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Old 04-28-2013, 11:23   #51
zoyter2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighTechRedneck View Post
Since I also know next to nothing about the Masons... Are the Masons all about the religion? What I mean, is if everyone is treated as an equal, does that include someone who doesn't believe in religion? As a follow-up, is an affirmative belief required to join, and is religion pushed within the lodge?
Masonry is not so much "all about the religion" as is it is 'all about helping you with YOUR religion'. Masonry tells us that no club, organization, or entity comes before the duties that one owes to HIS God, but does not address what God that may be.

You see, Masonry teaches man to apply his religion, even telling us that without that reverence to God, no man will be complete, but does not supply that religion.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:29   #52
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Might I add to that, the above post is what often causes Christians (and other religions) to despise Masonry. They are under the misconception that Masonry is "anti-God" because it doesn't require member to worship THEIR God.

Masonry acknowledges, even WARNS its members that regardless of your advancement in Masonry, no matter how much work you do in Masonry, or how much good you do for others, without following the rules of YOUR God or religion, you will not benefit.

Churches often advise its member to avoid Masonry. I wonder how many of theses spiritualists understand that one fundamental difference in Church and Masonry is that Masonry advises it Members that the Church (a man's deity and worship) MUST be regarded ahead of Masonry?

In short, Masonry cannot give you a pathway to salvation or eternal reward, and warns you in no uncertain terms of this, but regardless of the religion you believe, Masonry will help you along that pathway by strengthening the important beliefs of virtually every religion, among the most important of these beliefs are a regard to friendship, a moral life, and loving one's brothers.
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Last edited by zoyter2; 04-28-2013 at 11:34..
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:46   #53
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Is a Shriner a mason? I always thought they vetted their members well but I know one who is an absolute scumbag.


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Old 04-28-2013, 13:07   #54
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No atheist can be made a mason. You must profess belief in a supreme being. Dinners open with prayer. The lodge is opened and closed with prayer. There is always a bible present on the altar. It is religious in nature.
All I needed to know. Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2013, 13:11   #55
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Originally Posted by zoyter2 View Post
Masonry is not so much "all about the religion" as is it is 'all about helping you with YOUR religion'. Masonry tells us that no club, organization, or entity comes before the duties that one owes to HIS God, but does not address what God that may be.

You see, Masonry teaches man to apply his religion, even telling us that without that reverence to God, no man will be complete, but does not supply that religion.
Is there an equivalent or similar organization that isn't focused on religion, or includes non-religious members? I am talking about something that has similar features that would befit a non-drinking (read: no moose or elks) atheist?
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Old 04-28-2013, 15:36   #56
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what do masons do when they meet, like, hang out? Just wonder what day to day mason activities are like
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Old 04-28-2013, 15:55   #57
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:03   #58
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The truth is you just need to believe in god, and pay a membership fee.

My friend and I showed up to a lodge a few years ago, just curious about everything. We left after talking to a bunch of middle aged men in kilts for about an hour, thoroughly uncomfortable.
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:12   #59
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Join the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes. Looks like they have a lot of fun bowling and stuff. Yabba-dabba-dooo.
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:19   #60
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:24   #61
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... you need to be 21 years of age and of good reputation (not a felon), and not be an atheist.
However, you don't need to be a Christian.
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:24   #62
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www.glflamason.org

Go to the source. This is the website for the Grand Lodge Of Florida. Find a lodge near you and ask someone.

I an a Master Mason. York rite, Scottish Rite and a shriner. I am an officer of my lodge.

I am astounded at the massive amounts of false information on the internet about Masonry. Go talk to some masons. Ask hard questions and you will get straight answers.
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Last edited by Batesmotel; 04-28-2013 at 16:25..
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:27   #63
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Originally Posted by zoyter2 View Post
Masonry is not so much "all about the religion" as is it is 'all about helping you with YOUR religion'. Masonry tells us that no club, organization, or entity comes before the duties that one owes to HIS God, but does not address what God that may be.

You see, Masonry teaches man to apply his religion, even telling us that without that reverence to God, no man will be complete, but does not supply that religion.
What if your name is Anton Levay, or Aleister Crowley?
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:30   #64
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Is a Shriner a mason? I always thought they vetted their members well but I know one who is an absolute scumbag.




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In PA all Shriners must be Master Masons for membership. Yes sometimes a bad apple gets thru. tom.



Quote:
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what do masons do when they meet, like, hang out? Just wonder what day to day mason activities are like

Stated meetings are dry and formal affairs. Light lunch afterwards in the social hall. tom.



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the first obligation you took also applies to the internet.
Correct Brother, or anyplace else. tom.
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:37   #65
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From my internet research, you have to do the following to join:

1. Strip naked and get your bottom spanked

2. Sell your soul to the devil
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Old 04-28-2013, 16:47   #66
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what do masons do when they meet, like, hang out? Just wonder what day to day mason activities are like
In a regular Masonic lodge there are basically two types of meetings.

A regular or business meeting is the normal monthly meeting. They review last months minutes, attend new business, discuss any activities the lodge is doing, sick report, finances, and may have and educational feature. This educational feature can be on any topic and will benefit the members in their daily lives. Many times we have had non masonic guests come and talk on a variety of subjects as well as strictly masonic lessons. There can be a meal or refreshments before or after the meeting. a variation of this is a Table Lodge where the meeting is conducted during a meal. these are especially fun. the best part can be just spending an evening with other men who share the same values and standards as you do. Regardless of political, ethnic, religious or economic status.

The other type of meeting is a Special meeting. Usually this is where the lodge is conferring one of the degrees on a new candidate.

Outside of these meetings we also get together to go to dinner an little known restaurants with our families. Hold charitable events. The officers will be attending a Bar Mitzvah for the son of a member later this year.

We also hold funeral services for deceased members if requested and preform cornerstone laying ceremonies for construction projects when requested.

In this day and age it is becoming unfashionable for men have fraternal bonds. I like bucking this trend. I enjoy spending an evening with men of the same mindset as me. It makes me a better man. Which makes me a better husband and father.
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Old 04-28-2013, 17:01   #67
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Dad is a mason, I was raised up to believe that masons were supposed to be very good people, very good character and such. Most of the ones I knew of growing up were.
I had always been curious about it, dad was very old school and didn't say much about it..........and never pushed for me to join. I got into the lodge about two years ago, but my job situation changed shortly afterward and haven't been able to do as much with it as intended.

As I said earlier, I grew up thinking masons were good people..............in the past few years though, I have found that there are some real scumbags too. There was talk of several local lodges being closed due to lack of membership, at least one resorted to accepting scumbags to get their numbers up.

As with most things, the decline of the lodge has paralleled the decline of society.
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Old 04-28-2013, 19:07   #68
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What if your name is Anton Levay, or Aleister Crowley?
I believe Crowley was an irregular mason. I do not know about LeVay's history but what he advocates is a form of humanist atheism and so is probably an atheist and not eligible for membership. Were he not an atheist I'd generally be of the opinion that he might benefit from masonry. I wouldn't discriminate in a vote against someone with an unusual religion although there are some who actually might. If they are too far out of left field they might get fed up with us and not show up anymore though, and if they do they'll better apply masonic philosophy and become a better person. I have a friend in a local lodge who is a Buddhist, the only Buddhist mason I'm aware of. By and far the biggest religion of members is Christianity, then Judaism, then general belief in deity and higher power, which is what I am myself. I have a supreme belief in divine providence or his spirit which permeates all, much like some of our founding fathers did. No atheist will be admitted, but anyone who is of good moral character who believes in a higher power may join.

In lodge we use the term "great architect of the universe" for God. While the term was a Christian invention of John Calvin to refer to the Lord, we do not necessarily use it as such. Rather it is a reminder of the supreme power that is above us all. And that's all, there isn't any religious discussion in lodge. I'm not sure if your reference to Crowley or LeVay was meant as incendiary or serious but I hope this clarifies it for you.
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Old 04-28-2013, 19:36   #69
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In this day and age it is becoming unfashionable for men have fraternal bonds. I like bucking this trend. I enjoy spending an evening with men of the same mindset as me. It makes me a better man. Which makes me a better husband and father.
Agreed, whether it be Masons or another fraternal organization, or even a more informal type of bonding (multigenerational hunting camps, fishing camps etc).

As far as the religious aspect; it all depends on your particular denomination, when I was young the "christian bookstore" sold books and comics to kids showing the pope getting his orders directly from Satan. LDS were portrayed as secret demon worshipers too. They also had Chick Publications stuff. Not exactly a font of literature and information.

Growing up in a Fundie house gives you a unique perspective....
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Old 04-28-2013, 19:49   #70
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There are 3 degrees.

1st degree Entered Apprentice

2nd degree Fellowcraft

3rd degree Master Mason

The "blue lodge" is the body that is responsible for conferring these degrees. These are the lodges in your area. In the blue lodge, all 3rd degrees are equal.

The York Rite and Scottish Rite each have their own degrees that they confer. Although a man may be a 32nd degree Mason (like myself), I have no more say than a Master Mason when I am in blue lodge.

The Scottish Rite meetings though are another thing. The Scottish Rite may exclude Master Masons that have not received the Scottish Rite degrees yet. Same with York Rite. But, when it boils down to it, the blue lodge is the lifeblood of Masonry because they are the only body that can initiate men into Masonry. All the other bodies require you to be a Mason to join them.

When you join, you are initiated as an Entered Apprentice. You must then learn various things, and perform a proficiency in front of the lodge. If the lodge finds you proficient, you are eligible to become a 2nd degree. Repeat until you attain the 3rd degree.

Then you can join the York Rite or Scottish Rite or Shrine.
What is the second highest degree that you can be? Is it 34th? I don't remember exactly, my grandpa told me once, but his dad was the second highest degree you could be, I just don't remember the number.

And doesn't the person with the very highest degree actually live at the lodge? Or is that just a rumor?
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Old 04-28-2013, 19:51   #71
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I have respect for Masons, and the charitable things that they do. I am impressed with the history of the organization, and the role of many of it's members had in the founding of our nation.

I even looked into reaching out to a lodge to inquire about membership.

Unfortunately I believe that some of the oaths you are required to take conflict with Matthew 5:33-37 which teaches to take no oaths, which would weigh heavy enough on me to deter me from further looking into it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 19:58   #72
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In lodge we use the term "great architect of the universe" for God. While the term was a Christian invention of John Calvin to refer to the Lord, we do not necessarily use it as such. Rather it is a reminder of the supreme power that is above us all. And that's all, there isn't any religious discussion in lodge. I'm not sure if your reference to Crowley or LeVay was meant as incendiary or serious but I hope this clarifies it for you.
My grandfather was a mason. His father was a member of the invisible empire. I've been asked if I am interested. On advice of three Pastors (two of whom are Scots) my response was "no". As a Christian I am wary of the Masons requirement to believe only in a "Higher Power". There are many "higher powers" that are not the Judeo-Christian God.
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Old 04-28-2013, 20:02   #73
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What is the second highest degree that you can be? Is it 34th? I don't remember exactly, my grandpa told me once, but his dad was the second highest degree you could be, I just don't remember the number.

And doesn't the person with the very highest degree actually live at the lodge? Or is that just a rumor?
"The second highest degree...."

That would be the 2nd degree. The 3rd degree is the highest degree in Masonry. .

There are appendant bodies in Masonry that have a degree structure. (you are thinking Scottish Rite, and 32 is the "second highest." 33 being the highest (and depending on if you are northern or souther jurisdiction will dictate how you get to 33).

Think of those other "higher" degrees like clubs within the club...but not "higher"

I get a kick out of the insanity and myths all this causes.

Oh well, I rode the goat!
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Old 04-28-2013, 20:03   #74
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What is the second highest degree that you can be? Is it 34th? I don't remember exactly, my grandpa told me once, but his dad was the second highest degree you could be, I just don't remember the number.

And doesn't the person with the very highest degree actually live at the lodge? Or is that just a rumor?
The highest degree in the Scotish Rite you can earn is the32nd. The 33rd is given honorarily for service the fraternity and the community.

The only person I know of living at a lodge is the caretaker of the Salt Lake Masonic Temple. And he is not a Mason. Just an employee.
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Old 04-28-2013, 20:06   #75
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My grandfather was a mason. His father was a member of the invisible empire. I've been asked if I am interested. On advice of three Pastors (two of whom are Scots) my response was "no". As a Christian I am wary of the Masons requirement to believe only in a "Higher Power". There are many "higher powers" that are not the Judeo-Christian God.
I am not a Christian. You are.

Masonry requires YOU to believe in YOUR faith and me in mine. It doesnt ask you to mollify that in anyway.

What Masonry does supply is a forum for you and I to enjoy brotherhood. It brings together lots of like minded people, but it also brings together many people who would otherwise not be able to have brotherhood because in many ways they are not like minded. That is quite powerful and productive.
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