While I was an undergrad in university, I joined a fraternity. I pledged and was initiated. I was always keenly interested in what some erroneously call “secret societies”; it was only natural that one day, I’d want to become a freemason.
I respect that I was raised to the “sublime” degree of Master Mason and fully initiated; Freemasons hold that the third degree is the highest one can be bestowed upon, and the rest are just extrapolations therein. I’m fine with that alternative; I’ve never joined the Scottish Rite all the way to the 32nd degree!
Respect all my bretheren and the work. But what bothered me was the question I was asked, before becoming a freemason. In fact, I was carefully instructed that, if I didn’t believe in a supreme being, that I could never be a freemason.
Do I believe in G-d? That question, I find extremely personal, and not one I can readily answer with a “yes” or “no”. But the way my brethren formulated the question: something along the lines of “A Grand Architect Of The Universe” it was difficult to oppose and I readily accepted that something – anything – must be the creator of our known galaxies and universe.
Brethren, now that I am getting on in age, I am no longer active in the freemason’s lodge which initiated me, because I need to stay at home to caregive for an elderly stroke victim. I now know myself as agnostic, and was wondering, if and when I’m done caregiving some day, and want to rejoin lodge; will I still be considered a freemason if I’m agnostic? What if I don’t believe in a supreme being at all? I suppose that I MIGHT believe in a Supreme being, and that this is enough to attend.
However, this “question”, my brethren, has long kept me from attending lodge and even joining the scottish or york rite. To complicate things: In the York Rite you have to be Christian, according to the rules. I dont’ mind that, having been born into Orthodox Christianity; But what if I was jewish or something else? The response I’ve heard? “Of the two appendant bodies, the Scottish Rite is open to all, join that instead.” huh?
Brethren, this is an open letter online. Let us do away with such questions. I know Freemasony is an ancient craft. Let it be open to all, regardless of their beliefs.
As I once wrote:
“Neither politics, history or religion hath any bearing upon my soul …”
Steve Mini from the 6.
Former member of a Toronto Blue Lodge (not in good standing currently; I don’t get to lodge anymore, for personal reasons (caregiver to an old man keeps me home)).