It is nothing less than amazing that although the Whig politics of early Hanoverian England was buried in the 19th Century (it's now the 21st Century, folks) in the hearts and minds of North American Freemasons who most likely think the term "Whig" refers to a hair piece, it continues to have a stranglehold which keeps them from using rational thought.
No, Freemasonry did not originate in 1717 London, and it was never intended to be an institution that was bound solely to Christian thought or which had to avoid the discussion of politics. For that matter, there is ample documentation that women have been Freemasons since the 1700s.
The Scots and Irish were most likely the first to bring Freemasonry to France (and Spain and Italy as well), and it was at least in part an effort to regain the throne of England and Scotland from the Hanoverian frauds. This is not incomprehensible. You only need to know a tiny bit about the politics of Western Europe in the 18th Century for this to be common sense.
Oh, and while we're at it, Freemasonry has always had those inconvenient ties to Alchemy, Hermeticism, Cabbalism, and esoteric thought.
The scholarship of the likes of David Stevenson. Seán Murphy, Margaret Jacob, Karen Kidd, J.P. Jenkins, Marsha Keith Schuchar, and an ever expanding list of serious scholars are establishing the reality that Masonic History no longer is "best left to...the attention of masonic enthusiasts...with their feet planted firmly in the clouds."
Sorry boys, but on the plus side, you can curse me out at your next fish fry!