Thursday, January 31, 2013

South Carolina Suspends Relations With Shriners International

MW Jay Adam Pearson, Grand Master of South Carolina, has now fired a broadside at the Imperial Shrine, joining Arkansas. Because of the Shrine's refusal to expel Masons who have been suspended or expelled by their grand lodges, he has issued the following edict:

"Effective immediately, no Mason in the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient free Masons of South Carolina shall attend or participate in any Shrine Ceremonial, Club, and Unit meeting to include the 2013 Imperial Session of Shriners International to be held in Indianapolis Indiana with expelled masons present...Failure to obey will result in expulsion from Freemasonry and all organizations which Masonic membership is predicated."

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41 comments:

BurxWorks4You.com said...

I absolutely LOVE the Shriners! They're a most worthy charitable organization and do much more for the nation than are recognized for.

Only issue in question is that if it wants to be recognized as an 'appendant body', then it first and foremost must follow the laws and regulations of the Grand Lodge of the state in which it's holden - or just be a separate entity.

In this case, all interested Masons would be able to continue to participate in the noteworthy organization without any fear of expulsion from the Grand Lodge, as the organization wouldn't be tied to Masonry in the first place.

I will continue to contribute to it's hospitals - but let's get harmony back into Freemasonry by keeping it Masonic and eliminate the distractions. The world is watching!

Chris Hodapp said...

The rule has always been "suspended in one, suspended in all" where GLs have been concerned. The Shrine is tap dancing on a minefield. MWBro Pearson has documented his back and forth letters with the Potentate by sending them to every GL. When other GLs read the Shrine's stance on this matter, others will not much care for the notion that expelled Masons can stay in the Shrine. This could be huge.

Allyn F Davies said...

In my 40 plus years in participation and travels as a Freemason and in concordant's, I have found that the most industrious members of the craft are in fact Shriner's. My belief if expelled it would be a detriment to the craft. I guess in fact it is the GM's call. It could come back to haunt him.

Ed Adams said...

With all due respect, WB Chris, this is just really sad. We're grown men. I've never seen a more disrespectful and condescending letter from a Brother Mason to another Brother Mason than that which I just read. It is most disappointing.

The Shrine is not tap dancing here. It is following the law - as a non-profit corporation governed by the laws of state of Iowa. You can't pick and choose how you enforce your rules. This stems from the Grand Master in Arkansas demanding that the Shrine violate the law (in spite of the fact that 3 other bodies investigated the charges and found no basis for them)- with no regard to sovereignty of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, which refused to take action against this Brother (yes, he is still a Brother). Where is the hue and cry against the Grand Lodge of Iowa for not respecting the the decisions of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas? This a sad display non-fraternal behavior.

I'm sorry for my South Carolina Shrine brethren who were planning to join us in Indianapolis in July.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

It's terribly sad that there is no middle ground here, where the Shrine could admit that it's time to go its own way and dissolve the Masonic tie, and the Grand Lodges could admit that, if it did, they would no longer have any authority over its operations in their jurisdictions.

To me that seems like the best of all possible solutions to a problem that seemingly gets worse by the day.

Chris Hodapp said...

Ed, I never said this wasn't a sad situation. And Iowa is indeed the troublemaker in this mess by not honoring Arkansas' actions. But you can say all you like that the Shrine is following its laws. No one goes up against a Grand Master in these cases and wins. By refusing to suspend expelled Masons from the Shrine, it is only a matter of time before other GLs climb on board this bandwagon. That's just the way this is going to go down.

Burx Norrod said...

At the end of the day, the Grand Master duly & truly governs the Masonic activities of his jurisdictions. To go against his final ruling would be a heresy, and would be dealt with as our Masonic oaths state.

To maintain peace & harmony, Shriners International should be Shriners International, and Freemasonry - well, Freemasonry.

It would no doubt be well supported as such.

Jeff Dyer said...

This is indeed a sad day for our craft. It is a day that did not have to come. When we have over 50 Grand Lodges each with there own list of Land Marks and ideas on orthodoxy we have learned to look the other way at what our brothers in other states have done. My state included. When we were the first Grand Lodge to recognize Prince Hall many other Grand Lodges pulled there recognition of us. It is near impossible for an Inter-national organization like the Shrine to keep all the Grand Lodges happy. What is happening to the Shrine could happen to any other appendant body.

Over the past few years we have all seen and read of the abuses that some of the Grand Masters have set upon the harmony of the craft. As one who sold and was licensed to sell liquor for most of my adult life I was outraged that there is or was a state that I could not move to and keep my Masonic membership. We have all been taught that a Master that has to say because I am Master is a poor Master indeed. We need to remember our brothers of the UGLE when the joined together stating that in Masonry there are three and only three degrees and they are EA, FC, MM and RA..

It is my hope that at the meeting of the Grand Masters of North America that calm heads will prevail and that some of our Grand Masters are politely told to subdue there passions

Manny Blanco said...

The Shrine must obey the rules and regulations of the Masonic Jurisdiction it is located. It is a Masonic Appendant Body. Masonic membership is required to become a member. This applies to all the Appendant Bodies. This is not the fault of the Grand Master. He did what he had to do.. Sincerely & Fraternally, Manny Blanco, Grand Lodge of California

Charles E. Martin said...

This entire situation makes me ill. I cherish the Shrine (I am demitted because of international work). I cherish the Craft Lodge. I pray that an amicable solution can be worked out in both Ark and SC. Remember the motto of the Shrine is "Salaam Aleikum". Peace be unto you.

Charles E. Martin
Alexandria VA

Ed Adams said...

Chris, I disagree that Iowa is the "troublemaker" here. Their Grand Lodge is just as sovereign as Arkansas. The expulsions in Arkansas are political and, thus, highly suspect (charges found without merit by 3 other investigating bodies). Keep in mind that this isn't the first time to the rodeo for Arkansas. They've broken off relations with the Shrine twice before.

While I'm glad to hear you are saddened by the situation, I am disheartened by brethren who seem intent to use this situation to fan the flames of disharmony because of their personal dislike of the Shrine - or its Masonic affiliation. Despite the fantasies (better described as delusions) of these individuals, the Shrine will not remove its Masonic affiliation requirement.

I also do not believe GMs will clamor to follow suit. It is self-defeating for the fraternity and most GMs understand that. This is a tempest in a teapot. I'll take jurisprudence lectures from Arkansas and SC more seriously when they recognize Prince Hall lodges.

Frederic L. Milliken said...

QUOTE:
“The Shrine must obey the rules and regulations of the Masonic Jurisdiction it is located. It is a Masonic Appendant Body. Masonic membership is required to become a member. This applies to all the Appendant Bodies. This is not the fault of the Grand Master. He did what he had to do.”

The rule may be - suspended in one suspended in all - but that has been a tradition through the ages when all Grand Lodges were honorable. But times have changed. When a Grand Lodge illegally, immorally and cruelly expels a Brother for an offense not worthy of such action or a trumped up charge then it is the right of Appendant Bodies to refuse to sanction such actions. Otherwise you are demanding them to participate in a criminal act. When the Grand Lodge has acted unconstitutionally and unmasonically why must an Appendant Body sanction such action?

Did anyone look up the story behind the story and find out why the GL of Arkansas expelled a Brother Shriner? The story is well spelled out here.

http://www.freemasoninformation.com/2012/12/the-grand-lodge-of-arkansas-continues-its-masonic-purge/

http://www.freemasoninformation.com/2012/12/more-light-on-the-arkansas-shriner-purge/

The Grand Lodge of Arkansas is noted for its unmasonic and unconstitutional conduct. Perhaps you remember Derek Gordon and the clandestine license plate caper.

If we follow the tradition of not interfering in another Grand Lodge’s business then we should not bring another Grand Lodge’s business into our Grand Lodge to sanction it and follow another's rulings.
Frederic L. Milliken - MWPHGLTX

MP said...

The rule has always been "suspended in one, suspended in all" where GLs have been concerned.

If you mean "suspended in one GL, suspended in all GLs" this is just not true.

I do not see GLs flocking to suspend Masons who were suspended or expelled in light of FL's R&D #3.

Ohio chose to ignore WV's expulsion of a Mason.

In short, history does not back this up.

BigClem said...

Fred is not correct. Gordon was not expelled over a license plate. I agree the "stink" over the plates was over blown, that was not Gordon's problem.

Ric Carter said...

The edict seems to read to me that SC Masons may not participate in Shrine events when expelled Masons are present.

Perhaps serious, but clearly less than "suspending relations."

Ric Carter

Jeff Dyer said...

There are times when we all have kept our heads down and weathered out the year of a Grand Master on a tear. However how can a organization that spends Millions of dollars a day duck and cover when ever a Grand Master has a hissy fit and stamps his feet.

What I hate most is that it seems that the craft in the U.S. is following in the same lines as the politics of our nation. I say this as a life long Republican but we as a craft and being led down a path of intolerance and destruction by the same states that are leading the GOP down a similar lane.

Michael Moseley said...

It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties which, as a Mason, you are bound to discharge, or to enlarge on the necessity of a strict adherence to them, as your own experience must have established their value. Our laws and regulations you are strenuously to support; and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly executed. You are not to palliate or aggravate the offences of your brethren; but in the decision

p. 158

of every trespass against our rules, you are to judge with candor, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with justice.


Expelled Masons are clearly Cowans, and evesdroppers and they should all should fear the Tylers Sword.

Fraternally Yours,

Michael Moseley 32nd Degree Freemason,Savannah Ga.

jody hersey said...

The grand is right. The Shrine needs to obey the bylaws

Chad Emsweller said...

I am not educated as to all of the events and reasoning that has led up to this, but what I DO know is that the if the Shrine "goes it's own way" it will lose a great deal of its membership, as will the Lodge. Many men will take one side or the other(wrongfully, in my opinion, and the result will be two weaker orders. I love my Lodge, and my Shrine, and could not imagine them being separate. Hopefully some common sense will prevail, and we can all meet on the level.

Ron Steward said...

None of this is to the good of Free Masonry. The rules are simple. You must be a Mason in good standing with your respective blue lodge to be a Shriner. If you are not in good standing then you must resign (or be expelled) from the Shriners. In my humble opinion, it would be and should be up to the expelled brother to right things with his blue lodge, if possible, and then be re-instated into the Shriners (if found worthy). One thing is a fact; The actions of a few are causing descension of many and this aught not be.I pray this is resolved soon
Ron Steward, Faith Lodge, Oak Ridge TN. Kerbela Temple, Knoxville, TN.

CROWE said...

Regardless of what you think of my Grand Master (MW GL of SC AFM), how hard is it to pay your dues? If you joined a lodge just to become a Shriner that's your business. No one says you must attend lodge in order to be a Shriner; you do, however, have to pay your lodge dues.

Stop complaining about Grand Masters throwing "hissy fits" and follow the rules and regulations in place.

As far as recognition of Prince Hall masons, you should look into what Prince Hall GL's your GL actually recognizes. Most only recognize their own state's PHA.

Fraternally,
Patrick Crowe
Acacia #94 A:.F:.M:. Under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of SC.

Jeff Dyer said...

This has nothing to do with NPD. I don't think any Temple would keep a member on the books that was not paying his dues to his blue lodge. This is about a few Grand Lodges throwing their weight around to prove their primacy. We as humans can not exist without incognizances and over looking them. One who lives with the compasses closed to tightly will live a miserable and unsettled life. If you look at my post after UGLE stated that Masonry had only three degrees they then listed four and moved on. While in theory each State is supreme, in function all must bow and bend to each other or break under the stress. Is the rule now in Arkansas that any Mason who is involved in a public argument with a woman unmasonic? Would it have been different if it was a man? In a time when we now allow Woman to fight in combat to call an argument with them in public unmasonic is arcane and Neanderthal.

As to the Prince Hall. After Massachusetts and UGLE recognized Prince Hall any GL that did not is only doing so out of racism and not Masonic law since MA and UGLE were the two GL that had standing from the first.

CROWE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CROWE said...

http://www.ugle.org.uk/about-ugle/recognised-foreign-grand-lodges/grand-lodges-in-north-america/

UGLE does not recognize all PHA Grand Lodges.

Fraternally,
Patrick Crowe

William Childress said...

I have seen it said here that the "Grand Master duly & truly governs the Masonic activities of his jurisdictions . . ." That is not so with respect to the Shrine - the Shrine is governed by Shriners International (Canada, the United States, and Mexico,) whereas the Grand Lodge only governs the Masonic bodies in the state within which the Grand Lodge is holden. There is no "Imperial Grand Lodge" over all the state Grand Lodges. Further, the two bodies are governed by much different regulations, separate and apart from each other. Therefore, a Grand Lodge, as much as it may wish it does, has NO jurisdiction over the Imperial Shriners International. That being said, the Grand Master does NOT duly & truly govern the activities of the Shriners in his jurisdiction.

Thomas Johnson said...


Excellent comment, BRO. Dyer.

Regarding Prince Hall,

I happen to be a proud "mainstream" Freemason, but years ago I heard two comments regarding Prince Hall Masonry from two unlikely sources that gave me reason to pause and think.

The first source was from a well beloved caucasian senior Mason and GL Officer who told me, in a private moment, "Tom, if I could do it all over again, I would choose Prince Hall."

And the second, was while working with a young blond haired man in Iraq who I had heard was taking the Craft degrees of Freemasonry. This delighted me so I eagerly asked the young man what Masonic Juridiction was he becoming a member of, and he replied, "Prince Hall." I then asked, "why did you join Prince Hall instead of mainstream?" And he replied, "because I heard Prince Hall is better."

fiatlux said...

If Shriners want to organize their own organization, I wouldn't see an issue with that. The Shrine would then need to drop ALL masonic reference from their teachings. The Shrine does good, so does the blue lodge and many other appendant bodies. However, if we as Masons get too involved with worldly issues that we forget the reason behind masonry in the first place.. we then lose sight of the teachings of the ancients and what they held sacred. Love for all and tolerance for the lack there of. This is where we lose sight of the craft and run friends through the blue lodge just as a stepping stone to the Shrine. This essentially drops our guard at the west gate! The Shrine has a place in charitable organizations, is it within Freemasonry, I suppose time and attitudes will tell. “Si Non Sedi Is, Labora Et Invenies”

fiatlux said...

If Shriners want to organize their own organization, I wouldn't see an issue with that. The Shrine would then need to drop ALL masonic reference from their teachings. The Shrine does good, so does the blue lodge and many other appendant bodies. However, if we as Masons get too involved with worldly issues that we forget the reason behind masonry in the first place.. we then lose sight of the teachings of the ancients and what they held sacred. Love for all and tolerance for the lack there of. This is where we lose sight of the craft and run friends through the blue lodge just as a stepping stone to the Shrine. This essentially drops our guard at the west gate! The Shrine has a place in charitable organizations, is it within Freemasonry, I suppose time and attitudes will tell. “Si Non Sedi Is, Labora Et Invenies”

Ed Adams said...

fiatlux, we already have an organization, and have since 1872. It's the Shrine. We don't have "teachings." It's a place for MASONS to have fun. We don't skip people through the blue lodge just to get them to the Shrine. If your blue lodge members don't spend time at your lodge, look at your lodge and its practices and fix it. Don't blame the Shrine.

squareofvirtue said...

Bro. Chris, I have an opinion on this matter, but it is lengthy and written on my blog. With your permission and approval to post this comment, I'd like to add my two cents and opinion to the conversation. Found here: http://squareofvirtue.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/to-be-or-not-to-be/

Fraternally,

Jay Adam Pearson said...

I do appreciate Worshipful Brother Hodapp’s willingness to post both sides of this issue, thank you Brother Chris!
Brethren I would like to share with you that South Carolina has not suspended relations with Shriners International, please read my Edict it is posted on the Grand Lodge Website. I have exhausted every avenue to convince Imperial Sir Al to remove expelled masons from the rolls of Shrines International. The Edict has been issued to safe guard South Carolina Masons who are Shriners.
Everyone continues to mention the Iowa Mason. Brethren this issue does not concern that particular Mason. He has a dues card and the Grand Lodge of Arkansas and the Grand Lodge of Iowa will resolve that issue. The fact remains an additional 22 masons have been tried and expelled over 1 and a half years ago and all cases have been upheld by the Grand Lodge of Arkansas in February 2012. It is very simple no Grand Lodge allows their membership to have Fraternal Relations with expelled masons. The Grand Master of Arkansas never demanded anything of the Imperial Potentate, he simply asked our Imperial Potentate to remove all expelled masons from the rolls of Shriners International. There is no middle ground when it comes to obeying and fulfilling our masonic obligations. I find it interesting that Brethren choose to ignore the facts and raise issues that are not pertinent to the point at hand. Grand Lodges can recognize whomever the membership desires this is not a Prince Hall issue. Keep your eye on the ball Brethren Shriners International continues to maintain expelled masons on their rolls. I respect the Grand Master of Iowa and I know he has spent many hours in prayer and researching his code. This issue has never arisen in Iowa and they will come to a peaceful resolution. This is not a hiss fit and the stamping of feet. Since 2011 request have gone out to Shriners International asking them to remove expelled masons. If Shriners International desires to propagate the schism then remove all reference to masonry, change the obligation and charge, remove the prerequisite to be a Mason in good standing on the petition and reinstatement forms and separate themselves from the Masonic Fraternity. If this happens I will take a demit and continue to support the Shrine Hospital.
Here is a simple question for my Brethren who disagree with my Edict:
Will you violate your Masonic Obligation and hold Fraternal Relations with expelled mason?

Jay Adam Pearson
Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina

Ed Adams said...

MWB Jay,
People continue to mention the “Iowa Mason” because the entire controversy revolves around actions taken regarding him. I understand there are 22 others involved. However, this entire mess began when the MWGL of Arkansas insisted that the Shrine take action regarding this “Iowa Mason.” This insistence called upon the Shrine to perform an illegal act. In response to Shrine’s refusal to perform an illegal act, the MWGL of Arkansas declared the Shrine clandestine and went on a campaign of expulsions without trial – where the only “crime” was Shrine membership.
I take some umbrage to your last statement suggesting that those who have not followed your lead are violating our obligations. We take our obligations in Indiana just as seriously as any other Master Mason. I am not familiar with the details of South Carolina ritual, but in Indiana, my obligation is to not hold Masonic conversation with expelled Masons. This does not mean “shunning.” I can associate with such an individual. I can belong to the same organizations. I am prohibited from sitting in lodge with him or holding Masonic conversation. Membership in the Shrine involves neither activity.
I must respectfully disagree with your opinion that this is not a “hiss fit and stamping of feet.” That is exactly what this matter has become and it is an embarrassment. As Fellow Crafts, we were charged to not palliate or aggravate the offenses of our brethren, but in every decision of a trespass against our rules to judge with candor, admonish with friendship and reprehend with justice.
When a similar membership dispute arose between the MWGL of Michigan and the Shrine (over something far more consequential than the political nonsense in Arkansas), the GM did not “shut down the Shrine.” Members could still attend social events and volunteers could continue to drive children to the hospital. Personally, I felt the GM’s actions in Michigan were unnecessary. However, his course was far more measured. The actions of the MWGL of Arkansas took a relatively minor issue and exploded it. Shutting down 3 Shrine temples is a very public act. Several thousand men and their wives and families – who had absolutely nothing to do with the issue –found their lives completely disrupted. An important social outlet in their lives was ripped away. Children in need of medical treatment, who certainly had nothing to do with this petty dispute, no longer had transportation. The watching world sees only a group of grown men who can’t get along and would rather blow something up if they can’t control it. I fail to see the friendship or justice in these actions.
I was disappointed in the edict. South Carolina “had no dog in the fight.” The action was unnecessary and has served to only aggravate an embarrassment to our fraternity. It does affect me personally in that my South Carolina brethren cannot join me here in Indianapolis. I’m deprived of their fellowship. Our community is deprived of travel revenue. Why? Because a handful of Arkansas men who have been expelled might be there? I don’t find the logic persuasive. However, far more consequential, the public only sees grown men, who claim to be better men, who can’t get along with each other.
When fraternalism takes a back seat to legalism, the fraternity loses. The Prince Hall issue is relevant because both are symptoms of the same disease. Many in those jurisdictions have used legalism as a shield for institutional racism – just as there are elements in this dispute who use legalism as a shield for an agenda to drive a wedge between the Masonic fraternity and the Shrine (because they don’t like the Shrine or because the Shrine is incompatible with their view of Freemasonry). Justice and our obligations demand that we be better men than that. MWB Jay, I don’t believe those are your motivations. However, the result is fueling those who have such motivations.

Mike Bryant said...

Ed, you say that "I am not familiar with the details of South Carolina ritual, but in Indiana, my obligation is to not hold Masonic conversation with expelled Masons. This does not mean “shunning.” I can associate with such an individual. I can belong to the same organizations. I am prohibited from sitting in lodge with him or holding Masonic conversation. Membership in the Shrine involves neither activity."

Regardless of any issue(s) that may have caused this, one Mason or 22, or whether it is related to racism or anything else-- speaking directly and only to your quote above, I think that that since we are Shriners by virtue of first being Masons that sitting in a Shrine meeting with a Mason not in good standing would be in violation of the oath. As I see it, a Shrine meeting (York Rite, Scottish Rite, or any other meeting of an appendant Masonic body) is necessarily also a Masonic meeting. I can sit with that same person in church or Kiwanis or Lion's Club or any other organization that is not Masonically related, but as I see it, to sit with them in a meeting of an appendant body would be to violate my obligation as a Mason.

I realize that Blue Lodge Masonic ritual work is not performed in these meetings, but since the requirement is that to be a member you must also be a Mason, I just couldn't do it since they are appendant bodies.

I take it you disagree; I would love to hear your reasoning why so I that I can better understand your point of view.

Fraternally,

Mike Bryant, Master
Breathitt Lodge 649
www.breathitt649.org

Jay Adam Pearson said...

Brother Ed:
The "mess" as you refer too is a direct result of Shiners refusal to act when a Brother preferred Shrine charges. Next it was taken to the local lodge, which also refused to act; therefore it came to the attention of the Grand Master. The Imperial Potentate refused to communicate with the Grand Lodge of Arkansas for approximately one year. You mentioned a more measured response, I believe the Grand Lodge was corrected and waited a time with patience. Additionally you are in error. At no time has the Grand Master of Arkansas told any Mason they cannot continue to transport children to a hospital to be cared for by Shrines International. The current Grand Master also reiterated this fact during their last Annual Communication. You are placing stock in less than factually accurate information from the Shrine. Brother Ed every Mason has as you referred to "a dog in the fight". No Mason can have fraternal relations with expelled masons. You must understand this is a calculated effort on behalf of Shiners International to completely separate from the Masons. This has been on their trestle board for several years. It is a five year plan. First divide the Grand Lodges by propagating a schism. Next allow those temples to recruit non-masons during the 2013 Imperial Session. Then have their drones come to the 2014 Imperial Session and request the same parameters. Finally at the 2015 Imperial Session they will completely separate. The result will be in 10 years Shiners International will be dead as we know it today. Please talk with someone on the Hospital Board Shiners International has been trying to get major sponsorship to take on the burden of the hospitals for several years. If fulfilling my obligation to safeguard our beloved fraternity is an embarrassment, then so be it. Please understand Shrines International is the one who is driving the wedge. Brother Ed will you violate your obligation and sit with expelled masons during the 2013 Imperial Session? I hope not.

Jay Adam Pearson
Grand Master of Masons in South Carolina

Ed Adams said...

Brother Mike,

You are fundamentally mistaken. A meeting with Masons is not a Masonic meeting. Our obligations have strict meaning. We are prohibited from engaging in Masonic conversation and sitting in a tyled Masonic Lodge that is regular and operates pursuant to a charter issued by a Grand Lodge that empowers them to work. Period. You may have feelings that go beyond that (and I sympathize with those), but those are just your feelings. This is a matter of jurisprudence, not feelings.

Fraternally,
Ed Adams, PM

Ed Adams said...

MWB Jay,

With all due respect, your premises are factually and legally incorrect. First, it is your opinion that the lodge “failed to act.” In reality, the lodge did act by investigating and concluding that charges were not warranted. The GM then acted on his own, which he has the right to do. However, I am still at a loss as to how he was “patient” with the Shrine by demanding that they commit an act in violation of Iowa law (the law governing the non-profit corporation “Shriners International” which requires it to follow its legally adopted by-laws regarding membership). There is no dispute that this brother was, and is, a Mason in good standing in Iowa.

I don’t know what the Arkansas GM said in his Annual Communication. However, the effects of his edicts were to shut down the Shrine in Arkansas and threaten anyone having anything to do with expulsion without trial. Now, under those circumstances, and 21 expulsions later, who is willing to drive a Shrine van?

There is no “calculated effort on behalf of Shiners International to completely separate from the Masons. “ I won’t even address the remainder of your statement, but would fraternally suggest that you not make such an allegation again. I am personal friends with hospital board members, imperial delegates and the incoming Imperial Potentate. There is no plan to separate the Shrine from Freemasonry. Proposals to do so have been raised at several Imperial Sessions in the past and have always been resoundingly defeated. I know our delegates for 2013. I know who our delegates will be for 2015. There is no sinister plan and the overwhelming majority of Shrine delegations oppose separation. Frankly, that suggestion is sheer fantasy.

If Shriners International is “driving the wedge,” then how is it that South Carolina became involved in a fight that did not involve any South Carolina Masons?
Again, I take some umbrage, more so having to address this a second time, at the suggestion that I might violate my obligations. I know my obligations very well. One, I don’t expect expelled Masons to be in attendance. Second, I won’t be sitting with them in a tyled Masonic Lodge or holding Masonic conversation with them. I’ll be marching in a parade and attending hospitality suites with my Grand Master, Past Grand Masters and friends and brothers from around the world following a very important instruction given to me at my Master Mason degree - using the trowel to spread the cement of brotherly love. If we were all a bit more focused on that trowel, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

Fraternally,
Ed Adams, PM

Nelson said...

Once upon a time Freemasonry was society's standard bearer. Now we look like a bunch of egotistical teenagers.

Freemasonry is dying and stupid fights like this do absolutely nothing to strengthen our already crippled order.

Whatever happened to treating each other like BROTHERS!

Nelson Rose, PM

Ed Adams said...

I was pleased to hear that Conference of Grand Masters of North America ignored this foolishness, as I predicted it would. As I said before, it is a tempest in a teapot.

To those of who fanned the flames of this discontent, it is now time to put aside this matter and restore fellowship and fraternity to demonstrate once again that we are men of tolerance, committed to brotherhood.

In our fraternity, we all have different interests and have different things that appeal to us. We don't all have to belong to or support the same organizations. However, no one benefits when we attack each other or engage in power contests. These things should be beneath everything we claim to stand for, and to which we claim we are obligated.

I don't make demands on the York Rite College on its membership requirements, as I am not a member. If you are not a Shriner, please don't make demands of the Shrine as to its membership requirements or engage in rumor and speculation about things you don't know anything about.

Let us accept each other as Brothers and restore harmony. Arkansas for now is lost. I pray that next year will restore fellowship.

Thomas Johnson said...

Well stated, WB Adams. Thanks for sharing your considerable Masonic administrative knowledge with us.

S&F, Bro. Tom, a proud life member of the Shrine and York Rite College.-smile-

Ed Adams said...

Thank you Brother Tom! I hope you realize I have nothing against the York Rite College. In fact, congratulations for being a part of it! I was just trying to think of an organization I wasn't a member of! :)

Ed Adams said...

As a follow-up to this discussion, I was pleased to hear that South Carolina's new Grand Master has declined to uphold the previously issued edicts directed toward Shriners. This brings an end to this dark chapter in South Carolina. Fiat Lux!

Ed Adams
Past Master
Calvin W. Prather Lodge #717