Saturday, March 12, 2016

GL of Mississippi Votes Down Proposal

As the situation in Georgia and Tennessee gathers attention from other Grand Lodges, one bit of encouraging news came in today. 

A Brother at this weekend's annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Mississippi F&AM reports that the proposal to add wording to that state's petition for the degrees of Masonry to specifically bar transgender or homosexual males did not gather enough votes from the assembled Brethren to even be sent to committee. 

The proposal died on the floor.

43 comments:

  1. Your definition of encouraging news and mine are definitely opposed. The fact it failed makes me want to puke.

    Brían Scott Du Bois

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    1. Brian -- discriminatory, bigoted mentalities like yours make me ashamed to be a Brother. Luckily hatred is not the majority. May the true loving light of Masonry find you -- it's there, waiting for your loving eyes to peer open.

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    2. Well said "unknown" brother.
      It is the internal not the external qualifications....

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    3. Are you saying you wish it had passed? Or that your sick that it even got to the point it did?

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    4. Brian,

      We took an obligation not to allow our differing religious views to enter into lodge. Baring a good man into Masonry because of your religious moral views goes against Masonry and is no different than preventing a good man of a differing faith into the Craft. Masonry calls upon us to draw the distinction of our religious views.

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    5. Dear Brian,

      My personal belief is that we should live and let live within the bounds that it does not affect others.
      I would prefer you do not hurt yourself - I insist that you do not hurt others - but what you do on your spare time otherwise is your own business.

      I don't like sugar in my coffee, but I'll still talk to you if you do.
      I DO like consenting sex with both men and women but if that's not your thing then hey, don't do it.
      See how simple that was?

      Masonry was the last place I expected to find such closed minds, I'm sorry if that is a personal comment but please consider the liberties you expect from others before judging them in turn.

      +Leonard.

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  2. It is good to see that our brothers in Mississippi hold true to their obligations. I have been very disheartened by this whole ordeal. I pray that soon we shall end this embarrassing debacle.

    Fraternally submitted, Brother Ethan H. Coker, Dalton Lodge #105, Dalton, Georgia

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  3. Finally, some sanity in the South.

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  4. If the wording wasn't there previously then all well and good for them, that is their right to do so. I can assure you that there are those of us in Tennessee who will not be bullied or intimifdated into modifying our morality by sanctioning certain behaviors by those of you who hypocritically display the Holy Bible in your lodges and rituals yet mock what the words inside say. Why don't you just use it as a lucky rabbits foot for all the lack of obedience to its moral tenants you obviously reject?

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    1. Because I didn't take my obligation on the holy Bible. I took it on the volume of sacred law. Make that volumes, plural.
      Specifically, a Jefferson Bible, the Torah, and the qu'ran.

      And none of those volumes say one cannot be a good man and still be gay.

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    2. We'll all assume WildBill doesn't cut his hair or wear poly-cotton blend or touch a football, since I'm sure he lives by glorious example and doesn't ignore dogma.

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    3. I am ashamed that I have to call you brother! The belief in God is all that is required and how dare you twist our sacred fraternity with your personal bigoted beliefs??

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    4. Why is it that for as many years as this Fraternity existed, this has never been an issue.

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    5. Consider this question: Why is it that as long as this fraternity has existed, this issue has never been a problem. Why now?

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  5. Gerald Martin old Erie #3 Warren,Ohio

    As to a brother being gay,what goes on in his home is his business,but a transgender self disqualify himself by changing to a woman which is not permitted by law

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    1. If he tries to become a woman, he cannot attend lodge.

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    2. I think they meant the other way... Female to male transition?

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  6. I'm not a Mason, but I am applying soon.

    As a family member with several gay, lesbian and transgendered family members, I am heartened to see this happen.

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  7. The Bible states that a man will only lie down with a woman, we were raised in Fl to uphold the Bible.

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    1. We welcome men of many faiths, not just specifically yours, and even in Christianity, there are many openly gay clergy who preach the gospel without any condemnation from their church hierarchy. And I don't see many Christians practicing the intricate details proscribed in the Mosaic Law laid out in the Old Testament. So, what specifically did Christ say about homosexuality?

      What a Mason does in the privacy of his bedroom is not our business, and never has been, apart from the specific wording in our obligation. Your statement is based solely on your interpretations of your Volume of Sacred Law, which are forbidden topics in lodge, and they should be forbidden in our codes, as well.

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    2. As the previous brother mentioned Masonry accepts many religions, that is the point. To super impose your religious doctrine, out of a book of allegory, on brothers voted into the craft by their lodge and whom you took a solid obligation to meet on the level is in itself un-masonic.

      As a brother I respect your opinion however, I'm obligated to whisper good council anyway.

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  8. Candidates in most jurisdictions have a choice of volumes on which to be obligated and of the edition or translation. Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims do not take their obligations on one of the various editions of the King James translations or other versions of Christian scriptures such as the Revised Standard, America, etc. Lodges do not employ
    the altar book or books as a reference work. The symbolism is of what teachings the candidate holds most high, reinforcing the seriousness of obligations.

    This notion that one particular sect's particular version of a scripture is somehow the authority for all Masonry repudiates the idea of a brotherhood where we respect each other's identity and agree to disagree, which has been at the heart of the fraternity's genius and success. Instead of contributing to the American principle of pluralism and diversity,at a time when that honoring of diversity is strained in the contemporary political chaos, it turns us into an outmoded rejected force for racial and religious evil. It is not surprising this bigotry is being so firmly rejected. It will hasten the Shrine eliminating the Masonic membership requirement, which has already happened in two states. It will fragment groups like the Scottish Rite that cannot take in African Americans and gays if a state will not admit them to the blue lodge.

    Masons will not be allowed to honor the dead on Memorial Day because some of those dead were African Americans or gay, and it would be insulting for an anti-gay segregated society to honor those it refused membership. The same goes for involvement with schools and universities and hospitals.If that happens,it will be largely irrevocable.

    In sum, Masonry is being hijacked by bigots. Let us not be deceived about the ultimate consequences. The mood of the country has changed from a generation ago, and patience for this kind of behavior has gone. Nobody in the general public or press is interested in longwinded explanations of exclusive geographic rights or the prerogatives of grand masters. Our decline the next decade will make our previous decline look insignificant.

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  9. This should read that Mississippi will be the only GL not being sued for a problem it made itself.

    There is no existing issue, therefor there is no need for additional law. As the law is the lodge functions just fine. With such wording added the lodge would be open to lawsuits of discrimination. It's a smart move on their.

    It is my opinion that too many are presuming this is a move to be all inclusive and welcome brothers who weren't born that way or who are a little to friendly with other brothers.

    I think it is purely a move to not draw attention and to avoid legal action later.

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    1. So what you're saying is, the GL of Mississippi knows they are violating the laws of our country. They just don't want to be called to the carpet on it.

      Rick Bergeron
      Maine

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    2. And we appreciate your glass-half-empty mentality Brother Sunshine. I'm sure some brothers at that meeting did so to avoid public repercussions, but others did so out of a loyalty to their obligations and a true care for human rights.

      Fraternally Submitted, Brother Ethan H. Coker, Dalton Lodge #105, Dalton, Georgia

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  10. Makey´s Landmark #18 explains by itself:
    Qualifications of a candidate: that he shall be a Man, unmutilated, free born, and of mature age.

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    1. Great. But Mackey's Landmarks are his invention, and are not officially adopted by many (if any) Grand Lodges as part of their code. They are, at best, suggestions.

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  11. Not all Masons are Christian. To those brothers biblical prohibitions don't apply.

    Donn McCarthy

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  12. I was enlightened to the idea that I am to judge the Man on the inside and not the outside, dare not judge or accept the fact that I will judged, and to live in harmony with all Masonic Brothers. This is an issue that we all face and will have to draw from our belief system.

    Ruben Kelly
    Armstrong Lodge #26

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    1. You speak with a forked tongue....you can't pick and choose what you will fron the bible. It does not work that way does it?

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  13. I'm glad it does on the floor, and hate that it even had to be brought up. It's a bad look for Masonry. There is no room in Masonry for discrimination.

    S&F,

    Traveling Man

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  14. I suppose if one prefers a standardless God, then perhaps no God will do just as well.

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  15. What is sad during this whole discussion is the fact that as the gay issue has taken such a forefront that is has caused for brothers to call for the removal of recognition of these two grand jurisdictions, why haven't the so called human rights sensitive brothers called for the removal of recognition for those grand lodges who do not allow black men to become Mason's. Are they lesser men than men who choose a different lifestyle? It appears to me this has become more about making a political statement in support of the new state of political correctness than for the sake of human rights? The blacks have been kept from membership much longer than this "new cause". Mind you brothers I am not I am not saying either one is right or wrong...I am just curious why those of you that are so concerned about this particular set of human rights infringements are not fighting for all men's rights to join this great fraternity. It might also be noted that in 2005 the Bpy Scouts of America's case went all the way to the Supreme Court and won based on the fact that they were a private organization and therefore could establish membership requirements. While I think it would be expensive for these grand lodges to be taken to court, based on the previously mentioned case, I am not certain they would lose.

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    1. I don't disagree with you. Unfortunately, no Grand Lodge officially bars black men, or any other race, from membership. But any Mason can drop a black ball on any petitioner for any reason, and he is forbidden to discuss or reveal his secret vote. And likewise, any Mason can forbid a vouched-for visitor from sitting in his lodge without revealing his reason. These rules date back to Anderson. So while racism doesn't exist in fact in these states, it goes on in practice.

      The nine states that don't recognize their Prince Hall Affiliated counterparts claim that racism has nothing to do with their refusal - they have other legalistic reasons for not doing so, that effectively keep it from happening. These hurdles have been solved in 42 other US jurisdictions, but the last nine remain as a blot on the fraternity.

      And so it goes on...

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  16. A number of suggestions have been made for dealing with the segregated grand lodges. One is simply to recognize Prince Hall and other African American grand lodgers such as the Hiram and National Compact lodges and withdraw recognition of the segregated Jim Crow lodges. Another, in those states where the African American population is thirty percent or more, to remove he blackball veto until there is evidence that the membership of African Americans has moved from virtually zero to something rationale.

    Separate but equal was unacceptable to Dr. King and the Prince Hall lodges should not be used to avoid integration. Too much is made of the supposed desire of African Americans to stay segregated --in many cases it is an excuse for Masonic bigotry,

    The anti gay and anti black ethical issues are joined at the hip,as both make make claims of universal and worldwide brotherhood simply lies and hypocrisy. Moreover, they enable auxillaries like the Shrine and Scottish Rite to pretend to be upholding American values and diversity while making it impossible for anyone whose gender and color are "wrong" to obtain for applying the necessary three degrees in a "regular"lodge,

    Particularly sickening is the way the offending lodges invoke patriotic trappings -- what do they think the pledge to the flag means by "all" and what America are they talking about when they repudiate the diversity at the heart of the national meaning. Masonry means something very different from what they do in their lodges.

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    1. You had me right up until the "gender" comment. Please elaborate because I'm not certain where gender entered the conversation.

      S&F

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  17. Well, we havent discussed how all of this effects bisexuality,or whether we are talking about physical expressions or also about professions of homosexual attraction without physical aspects, or artists or photographers whose work includes homosexual subjects, or other topics that the prohibition might include. So gender seems a way to describe the matters at hand. Its a very general prohibition, if you examine it thoughtfully.

    In fact the Catholic Church has devoted a lot of discussion to whether homosexual thoughts as opposed to homosexual actions are venial or mortal sins in terms of the Confessional, and as to the object of desire in confessing self-abuse.

    Why we are being dragged into this when we have had such a long tradition of not discussing religion should make us all wonder at the judgement of Georgia and Tennessee Masonic leaders. After all, the Boy Scouts finally exited the issue and have not had any terrible things happen as a result of having gay scoutmasters.

    I can't imagine the Royal Historical Society, the Pilgrim Society, or the Bostonian Society -- and i am a member/fellow of them and they think they are pretty rarefied -- asking their members about their sexuality. Maybe Masonry despite its Enlightenment antecedents has now acquired a sort of pentecostal born again theology. Gender simply wasn't on the mind of Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Wren when they went to lodge.

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  18. Paul Richard the only predominantly African American GLs that has a legitimate origin are the PHGLs

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  19. The comments here make me think that the lodges should start accepting petitions from men who have no view on religion or those who are atheist also, I know some good men who would make better Mason's than some Mason's I know. Our oath means very little when some brothers chase after other brothers wives and when I was an apprentice I was told to not have any dealings with the ( NI#^ER MASONS DOWN THE STREET) meaning the Prince Hall Lodges.......That is not the brotherhood I thought I was joining .....I SHOULD HAVE NEVER WENT BACK TO THE LODGE FOR THAT IS NOT A BROTHERHOOD OF MAN UNDER THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD IS IT? Why not take religion out of THE LODGES ALTOGETHER? Oh you can't can you!

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