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  #1  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:36 PM
rat avatar rat avatar is offline
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Are there any fraternal orders who allow atheists to join?

I know the Masons, Elks and Odd fellows require you to believe in a higher power, but are there others who accept atheists?
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:57 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Rotary International doesn't require anything about religion; the only mention I can see on their membership page is that they should try for diversity of religion, which would indicate atheists are acceptable (though, of course, it's possible that a particular club may not want one). But they really don't ask.
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Old 01-22-2010, 10:23 PM
Mr. Moto Mr. Moto is offline
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The Loyal Order of Moose is officially nonsectarian and nonpolitical. Probably another reason I should join.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:01 AM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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What do these Elks and Mooses do? I've always heard about them but not what they do. I'll assume they're not trying to secretly take over the world like the Masons
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:02 AM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is offline
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The Elks and I think Moose are benevolent protective orders. They are a club to get together at and have meals and socialize, and they also do charitable activities for the community. Most have clubhouses, and many let various scouts and other community organizations use them.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:13 AM
EvilTOJ EvilTOJ is offline
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I have heard and read that all the Masons require is you tell them you believe in a higher power. If you say yes then you're never asked about it again. I'm an atheist but if I were to join I'd say I do, because I believe in aliens. Not aliens being our gods, just that they exist... somewhere. That may not quite be what they had in mind, but to me it kinda meshes with Scientology (they believe in aliens too, but are more into them having influence in our lives)
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:59 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
I have heard and read that all the Masons require is you tell them you believe in a higher power. If you say yes then you're never asked about it again. I'm an atheist but if I were to join I'd say I do, because I believe in aliens. Not aliens being our gods, just that they exist... somewhere. That may not quite be what they had in mind, but to me it kinda meshes with Scientology (they believe in aliens too, but are more into them having influence in our lives)
Well maybe, but I have always heard that to attain the highest degree (33rd, I think) of masonry you have to affirim belief in Jesus Christ. My (step-) father-in-law was a mason and an orthodox Jew who could not attain that rank.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:20 PM
Napier Napier is offline
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Perhaps organizations in officially athiest countries like the old USSR?
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:36 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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What do these Elks and Mooses do? I've always heard about them but not what they do. I'll assume they're not trying to secretly take over the world like the Masons
Mostly, just hang out. Instead of going to the local bar to socialize with your buddies, you'd go to the local Elk's club hall, or whatever, instead. They'll also do things like form sports teams for local amateur leagues, have communal dinners occasionally, and host fundraisers for their favorite charity.

Which is also, of course, pretty much what the Masons do. While there may be some inclination buried deep in their history of trying to take over the world, the vast majority of their members are just ordinary folks who don't care about that.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:04 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Rotary International doesn't require anything about religion; the only mention I can see on their membership page is that they should try for diversity of religion, which would indicate atheists are acceptable (though, of course, it's possible that a particular club may not want one). But they really don't ask.
I came in to say Rotary, too. In our chapter, at least, an atheist would have to tolerate a 45-second non-sectarian invocation each week, but AFAIK would certainly not be barred from joining.

The Rotary credo is "The Four-Way Test," which is completely secular:

Of the things we think, say or do

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:42 PM
yabob yabob is online now
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
Well maybe, but I have always heard that to attain the highest degree (33rd, I think) of masonry you have to affirim belief in Jesus Christ. My (step-) father-in-law was a mason and an orthodox Jew who could not attain that rank.
33rd degree is a selected position rather than something you have laid out rules for attaining. The description from the wiki article:
Quote:
In the United States, members of the Scottish Rite can be elected to receive the 33 by the Supreme Council. It is conferred on members who have made major contributions to society or to Masonry in general. ...
I had a great uncle who was a 33rd degree Mason. He was also something of a silly old buffer - the idea of my great uncle having been a secret ruler of the world, rather than just an old guy whose entire life revolved around the Masons, is rather amusing. He worked for them full time as the administrator of a scholarship fund. I seem to recall that my grandfather, who knew what he was doing when it came to small businesses, claimed that his brother-in-law's "job" took about 4 hours of actual work a week.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:08 PM
Cliffy Cliffy is offline
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My college fraternity admitted plenty of atheists (including me). It required members to be of some religious faith when it first started founding at the beginning of the previous century (Jews were always OK), but it hasn't had that requirement for many decades.

--Cliffy
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