The Aluminum Siding Salesman: An Analogy
Article: 11287 of alt.freemasonry
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dr. Roger M. Firestone)
Subject: Re: Well, someone did ask to see it.
Date: 12 Dec 1995 19:20:59 GMT
Dave Pope complains that Masons are not always overflowing with
brotherly love and tolerance. Unfortunately, his context is perhaps not
a fair measure of things.
Suppose, Mr. Pope, that an aluminum siding salesman came to your
brick home and proceeded to inform you of the benefits of aluminum
siding day and night, without regard to the fact that brick homes need
no such siding, and repeated himself endlessly and refused to leave your
living room to allow you to discuss subjects there that interested you.
Wouldn't you, at some point, lose your Christian virtue of patience and
hustle him bodily from your home? Notwithstanding his sincere desire to
sell you something that he himself has benefitted from and in which he
believes most thoroughly? And suppose he was part of a team of
eight aluminum siding salesmen who came to your house in
rotation? All wanting to do you good, no matter how inappropriate to
your personal situation? How much patience has even a saint?
In short, Mr. Pope, that is what you and your sincere, fundamentalist
friends are doing here. You have read the Bible, and developed your own
(or more likely accepted your religious leader's) interpretation of it,
and you have read one or two books about Freemasonry, written by
outsiders who may well have an ulterior motive (such as making money by
selling books) but have a serious lack of knowledge and understanding
about Freemasonry, whether from ignorance or malice.
You are as convinced that we need your particular vision and version
of religion, just as much as that siding salesman is convinced that
everyone needs aluminum siding. People who live in brick houses don't
need aluminum siding, and sincere, religious, church- (or synagogue- or
mosque-) going Freemasons don't need a new religion. But you won't take
"No" for an answer, and you won't listen to reason when we explain that
Masonry is not pagan, not Satanic, not anti-Christian, not a religion,
not any of the things you claim it is.
And you aren't the only one. We have heard from a dozen or more
people like you this year alone. And you have the same arguments as
they do, because you have read the same three books (by Texe Marr, or
whomever) that quote the same passages from Pike out of context, and
repeat the Taxil hoax, and mumble the same foolishness about
five-pointed star, and on and on, ad nauseam. And they won't go away
and leave us alone until they have thoroughly exhausted our tolerance as
we wearily beat into them the same arguments and explanations and
refutations over and over again, and they finally learn that we know
more about Masonry than they ever will, and we can't be persuaded by
their fictions and distortions.
That is why, Mr. Pope, you seem to feel put upon by some of the
responses you get in this newsgroup and by private email. You are an
unwelcome salesman, selling inappropriate and unwanted goods, sitting in
our living room and making our lives unpleasant. To behave like that
and then complain about our behavior towards you takes a
certain amount of gall. But I have a feeling that even this lengthy
(and, I believe, polite and temperately-phrased) explanation of why you
are the target of abuse is not going to get through to you. So please
tell me where you live; I know of an aluminum siding company that would
be interested in talking to you...
Roger M. Firestone, 32 KCCH
Sr. Warden (Master-elect), Dawson Lodge #16, FAAM of DC
Musician/Lodge Education Officer, Henry Lodge #57, AF&AM of Virginia, Fairfax
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