Hate Has No Place In Civil Society
Like millions of Americans I watched in horror last week as the institutions of our nation were attacked. The United State's Capitol was stormed by a mob, and while receiving much less attention, the fence surrounding our own Governor's home was broken down.
As Freemasons, as members of the greatest Peace Society this world has ever known, we must stand against this. This post stands against this.
I know that at least half of the people who read these words will be from the political right. In this day and age, far too many of us disregard anything said by anyone on the other side.
Before those of you on the right dismiss this post out of hand, please allow me to remind you that I also stood, in a public way, against the political left's riots that shook our nation this past summer. If desired, that post can be read at: The Unsparing Ravages Of Barbarous Force.
I agree with the famous words of Senator Barry Goldwater:
“Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.”
What we are seeing in the political landscape of 2020, and now 2021 is not extremism in the way Senator Goldwater used the word, rather it is hate.
The active political left, in large numbers, actually now hates those who disagree with their positions. Likewise, the active political right, in equally large numbers, actually now hates those who disagree with their positions.
This hatred is on full display, each and every day, all across social media platforms.
Unfortunately, far too many men who claim to be Freemasons have embraced this hatred of their fellow man.
I hear, each and every day, about some new political fight between those who are supposed to be Brothers breaking out on Facebook. I'm sorry to have to say it, but this nonsense is completely un-masonic, as pointed out in our own ritual:
“Among whom no contention should ever exist but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree.”
Not to mention the fact that it destroys any hope our Ancient Fraternity has of communicating our true principals to the public at large.
Consider our ritual:
“Where were you first made a Mason?”
If you are a member of our Fraternity, then you know the answer to that question. If you know the answer to that question, then you also know that you can not hate your Brother on social media, and have truly become a Freemason. The profound lessons of our institution clearly didn't make the impression that they should have.
Let us be clear.
Each of us has an absolute right to hold whatever political beliefs we want to hold.
Each of us equally have an absolute right to express these political beliefs as we desire to express them, provided that in doing so we don't trample upon the rights of others.
These rights are granted, not by man, or government, but by God himself.
That is indeed the very founding principal of the United States.
God did not however grant us the right to hate those who disagree with our political beliefs, especially for no other reason than that disagreement.
As Freemasons in this time of political hatred, we would do well to consider the lessons of those Masons who were enemies during our Civil War, yet took the opportunity to assist each other when needed most.
As I close, I would just like to remind all of the Freemasons of this great Jurisdiction that Civility, Civil Society, and Civil Discourse are sacred principals to our Gentle Craft.
“We are now about to quit this sacred retreat of friendship and virtue, to mingle again with the outer world. Amid its concerns and employments forget not the duties which you have heard so frequently inculcated and so forcefully recommended in this Lodge.”
Cameron M. Bailey Deputy Grand Master The MW Grand Lodge F&AM of Washington
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