Friday, April 4, 2014

Men Who Shouldn't Become Masons

(reposted from the Midnight Freemasons blog with permission)


For the last several years, I've written a lot on the topic of Freemasonry, and some of the many wonderful things Masonry does--and the kind of difference it can make in men that join our fraternity.  But I realized recently that it's not for everyone, and I thought I'd take a moment to point out the kinds of men that really won't gain much from Freemasonry.

The Exemplar
If you are perfect the way you are, there's very little for you to gain from Freemasonry.  If your social skills are flawless, and your character impeccable there is little need to go through the formality of joining the lodge (unless it would be to be an example to others).  It would very soon become a frustration to you spending all your time teaching others to speak as well as you do, serve the community, mentor the youth, and raise money for charitable causes like you do.  Freemasonry isn't looking for perfect men, we're looking for men who strive to be like you.   

The Athiest
If you believe that all the wonders of life, and the miracle of human consciousness is nothing more than a random fluke of nature, then a Masonic Lodge is no place for you.  If you believe that anyone that believes in God is an uneducated idiot, and the only real purpose in life is to be born, to reproduce, and then to die, then continue to live your life as if it has no real meaning.  Let the Freemasons waste what little time they have on Earth trying to improve themselves and help those around them make their corner of the world a little better.  Let them believe their contributions on Earth mean something.  They'll regret working their lives away doing things that matter, instead of squandering their life on selfish pleasures like you are so wisely doing.

The Scrooge
You work hard for your paycheck, and you're not about to waste it giving your money, or your time away.  That's what your taxes should be paying for.  Let the homeless, and the children with birth defects, the orphans, and the underprivileged youth look to the government for help.  Or maybe a lot of those deadbeats should get jobs--maybe more would if there weren't so many hand-outs.  Spend your money on yourself--you deserve it.  You earned that paycheck.  Enjoy it! 

The Nonconformist
You're not a joiner.  You're not some sheep to be lead.  You're a thinker.  A free will.  You're not going to be tied down to some antiquated code of conduct.  Morals, ethics, virtues, and values are things of the past.  Being a man of character is old school.  Nobody thinks that's important anymore.  We live in a world where you can't trust anybody--what purpose does it serve to waste time on being a man of upright character in a world without values?  There are better ways to spend your time than building your character--like building your bank account perhaps. 

The Snob
You have no interest in knowing people different than yourself.  It's a waste of time.  There is nothing to be learned from men from different cultures, different age groups, different walks of life.  Many of the men in your local lodge are men far below your station in life--there is nothing to be gained from associating with them.  You certainly wouldn't invite them to your home.  What would the neighbors think?  You advance by meeting men at your own level or above.  You are correct in thinking you are better off joining the country club rather than the Masonic Lodge.

So if you're one of these types, you are correct--there is very little that Freemasonry has to offer you.  In fact, Freemasonry doesn't really want you to join.  You aren't suitable material with which to build, because you can't see your own flaws.

We're looking for a few good men.  Men who want to learn from each other, and improve themselves.  Men who take pride in being honest and upright in their dealings with mankind.  Men who believe that life has a meaning, and that our resources, however abundant or limited, can be used to do great good.  And we believe that all men are created equal and each has value. 

Does that sound like you?

~TEC

Todd E. Creason, 33° is the founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and continues to be a regular contributor.  He is the author of several books and novels, including the Famous American Freemasons series.  He is member of Homer Lodge No. 199, and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL).  He is a member the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, the York Rite Bodies of Champaign/Urbana (IL), the Ansar Shrine (IL), Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees, and Charter President of the Illini High Twelve in Champaign-Urbana (IL).

6 comments:

  1. WB Creason,

    I was the perfect, nonconformist punk-rocker before I came to the Fraternity. It wasn't until a few years ago that I really turned around, and started to see the problems of my thinking. THEN I decided to petition the fraternity -- albeit with a couple scars on me (ie ugly tattoos).

    And now Masonry is a top-priority in my life. Thanks for helping to bring me to it. TMF was indeed one of the MAIN reasons.

    Have a great one, PM!

    ---Rob Walk, Jr.

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    1. Thanks for that! I'm sure the Midnight Freemasons would be pleased to know they helped bring a Brother to Light. :-)

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  2. I'm disappointed in your characterization of athiests. I have many athiest friends who are good and moral people whose lives have purpose, and have found meaning in this life without needing to look for meaning or the hope of reward in the next life. Men and women who do as much good work as my Brothers in Lodge, and significantly more than many of the Christians I have met who don't concern themselves with anything larger than their congregation, sometimes not even beyond their own family. Our rules may not allow them to join, but their lack of belief doesn't make them all selfish hedonists any more than our beliefs make us all saints.

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    1. I'm sure there are good athiests, however, I based my comments on my own experience. I believe our values come from beliefs in concepts like good and evil, and right and wrong. I have a difficult time with people that promote a belief in nothing by attacking those who believe in something. A good example would be those lovely billboards they put up around Christmas and Easter every year.

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    2. I've seen plenty of religious billboards, but never an athiest one, so I can't really comment on that. Maybe things are different in your part of the country/world. It does sound like you've never personally interacted with a decent athiest, or at least not one who was forward enough to share their lack of belief; I have heard of church based charity groups turning away volunteers for being admitted athiests (as in, "I don't believe in your God/church, but I do believe in your charitable cause, I'd like to volunteer." "We don't need help from people like you.")
      I don't need to know a person's religious beliefs to know if they are a good/moral person; I can judge for myself that based on their actions.
      A couple of Lodge Brothers shared a poll earlier today that said (in part - there were a lot more countries mentioned) that 76% of Australian respondents (where my family is from) and 67% of Canadian respondents (where I am from) believe that it is "Not necessary to believe in God to be moral." Conversely, only 46% of U.S respondents (where, I believe, you are from) and 1% of Turkish respondents (where those Brothers are both originally from) felt the same. I imagine this may in someway relate to our differing experiences.
      Having grown up in a mixed religion household with two devout parents, and not regularly attended any church as an adult, I find my own view on organized religion has been summed up by another in a manner that I find quite amusing, and can just as easily be applied to organized atheism (which must be a thing if people are putting up billboards, those things don't come cheap). "Religion is like a penis: It's great to have one, its fine to be proud of it, but don't shove it in my face or wave it around in front of my kids."

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    3. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your point of view although it differs from mine. I did enjoy your last point a great deal. Thank you!

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