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Friday, July 08, 2016

Brother Killed in Dallas Shootings

Brother Brent Thompson

Last night's tragic shootings in Dallas have resulted in five deaths of police officers. One of them was a Mason. That doesn't make the deaths of any these brave men any more or less terrible just because one of them was our Brother. But it is the flip side of what happened in Minneapolis on Wednesday, and our Masonic connections perhaps help to personalize and focus on both events with maybe a little more immediacy for all of us. Masons on both sides of this racially charged situation have now been touched by it.  

From a message circulated by New York's Empire State DeMolay today:

The world has heard and seen the unrest in Dallas, Texas and the loss of life of Police Officers.
NY DeMolay stands with our DeMolay Brothers of Texas in prayer.
Especially Brother William Thompson, a member of Black Gold DeMolay Chapter in Corsicana, Texas.
His Dad, Officer Brent Thompson lost his life in the line of duty during the incident in Dallas last night.
Officer Thompson was a Master Mason and member of Corsicana Lodge No. 174 in Corsicana, Texas.
Officer Thompson has 6 children, the youngest is 17. 
Officer Thompson was married 2 weeks ago.

He was 43 years old, and had spent nearly seven years on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit police force. 

Meanwhile, the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Minnesota on its Facebook page this morning requested that their members change their profile pictures to a common image to show support of their member, Brother Clarence Castile, over the death of his nephew in a traffic stop Wednesday night. The action is claimed to be called for by their Grand Master Kymphus Muhammad. Adrian L. Green, Grand Master of the MWPHGL of Michigan has requested it on the GL's official Facebook page. It has reportedly been asked similarly in New Jersey by the MWPHGL of NJ's Grand Master,  Shelton J. Prescott - but I have not found that online anywhere myself. His personal page simply has the image posted, but with no call to action accompanying it.

While this type of thing has been done for numerous other events and causes such as terrorist attacks in France and Belgium by showing their flags in Facebook profiles, in this case these Grand Masters have asked their members to use a stark black and white image of a man's silhouette in the crosshairs of what is presumably a rifle sight. It is intended to call attention to the many shootings of black men by police officers across the country, but it couldn't have been more ill timed. The five law enforcement officers killed last night in Dallas were shot by snipers using rifles that probably were fitted with scopes that yielded a similar image while they aimed. 

These Grand Masters couldn't have picked a more inappropriate and incendiary image to suggest to their own members out of their hats.

Yes, I am fully aware that the image is well known to most people under 30. It is the official logo of the hip hop group Public Enemy. I'm sure these Grand Masters' hearts are in the right place and see it as a way to focus attention on an issue that has plagued their members and communities for too long a time. I get that.

But social media is a funny thing, and it can turn on anyone in an instant. That image is going to be seen all over the country and the world connected to Freemasons, and it sends a blatant message that I am fully aware is not intended. It's going to be misconstrued. There's no way it WON'T be. So, does anyone SERIOUSLY want to see endlessly forwarded messages on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and others proclaiming "Prince Hall Masons (or just plain ALL Freemasons) are calling for cop killings!"?  Because I promise, that's what's going to happen, and that's the way this will be twisted.

We live in chaotic times, and I totally understand the desire to highlight the issue. But there's a reason why regular, recognized Freemasonry in particular puts such an emphasis on staying out of politics, along with religion. It's divisive and it tears people and societies and cultures apart. In our capacity as Masons, our image matters as much to each other as to the world at large. One of the first things we hear as Apprentices is the admonishment to subdue our passions. That's every day and everywhere. And circulating this image Masonically is not a demonstration of that. I urge you all to reconsider it.

Rest in peace, Brother Thompson. Your column is broken and your Brethren mourn.


A GoFundMe account has been set up by the DART police department to support Brother Thompson's new wife and family. If you wish to donate, CLICK HERE.


  1. RIP Brothers. Thank you for your Brave service. God Bless!

    Bro. Ronald Boucher MSL#13

  2. Rest In Peace Brother and God Bless Our Freemasonry.:

  3. Rest in peace, my Brother.
    Wor. Peter J.B. Teague

  4. Rest in peace, my Brother.
    Wor. Peter J.B. Teague

  5. RIP my Brother.....thank you for your selfless service

  6. RIP my Brother...thank you for your selfless service

  7. Rest in Peace, my Brother.
    Wor. Peter J.B. Teague

  8. God Bless & take care of you Brother, We will look after your family the same way you looked after us, Thank You. R.I.P.

  9. Rest in peace brother Thompson

  10. Rest in Peace Brother. Gone but not forgotten.

    Villa Park Lodge No.1113

  11. May the Grand Architect welcome you Brother with open Arms, the Officers and Members of Portland Lodge No. 311, Free and Accepted Masons of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the jurisdiction thereunto belonging offer prayers for you our departed Brother, for your family, for all those lost, and for peace S.M.I.B
    Brother Sean C. Dertinger, Past Master

  12. Beth and I will try and find an address to send our condolances. Does anyone know if a collection has been started for our Brother and the other officers?

  13. Rest peacefully brother! I will be praying for your family! Thank you for your service and years of dedication!

    Anthony J Buchanan

    Lodge #52

  14. I think that's a great point concerning that logo. I am very familiar with the logo, and understand the intent, but in light of the events in Dallas - I don't think it should be used. Its use will most certainly be misunderstood.

  15. Rest in peace brother.. Condolences to the bereaved family.

    Roldan Luna
    Mabuhay Lodge#59

  16. RIP my brothers .. prayers coming from the Pacific Far East!

  17. Rest in peace brother. Condolences to the bereaved family.

    Bro Roldan Luna Mabuhay Lodge#59

  18. May the GAOTU welcome you to the Grand Lodge Above and may he grant peace to your loved ones.
    Bro. Gabriel Finn JW
    Glenbow Lodge #184 GRA AF & AM
    Calgary, Canada

  19. I work for DART and had met Brother Thompson. It was a sad day for Dallas.

  20. Rest in peace, brother

    Myrtle Lodge. No 145

  21. RIP Brother.

    Dale Lenting
    Red Deer Alberta lodge #12



  23. You know our fraternity is bathed in allagorory. Our fraternity is bathed in symbolism. Just as we know we know we do not call God by an isolated name but by Deity. We have to respect our brothers from different parts of the country as they respect their fallen in the manner as they chose. Saying a Worshipful Master had chosen unwisely for his lodge is a long step when you are not a member of that lodge nor feel the pain of loss that lodge feels.. I only advise to look past the obvious implied symbolism and explore the true nature of brotherhood that shoul exist between all brothers that have taken the oath and that we call brother. Black or white.. yellow or brown, for that matter green or yellow with polka dots should not refrain us from brotherly love nor compassion. Has the world showed us horrible injustice in the past few days? I would answer yes. A life lost is not a little thing despite who the victim is. Making one life better than another despite circumstance is not what Hiram Abiff would occluded even though his life was taken from him. So let us judge not the actions of another but judge only what us in our own hearts ad to what is right,on th square and to the level. Signed G Metz 32 Degree,3 Degree Blue Lodge.

  24. Bask in the eternal light.
    Robert Vaughn
    PM Henrico Union #130 AFAM.

  25. RIP Brother.
    Dan Voils. Brownsburg Lodge #241, Indiana

  26. Rest in Peace Brother. Climb that spiral staircase.
    Elliott Jones
    WM Lodge #630 Luverne, AL.

  27. Prayers for your family. Rest easy Brother, we will take it from here.
    Torrent Lodge # 711, Kentucky.
    Alonzo Banks, Jr.

  28. RIP Brother. Climb that spiral staircase.

  29. just as twisted as everyone else..get real

  30. John 15:13

    13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    R.I.P my brother

    Bro. Michael Patanè
    Lewis Lodge of Brighton #187
    Adelaide South Australia

  31. May peace be unto your family in the loss of your spirit my brother. As we lay your vessel to rest we shall reflect on your patriotism and ever giving protection for us all.

  32. May the Grand Architect of the Universe look down on this broken society with mercy and grant these families to repair and not despair. May he grace us with the power to overcome these troubled times.

  33. R.I.P. Bro. Thomson. Meet you in the temple some day. Prayers to your family for strength and support.

    V.W.Bro. Stewart Alexander
    Battlefield Lodge No. 714 G.R.C.
    Stoney Creek, ON. Canada.

  34. Thoughts and prayers from brothers in Chattanooga, Tn
    If anyone has info about a collection or means of paying condolences please forward to me @ UNITEDCLEANINGSERVICES1501@GMAIL.COM

  35. my deepest condolences my fellow brother in law enforcement. so mote it be

  36. Deepest sympathies to the your family and brothers.
    May good memories comfort them during this difficult time.

    Brian Galica
    Daylight Lodge No.1443

  37. RIP Brother. W.Bro Ade Berry. Lakeside Lodge 9869, UGLE District Of Cyprus, Mediterannean.

  38. RIP from Brother Francois ,Lodge 37 Friendship ,Fuengirola ,Spain,Europe

  39. RIP Brother. The thin blue lime just got that little bit thinner. Thank you for your service. Temple lodge 6673 bristol UK

  40. Rip you brave brotheron the kevel from your brother in israel smib

  41. Condolences first & foremost to all the affected families.It is a mad world we live in where the rule of law,the sanctity of life & the fear of God is sadly absent.RIP Bro Thomson,Scotland.

  42. RIP MY BROTHERON a true hero /G\ temple lodge #173 nj

  43. Rest in peace not only a Masonic Brother, but also a retired Blue Brother. You done good beother thanks for your service

  44. Once you were asked what you desired most, your answer was further masonic lite. Today you pass into the east as the traveler and truly receive further masonic lite. Rest well brother.

  45. Perhaps we as Mason's should be looking to start a different message in the face of these tragedies ~ ALL LIVES MATTER ~ and we as Masons should know that better than most.

    Rest in Peace brother; your labours are at an end, and your sacrifice will not be forgotten.

    Bro. R. Young Ontario Canada

  46. RIP Brother. God bless your family in this difficult time

    Wor. S.T Palma
    Mount Vernon Galilean Lodge
    Malden Ma

  47. RIP Bro.Thomson, Condolences to the family, our hearts are with you.

    VWB Earl Jones
    Adoniram Lodge 573
    Niagara Falls ON.

  48. Dear Honorable Brethren

    I heard of Bro. Brent Thomson’s tragic death, who I learned is a MM of Corsicana Lodge No. 174.

    Please be so kind and express my sympathy for him and his family.

    I wish them STRENGTH to cope with the sadness about the loss, I wish them WISDOM to see not all is lost as the good deeds of the lost ones live on, and the ability to continue to discover the BEAUTY all around us.

    Be assured Brethren around the world will not cease to work towards true equality. I believe this is what we owe each other.

    May justice be served.

    Fraternal Greetings from Germany,

    MM of the Blue Lodge “Loge zur Einigkeit” Nr. 11 (founded in 1742) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

  49. RIP Bro. Thomson, our prayers go out for your family.
    Bro. Woodard
    Spring of 604
    Newnan Ga

  50. Rip.brother.
    Hope G give you Good time

    Brother Bent Noer. Denmark.

  51. We never met Brother Thompson but knowing we're Brothers, is all I need to know. You have been a true and faithful servant so RIP Brother Thompson, your rewards await.

  52. Rest in Peace Brother in that Great Celestial Lodge above. Brother Kenn Evans, II AZ F&AM #8 & #13

  53. Rest in peace. Brother. From lodge st George 333.Glasgow uk...bro john odonnell


  55. In Hoc Signo Vinces Bro Thompson.

  56. Rest in peace brother, you are in the presence of the great architect of the universe. You are gone but never forgotten. EOW 7-7-2016

    Brother Don Spiering
    Retired correctional sergeant
    Crescent lodge F&AM California

  57. Rest in peace. Br.'. Toon de Laaf logde Quintessens no306 .'s-Hertogenbosch NL


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