Letter of the month: September 2000
Please note: Here's exactly the kind of letter I'd
be very glad not to get any more of. If you're thinking of writing just
to argue about religion with me -- I don't.
There are lots of things about other people's religions I am
interested in: the history and founders of the faith, its legends and
lessons, how the person happened to choose their faith, or came to
believe what they were brought up in, what are the faith's holy
scriptures and how did they come to be written (especially if it is an
obscure group in this country that most people don't know about),
unusual features of someone's worship, etc. etc. And those things are
my own personal interests, not part of Masonry at all.
But I am absolutely NOT interested in arguments about which
is the "right" religion, or how come Masons don't believe in this or
that, or "aren't allowed to pray" in a lodge, etc. My experience shows
that those kinds of letters come from people who are sure they are
correct about everything, and convinced that it's their job to
make everyone else agree with them.
So please, if you agree with the person who wrote the following
letter, then you can read my answer, but if you need to write to someone
about it, write to her,
not me. Thanks
From: "Jones, Jeanie" <JonesJ3@tyler.sprnet.org>
To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>
Subject: Jesus Christ
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:04:20 -0500
If each and every Mason at a meeting is of a faith believing in
Christ,( however maybe not really born again Christian but at lest
believes he exists), then why aren't Masons allowed to pray in the name
of Jesus as ordered by God's word? He said that only through his Son
can we come to the Father. God can be a combination of gods. I have
found 2 ex-Masons who gave up the Order because they were not allowed to
pray in Jesus' name to the only tru God. Now, there is really something
wrong here. I know Masons say they are not a "religion", however my
research shows a really good imitation of it if it is not. And, why
pray at all if not through our Savior, Jesus Christ? Just why pray at
all? Next, how many Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc., etc. do you think are
in orders down here in Texas? Your organization speaks of Masters all
of the time, yet the one true Master, Jesus, cannot even be mentioned in
a lodge. I am finding more and more ex-Masons who left because of this.
Thanks for clearing up anything concerning this very bazarre issue.
To: "Jones, Jeanie" <JonesJ3@tyler.sprnet.org>
Subject: Re: Jesus Christ
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Thu, 21 Sep 2000 13:04:20 CDT."
Are you writing to ask or to argue? I no longer have time or
interest for arguments.
If you're writing to ask, Masonry is not a religion of any kind. I
don't care what your "research" shows.
Now regarding prayers to Jesus in a lodge, Members can pray silently
and individually however they want, whenever they want. But the group
prayers that open and close meetings are non-sectarian.
What your question really boils down to is "Why can't Christian
Masons force all the other Masons to pray in the name of Jesus?"
I'm sure if you were at a meeting of your town council or business
council or whatever and a non-Christian clergy gave a prayer to Allah or
to Brahma or The Great Spirit or whatever, I'll bet you'd have your
panties all in a twist in a blink. You'd be up and screaming if
somebody else prayed in a way you didn't agree with. But you're used to
being in the majority in your neck of the woods, so you don't care if
other people are put in that position.
You ask "how many Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc do I think are in
Texas." The answer is plenty. More than you think. And more all the
There are plenty of religious theocracies in the world, dictatorships
in the name of one religion or another. This happens not to be one of
them, and the idea of freedom of conscience that inspired the people who
invented this country just happens to have come right straight out of
So if you want to move to some religious dictatorship that's your
business, but until then, even in Texas, you're going to have neighbors
who are Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Moslem, Agnostic, Wiccan, Deist,
Theist, etc etc and even more et cetera.
You don't have to agree with them. You do have to live with them.
Them's the rules. And people who like it that way, and think it's good
that there are many different traditions and ways of knowing and
honoring The Infinite Who Is Beyond Our Understanding, those kind of
people join the Masons. People who think everyone should all think
alike can join some other group -- and there's plenty of those already.
Please do me the kind favor of not writing back.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <firstname.lastname@example.org>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
| | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
| | R.W. Grand Rep. GL Russia near GL Mass.
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
| whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
| or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
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