Letter of the month: March 2003
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 00:27:38 +0100
From: ph <email@example.com>
Subject: Masonry Question
dear mr dryfoos,
first to introduce myselve: i live in germany and i am interested very
much about masonry.
i do know that freemasonry in the whole does not involve herself into
political discussions. but the masons have the possibilty to express
their personal political meaning in puplic. and the masons have the goal
to create the temple of salomon. that means to create a better world
with love and respect among all people.
if i see the actual politics and if i hear the speaches of president
george w. bush and his team, than i get the impression, that this is
totally against this vision of masons.
so i am very interestet, if there are any efforts by masons in the us,
to stop president bush disregarding the international law, spitting to
the united nations and bringing all the arab world (that he obviosly
does not know very good) into more radicalism.
in my opinion, this is a theme, masons should think about and act
against this behavior.
maybe you do not agree with me, but i would be glad about an answer.
thank you very much
yours sincerly peter zumach
Dear Mr. Zumach,
Thank you for writing.
First of all, just to be clear, George Bush is not a Mason, so his own
politics and policies have nothing to do with this.
Next, I can tell you that everywhere in Masonry, and even among my own
Masonic friends and acquaintances:
- SOME are definitely against the war, and would agree with you in
all or most of your points that war and the unravelling of alliances
will have harmful effects around the world for years to come;
- BUT others are very strongly in favor of the war, because they
believe that the current government of Iraq is dangerous to its own
people, to the US, and to the world at large. They believe that it
would be more dangerous to do nothing than to proceed with the war.
And believe me, both of these points of view are held with tremendous
belief and passion.
So you can see that if our lodges were to begin discussing this issue,
there would be terrible discord and anger, and the lodges would be
permanently ruined as a home for friendship and harmony. There are
people who would never speak to each other again. That is why Masons
never discuss these matters of politics in lodge.
I can assure you that many Masons, as private individuals
not as members of a lodge are speaking out and demonstrating for peace
all over the country. Others Masons, however, are speaking in support
of the war and many Masons are members of our armed forces. But you
should not expect to hear a "Masonic" opinion either way. There never
will be one.
Masonry teaches that every man must examine his own conscience and act
rightly. This can mean different things to different people, and we do
not have a dogma. But Masonry teaches that all men are entitled to
their own religious and political beliefs -- so in countries where free
political or religious thought is prohibited, Masonry is always
outlawed. For instance, Masonry is suppressed and perhaps non-existent
in Iraq today. Many Masons believe that we should follow a peaceful
path, but others believe that a different Iraq, where men and women have
freedom of conscience, belief, and speech is a goal that should be
Is war or force ever justified? That reflects a very ancient human
dichotomy that we have not learned to bridge. Great pacifists
and great military leaders have been Masons. It is a terrible
and difficult question.
Masonry could never solve the problem by discussing these issues in
lodge, but Masonry itself could be destroyed if we attempted to do so.
Each of us makes the special effort to leave our politics, our
particular religious differences, and our social and economic class
differences outside the door of the lodge room. In times like this,
that takes a special effort, but it is one that we have to make. The
best we can hope is that our own efforts to live in harmony can be an
example to the rest of the world.
I hope you understand.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <firstname.lastname@example.org>| 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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