A letter to the Masons under the Grand Lodge of Maine AF&AM has been issued by MW David A. Walker, Grand Master, concerning the current controversies over actions in Georgia and Tennessee:
Many of you certainly have heard about the recent events involving the Grand Lodges of Georgia and Tennessee. For the benefit of those who have not, in short, they have decided to exclude men from being masons in their jurisdictions based on their sexual orientation. As a result, some Grand Jurisdictions have taken the action of withdrawing recognition of Georgia and Tennessee.
I believe that discrimination runs contrary to our beliefs as Masons, that Masons unite men of every country sect and opinion. I have recently read the opinion of the Grand Master of Washington, D.C., an ordained minister, who feels as I do that this action, imposes one set of religious values on the entire Craft. Masonry has always been a place where a man’s faith does not matter, so long as he believes in one ‘Supreme Architect of the Universe’. We need to remain an inclusive society and not an exclusive one.
Brethren this is my position on this subject. I am not, at this time going to unilaterally issue a judgement that the Grand Lodge of Maine remove recognition. We have a Grand Lodge session coming up in a few weeks, where the Committee on Fraternal Relations will offer a report which will cover this topic, along with their recommendation. We will have the opportunity to discuss this issue at that time and then vote as a body.
In the meantime, I pray that we remain the society of tolerant men that we have always espoused to be and that the actions of these two Grand Lodges do not set up a rift that threatens all that we have professed for generations.
Your Friend and Brother,
David A. Walker
Grand Lodge of Maine, A.F. & A.M.
That is probably one of the best worded letters regarding this whole controversy. I would like to congratulate MW Walker for taking the extra step in recognizing this, and yet, avoiding a confrontation like so many other Grand Lodges have done.ReplyDelete
Wor Joe Van Dyke, PM
Definitely well reasomed logic, let the bretheren in that jurisdiction come to their own judgment.Delete
Exactly and I also think the Grand lodges of .CA and DC should be reprimanded for trying to interfere or strong arm the Grand lodges of TN and GA. It also states that Grand lodges will not interfere with other Grand lodges in short.Delete
Reprimanded? Are you kidding me! Freemasonry is not a christian organization and any lodge trying to transform freemasonry into one needs to have recognition withdrawn and be cast into the darkness to wither away period. CA, D.C. and Belgium are seeking to protect freemasonry while TN and GA are seeking to destroy it. You southern segregationist have gone to far this time and put your bigotry on display for all the world to see. Had you left it in the closet were you keep your racism we would not be having this conversation.Delete
John C.: I would agree that Grand Lodges should not interfere with the business of other Grand Lodges, but when the actions of one Grand Lodge affect another to the extent that their activities in a harmful way, it should be the right of the injured Grand Lodge to disassociate itself from the one causing harm. My understanding is that CA is trying to protect their community partnerships that are being challenged by those protesting the GA and TN positions. Each Grand Lodge has the right to do what they want, but sometimes a Grand Lodge has to take visible measures to show where it stands.Delete
As a California Mason, I'm proud of what my Grand Master did. At least, if confronted, I can say that my own Masonic Grand Lodge has disavowed such discrimination.Delete
I'm also a member of a Lodge in New York, and the silence from 23d Street is deafening.
A good statement and coming from real masonic values to be sure. I fear it isn't enough however. I am all for the state GLs pulling recognition, as I believe that is the only way my brothers in Georgia will be driven to action. Fraternally Submitted, Brother Ethan H. Coker, Dalton Lodge #105, Dalton, GeorgiaReplyDelete
It isn't for you to decide sir, your lack of tolerance of others opinions is on full display.ReplyDelete
Freemasonry isn't based on opinions, it is based on tenets and Landmarks. Your opinions have no place in lodge unless they are opinions on Freemasonry. Your religious, political, or moral opinions have no place there period. So yes there will be not tolerance for your bigotry masquerading as opinion.Delete
I obviously disagree with his stance but I respect his belief in process and allowing hid bretheren to have a voice.ReplyDelete
Brother Coker and other Georgia and Tennessee Masons are invoking the cable tow and deserve support midst threats and even the monitoring of their emails. They are real Masons.ReplyDelete
The northern grand lodges have been blackmailed for many years by the segregationists, and this is not a case of impatience. The duplicity has often been clever, such as saying a black visitor was turned away in error or having a geographically isolated lodge offer hospitality to show the hate and bigotry are not universal.
There is no intention by them of enforcing celibacy on heterosexuals. Like in the T.S.Eliot poem or a British pub, -- It's time gentlemen. Enough.
Honest, we can do better without them, being proud again of our diversity and openness.
As Maine goes...
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If I'm not mistaken, California and DC had to make that public statement amid protests and harassment they were receiving as a result of those two jurisdictions' prejudices. That's action that makes sense to me.Delete
Golden Spike Lodge #6, F&AM of Utah
A sensible person would have blamed Tennessee and Georgia for raising the issue, instead of blaming California, DC, and Belgium for reacting to it.Delete
As an individual, you have the right to feel however you feel about it. But you're certainly not the official spokesman for Gay Freemasons, and frankly I seriously doubt that many of them would agree with you.
Although across the pond I have been heartened to see such responses to the actions of those two particular jurisdictions. At a time when the world seems to be devolving into some kid of ignorant silliness I would like to think that our fraternity can remain a beacon shining its light upon the darkness of ignorance.ReplyDelete
Bro Samyo Dalgarno
This is the position of the grand lodge of utah and is nothing but cowardice being called tolerance I refuse to tolerate anyone who discriminates against another human being because they're gay. We have to stand up to this bigotry.ReplyDelete
Forgive me Brother, but your post confuses me. Are you saying that the Grand Lodge of Utah is discriminatory against homosexuals? If so, the latest communication from the MWM is in stark contrast to that.Delete
Your wording is confusing.
Golden Spike Lodge #6, F&AM of Utah
I think he's saying that he's dissatisfied with their response because it's mere words with no action. He wants his Grand Lodge to do what California, DC, and Belgium did.Delete
Now that many states recognize same sex marriages, it is time for the fraternity to accept reality that this means men who marry men are legally united in matrimony. The fraternity better wake up and recognize the same or it will be subjected to legal action for discrimination. The fraternity better get with reality and the 21st century or it will die a slow and painful death of a thousand cuts in both the court of public opinion and a court of law. In the mean time, our gay brethren will hide in the shadows until it is safe to come out. My .02 cents on the matter.ReplyDelete
I wouldn't count on it anytime soon. Three of the members of the grand line in Georgia are attorneys. They know exactly what they are permitted to do under cover of law.Delete
I find the discussion (and actions of GA and TN) somewhat silly. Seriously, my GL has no word on this and sexual preference isn't one of the things that ban a man from becoming a Mason. I know of several who became Masons when their preference was not known, but nobody tries to kick them out.ReplyDelete
I will note that if their preference had been known, they would have likely been blackballed, but then that is the right of any member of a particular lodge with regards to any applicant.
The only rule I think is stupider is the one my GL has that says an applicant cannot be blackballed for "personal reasons" if the investigating committee approves him...but at the same time, nobody can inquire into your ballot...which makes for an unenforceable rule.
That allows the racist and bigots to handle the dirty work will the GL can claim that racism and bigotry doesn't exist in their jurisdiction. And it's all by design.Delete
Just a thought: tolerance doesn't require its practitioner to adopt the beliefs of others as his own. To do any less is to hold your brothers to an unfair and selfish standard.ReplyDelete
I urge everyone to look to their obligations and judge a man by his merits, not his preferences in private life.
Golden Spike Lodge #6, F&AM of Utah