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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Oklahoma Edict on Arkansas Lapses: Amity Restored

The edict issued on October 31, 2016 by the now immediate Past Grand Master of Oklahoma suspending Masonic amity with the Grand Lodge of Arkansas has turned out to be short lived. The assembled voting members at the MW Grand Lodge of AF&AM of Oklahoma's annual communication last weekend, November 11-12,  failed to affirm PGM Dudley "Ridge" Smith's Decision No. 3, and so it has been rescinded with the election of MW Richard Allison as their new Grand Master.

Regular, recognized Masons in those jurisdictions may again inter-visit.

17 comments:

  1. Let me find out politics does influence Freemasonry.

    John L. Hairston

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  2. The timing of MWPGM Ridge's edict was unfortunate. Oklahoma grand lodge delegates love their Arkansas brothers, and didn't fully appreciate all the ways Billy Joe loves us. I fear more charters will soon be arrested as lodges pass resolutions that don't meet his approval.

    But remember brothers, that this is all for the betterment of masonry because Billy Joe loves you!

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  3. Its hard to know what will happen as these situations continue to occur. Our numbers continue to fall and whether there is a connection with the challenges of grand lodge recognition is debatable. As the grand lodges shrink, the quality of leadership may deteriorate as there are less promising people to draw on.

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  4. As our numbers dwindle, we seem to become more concerned with the numbers, and not with the quality of the men we allow into our fraternity. Then we move them along because it is their turn, and nobody wants to say no. And so you get what we got, and there is really nobody to blame but ourselves.

    Because after all, Billy Joe loves us, and we let him.....

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  5. A difficulty is trying to find enough members to sustain the buildings and charities. Another difficulty is having something which will attract good men who do not see it as a potential threat to their careers.. It is my understanding, correct me if I am wrong, that California state
    judges are not allowed to belong. Certainly it is hard to explain to outsiders why the Craft has an organizational quasi federal structure that means some parts of it exclude men of color, gays, and Jews.

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    1. You are not incorrect with your observation on California State Judges. We "lost" a great brother who accepted a position as a State Judge here in California. Hopefully he will find his way back after he steps down from his appointment.

      Interesting enough, Federal Judges are not subject to the same restriction, and I know a Federal Judge in CA that I am proud to call Brother.

      - Brian M. Tatro
      Junior Warden
      Natoma Lodge #64, F. & A. M. of CA

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    2. Hmmm. I had never heard that before about California judges. Does anyone know the wording of the actual rule in judge qualifications there, and when and why it was enacted? I have never encountered it in the modern era outside of Europe and the UK.

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  6. Brother Brian, I had a student who would have been a fourth generation mason but pulled out when the bank that he was planning to work for told him that joining an organization that didn't accept women would cause difficulties. Times have changed, and we need leadership that can seriously think through the consequences of the baggage we are carrying.

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    1. Would that same bank officer have similarly criticized him being a member of a college fraternity? Or a male-only gym? Or if the role was reversed, a women-only organization like a sorority or women's athletic club? I just don't buy into the gender business concerning Freemasonry, Paul. And the dearth of female and co-Masonic lodges around the US kind of supports that view. Women aren't beating our doors down and it seems more like a primarily college campus concern.

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    2. I am wondering about California's rule that if they are a mason they can't be a state judge or if it is political and they won't be nominated or elected if they are. This is the first time I have heard of anything like this in the U.S.either bro. Christopher. Sounds definitely discrimitory to me.

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  7. I agree with you about the examples of male and female only organizations. After all, am I discriminated against because I cannot join the association for Bulgarian speakers, or for the descendants of Chester A. Arthur. But here in Washington the male-only clubs opened their doors to women some years ago in the face of arguments that women executives couldn't enjoy the networking that men could. Rotary, despite many years of service and accomplishment on the part of its female counterpart, the Rotary Anns, became co-ed.

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  8. I highly doubt there is a written ruling against California state Judges becoming Masons or maintaining Masonic membership if already a Mason. It is probably an urban myth.

    It could also be the result of a misinterpretation or assumption of the following question which is asked on the California judicial appointment application worksheet: "Are you a member of any club, organization or association that by policy or practice prohibits or limits its membership on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability or national origin? Have you ever been? If so, identify the organization and provide details."

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    1. I'm pretty sure we Californians would consider "limitation to membership" the same as "discrimination". I've seen crazier things out of this State I love. =)

      - Brian

      PS: Christopher I've emailed you information.

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  9. The issue with the California judges came up in early 2015 when the Boy Scouts of America were at issue with their membership standards. http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/item/19984-judges-may-not-be-affiliated-with-boy-scouts-of-america-california-high-court-rules

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  10. An aspect of the scout situation was the loss and prospect of loss of institutional sponsors for troops if the rules about gays continued, balanced by the loss of sponsors if the scouts did accept gays. The consequences of continued discrimination were such that scouting dropped its discriminatory policies. Masonry in some jurisdictions has dilemmas that have some similarities.

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  11. Its Sad because the O.G.L. body of Okie brothers probably don't know how corrupt the A.G.L. has become over the last decade with the exception of a couple of years. The last two G.M.'s has been a nightmare and have tossed brothers out like water using the Ol G.L. Trial Commission who he personally hand picks or the Ol sign this self-expel note and you will not have to face my Trial Commission. In Feb 2016 we show up to the A.G.L. annual communication and find out that G.M. Latin disappeared suddenly with a self resignation note just a day before G.L. annual communication do to a law suit being filed against him as G.M. of A. and that since he resigned he would not be a P.G.M. of A. and all of his past year as G.M. would be Null and Void but later I found out only some was Void and Null but not all as we was told. The people that was most likely forced to sign a self-expel note was never notified and after reading the Bi-Laws no brother can self-expel without the consent and signature on the note of the G.M., others I understand who didn't self-expel and went or scheduled and didn't make it to the G.L. Trial Commission was sent a letter saying there sentence was reversed but if they still couldn't prove they was free of the Shrine (both in and out of state) that A.G.L. made clandestine several years back that they would face yet another trial. It was seemingly pitiful. Deputy G.M. Billy Joe was sworn in a day early to be able to complete the annual communication as a G.M. must be present. We thought we would turn things somewhat around but after a few months we seen there was no chance of that happening. Same Road, same path he seem to have traveled. Now with less then two months away from G.L. annual communication he has pulled numerous charters and gotten rid of two brothers right behind him in the G.L. line, the Deputy G.M., G.S.W. and even one past G.M. including numerous master mason's by way of the ol G.L. Trial Commission again.

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