[Square & Compasses]    

Letter of the month: January 2009

From: "Judy/Jaye" <judeeo@mchsi.com>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>
Subject: Masonry Question
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 16:29:20 -0600
Message-ID: <000301c97372$e72afd30$6501a8c0@jayesputer2>

I know this is not a legal question but I have searched the internet for hours trying to find the correct place to ask certain questions. If you cannot answer me can you direct me to a proper place?

My Father was a Mason. When he died there were items of his Masonic membership left. He always wore his Masonic ring and was very proud to do so. I never thought anything about it — but today my older sister called me and was in a sort of panic. She has a son who is an elder in a huge non-denominational church in Texas who told her that Masons were not of God and asked her if our Dad was a Mason. When she replied yes, he then asked her if she had any of his jewelry, etc to which she replied yes, a tie tack and a ring. He told her to get rid of them as certain illnesses were attached to them and would be passed along to her. I cannot remember specifically what sort of illnesses except of the "bowel" and I think throat. Since she had an intestinal surgery a few years ago, she has now concerned herself that this is because she has these pieces of jewelry and wants to get rid of them but doesn't want to give them to anyone in the family because it would pass this "curse" to them. She is also afraid of throwing them in the river because they would infect the waters. I am truly astonished as I have never heard anything like this. I would like to find something to send to her or to show to her that this is untrue. Her son even told her that Indian rituals were harmful.

I plead with you to help me with this. I am a Baptist — I have no fear of my father belonging to the Masons, nor to the fact that I belonged to the Rainbow Girls and others to Eastern Star. I am totally helpless in knowing how to broach this subject to my sister to be able to convince her that what she was told is wrong. I did go so far as to tell her that I imagine in her son's church they have certain things they do (which could be referred to as rituals) that may affect how we feel about his beliefs.

HELP HELP HELP

Judy C. Owens


Dear Ms Owens,

I'm sorry to read of your situation. Putting people into a panic about Masonry is a common tactic for some of these churches. It would be a shame if your nephew stampeded your sister into disposing of what ought to be a cherished family keepsake, or even a meaningful remembrance gift someday to a younger family member.

Fortunately, there is a website that can help you. It is called "Anti-Masonry Points of View" at www.masonicinfo.com/ — and you can find a lot of good info there. Although this will help you understand the "anti-Masons" and where they are coming from, and show you many of their arguments — even with all that, I don't know if it will help convince your sister.

My experience is that many people believe that kind of nonsense mostly because they want to. All the “facts” that their church leaders scare them with? They believe some pretty foolish things — for instance, that a ring or tie-tack can do bad "magic" to a person, or make them sick — because they want to believe those things.

When a person is set on believing something, then they don't care about any information to the contrary, and won't listen to it. But if your sister is not in that state, then you can share the things you learn at that recommended website.

One page I recommend to start with would be www.masonicinfo.com/chick.htm — as a lot of people get their mis-information about Masonry from those hateful little Jack Chick comics that get handed out or sold in various churches and church gift shops.

Also, the Masonic Service Association has written about this kind of fear-mongering. You can see one of their essays elsewhere at this website. In fact, I suspect that the particular "comic" booklet described in this essay might be something your nephew passed along to your sister. It certainly sounds like it.

So, read some of those things, and let me know what you think, and if it helps you any. It's sad when this kind of fear-spreading, which is really a kind of spiritual bullying, comes into the home and upsets a family. I hope you can do something to heal and calm things.

best wishes,

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

Up to the Letters: Main page
All the way UP to A Page About Freemasonry main page.