Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Outing Masonry

A Welsh TV station whose name I can't pronounce (Y Byd ar Bedwar) "found there are vast differences in the rules (whether Masons should self identify) within councils and police forces across the country."

Though it doesn't say much in this article (really, it's just a teaser for the upcoming show), it highlights a problem constantly discussed online.  Does being a Freemason impact a man's ability to legitimately function as a police officer, politician or civil servant?

The allegations are ages old and go back nearly to the formation of the first Grand Lodge in 1717.  Allegations of a Masonic murder and cover-up nearly destroyed the Craft in America in the early 19th century. While there have been instances of Masons behaving badly, that's generally due to the fact that Masons are men.  Men sometimes behave badly.  They break laws and betray trusts, just like anyone else.  We all fall short of the glory of God.

The difference is that Masons should know better.  Our rituals and ceremonies highlight 'good' behavior.  We value faith, hope and charity. We learn lessons on the value of serving our fellow man and stand in slack-jawed wonder at the beauty of this world.

So the question stands, should Freemasons be forced to self-identify before taking a public office?  I say no.  Masons should not be forced to self-identify anymore than someone belonging to the Rotary Club or Boy Scouts.  I have made the choice not to hide my membership, but not everyone is comfortable doing that.  It should be their choice, not some city council.

The Thai Freemason is the independent voice of Freemasonry in Thailand.

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