Friday, August 21, 2009

Edict Issued by Grand Master of Georgia

I received the following tonight:


The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Georgia

August 19,2009

EDICT No. 2009-1

TO ALL CONSTITUTENT LODGES UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF THE GRAND LODGE OF GEORGIA, FREE & ACCEPTED MASONS:

WHEREAS: Freemasonry has existed in Georgia since it founding in 1734 and is the oldest Fraternal organization in the State, and;

WHEREAS: Freemasonry is universal in scope, being a Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, and;

WHEREAS: the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free & Accepted Masons, holds membership in this worldwide Brotherhood, and;

WHEREAS: our Ancient and Honorable Fraternity welcomes to its doors and offers its privileges to men of all races, colors and national origins who believe in a Supreme Being, as stated in our Degrees and Lectures, and;

WHEREAS: no reference is made to exclude any petitioner with regard to race, color or national origin in any of the Rituals or Masonic Code authorized for use in the Constituent Lodges chartered by the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, and;

WHEREAS: it is incumbent on all members of our Brotherhood to abide by the Rules, Regulations, Laws and Edicts of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED:
That no negative reference be made by any officer or member of any Lodge chartered under the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, in reference to a petitioner's race, color or national origin, who believe in a Supreme Being, during any Lodge Communication, conferral of degrees, proficiency practice or proficiency examination;

Further, be it resolved, that it is the responsibility of the Worshipful Master of each Lodge constituted under the Constitution of he Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, to insure and enforce strict compliance with this EDICT, and, further, to have it read at the next two communications of the Lodge after receipt by the Lodge.

Any Lodge reported in violation of this Edict will be disciplined.

Given under my hand as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, Free and Accepted Masons, this 19th day of August, 2009.

J. Edward Jennings, Jr.
Grand Master

Attest
Donald I. DeKalb
Grand Secretary

Bravo, Grand Master.

20 comments:

The K.N.O. said...

A little patience has brought us a fine and clear statement from the GM of Georgia. I applaud my worthy brother and the worthy brethren of Gate City!

The K.N.O. said...

This could well absolve the charge I was early on too optimistic regarding this situation. Or perhaps I am now too optimistic in thinking so?

Magpie Mason said...

Edicts come and go. The conscience of Georgia Freemasonry will be measured when this simple concept is codified in the jurisdiction's law book by the suffrage of the grand lodge's voting members.

John said...

It's about time. What a relief.

John

Tatman said...

Bravo! Let's hope that no man loses sight of who his brothers are.

Lee Coursey said...

We received almsot the exact same edict in Kentucky

Dustin Tarditi said...

So Mote It Be

lightman said...

I am not sure why this was even necessary. Masonic ideals are very clear on this message. It's like an edict that says as Masons you are required to be a "Mason"? Duh!!!!

The K.N.O. said...

A reminder is rarely out of place, especially when some forget. Even if it is not necessary, the GM certainly has the right to make the statement, just as you have the right to make your statement which is of possibly as little worth as you suggest his is.

Let's recall that two individuals out of thousands started this. They have opinions, and opinions I strongly disagree with. They still have the right to their opinions.

You may say, and I think correctly, that these values are core to Masonic ideals. The ability to hold those opinions and to uphold their rights to have them is likewise at the core of Freemasonry's ideals. It is a moment where two ideals are in not understood the same in the minds of some. As Voltaire said, and it is a 'duh!' moment to remind, 'I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.'

The K.N.O. said...

Also, we have seen people complain that the statement did not come soon enough for them, and the hue-and-cry for such a message from the GM was palpable. It is unfair to both the GM and the people who wished for a statement to turn about and say nobody needed one, as unnecessary as it seems to some.

Cory said...

It's kind of upsetting that this needs to be said out loud or even written down for that matter especially to Masons who should be the type of people who live their lives tolerant of others no matter what race, religion, creed...etc

With that said I'm still glad it was done.

Cory

The K.N.O. said...

There are many things in Masonry that are written down, and possibly not necessary to say. I tell my parents I love them every chance I get. They do likewise. It's not necessary, but it's great to hear and be reminded.

This statement might not have been necessary either, since only a vocal few have forgotten. It's nice to hear and be reminded.

drapetomaniac said...

This should have been an easy statement to make immediately during the event - before the complaint was filed to those filing it in private chastise.

Instead it is a carbon copy of another territory months after the fact.

What organizations or companies do any of you belong to where it is anywhere *near* normal for *leaders* (weren't these WM?) will stand and make a written formal complaint on moral grounds that having a negro in your midst is moral affront.

Any organization that they are comfortable writing it down and filing it. Name them.

Name the companies or organizations.

Or, if you can't think of one you belong to - name another where you might expect such a thing to happen.

And the response after the moral complaint of including a negro in your midst is - a clarification of policy. In the year 2009.

A clarification that including me and my son, when he is an adult, as men, freeborn. A difficult thing to understand for some, or needing clarification like how to handle bills.

Name the organizations where that needs clarification... as an occasional policy reminder. and then trivialize the indignation others have.

Name them please.

andy said...

"Holy Damage control Batman!!!!" having to remind brethren to Act Masonically..... hopefully this will end the drama

Bryan said...

Eh. I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed.

All we got was the same statement Kentucky issued, only weeks later.

It says we can't make negative references to race against anyone during lodges business...not exactly world shaking news.

It doesn't say you shouldn't make determinations about new members based on race.

It doesn't say what it should, that racism is deplorable in any environment, and especially so in the lodge.

This is little more than a nudge to racist masons to keep quiet about it...

The K.N.O. said...

I do not think anyone has trivialized the indignation that others have. Many of us have those same indignations. It is best to not misdirect those indignations and to work to improve Masonry.

It is useful to recognize positive movement, and not to trivialize it because it resembles a similar statement.

It could well have been an easy statement to make until legal issues ensued. That causes all to step cautiously.

I have heard from members of Gate City that are pleased with the GMs actions, yet I have never heard any of them speak against him. If anyone deserves to act with indignation, it is them. Yet, I am unfamiliar with them acting as such.

This was NOT an organizational issue, yet it was the issue of a few individuals. Most of the GA brothers I have spoken with seemed shocked that this was a big deal. The individuals had the right to bring the frivolous charges according to the regulations. The charges failed, as they should.

It is odd that an indignant person is not so indignant as to identify themselves.

This battle is not yet finished. Let's support those most directly involved; Gate City Lodge, the African American Brother in question, who has been nothing but supportive of GA Masonry, and the GM of GA. A rush to judgment is what started the problem. We ought not make the same mistake as those who brought the charges by mimicking their actions and judging unfairly all by the actions of the few. That takes us to a time called B.C., not toward a bright future.

George said...

This is excellent. I'm glad and proud that our GM issued this Edict. I look forward to our Annual Communication on Oct. 27-28. This is a huge step for Georgia Masonry, but we've got many more to take. Things are looking up for the GA Freemasons who believe in the promise of Universal Brotherhood. Now if my own patience can just hold out!

Bryan said...

All measures to codify this into the lawbooks failed at grand lodge. In fact, everything failed - nothing was passed (not even the edict).

Chris Hodapp said...

So, the edict is now rescinded with the new Grand Master's election, correct?

Bryan said...

Correct.