the irony of making this move so near the holiday of Christmas.

“Soon we will celebrate Christmas, a holiday with Pagan roots, incorporating pre Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice, why don’t we all send Grand Master Jorge L. Aladro, a little mind and a happy Pagan day card? You can send him one, care of the Grand Lodge at 220 North Ocean Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.”

In addition, the Everglades Moon Local Council of the Covenant of the Goddess has released an official statement on this matter, saying they were “saddened and disappointed” in Grand Master Aladro’s edict.

“Everglades Moon Local Council, Florida Chapter of Covenant of the Goddess, a national organization of Wiccans, is saddened and disappointed to learn that The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida has stated all Pagans, and specifically Wiccans, must resign their membership. We respect the right of groups such as the Freemasons to make choices regarding their membership, and pray that Wiccan Masons can find a way to continue their contributions towards making good men better.”

Meanwhile, other Masons, like Cliff Porter at The Relevant Mason and Erik Arneson at The Oblong Square have spoken out against what they see as religious intolerance masquerading as Freemasonry.

“This wave of younger Masons interested in alternative spirituality and religion must be vexing for some of the so-called “old guard” of the Fraternity. It has been made clear repeatedly that there are members of grand lodges across the country who, in spite of the obligations they made before God, view Freemasonry as just another vehicle to practice religious discrimination. They view the Craft as strictly Christian and try to limit its vital message. And they are wrong.

“Freemasonry is a progressive science,” we are taught in its ritual. Centuries ago, we were at the edge of social progressiveness, but over generations we fell behind. For a long time, the specters of bigotry and intolerance have overshadowed the vision of the fraternity, and only in the past few decades has this begun to be reversed. Sometimes intolerance will continue to rear its ugly head as it has in Florida, but those of us who believe in the messages of virtue and tolerance at the heart of Freemasonry need to remain strong and continue to act with patience, prudence and fortitude. If we can do so, we will see Freemasonry return to the forefront of progressive thought where it once stood.”

In addition, several Pagan Freemasons have made their views known here at The Wild Hunt. Michael Eric Bérubé, who’s been a Pagan since the 1980s, and a Freemason since 1994, said he was “saddened” by this ruling, and pointed to his lodge in Maine, where religious tolerance and inclusion are the norm. Kirk White, a Pagan and former Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Masons of Vermont, noted that some of the religious tensions are due to younger Pagan members threatening the status quo.

“In many cases, the influx of Pagan men have saved lodges that were about to die out. And in these cases, these younger, active Pagan men are threatening the status quo. Most of the old guys don’t want spirituality – much less esotericism – in their Freemasonry. For them, it is just a social and charitable organization. This rebirth of esotericism scares them and they blame it on the Pagans (although most esoteric Masons I know are not Pagan).

The Grand Master of Florida is the final say in Florida through his term (which is 1-3 years depending on jurisdiction). His successor may keep it, repeal it, or usually they just forget about such decrees and never enforce them. In the meanwhile, many more liberal jurisdictions (including Vermont) are discussing how to handle this. We’ll see how it turns out. In the end, though, time is on our side. The old guard pass away and the new, more spiritually open guys take their place. There are big changes coming in Masonry in the next 10 years. It is pretty exciting.”

I agree with Kirk White in that the changes happening within Freemasonry right now are exciting, and point to a new phase in the fraternity’s existence, one that make it especially suited to thrive in a post-Christian and pluralistic society where diversity is the norm. What I think Grand Master Aladro’s ruling has done is bring to the surface a conversation and debate that’s been quietly happening behind the scenes about the future of Freemasonry (and the role of Paganism and other non-Christian faiths in it). Even if the Florida Grand Lodge keeps its discriminatory stance against non-Christian faiths, this ruling has created reverberations that may bring about shifts Aladro and other like him could not have suspected.

As always, we’ll keep you posted as this story continues to develop.

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • JasonMankey

    Thanks for doing such an excellent job summarizing what’s going on in Florida.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.lappin Lori Lappin

    It’s really sad that a once grandly visionary organization has become so short sighted.

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    Grand Master Aladro has kick-started the conversation that will defeat him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lori.lappin Lori Lappin

    This group has doomed itself to growing cultural irrelevance with this ruling. This
    ruling also highlights just how incredibly *unenlightened* a Masonic
    Grand Master can be. Oh how far they have fallen from the glory days!

    • RevEllen

      Beware how you generalize an entire organization on the actions of one GL. As you have read Florida, does not speak for everyone.

      • http://www.openbuddha.com/ Al Jigong Billings

        In fact, every state is an independent organization.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Terleski/100000004554324 Robert Terleski

    I used to have a certain amount of respect for Masons. Now I see that they have an agenda to preclude “others” from their ranks. How childish and typically “good ole’ boy”. Let them play at leadership while the rest of us get on with real Life.

    • http://www.openbuddha.com/ Al Jigong Billings

      You’re confusing “masons” with this one mason, who happens to be the elected head of the Florida grand lodge.

  • pamela jean ovalle

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

  • http://www.facebook.com/ray.romanowicz Ray Romanowicz

    A lot of people seem to misunderstand that each Grand Lodge is a separate entity. In the US there are 51 Grand Lodges one for each state and Washington DC. This prohibition is only for members of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the state of Florida. There are other Masonic Jurisdictions in existence in Florida that do not discriminate in that manner..

    • kenneth

      That’s fine, as far as things go, but excusing the whole thing as a complete aberration sweeps a couple of important issues under the rug. First of all, something’s wrong with an organization where one man can exercise such unilateral and arbitrary power, apparently with no recourse.

      Second, the fact that this could happen indicates a serious problem within the culture of Freemasonry at least in that region of Florida, if not beyond. I’m not a Mason and so I can’t argue the intricacies of their law, but I’ve always understood that one of the foundational concepts of brotherhood with them is that politics and religious sectarianism stay outside the temple door at all times.

      When a guy with such open and deep contempt for a core value of your organization not only gains admission, but rises to top leadership, that’s a screaming sign of a sick organizational culture. This lodge master thinks the organization is a perfectly fair place to wage the culture war and that the vulnerabilities and trust of brotherhood are perfectly fair weaknesses to exploit in advancing that agenda. I find it very difficult to believe this man’s philosophy first came to light with this expulsion policy. Somebody, a lot of somebodies, within the lodge agreed with this perversion of a core Masonic principle, either out of tacit agreement or negligence. Some very basic key values were not transmitted or fostered.

      I understand each lodge keeps its own house, but if if other lodges and national figures in Freemasonry don’t take a strong stand, people are going to wonder what this organization stands for. They will wonder if it really stands for anything, or if it’s just an extension of whoever holds the reigns of power at any given time.

      • Deborah Bender

        Your analysis of what’s going on may well be right. Another possibility is that this guy was elected GM because he was willing to take the job and do the work, and no better candidate was available. Could be a bit of both.

        Unqualified and wrongly motivated people often rise to positions of authority in organizations. The real indicators of health or dysfunction in the group are the limits on what damage they can do while in authority, and how quickly they can be removed from those positions.

        Freemasonry seems to have pretty strong regional and temporal variations. It was practically the civil religion of the U.S. during the Federal period. George Washington and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court attended the laying of the cornerstone of the Capitol in Masonic regalia. About a century later, the Statue of Liberty was conceived and paid for by French Freemasons as a massive publicity stunt for liberal values; its formal name is “Liberty Enlightening the World”. OTOH, an Italian Masonic organization caused a scandal a few decades ago when their involvement in clandestine Fascist plots came to light.

        I’m following this with great interest.

        • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

          “Unqualified and wrongly motivated people often rise to positions of authority in organizations.”

          Three words: George Dubyah Bush.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        “First of all, something’s wrong with an organization where one man can exercise such unilateral and arbitrary power, apparently with no recourse.”

        Actually, that’s a load of bunk. It’s a completely voluntary group, and the guy was elected. So, no, there is nothing wrong with such an organization – there just happens to be something very wrong with the decision that this duly elected Grand Master made.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ray.romanowicz Ray Romanowicz

        You say “First of all, something’s wrong with an organization where one man can exercise such unilateral and arbitrary power, apparently with no recourse.”

        There is a recourse but it’s not something that can happen instantly. We empower our leaders in the hopes they will not misuse or abuse that power. This is clearly a case of misuse and abuse. I have no doubt there is a plan in the works to remedy this in FL and I hear other Grand Lodges are considering withdrawing recognition of the GLoFL.

        I would also point out that even a country as free as the USA has given unilateral power to the President to commit the military of the US to war without anyone approval for up to 90 days. Right now the President can order the military to go and invade Canada, and for 90 days he has the legal power to do so.

        You also say “Second, the fact that this could happen indicates a serious problem within the culture of Freemasonry at least in that region of Florida, if not beyond.”

        Freemasonry is made up of diverse individuals, any time such diversity in co-mingled, there is a likelihood for problems to arise. Even within Neo-Paganism there are vastly differing opinions and perspectives and they often lead to “witch wars”. The bottom line is the guy made an egregious error in judgment. There may be some in Freemasonry who agree with him, but just like not all Asatru are racist, not all Freemasons religiously discriminate, and Freemasonry as a whole is doing far more good for humanity than ill. One of the main tenets of Freemasonry is to improve humanity to do that, one must start with themselves, even a Grand Master still needs some work on himself.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1710316780 Steffen Crist

    Grand Master Aladro should not be considered part of the “Old Guard” of Scottish Rite Masonry. Rather, he and his ilk were the Masons who took up the reins after the true “Old Guard” finished passing away in the 1980’s.

    I have seen this in the Oregon jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite – the true “Old Guard”, who taught the values of Freemasonry with the first tenets: a belief in a Deity (of some sort) and a life hereafter.

    My mentor, Mr. Neil Fahrion, taugh the classes following each degree using his copies of the “Qabalah” (by Dion Fortune), and his tarot cards, from the Builders of the Adytum. We read Dion Fortune and colored our own cards, and learned that the Major Arcana described the lessons taught for each degree. He did in the late 1980’s, after having served in the Scottish Rite for over 60 years.

    It is a well-known maxim to the Scottish Rite Masons, that the world rests on the tripod of Tarot, Qaballah and Astrology. Proff os this can be seen in the use of the “Tree of Life” diagram, in the illustration of the Masonic degrees.

    • http://www.facebook.com/isidis.stclaire Isidis St Claire

      It is intersting that your lodge studied from the works of Dion Fortune, yet she would be excluded from becoming a Mason herself.

      • anonFLmason

        There can be something to learn from everyone; being outside the brotherhood (by choice or no) doesn’t preclude one from having wisdom to impart. Nor does being a mason automagically make one worthy or give wisdom: see the Grand Master in question

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    A number of things bear repeating:
    1. This is the act of one Masonic group and does reflect the views of Masons or Masonry generally.
    2. Even within this one Masonic group there is, among the membership, clearly an attitude of acceptance toward Pagans. This attitude of openness among the membership was precisely the reason for the Grand Master’s action, that is, to prevent “rank and file” Masons from acting on their natural instinct to accept openly Pagan members.
    3. Many Pagans are Masons and vice-versa. This will not change.
    4. Freemasonry has made significant contributions to modern western history, and, in particular, Freemasonry played a crucial role in the Enlightenment, which, in turn, was the historical process that led to the end of Christian theocracy in the West. For this we should all be grateful!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1710316780 Steffen Crist

      Freemasonry has played a big role in Western Civilization. This role extended up until the 1930’s, after which the Masonic institutions have become much more “ossified” in their outlook.
      The “Old Guard” from the 1930’s knew how to go about “making good men better”. They combed their neighborhoods, looking for guys who were a bit more open-minded and level-headed, and in one fashion or another, let thm know about Freemasonry.
      The idea was to give the opportunity to someone to see and listen to philosophies and ideas that might not be available to them, and let them learn from this new information.
      The problem came when this “methodology” of making good men better was not passed on to the next generation of men coming into the fraternity. This new generation of Masons saw the lodge as a place where they could “rub elbows” with men they might not otherwise have access to. My dad summed this up when he mentioned that “all of the used car dealers in Portland were at lodge, wanting to chat up the lawyers and other well-to-dos” in the 1960s. No one was teaching the tenets of what the Tree of Life had to do with masonry, because no one knew what it really meant. This is where the chain was broken.

      Masons of my age learned the basic tenets of esoteric learning outside of the lodge, and were surprised to learn that Freemasonry had taught such things back in its hayday. Today, we are seen as the “esoteric masons”, and not the same as other members. Most Esoteric Masons today are at least one generation removed from the rest of the lodge membership, and as such, have less involvement with it. Our peers tend to socialize at goth clubs or their places of work (such as Intel, or other high-tech businesses) – places where the rank and file of lodge members have no access.

      As esoteric masons, we also have far less tolerance for the sort of religious bigotry espoused by guys like Aladro. Such proclamations only serve to further erode the already dwindling memberships of these organizations.

  • http://www.facebook.com/LyndaLBD Lynda L B Duke

    My father and mother, grandparents and all past family members would be exceptionally disappointed at this ruling.

  • Sjord

    I live in Florida and sadly experience religious bigotry such a this on a daily basis, it saddens me to say that this came as no surprise to me.I wish it weren’t true,I had held hope that Masonry wouldn’t be affected by such since it has always been an institution of higher learning and progress towards a better tomorrow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1650681499 Diotima Mantineia

    I have to question the relevance of the Freemasons — an organization that excludes women entirely — to modern Paganism. If you discount — as I do — juicy rumors of ancient occult secrets that can be found nowhere else, and whispers of the Illuminati, then the only appeal to Pagans that I can see is the Freemason’s purported focus on personal growth and civic work, and perhaps one’s personal family history. While I deplore the Florida Grand Master’s comments about Pagans, I deplore Freemasonry’s attitude towards women more, which is firmly entrenched in antiquated notions of gender roles.

    • http://www.facebook.com/isidis.stclaire Isidis St Claire

      Here! Here!

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      I think you answered your own question.

      However, I imagine there is an appeal for those with an interest in established esoteric ritae, as well.

      Personally, I don’t see the appeal of something that has always seemed a form of mystic Christianity, but if others can gain something from it, go them.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      I have to question the relevance of such a myopic and sanctimonious string of generalizations rooted in ignorance reinforced by a lack of intellectual curiosity.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1650681499 Diotima Mantineia

        Apuleius, responding by simply slinging insults will neither relieve my ignorance nor kindle my curiosity. I gather you disagree with me. Do you think Freemasonry *is* relevant to modern Paganism? Why? Do you believe its refusal to include women is progressive and correct? Why? Are there good reasons for it that perhaps you think I don’t understand? Why not explain that to me, then, instead of wasting all that energy trying to denigrate me?

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I see a lot of sexism in Paganism. There are far more instances of ‘women only’ rites/rituals/events and organisations than ‘men only’ ones.

          I don’t see how only one aspect of Freemasonry is the be-all and end-all of discussion.

          • Cat C-B

            Leoht, gender-exclusivity, when not combined with a power dynamic whereby the disempowered are the ones excluded, is not the same thing as sexism.

            It is open to question whether or not Freemasonry is sexist, because men have been historically the ones in power, and women the ones excluded from power. I say open to question–as opposed to an open and shut example–because it also matters whether or not the organization promotes inequality, as, for example, the exclusion of women from business organizations does… and of men from Dianic groups does not.

            (You’re welcome. Always happy to contribute to someone’s basic education.)

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Oh, so it is only sexist when it suits people? I don’t see sexism as solely about power. I see it about attitude. (Mostly, however, I see it as a tiresome subject that should be ignored in favour of true equality.)

        • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

          Diotima, please take another look a what you originally wrote, and then try, if you are capable, to consider how this might sound to a person who is a member of the group that you speak about so dismissively and derisively. Also consider the very public nature of the forum in which your remarks were made and the toxic effect that these kinds of remarks inevitably have on the level of discourse among people from different Esoteric, Pagan, Magical, Etc, paths.

    • Cat C-B

      Are you aware that there do exist forms of co-Masonry, in which women are welcomed? Gerald Gardner was himself a member of such a group.

      It’s best not to make too many assumptions about groups one is not part of.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1650681499 Diotima Mantineia

        Cat, yes, I am well aware of that. And I am making no assumptions at all, I am basing my comment on public statements made by the organization, reading, and numerous conversations with Freemasons over the past 20 years or so.

    • Deborah Bender

      I would think that one attraction would be the opportunity to join with men of different beliefs but compatible values for fellowship. Since WWII, in the US at least, the opportunities for men to associate with men of other ages and backgrounds outside of work has dwindled dramatically. Young men are segregated in their age cohort, and mature men are expected to spend most of their free time with their families or participating in mixed-gender activities. Younger men have a deep need for role models, mentors and social interaction with older men; older men have a need for roles in society that allow them to pass on wisdom and life experience to younger men. In more traditional societies, opportunities for these interactions are structured into daily life.

      I’m a lifelong, committed, active feminist. Nonetheless, any upheaval in mores and power relationships is bound to have some unintended consequences. One of the unfortunate consequences of feminist demands for the gender integration of everything, added to the loss of adult leisure with both men and women having to work full time, is that any time men spend with other men is looked upon by many women as a selfish indulgence and a sign of immaturity, rather than as something men need for their psychological health.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1650681499 Diotima Mantineia

        Deborah, I am a second wave feminist, yet I have no desire for “gender integration of everything”. Quite the opposite — I believe firmly that both men and women should have the opportunity to gather with their own gender whenever they feel the need. The criteria I use to decide whether or not I believe an large and powerful organization should be gender integrated in some way is how that organization affects the lives of women who are not part of the organization. Freemasonry has been a powerful force in its time, and, like many of the men’s clubs and business organizations that have been opened to women over the years, whether or not one was a member could make a big difference in job and other opportunities. I’m really not sure if that is still the case with Freemasonry — I suppose it is in some areas and with some people.

        • Deborah Bender

          I agree with all of that. :::waves to another Second Waver:::

          Without having any direct contact with Freemasonry or its auxiliary organizations, I’m not certain whether its continuing exclusion of women from the main body is primarily because of attitudes “firmly entrenched in antiquated notions of gender roles” as you attribute to them above, because of reasons similar to those which motivated the Girl Scouts’ decision not to go coed (a decision I firmly support), because of an inability to come to consensus within the membership, or for other reasons.

          The Odd Fellows, a less venerable and less esoteric fraternal organization, began admitting women at least ten years ago, probably out of desperation.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1650681499 Diotima Mantineia

            Hello Deborah ::::waves back::::. I also agree with the Girl Scouts decision, and I have, as I said, no problem with the concept of gender separation for any number of good reasons. I do have a problem with gender discrimination — for instance, women being denied knowledge and education, as we have been for centuries, until very recently. Here in the USA, Title IX, banning discrimination in education based on gender, was not passed until 1970 (this is, I’m sure, not news to you. :-) ) Freemasonry was formed in a time when it was still questioned whether or not women had souls, much less rights. Their exclusion of women was not even disputed until the late 19th century, and, to this day, the reasons given for this exclusion are simply that the Freemasons were founded as an all-male organization, and to admit women would violate the Masonic Landmarks, and because both the medieval groups of stonemasons and the Knights Templar excluded women. (Really. That is given as a reason even in the 21st century). On a practical level, this meant that women were denied the esoteric knowledge that Freemasons hold, as well as the more subtle perks attendant on membership in an organization as powerful as Freemasonry once was. Were that practical and esoteric knowledge shared with women, I would have no problem with gender separation within the organization.
            The questioning of Freemasonry’s exclusion of women is, of course, nothing new, and began in earnest in the late 19th century. This questioning was done by both Masons and women, because many men, even back in the 19th century, understood clearly that to deny women knowledge and participation based solely on gender is not only a spiritual error, but a practical one as well, that denies all of humanity the best civilization of which we are capable, and is an error that requires both men and women to right. Gender separation is not the problem. Gender discrimination is.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            “the Freemasons were founded as an all-male organization, and to admit
            women would violate the Masonic Landmarks, and because both the medieval
            groups of stonemasons and the Knights Templar excluded women.”
            Tradition is a poor excuse, is it not?

          • Scott

            Tradition is of value in many things. I believe that the masons celebrate the male mysteries in some respect and focus upon the more masculine archetypes. Unfortunately it is unpopular because more modern society seeks to strip the male of his male specific roles and archetypes and be all inclusive. I am indeed in support of equal rights and am a feminist at heart, but there must be a place…a last bastion of the male psyche where men can unite and celebrate the male mysteries. Freemasonry has been and should continue to be that anchor.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I am an equalitarian and a libertarian. I believe in equality, but also the freedom for groups to be exclusive if they choose.

            There are a great many traditions that are great, but when a tradition continues simply because that is how it has ‘always been done’, I think there needs to be examination.

  • JanetMermaid

    This sucks — Freemasonry was now founded as a Christian organization. It was founded by the free thinkers and humanists of the day. Why do Christians have to take over everything and ruin it?

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Because it’s one of the core tenets of their religion?

  • Adoniram

    Unbelievable. He should read the ritual a little better and read a few books regarding Gnostic Christianity. Freemasonry and Gnosticism are intimately intertwined and cannot be separated. This is an example of ignorance and bigotry at an unfortunately high level. I urge this man to remember the lessons of the Fellowcraft Degree and STUDY the 7 “liberal” arts and sciences. In so doing, perhaps he will see the truth. One may only hope and pray.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      It’s kind of amazing the way he lumps Gnosticism and Agnosticism together. That’s almost like something you’d read in The Onion!

  • Ember1

    I am in Utah, and know that for a long time there were similar issues with the idea of LDS Masons. My mother spent a lot of time in the local Shriners hospital as a small child, and has told me about the controversy it raised in her LDS family. I have heard stories that say local masonic lodges for a long time would not accept LDS members. Right now there is some tension, but I believe it has worked itself out more or less.

    Traditional societies can be resistant to change. Hopefully this is just a blip. I know many who attend local paganesque events who are also masons or who are primarily masons with some pagan interests. I think it would be a loss to both communities if that crossover was prevented.

    I wonder, however, if there is an element of gender policies at play? Many of the paganish masons I know well enough to have talked to about it have in part been drawn to it as a boys club because many of the pagan events tend to be more female dominated (just a matter of numbers- it is not unusual for there to be 3+x’s the women at an event) and I have seen women who were part of auxiliaries like Eastern Star be drawn more to paganism and dropped/reduced participation in those groups. And I have seen many couples where both had pagan leanings, the man went to the masons and the woman stayed pagan. Could that be part of the threat the old guard sees?

  • Corey Bryson

    http://musingsofapaganmason.blogspot.com/ if anyone is interested in the continuing story…

  • Hiram

    you cant take my dues card , but my integrity never

    • Scott

      amen brother