by Christopher Hodapp
On June 9th, 2020, the Grand Lodge of Missouri and the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Missouri issued the following joint statement:
The State of Missouri is suffering as are many states in our country. Unfortunately, it is not the first time there has been strife due to the inequitable application of human rights and varying treatments of various groups within our state and country. Those inequities are profoundly contrary to the principles of our Order.
Our State has experienced social unrest in major cities on multiple occasions over the years and we are saddened that the issues that precipitated the unrest have not yet been fully resolved. Inequitable treatment and racial tensions are not just limited to the urban areas of our State and we must recognize the inequities where they exist and attempt to eliminate them through legal means as quickly as possible. While we recognize that there must be changes made to our legal system, the true path to restoration, equality, and healing starts with individual mindsets and proper actions.
We all know that the principles of our Masonic Fraternity can go a long way towards assuring equality and fostering the respect that is due every person of the human family when properly applied. Through exercising and practicing the masonic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth and acknowledging that we are all created by God and therefore equal in his eyes, we cannot waiver from these principles and be considered true Freemasons.
Freemasonry unites men of every race, country, sect, and opinion and conciliates true friendship among those who might have otherwise remained at a perpetual distance. It is our duty as a fraternity to influence those within our ranks to make decisions that help contribute to the repairing of the various broken systems that plague our communities.
Our respective Grand Lodges have a long and rich history in the State of Missouri which we need to share with each other and the world. Nearly 20 years ago, our Grand Lodges acknowledged, by resolution, that we are both respected and valid Grand Lodges inhabiting the same geographical area and we have worked diligently on expanding our joint activities and relationships. Our members and our respective Grand Lodges are so much more enriched because of our love and the respect we share for one another.
The death of George Floyd is a tragedy. Our members are free to make their own decisions as to what should be considered justice in this situation and while we acknowledge that we live in an imperfect world, we stand united in our strong belief that the foundations of our moral system can and must bridge the chasm that divides our state and country right now. Each member of our order is free to vote and express himself without interference from our Grand Lodge and we pray that how you choose to express yourself will be tempered with compassion and understanding for the entire human race.
We call upon all peoples of our state to not fall victim to racism, hatred or contribute to destructive expressions for the lack of progress. And to our members, be ever mindful that we are one Brotherhood and we should always be our brother’s keeper. United we will stand. Now, henceforth, and forever.
It is our ardent desire that we bond together as brothers to make our world a more just and honorable place.
May the God of Love and Peace delight to dwell with and bless you.
MWB Stanton T. Brown, II Grand Master, AF&AM of Missouri
MWB Malcolm D. Morris Grand Master, F&AM PHA/Missouri