Letter of the month: January 2003
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 23:40:10 -0600
From: Sarah Iverson <email@example.com>
Subject: Masonry Question
I recently came across your website
(http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/) about Freemasonry. It is very
informative. I knew virtually nothing about Freemasonry and the site
answered a lot of questions.
However, I was wondering why it is required that members believe in a
Supreme Being. I am Christian and so cannot speak authoritatively on
atheism, but those atheists that I do know are of good, sound moral
character and have very much the same values as any God-worshipping
It seems to me that a LACK of religious preference does not affect
morality or character any more than a DIFFERENCE of religious
preference. Perhaps you can please provide some insight on this
I appreciate your time. Thank you.
To: Sarah Iverson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Masonry Question
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Fri, 03 Jan 2003 23:40:10 CST."
Dear Ms Iverson,
Thanks for writing. Your question is excellent and I will try to
give a good answer.
I agree with you that a belief in a (or the?) Supreme Being is not
necessary to being a moral good person. As nearly as I can understand
it, that is not why Masonry has that requirement. Instead, it is that
the philosophy behind Masonry assumes the existence of the Supreme
Being, and is based on that.
Masonry uses the metaphor of stone-masons participating in a complex
building project, like the construction of a mediaeval cathedral or King
Solomon's temple, all under the plan and direction of the master
architect, and compares that to human life: that we are all working
under the direction of the Great Architect of the Universe, who has
created us as capable of becoming skilled workers, and with all of the
world and nature available for providing knowledge and instruction.
Now with that kind of metaphor, the atheist who joined Masonry would
just be wasting his time. All of the teachings would be useless to
Look, if someone comes to a sky-diving school and says "I want to
learn to swim", you don't sign him up. You say, "this isn't the place
to learn that. Try the YMCA." You're not offering what he's interested
in. He doesn't want what you have. It would be wrong to sign him
That's pretty much it. What do you think?
| Gary L. Dryfoos <email@example.com>| Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA (PM)
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA (PM)
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| "A Page About Freemasonry" | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
| http://mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
| | RWG Rep.GL Russia near GL Massachusetts
| "...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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