Friday, September 26, 2008

"Brotherly Love" and "Tough Love"

To say that I cherish Masonry is an understatement. I have been a Mason since 1982, and I will be a Mason all my life. I will be buried in my Masonic Apron. For the past quarter century, I have done everything I can, to live up to my Masonic obligations, and to serve this Craft to the best of my ability. I have no apologies for my service to Masonry.

I have been enriched by Masonry, solely in the symbolic sense, as I have been paid Master's wages. I have never profited financially from any of my Masonic activities. I have donated many hundreds of hours to the fraternity (including the appendant/concordant bodies).

I have never "used" Masonry for my own purposes. I have worked with many other individuals, in trying to bring Masonry to Iraq, and to the soldiers and civilians who risk their lives in that wretched country. I am now in Afghanistan, and I will continue to do what I can, to bring Masonry to the civilians and military personnel who are on the "roof of the world". If any Masonic brother comes to me for assistance, I will give it. I will help, because I am a MASON.

I believe in the value of Brotherly Love, as much as any true Mason. But I also believe in "Tough Love". There are many problems with Masonry, because it is an institution, run by humans, and it is susceptible to all of the problems and difficulties inherent, when humans are involved.

I will continue to criticize any policy, any regulation, any action by any lodge or Grand Lodge, anywhere, that is acting in a manner, that is not in line with the best interests of this Fraternity. Masonry is NOT a religion, and its leaders are NOT infallible. The situation in West Virginia, is one glaring example. The on-going scandal with the Royal Order of Jesters is another. If a Mason had spoken out, earlier, a lot of scandal and heartache could have been avoided. All too often in Masonry (and I include the appendant/concordant bodies here), men are just willing to "go along", and not speak up, and not offer any criticism, and not step in to help our cherished Fraternity. We are reaping what we have sowed for the last twenty years.

I will never be silenced, nor gagged, when it comes to Freemasonry. This institution can always benefit from change, and change will come! The recent situation in North Carolina, is one example of positive change. All masons nationwide, should take a look at the courage and foresight of our North Carolina brothers, and emulate their example.

So in closing, let us all continue to work together as brothers. Let us examine the problems and difficulties in our midst, and work together to find appropriate solutions. Let us be free to speak our minds in internet forums, and in person, in our lodges and Grand Lodges.

"Tough Love" is the only way.

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