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  #101  
Old 03-21-2010, 11:29 AM
Rhodes Rhodes is offline
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Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
Thanks, Winston! Take your time. I don't have much to do with the computer after 5:00 on Fridays, so I'll catch you on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

If you have time or the inclination to do a little more research, google about Joseph Smith's death. There is some controversy that, as he was shot out of a window of the Carthage IL jail, he allegedly gave a Masonic code/signal/cry for help to whatever Masonic brethren might have been willing to help him out. Nobody did, IIRC, because they were lynching the guy for boffing teenaged girls.
<hijack>
Not to nitpick, but Joseph Smith was not jailed and lynched for boffing teenaged girls.

He was jailed because as Mayor, Justice of the Peace, Presidential candidate, and General of his own private militia, he ordered an attack on the newspaper that was exposing him for boffing teenaged girls.

The official line from the LDS Church is that he was jailed on "false charges." They forget to mention that the charges were something like Treason against the US Constitution, and there is nothing "false" about it.
</hijack>

His jailors gave him a pistol to defend himself from the mob. Seeing that his cellmates were being hit in the crossfire, he jumped from the jail window shouting "oh Lord my God, is there no help for the widow's son?" Some people believe this was because he saw Jesus come to take him to celestial glory, while others think this was a desparate plea for help to his Masonic brothers in the mob.

ETA: I am not an expert in history or in masonry. If I've misrepresented any actual facts, please do your own research.

Last edited by Rhodes; 03-21-2010 at 11:33 AM..
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  #102  
Old 03-22-2010, 09:02 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
Thanks, Winston! Take your time. I don't have much to do with the computer after 5:00 on Fridays, so I'll catch you on Monday. Enjoy your weekend.

If you have time or the inclination to do a little more research, google about Joseph Smith's death. There is some controversy that, as he was shot out of a window of the Carthage IL jail, he allegedly gave a Masonic code/signal/cry for help to whatever Masonic brethren might have been willing to help him out. Nobody did, IIRC, because they were lynching the guy for boffing teenaged girls.
So, I took some time to review the narrative of the Mormon rituals you linked, and it appears that a lot of what is revealed is very similar to Masonic Ritual. The exchanges described in giving and receiving passwords and handshakes in particular are certainly in keeping with my experiences in Masonry.


And, to address the rest of your question (which I have failed to do so far...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogzilla
According to my research, Joseph Smith was a Mason, as were most of the original founders of the LDS church. Just curious if you were aware of the similarities... and does that mean anything to the Masons?
I was previously unaware that Joe Smith was a Mason, or that the LDS Church was founded by men that were also Masons. I am going to ask around the Lodge about it, though, because I think it's pretty interesting. You also ask: "does that mean anything to Masons"; I can't say. While on one hand Masons are proud of the many contributions our Bretheren have made to society, we are also duty bound to avoid discussions of religion in the Lodge, as it might disrupt the harmony of said Lodge. I'm attending a Lodge of Instruction tomorrow night, and a special anniversary meeting of my Lodge on Thursday night (my Lodge is celebrating it's 250th anniversary on 3/25), so I'll ask around a little bit and if I come up with anything I think you may find interesting I'll post it.
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  #103  
Old 03-22-2010, 11:04 AM
NAF1138 NAF1138 is offline
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I thought of another question that I don't think has been answered. What is a typical lodge meeting like? (again barring secret stuff that I don't care about anyway). Is it mostly, show up, take role, read the minutes, shoot the shit, go home? Or does other stuff go on?

Last edited by NAF1138; 03-22-2010 at 11:04 AM..
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  #104  
Old 03-22-2010, 12:32 PM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
I thought of another question that I don't think has been answered. What is a typical lodge meeting like? (again barring secret stuff that I don't care about anyway). Is it mostly, show up, take role, read the minutes, shoot the shit, go home? Or does other stuff go on?
My Lodge is pretty big, and growing, so one of the main events of the meetings is the actual Degree work. The other elements of Lodge meetings are dinner, (Lodge) business meeting, and fellowship following the formal meeting (cheese & crackers, beer & wine).

So, a typical night at my Lodge will go something like this (not sure about other Lodges, but I'll presume they're all pretty much the same)...

6:00 PM: Lodge opens; Worshipful Master opens the Lodge on the Degree appropriate to the evening's agenda, the Chaplain says a prayer, everyone recites the Pledge of Allegiance (hand on heart, facint the American Flag, just like Elementary School), then the work of the Lodge begins (Degrees conferred upon candidates, etc.)

7:00 PM: Lodge breaks for refreshment (dinner). You go downstairs, get in line, and pay $15 for your meal (the meals are excellent - better than most resteraunts). There's a table where you can get soda or punch, and all the tables have bread & butter and salad. We sit 8 to a table at large round banquet tables. There's another table set with cheese & crackers and some sort of salty party mix. Everyone mills around and shoots the shit for 10 minutes or so, then the Worshipful Master calls everyones attention and offers a brief prayer (or the Chaplain will - either way), then the Rainbow Girls bring out meals pre-plated - last week we had stuffed chicken with gravy, green beans and a baked potato (there was a bowl of sour cream on each table). Everyone chows down, the girls clear the plates and serve dessert - last week we had apple crisp with ice cream. Then they clear the tables again and a couple of the Lodge Officers put a small wicker basket one each table and everyone coughs up a couple bucks for the girls. I'm not sure if the girls divvy up the tips for themselves or if they use the money for one of their own charitable causes (probably the latter). Then we all mill around and bullshit for a couple minutes and the Worshipful Master calls our attention once again and makes a few general announcements about upcoming events and etc. Then, promptly at 7:00 PM, we all go back upstairs to continue the business of the Lodge.

8:00 PM: Lodge business continues with additional Degree work, if necessary, then the business meeting, we vote on new member applications, and the Lodge's list of sick and distressed Brothers is attended to (like, Brother Smith broke his hip and is recovering at home - he would love visitors so if anyone would like to go see him let Worshipful Master know and he'll provide Br. Smith's address), etc. Also, discretionary charitable giving is proposed and/or voted on. Last week alone, we approved $11,000 in charitable giving to a handful of causes. This part of the meetign usually takes a couple hours, but can go longer depending on the agenda. The Third Degree Ceremony is pretty long, so last week we were in Lodge untill 11:00 PM, but I think 9:30 PM is average for the rest of the nights.

9:30 PM: Fellowship hour. Actually, they call it 'Correlation' (sp?) at the Lodge, but I can't find a definition for the word I think they're using that aligns with beer & wine). Anyways. We all go back downstairs, drink beer, eat cheese & crackers and shoot the shit for a couple hours. The only thing you have to pay for is the dinner - you don't pay for beer and wine during the fellowship time. Or longer. A couple of the guys at my Lodge are wealthy enough thet they don't have to work anymore, and young enough to be able to actually enjoy it, so they are there closing the place every month. I've got to work in the morning, though, so by 3 or 4 beers at 11 PM on a Tuesday I'm ready to call it a night.

That's pretty much it.

Last edited by Winston Smith; 03-22-2010 at 12:33 PM..
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  #105  
Old 03-22-2010, 01:00 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
then the Rainbow Girls bring out meals pre-plated - last week we had stuffed chicken with gravy, green beans and a baked potato (there was a bowl of sour cream on each table). Everyone chows down, the girls clear the plates and serve dessert - last week we had apple crisp with ice cream. Then they clear the tables again and a couple of the Lodge Officers put a small wicker basket one each table and everyone coughs up a couple bucks for the girls.
A couple of questions:

1. What's the difference between a Job's Daughter and a Rainbow Girl? Is it an age thing? They're both Masonic offshoots, right?

2. Do you guys have DeMolay? If so, do they ever serve tables? I don't mean to try to find sexism where none exists, but it seems a little weird that the young girls are serving a bunch of guys (especially if the boys never do it).
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  #106  
Old 03-22-2010, 01:19 PM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by winterhawk11 View Post
A couple of questions:

1. What's the difference between a Job's Daughter and a Rainbow Girl? Is it an age thing? They're both Masonic offshoots, right?

2. Do you guys have DeMolay? If so, do they ever serve tables? I don't mean to try to find sexism where none exists, but it seems a little weird that the young girls are serving a bunch of guys (especially if the boys never do it).
Yes, JDI and Rainbow Girls are both Masonic Youth Organizations. I don't actually know what the difference is. I think Job's Daughters might have more religious themes, and Rainbow Girls more secular. Our Lodge doesn't have a Job's Daughters Chapter, though. Just the Rainbow Girls.

I haven't seen a DeMolay Chapter at our Lodge, but I will ask. I think I'll also ask about Your #1 question. I'll get back to you on both.

The men of the Lodge serve the food, as well, and clear the dishes (on the nights the Rainbow Girls are short-handed or if it's really busy for some reason). As I mentioned upthread, I presume the girls serve and clear as a way to raise money for their charitable causes. You've raised a really good question that I've idly speculated about myself. I'm going to ask and get the straight dope on this, too. It honestly doesn't appear that anything untoward is going on here, though.

Last edited by Winston Smith; 03-22-2010 at 01:20 PM..
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  #107  
Old 03-22-2010, 11:36 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Kindly forgive me. People who join the Masons are the sort of people who like to join things. As a result, parts of the ritual of the Moose, several early labor unions, the Klu Klux Klan, the Mormon Church and certainly other groups were based on Masonic ritual. As I said, at some point we asked the Moose (Mooses? Mice?) to cut it out and they did.
According to Wikipedia, the revived KKK, from about 1915 to 1945, was consciously modeled after fraternal organizations by its founder, who himself belonged to several. The idea was to attract potential members by bearing some resemblance to fraternal organizations that they were already members of.
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  #108  
Old 03-23-2010, 08:32 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Why does the meme that Freemasonry is equivalent to Baal worship persist? If you google "Freemasonry Baal Worship" you come up with some...interesting results.

Like this one, for instance: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~lgthscac/freemasonry.htm

I only skimmed it, but it appears that the issue these guys have with Freemasonry is that Masons equivocate all religions, while pretending to be Christians. Or something. Can you make any logic of this cite and these accusations in general?

If it is a Christian-based fraternity like you say it is (and you're a Catholic to boot), why all this other nonsense? Smear campaign by fear-mongers?
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  #109  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:12 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Why does the meme that Freemasonry is equivalent to Baal worship persist? If you google "Freemasonry Baal Worship" you come up with some...interesting results.

Like this one, for instance: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~lgthscac/freemasonry.htm

I only skimmed it, but it appears that the issue these guys have with Freemasonry is that Masons equivocate all religions, while pretending to be Christians. Or something. Can you make any logic of this cite and these accusations in general?

If it is a Christian-based fraternity like you say it is (and you're a Catholic to boot), why all this other nonsense? Smear campaign by fear-mongers?
Masonry is not a "Christian-based fraternity". If you got that impression from what I was saying, I think perhaps I'm not expressing myself well. There are many themes and stories from the Old Testament, and the themes are meant to be compatible with all religions. The Brothers of my Lodge are probably mostly Christian, but my town has a lot of Jewish folks and there are many, many Jewish members as well. I don't think we have any Wiccans or Muslims, but those faiths are represented among Masons as well. But again, we don't talk about religion in Lodge. We pray, our rituals have religious overtones and significance, much of it has its roots in Old Testament stories, but the Masons are not a religious organization. I guess it's sort of hard to explain.
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  #110  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:23 AM
Redwing Redwing is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Why does the meme that Freemasonry is equivalent to Baal worship persist? If you google "Freemasonry Baal Worship" you come up with some...interesting results.

Like this one, for instance: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~lgthscac/freemasonry.htm

I only skimmed it, but it appears that the issue these guys have with Freemasonry is that Masons equivocate all religions, while pretending to be Christians. Or something. Can you make any logic of this cite and these accusations in general?

If it is a Christian-based fraternity like you say it is (and you're a Catholic to boot), why all this other nonsense? Smear campaign by fear-mongers?
We're not a Christian fraternity. We require belief in a [monotheistic] god, but Muslims and Jews are easily accepted, and there has been some local argument about Wiccans and Hindus. The main argument I've heard about Wiccans is that's very hard to tell a serious Wiccan from someone who doesn't have any real faith and is merely trying to be different. Hindus, we simply didn't know enough about as group to talk about.

The rumors about what Masons "really believe" stem from us keeping our rituals closed to the public, and our oaths not to reveal certain things. To a certain type of mind anything that is kept secret is only kept secret because it's evil; to another type of mind making grand claims is great way to get attention.

The website you posted seems to take issue with anything vaguely ecumenical, and Masonry is not vague in its openness to people of faith. There is certainly something Universalist in Masonry's approach to matters of faith, we believe that a Catholic, a Jew, a Lutheran, and a Muslim can each make themselves better men, and together they can make the world a better place.
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  #111  
Old 03-23-2010, 11:54 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
The Knights is (are?) a copy of Masonry designed to let good Catholic men do secret handshakes without endangering their souls.
Undoubtedly that was much of the motivation for the K of C's founder.

But today, the Knights of Columbus are very parish-centric, and work closely with the church they support as well as with the community. I'm not a Mason. I am a Knight, a Past Grand Knight, Former District Deputy, and Past Faithful Navigator.

When I was Grand Knight, we did a number of "co-fraternal" events with our local Masonic lodge. "Mason-Knight Night." In talking to my opposite number, the Worshipful Master, it seemed that much of the day-to-day headaches we had in keeping our organizations running and steered correctly was similar, but while we had very similar desires and initiatives in youth programs, family activities, community support, and council/lodge fraternal support, the K of C also took a very active role in parish support and programs, and there didn't seem to be a parallel on the lodge's side for that.

Last edited by Bricker; 03-23-2010 at 11:54 AM..
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  #112  
Old 03-23-2010, 08:49 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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I am sure you are right. The KoC seems very oriented to the local bishop and priest. At a street festival over the summer, I saw a stand by the KoC so I stopped to say hey to the two (very old) knights. I mentioned I am a Mason and one of them said he was not allowed to talk to me.
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  #113  
Old 03-23-2010, 09:21 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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I've looked into the Rotary but they meet during the work day for some reason. Ah well.
The Wikipedia may be incorrect or outdated, but it appears that membership is by invitation only. Moreover, it appears that the target demographic is independent professionals, or people high enough in their companies that they do not need to ask a superior for time off work, or justify it to anyone but themselves. In 1905, when the organization was founded, the scheme was for local clubs to "rotate" their meetings among the members' offices; I think in those days you had to be pretty high up in a corporate type job for you to have an office.

Last edited by Spectre of Pithecanthropus; 03-23-2010 at 09:22 PM..
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  #114  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:13 AM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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I am sure you are right. The KoC seems very oriented to the local bishop and priest.
Indeed; once or twice I've seen the Knights participating in some ceremony; I think it was guarding the shrine or other holy object, rather than the person of the bishop. IIRC it was the funeral of a well-remembered nun, with the local cardinal officiating.
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  #115  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:55 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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I am sure you are right. The KoC seems very oriented to the local bishop and priest. At a street festival over the summer, I saw a stand by the KoC so I stopped to say hey to the two (very old) knights. I mentioned I am a Mason and one of them said he was not allowed to talk to me.
If he didn't have a grin on his face as he said it, then he's very much mistaken; as I mentioned above, as the chief executive officer of my Knights council, not only did I talk to Masons, I organized joint group activities with them.

I like to think there's a bit of humor in the old rivalry between the organizations; when our parish dedicated the new activities center several years ago, I was part of the K of C honor guard for the ceremony. The ceremony included the placing of the ceremonial cornerstone for the building, and we were delayed while waiting for the tradesman who was going to set and mortar the stone. At one point Fr. Ley said, "We can't start until the mason arrives," and I said, with mock outrage, "Father, what do you need with a mason? You have the K of C right here!"

Yeah, hilarious, eh?

Anyway, if the elderly Knight you saw was serious, that's quite a shame.
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  #116  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:00 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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I've looked into the Rotary but they meet during the work day for some reason. Ah well.
I was a member of Rotary for a short time (I couldn't deal with all the cash penalties*). I lived in the east San Francisco Bay area then, and there were four Rotary clubs within easy driving distance. They all met different days at different times. Two met for breakfast, if I recall correctly, and the other two at lunch. It made it really easy to find one that fit your schedule.

*One of the prime fundraisers for Rotary seems to be fines. If your name appears in a newspaper or magazine, five bucks. If you miss a meeting, ten bucks. I can't remember what they all were, but it was bleeding me dry--especially the first one. I'm a writer, dammit. My name's in newspapers and magazines constantly.
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  #117  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:10 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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If he didn't have a grin on his face as he said it, then he's very much mistaken; as I mentioned above, as the chief executive officer of my Knights council, not only did I talk to Masons, I organized joint group activities with them.


Anyway, if the elderly Knight you saw was serious, that's quite a shame.
Is it possible that different bishops set out different rules about this, in their own dioceses?
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  #118  
Old 03-24-2010, 01:02 PM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Is it possible that different bishops set out different rules about this, in their own dioceses?

It's true that Catholics remain forbidden to join a Masonic order. But there is no rule forbidding them from speaking to a member of a Masonic order, and while an individual bishop has legislative authority within his diocese, extending a prohibition that far would be dramatic indeed.

So it's possible, in the sense of "technically" possible. But it would surprise me mightily to learn that were the case.
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  #119  
Old 03-24-2010, 08:02 PM
luvrbcs luvrbcs is offline
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What are the home visits like? What are they looking for? How common is it to be turned down?

I just started, literally, I just filled out the Membership Information Request Form to find out where I send my petition and I don't know what to expect.
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  #120  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:43 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Masonry is not a "Christian-based fraternity". If you got that impression from what I was saying, I think perhaps I'm not expressing myself well. There are many themes and stories from the Old Testament, and the themes are meant to be compatible with all religions. The Brothers of my Lodge are probably mostly Christian, but my town has a lot of Jewish folks and there are many, many Jewish members as well. I don't think we have any Wiccans or Muslims, but those faiths are represented among Masons as well. But again, we don't talk about religion in Lodge. We pray, our rituals have religious overtones and significance, much of it has its roots in Old Testament stories, but the Masons are not a religious organization. I guess it's sort of hard to explain.
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We're not a Christian fraternity. We require belief in a [monotheistic] god, but Muslims and Jews are easily accepted, and there has been some local argument about Wiccans and Hindus. The main argument I've heard about Wiccans is that's very hard to tell a serious Wiccan from someone who doesn't have any real faith and is merely trying to be different. Hindus, we simply didn't know enough about as group to talk about.

The rumors about what Masons "really believe" stem from us keeping our rituals closed to the public, and our oaths not to reveal certain things. To a certain type of mind anything that is kept secret is only kept secret because it's evil; to another type of mind making grand claims is great way to get attention.

The website you posted seems to take issue with anything vaguely ecumenical, and Masonry is not vague in its openness to people of faith. There is certainly something Universalist in Masonry's approach to matters of faith, we believe that a Catholic, a Jew, a Lutheran, and a Muslim can each make themselves better men, and together they can make the world a better place.
So a key tenet in terms of membership is a collectivism regarding all religions, in a sense. Which would explain why fundamentalist Christians are so up in arms about your group, cuz you know, you accept as members people that are "other" than a Christian faith.

Is that accurate?
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  #121  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:26 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by luvrbcs View Post
What are the home visits like? What are they looking for? How common is it to be turned down?

I just started, literally, I just filled out the Membership Information Request Form to find out where I send my petition and I don't know what to expect.
They didn't actually visit me at home, so I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing they just want to make sure you live where you say you do, and that you live in a don't actually live in a crack house or something. My Lodge had an applicant a few years ago whos home address couldn't be confirmed - he was rejected. I think the idea behind it is to make sure you have a stable home that you take care of, both of which are sort of indirect prerequisites to taking the Degrees.

I don't think it's very common to be turned down, but this initial investigation is intended to make sure you are who you say you are, and that you're a good man.

Instead of a home visit, I had to provide 9 (yes, nine) references: 3 neighbors, 3 friends and 3 business associates. They called every one of them. When they called my best friend, Chris, they asked him what he thought about me joining the Masons, and he said "I think it will be good for him". The investigator said "Why? Does he have flaws?" and my buddy said "Yeah. Don't we all? He was saying he needed to get out more, and didn't want to sit around in barrooms, and thought the Masons would be really good for him". We both thought that whole "Does he have flaws?" thing was sort of funny, but I guess the guy has a job to do and he was doing it. I never asked my other references about the calls, so I don't know what sort of questions were asked, but I'm guessing it's just general "What sort of a man is Winston? Good friend? Good neighbor?" etc.

You may find that the process to get to initiation takes several months. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions down the road and it's too late to resurrect this thread.
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  #122  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:35 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
So a key tenet in terms of membership is a collectivism regarding all religions, in a sense. Which would explain why fundamentalist Christians are so up in arms about your group, cuz you know, you accept as members people that are "other" than a Christian faith.

Is that accurate?
No exactly. A requirement of membership is belief in a higher power. But beyond that, it's don't ask, don't tell. They aren't really interested in what God you believe in, only that you believe.

The religiosity within the Lodge is pretty generic Old Testament-type stuff, that seems like it's every bit as compatible with Christianity as it is with Judaism. I presume and based on what I've been told, compatible with the Muslim belief structure as well.
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:38 AM
Redwing Redwing is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
So a key tenet in terms of membership is a collectivism regarding all religions, in a sense. Which would explain why fundamentalist Christians are so up in arms about your group, cuz you know, you accept as members people that are "other" than a Christian faith.

Is that accurate?
Well, sort of. As a fraternity, we want members who believe in [a] god. We don't care which god. Our stories are based (loosely) on the Old Testament, but don't much feature direct deific intervention. Some of the appendant bodies require a particular faith, but Blue Lodge (basic) Masonry does not. If you ask three Masons why belief in [a] god is required, you'll get five different answers.

As an organization we have a Universalist bent, in that we believe that there is [a] god, but that we (as an organization) do not know the exact form that the deity takes. We're perfectly comfortable if Brother Bill and Brother Todd both believe the other is going to hell, as long as they get along in the lodge and are willing to work together in any task the lodge asks them to undertake.

If your brand of god tells you that anyone who talks about god, but isn't of your brand is actually the devil; well, Masonry probably isn't for you.

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Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
They didn't actually visit me at home, so I can't say for sure, but I'm guessing they just want to make sure you live where you say you do, and that you live in a don't actually live in a crack house or something. My Lodge had an applicant a few years ago whos home address couldn't be confirmed - he was rejected. I think the idea behind it is to make sure you have a stable home that you take care of, both of which are sort of indirect prerequisites to taking the Degrees.

I don't think it's very common to be turned down, but this initial investigation is intended to make sure you are who you say you are, and that you're a good man.

[snip]

You may find that the process to get to initiation takes several months. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions down the road and it's too late to resurrect this thread.
To illustrate the differences in lodges, I'm pretty sure Winston and myself are subject to the same Grand Lodge (Massachusetts), but I had a home visit from two brothers, though I don't recall having anywhere near nine references. The home visit was pretty informal, they wanted to meet me and my wife, and talk to us about what being Mason entailed. Talking to spouses and significant others is important to my lodge, we don't want to be a disruption to family life, and to let the spouse know that we're just a bunch of ordinary guys. We don't like turning people down, and my lodge tends to believe that any concerns should be dealt with before the candidate reaches the voting stage. (I was told, after I was raised, that one of the senior members of the lodge had wanted to know why a eunuch wanted to be a Mason. Explaining my job to him was the last controversy I recall candidate facing in my lodge).

I'm also open to being PMed if any one has any questions.
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  #124  
Old 05-19-2011, 11:52 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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I decided over the weekend to resurrect this thread, because I've experienced many things which were previously discussed herein.

To recap...

I've been a Master Mason for 14 months now. I was invited and have become a junior officer of the Lodge (I can explain a little more about this later if anyone is interested). Some of what I have experienced first hand were asked about when I first ran this thread, so I'm going to re-read it, pick out the handful of posts I wanted to re-respond to, and give any newcomers a chance to participate in what I think to be a pretty interesting topic of discussion.

BTW, I may know more about Freemasonry, but I'm still almost completely ignorant of Mormonism. While I am aware that the founder of Mormonism was indeed a Mason, and appears to have "borrowed" some of the ritual, secrecy &Etc. from Masonry, that's pretty much all I know. Just wanted to get that out there, because from a quick scan of the last page of this thread it looks like that was the highlight topic. I'd prefer to keep the discussion and Q/A on Masonry.
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  #125  
Old 05-19-2011, 01:07 PM
OtisCampbellWasRight OtisCampbellWasRight is offline
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Welcome Brother Winston!

I am a Past master of my Lodge, and a Past Patron of my Eastern Star Chapter. I have taken the 32nd degrees in both the York and Scottish Rites. I have to tell you that you have fielded these question remarkably well for someone relatively new to Masonry. I was raised in 1997, and I consider it one of the best choices I ever made. Freemasonry is like so many other aspects of your life: you get out of it a reward proportional to your commitment to it.

I can offer this insight, though, regarding the "secrecy" aspects of the craft: We are NOT a secret society, we are a society with secrets. Moreover, our secrets; which are indeed available to someone willing to spend a few minutes on the internet, don't mean much outside the context of the degree work. We like to keep them secret for the same reason that you gift wrap a present to someone; not to ruin the surprise.

Human nature being what it is, people will ALWAYS think you're up to something nefarious if you do it behind closed doors.

Keep enjoying Masonry and keep up the good, square work!
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  #126  
Old 05-19-2011, 01:37 PM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by OtisCampbellWasRight View Post
Welcome Brother Winston!

I am a Past master of my Lodge, and a Past Patron of my Eastern Star Chapter. I have taken the 32nd degrees in both the York and Scottish Rites. I have to tell you that you have fielded these question remarkably well for someone relatively new to Masonry. I was raised in 1997, and I consider it one of the best choices I ever made. Freemasonry is like so many other aspects of your life: you get out of it a reward proportional to your commitment to it.

I can offer this insight, though, regarding the "secrecy" aspects of the craft: We are NOT a secret society, we are a society with secrets. Moreover, our secrets; which are indeed available to someone willing to spend a few minutes on the internet, don't mean much outside the context of the degree work. We like to keep them secret for the same reason that you gift wrap a present to someone; not to ruin the surprise.

Human nature being what it is, people will ALWAYS think you're up to something nefarious if you do it behind closed doors.

Keep enjoying Masonry and keep up the good, square work!
Thank you for the complement! I have good teachers!
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  #127  
Old 05-19-2011, 05:25 PM
california jobcase california jobcase is offline
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Massachusetts Masons drink beer after lodge?

Alcohol and dancing are forbidden inside a lodge building down here in Georgia. We do make awesome barbecue for sale twice a year, however.

Past Master, 2004
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  #128  
Old 05-19-2011, 05:29 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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(I was told, after I was raised, that one of the senior members of the lodge had wanted to know why a eunuch wanted to be a Mason. Explaining my job to him was the last controversy I recall candidate facing in my lodge).
I gotta know what this is all about....
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  #129  
Old 05-19-2011, 08:47 PM
Alan Smithee Alan Smithee is offline
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I decided over the weekend to resurrect this thread, because I've experienced many things which were previously discussed herein.
I've heard of Scottish Rite and York Rite. This is Haitian Rite?
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  #130  
Old 05-20-2011, 04:01 AM
etv78 etv78 is offline
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What do you make of the paranoia people seem to have around Masons/Masonry?
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  #131  
Old 05-20-2011, 06:47 AM
OtisCampbellWasRight OtisCampbellWasRight is offline
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etv: Like I said above, whenever you do something behind closed doors, people will think you are scheming something.

While movies like "National Treasure" and to a lesser extent "From Hell" have renewed interest in our fraternity, and given us more public visibility, they have also dragged up the anti-Masonic sentiments of a century ago.

We are NOT a religion, nor do we try to be. In fact, most jurisdictions forbid conversations of a religious nature in lodge, as this may serve to disrupt the peace and harmony of the Lodge. The creators of Freemason simply saw the value of respecting the spiritual points of view of others (tolerance) and tried to incororate this into our paradigm. You may have heard the old saying that you never discuss politics or religion in a bar - this is why.

The "physical defect" provision is merely a guideline too. I personally raised a candidate with a prosthetic leg.

In our time, the Masonic fraternity serves as a largely social vehicle that also allows the Brothers to perform acts of charity via strength in numbers. Many of the "lessons" we are taught in Lodge are sound, common-sense precepts aimed at helping society at large.

Last edited by OtisCampbellWasRight; 05-20-2011 at 06:51 AM.. Reason: not awake yet
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  #132  
Old 05-20-2011, 08:19 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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I, too, can personally attest to the "physical defect" provision not being a deal breaker with regard to initiation. I participated in the initiation of a guy with two prosthetic legs about 8 months ago, and we're initiating a guy with one prosthetic leg now. I couldn't imagine turning a guy away because he was unable to participate in the physical parts of the initiation.
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  #133  
Old 05-20-2011, 08:20 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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I gotta know what this is all about....
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess he's a UNIX Systems Administrator.
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  #134  
Old 05-20-2011, 08:46 AM
Winston Smith Winston Smith is offline
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A couple of questions:

1. What's the difference between a Job's Daughter and a Rainbow Girl? Is it an age thing? They're both Masonic offshoots, right?

2. Do you guys have DeMolay? If so, do they ever serve tables? I don't mean to try to find sexism where none exists, but it seems a little weird that the young girls are serving a bunch of guys (especially if the boys never do it).
This was specifically one of the things I wanted to revisit when I decided to bump this thread. To set the context: one element of our monthly meeting is dinner in our hall. It's typically a pretty complete meal: cheese and crackers with soft drinks, then rolls & butter and salad, then the main meal (this month we had roast beef with green bean casserole and mashed potatoes) (chicken alternative meal), then dessert (ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream). It is all plated at the kitchen window and served by the Rainbow Girls.

After the meal, baskets are placed on the tables and we pony up a couple bucks for tips, which are then counted, deposited, and presented to the Rainbow Girls organization to fund the stuff they do (charitable works, etc.)

A few months ago, the Rainbow Girls had their Big Yearly Meeting, and the guys from my Lodge cooked for them, served them, and provided security (the Lodge was in the city). Just last month, they were our guests for dinner and we served them again. So, it's not a sexist thing, as far as I can tell. Also, I frequently assist in serving our meals, and cleaning up. I've observed our Worshipful Master (Grand Poobah) doing dishes in his Tuxedo after our meeting was over because the kitchen was short-staffed and help was needed.

I guess my point is that we all work together to everyone's mutual benefit, and the girls don't serve us meals so we can make them subservient to us - we serve them when the circumstances dictate it.
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  #135  
Old 05-20-2011, 05:17 PM
Damfino Damfino is offline
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Originally Posted by FoieGrasIsEvil View Post
Why does the meme that Freemasonry is equivalent to Baal worship persist? If you google "Freemasonry Baal Worship" you come up with some...interesting results.

Like this one, for instance: http://www.bloomington.in.us/~lgthscac/freemasonry.htm


I only skimmed it, but it appears that the issue these guys have with Freemasonry is that Masons equivocate all religions, while pretending to be Christians. Or something. Can you make any logic of this cite and these accusations in general?

If it is a Christian-based fraternity like you say it is (and you're a Catholic to boot), why all this other nonsense? Smear campaign by fear-mongers?
Freemasonry has been present in India since around 1727. The first Indian Mason, a Muslim, was inducted in 1775 or therabouts. The first Hindu was inducted in 1857. The Grand Lodge of India was formed in 1961 with parent Grand Lodges being those of England, Ireland and Scotland. There are several hundred lodges, with membership representing all religions.

At the altar are placed the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Sikh Guru Granth and the Parsi Zend Avesta.

Ironically a Christian member of the Lodge of which I am aware was forced to resign because his wife believed that Freemasons worship the Devil. (This Lodge does not have home visits.)
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  #136  
Old 05-21-2011, 12:01 PM
DarrenS DarrenS is offline
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Have you ever seen this documentary?
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  #137  
Old 02-26-2012, 12:34 PM
septimus septimus is online now
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(I hope it's not considered unmannerly to bump an old thread like this.)

Was it common for American men in 19th century to convert to Episcopalianism when they became Freemasons? (This question derives from something I read recently.)

Another question: Would lodges be likely to have interesting info on members from 100 years ago or so, and if so, would it be likely they would share the info?
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  #138  
Old 02-26-2012, 01:16 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Is there any connection between Freemasonry and tyhe (secretive) fraternity "Skull and Bones"?
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  #139  
Old 02-26-2012, 03:03 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Do people laugh at you a lot?
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  #140  
Old 02-27-2012, 12:38 AM
chowching chowching is offline
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Originally Posted by Infovore View Post
A couple of questions:

1. What's the difference between a Job's Daughter and a Rainbow Girl? Is it an age thing? They're both Masonic offshoots, right?

2. Do you guys have DeMolay? If so, do they ever serve tables? I don't mean to try to find sexism where none exists, but it seems a little weird that the young girls are serving a bunch of guys (especially if the boys never do it).
I think you should have a relative who is a Freemason for you to join Job's Daughter. For Rainbow I think the requirements are just similar to those of DeMolay. You'd have to be 13-21 y/o.

We boys do serve our Dad Masons too. We help set tables during their gatherings. We participate in their fund raising activities. We assist in anyway we can. Job's Daughters, Rainbow Girls, DeMolays all do that.

Hi Dad Winston.

Last edited by chowching; 02-27-2012 at 12:38 AM..
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  #141  
Old 02-27-2012, 11:48 AM
spankthecrumpet spankthecrumpet is offline
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Remind me... what were the names of the pillars on the porchway of king solomon's temple again?
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  #142  
Old 02-27-2012, 01:23 PM
Dorjän Dorjän is offline
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What's the deal with Prince Hall Masons?
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  #143  
Old 02-27-2012, 02:10 PM
Steken Steken is offline
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What do you make of the paranoia people seem to have around Masons/Masonry?
About this, and the whole "Baal-worship" and "Masonic Satanism" ("Palladism")-thing generally, here's the straight dope:

A LOT of that nonsense (because it is nonsense) comes from nothing less than the world's greatest practical joke.

Here goes: A French dude called Léo Taxil announced in 1885 that he had infilitrated a Masonic lodge and discovered some shocking secrets, to wit: "Sacré bleu, they’re all Satanists! They worship the Devil! No, really! And the Devil himself is present at their rituals! And they have a crocodile playing a piano! Blah blah! Yakitiyak!"

The entire Catholic world soon got its knickers in a twist, Taxil even got an audience with the Pope in Rome, and it wasn't long before the whole world had heard the shocking news.

After somehow managing to keep his face straight for more than a decade (!), Taxil finally bursted out laughing in 1897, and blew the lid off his own hoax, announcing to the world in the craziest press conference in history that the whole thing had been one big massive practical joke, basically for shits and giggles and maybe also to prove that Catholics can be pretty damn gullible sometimes. (But mostly for shits and giggles.)

Even after Taxil admitted that it had all been a hoax, however, certain idiots kept repeating the “OMG Masons are totally Satanists you guys!!!11” meme, and lo and behold, even today, more than a hundred years later, the story just refuses to die.

True story.
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  #144  
Old 02-27-2012, 02:16 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Welcome to the club Brother Winston Smith!
The same welcome from me.

Last edited by LouisB; 02-27-2012 at 02:16 PM..
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  #145  
Old 02-27-2012, 02:48 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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I didn't realize this is an old thread so my congratulations were way past due. I did mean it, though.
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  #146  
Old 02-27-2012, 04:46 PM
spankthecrumpet spankthecrumpet is offline
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What are the five points of fellowship?

How hilarious is it that the j-word isn't jahbulon, but it is actually another j-word that everyone knows?
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  #147  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:02 AM
chowching chowching is offline
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What do you make of the paranoia people seem to have around Masons/Masonry?
Here in our country where religion (Roman Catholic) is a big part of the lives of majority of the people, I often hear some say that Freemasons are anti-Christ etc. I think it is because long ago during the Spanish regime here, when the Church and the State is one, most of the famous guys who fought for freedom are Freemasons. Just my theory though. And then there's the verse from the Bible. Ephesians 5:11-12 I think.
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  #148  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:25 PM
GiantRat GiantRat is offline
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Originally Posted by luvrbcs View Post
What are the home visits like? What are they looking for? How common is it to be turned down?

I just started, literally, I just filled out the Membership Information Request Form to find out where I send my petition and I don't know what to expect.
My home visit was easy. They showed up, we sat down in the living room and BS'd for a while. There are certain things that they need to verify (belief in a deity, financial stability, freedom from coercion, etc - much like getting interviewed for a security clearance). Mostly, we just shot the breeze and had a few laughs.

No big deal.
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  #149  
Old 03-18-2013, 03:24 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is offline
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My home visit was easy. They showed up, we sat down in the living room and BS'd for a while. There are certain things that they need to verify (belief in a deity, financial stability, freedom from coercion, etc - much like getting interviewed for a security clearance). Mostly, we just shot the breeze and had a few laughs.

No big deal.
That's o.k.-I'm pretty sure he already has this information on hand...considering he asked it three years ago.
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  #150  
Old 03-18-2013, 03:28 PM
Osiris the 1st Osiris the 1st is offline
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My best friend is an athiest, and when I told him I was joining he said pretty much what has been expressed here - he'd like to join, but the whole requirement for belief in a higher power thing just didn't work for him.
While I consider myself an athiest, I certainly concede the existence of a higher power, just not a conscious higher power. Nature/the universe has laws which govern all of existence and led to the rise of life on Earth (and most likely elswhere) and it evolution to all of its myriad forms. Would this be acceptable or would the fact that I don't believe in a deity per se be a disqualifier?

Last edited by Gary Robson; 03-18-2013 at 10:19 PM.. Reason: Fixed coding on quote
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