Sunday, December 16, 2018

Masonry: Making Good Men Better?

I have been watching the Masonic Interwonk for quite a few years, and it has always been a mixed bag. Like all else on the internet you have to dig for the treasures, but recently certain conclusions have become more unavoidable.

In the past, I would tire of the grand number of brethren who honestly seem to represent the lowest common denominator. Increasingly though, of late it has begun to feel as if that old claim that Masonry makes good men better is just an empty slogan. I do not mean to suggest that Freemasonry doesn't have the tools for doing so nor that it has not done so. Is it possible that in the anxiety over membership we are more and more seeing a fraternity that has as its base something other than "good men?" Perhaps what Masonry is really doing now is making mediocre men insufferable.

Some may be inclined to condemn me for being snide, or cynical, or worse - unmasonic. However my words are chosen to incite - thought. Is it not possible that we have lowered the bar so far that we are guilty of having shot ourselves in the foot?

A very serious concern we should have if we are hoping to gain membership that will insure a healthy institution moving forward is whether much of our current installed base is busy chasing away exactly the type of individual we need. If you think that I am being unrealistic, I would like to suggest you haven't spent much time in any masonic forum lately. Lest you say, "but an online Masonic forum is not a lodge", I will note that nowadays, that online forum is the first place a person curious about Freemasonry will go. Unfortunately, because of the character of the discourse of most of the "legitimate" masons one encounters there,  it is most likely also the last place they will look.

Ironic as it is, the thought has occured to me that the way to get more and better membership is to accept fewer, thereby letting the water find its level.

Of course, the male craft could just start admitting women. The women would inject a healthy dose of reason, and hopefully the miscreants would make good on their threats of demitting, thereby resolving the rest of the problems.

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