|(Left to Right) Bros. Robert Johnson,|
Jason Richards &
Jon Ruark broadcasting TMR from
Jason's house in VA
But back to the original question of this article. If we look at unmasonic conduct from the objective lens postulated earlier, we find it difficult to reconcile calling homosexuality “unmasonic.” Homosexuality causes no inherent harm within the lodge. Regardless of race, age, or sexual orientation, brethren are expected to treat each other with the utmost respect. Furthermore, as societal norms have changed and homosexuality is no longer the social taboo it happened to be several decades ago, the presence of homosexuals in the lodge does not harm the fraternity’s public image. Quite to the contrary--as we have seen in recent times with organizations accused of anti-gay sentiment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chick-fil-A_same-sex_marriage_controversy), even a perceived lack of toleration can do harm to an organization’s public image. If we care about public perception--and we should given the past 50 years’ worth of membership trends--then a reexamination of our rules and perceptions toward homosexuality is prudent.
As a result, a brother’s religious-inspired belief that homosexuality is immoral (and therefore “unmasonic”) has no place within the confines of the lodge room. Likewise, a man’s sexual orientation should have no bearing on his being accepted or rejected as a candidate to receive the degrees in Freemasonry. After all, candidates are balloted upon within the lodge room during a tiled meeting. As such, religious and political biases should have no bearing on a candidate’s internal qualifications for Masonic membership.
Friday’s Supreme Court decision has presented our brotherhood with a distinct opportunity to move forward in line with the ideals upon which our great fraternity was founded: tolerance, harmony, and unity. By embracing toleration for all men under the fatherhood of God regardless of race or sexual orientation, we can set ourselves above today’s polarized society. That toleration, in turn, will promote harmony and build unity within our lodges. By celebrating our diversity rather than condemning it, our fraternity will grow stronger and attract innovative, exceptional young men to join our ranks as men and Masons for years to come.
~JR & JR
|(Left to Right) Bro. Jon Ruark, |
Bro. Jason Richards
WB. Jon Ruark is a Past Master of The Patriot Lodge No. 1957 in Fairfax, VA. His love of technology and gadgets led him to start The Masonic Roundtable as a Hangout on Air. His Masonic interests lean toward the esoteric and philosophical aspect. He lives in Virginia with his wife, 2.5 children, a dog named Copernicus, and a cat named Tesla who’s a jerk.