[Square & Compasses]    

Letter of the month: June 2008

Date: Wed 18 Jun 2008 05:52:04 -0400
From: Jeremy <jeremy@ohiosocialwork.org> 
To: "'A Page About Freemasonry'" <masonry-ask@MIT.EDU>
Subject: Masonry Question


Greetings. I have a question for you. Actually, I have many. However, I can only imagine how many questions you must get having your email address publicly available. So I will restrict myself to one.

I greatly admire your organization and I have accomplished quite a bit of reading and studying about the Craft. Yet, I have not seemed to come across anything that answers this question. Is it wrong, shameful, or disrespectful to display the Square & Compasses if one does not belong to any Masonic fraternity or appendant body?

The reason I ask you in particular is because I do not personally know any Masons. The reason I ask in general is because I recently added to one of my websites a section of web links to various Masonic websites through which I would like to continue my readings and study. On the website, I have added the Square & Compasses as a small Icon next to the site link that opens that list, and then placed a larger image just above the links themselves on the pages with the links.

Please bear in mind that I am not asking this question from any type of legal standpoint, though that would have a great bearing on the answer as well. Rather, I am asking from a point of respect. While I enjoy the aesthetic value of the image next to the link, I by no means wish to be offensive to anyone.

If you would care to see what I am referring to, http://dust3r.com has the image in question at the top of the website menu.

Thank you for your time. Take care and be well.

- Jeremy

Message-ID: <20080618101359.4n3q0g3d2fri8g84@webmail.mit.edu>
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 10:13:59 -0400
From: A Page About Freemasonry <masonry-ask@mit.edu>
To: Jeremy <jeremy@ohiosocialwork.org>
Subject: Re: Masonry Question

That's an unusual question, and not one anyone's asked me before. More typically, someone has a ring or other piece of Masonic jewelry from a late relative, and wants to know if they can wear it, not being a Mason. In that case, the answer is "people will see you wearing that ring or pin, and will assume you are a Mason, and other Masons will ask you about your lodge and such. So know, it wouldn't be appropriate."

In this case, you're not wearing the square and compasses, just displaying them on a website. I don't think that's a problem. But since you are not a member, you should probably say something like that at the top of http://dust3r.com/page.php?235 — your main Masonry page. Perhaps "A Page of Links to Masonic Information, compiled by a non-mason" or something like that?

BTW: If you're so interested in Masonry, is there any particular reason you've never joined?

I hope that helps answer your question.

best wishes,

-- Gary L. Dryfoos
   A Page About Freemasonry
   now at http://MasonryPage.org/

From: "Jeremy" <jeremy@ohiosocialwork.org>
To: "'A Page About Freemasonry'" <masonry-ask@MIT.EDU>
Subject: RE: Masonry Question
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 18:46:56 -0400
Message-ID: <000301c8d195$36bbaaa0$020aa8c0@hal9000>

Thank you very much for the quick response and the advice. I have updated the page with text across the top of the page that will hopefully help to avoid any misunderstandings.

> "BTW: If you're so interested in Masonry, is there any
> particular reason you've never joined?"

Well, sir, there is a long answer and a short answer. Please believe this really is the short answer. Any masons I've ever seen or read about were all the type of men I could only aspire to be. They also seem to emanate a level of integrity that will never be granted me in this lifetime.

Due to things beyond my own comprehension, God set a path me for that led me through 20+ years of darkness before I was finally able to see clearly. When I was born, we were the only white family living in the city projects. I was taken away from my mother around the age of five years old. I remained a ward of the court until I was 18. By then, no one had bothered to show me or tell me what it meant to be a man. So, I lived the next 12 years as an over-aged adolescent.

Now, at age 35, I only have little more than 3 years of trying to be of service to my community and to my country. As a full time student, I am currently working on two bachelors degrees (Social Work, Psychology) and planning to pursue my graduate degree in Social Work following those. However, my volunteer work, my good intentions, and my love for knowledge do not negate my sins of the past.

Though I may have to stand on the shoulders of great men to achieve all that I plan to in this lifetime, and try as I may to emulate those great men, I seriously doubt that I could ever stand among those great men. People become hero's for a reason, sir. It's because hero the represents something the devotee can never be.

About 10 years ago I received a (well-deserved) felony conviction in a court of law. As we both know, convicted felons, regardless of reason, are fairly well shunned in American society. Because of that, as far as society is concerned, I will never be capable of reputable or moral character. Hence, I wouldn't make it through the parking lot of the nearest Lodge.

God set my path long before I was capable of making intelligent decisions. And I do not believe that God allows for randomness. So, where I am in life is exactly where I am supposed to be. I may never experience the great bonds of brotherhood that I so often read about, but that doesn't stop me from following the examples of those men. And because of that, I will still try to leave this world a much better than place than it was when I found it. I may have put out an eye with the poor choices I have made in the past, but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Take care and be well, sir.

- Jeremy

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