Are you a member of any of the Freemason societies?
I am not. I would probably join given the invitation.
You probably need to ask a Mason in your area, Khadaji. Most lodges and most states do not recruit, per se.
I have mentioned it to the only one I know. He said he would give me some literature (FOF I think he called it?) and we would go from there. He never did. I figured he either didn’t deem me worthy or didn’t care enough to bother - either way I wasn’t going to pester him.
The mason’s are an interesting sociological phenomenon, if not nearly as interesting a “secret” society.
My grandfather is a freemason. He was shocked when I told him I knew all about their handshakes, symbols, and ceremonial rituals via the internet. That stuff seems a little silly to me. I wanted to know what they actually DO but he wouldn’t tell me. I know they do good works like give to charities and set up hospitals in the case of the Shriners but I have a sneaking suspicion that, like most clubs of that sort, it is mainly an excuse to get away from their wives in a hush-hush don’t ask any questions kind of way. There are a bunch of lodges of all different sorts around here. I get the impression that they are mostly just tree houses for old men with a ‘No Girls Allowed’ sign implied. I didn’t join a fraternity in college because I don’t swing that way even in the platonic sense and I don’t plan to start now.
Just to clarify, i hit “plan to join” as in eventually. Not that I’ve started the process. I don’t have the time right now to make it a worthwhile experience, but at some indefinite point in the future, I do plan on joining.
No, I find it attractive because of its relationship with the development of Western democratic republicanism & ethical monotheism, but the nature of the oaths & some of the religious symbolic mixture with paganism both put me off. That said, I’m not against it & don’t harp on fellow Christians who see nothing conflicting with their faith in it.
I was a Rainbow girl until I turned eighteen and loved it. For a long time I regretted not moving up to Eastern Star but now I wouldn’t qualify as I am atheist and won’t say otherwise for tradition’s sake.
Are non-whites even allowed/encouraged to join? Admittedly I’ve never thought about it and if I did I chalked it up to another old white boys club.
My grandfather was one… I think he was disappointed that I never expressed interest in joining.
Why not? Just curious. I am not a christian, but if you asked me to say I was for a delicious chocolate chip cookie, I would do it in a heart beat! It would be no different than me saying, “I’m a dolphin!”
Anaamika, I think the ‘black’ masons are called Prince Hall masons. I’m not sure, though, where I heard that. I don’t think they are officially recognized by the Masons though.
Not officially recognized? Hmm. What about other minorities, I wonder?
Err…keep in mind, I’m speaking out of my big black ass, but…I think the Prince Hall masons consider themselves masons, but have their own…chapter? And I think that chapter is not recognized by the Freemasons. Please let someone who knows what they are talking about come get me out of this. Amen.
People of any race may join the Masons. The only requirements are being a freeborn man, with faith in [a] Deity. While I can’t say that all lodges are equally welcoming, the ones I have visited and my mother lodge certainly have no qualms about someone’s race or which Book he believes holds Truth.
Prince Hall Masons are recognized by mainstream Masonry (the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts recognizes them, at the very least). The story of the beginnings of Prince Hall Masonry are told around here both with pride and shame. Prince Hall was a black land owner in Boston around the time of the revolution. He wanted to join the Masons, but a single no vote is enough to keep anyone from joining, and the Boston Masons of the time were not completely free of racism. Some of the more open minded Masons knew some brothers that were part of the Irish regiment camped on one of the harbor islands. They had Prince Hall and some other free black men swim (or more likely walk at low tide) to the island to take their degrees. When the British pulled out, they were granted the right to meet as a lodge, and take part in the parades and to be buried as Masons, but not to confer degrees. A few years later the Grand Lodge of England granted them a full charter.
I’ve been told (by a Mason) that it’s one of their rules that they don’t invite anyone to join. They only accept people who approach them and ask to join. I think it’s an attempt to refute any claims that they are actively trying to take over the world and/or the local business community.
So if you are an atheist, you cannot join?
You’re supposed to swear an oath before God when you join as a full member. I suppose it’s arguable that you’re not violating an oath to God by not believing in God but I think the intent is clear that by taking the oath you’re acknowleging that God exists to accept it.
Can a Buddhist join? For the record, Buddhism assumes the existence of gods, but doesn’t incorporate them as part of the religion. Gods are largely irrelevant but still real, like cats or asparagus in Christianity.