Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thomas Jefferson On Friendship And Politics

Fourteen U. S. Presidents were Freemasons
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend."

~Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson had some very good advice for this politically charged climate we're living in right now.  As we approach what is probably one of the most important elections in U.S. History, everyone seems to have an opinion.  Tempers flair.  Mud is slung.  People get angry.  Harsh words are exchanged.  That's why Masons don't discuss religion and politics in lodge.  It's too easy to fall into a debate on those two topics.  

I'm a huge political junkie, and have been for a long time. I don't know many historians who aren't also fascinated by political science (of course, these days, it isn't so much a science as a sport--and a blood sport at that).  Sometimes I express an unsolicited opinion--and they tend to get about an equal share of cheers and jeers.  I don't do it very often, but I'm allowed to do that.  It's America.  And just because I'm a Mason doesn't mean I can't discuss politics outside of a lodge (which this is)--remember, fourteen U.S. Presidents were Masons, and Freemasons have been involved in politics in America for as long as there have been American politics.

But perhaps it's not a good idea.  Remember, this election will come and go, but the people you tick off now with your opinions will still be here, and those hard feelings as well.  Perhaps the best way to handle contentious elections like this one, is the same way we do in lodge.  We vote, we don't discuss the vote, you vote your mind, and the result is what it is--cloudy or clear.


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