by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Adam Thayer
I suppose I should start by telling you how Masonically lucky I am. At the perfect place in my life, I stumbled into Freemasonry, and have found something to commit myself to. I’ve established close friendships with my brothers, first in my home lodge, then later across the state, and finally worldwide. I’ve been blessed with a platform to write on, with like-minded brothers who teach me more than I could ever hope, and a great base of readers who encourage me to ever work harder. Thanks to brothers like Robert Johnson, I’ve expanded into audio, and I get to tell people around the world some of the cool articles I’ve found.
I love this fraternity, and am continually blessed by applying its teachings in my life.
Lately, however, I’ve noticed a growing trend towards.... let’s call it “dissatisfaction”. Maybe it’s been there all along, and I’m just now noticing it. Maybe, as some have said, the “honeymoon period” is over.
In some, it is pretty light and good natured (Hey, these minutes sure are boring). In others, it has become the kind of unhappiness that leads men to leave for good. In a few cases, I’ve even seen it becoming self-destructive, leading to ever more outlandish acts to voice their dissatisfaction.
The membership of our fraternity, in short, is suffering a crisis.
The issue of homosexuality in Freemasonry has become a lightning-rod for these problems, with brothers choosing sides, and vehemently digging in and defending their positions, but it is not the root cause of the problem, just the hot-button of the moment.
I’ve seen some men calling for a revolution, of sorts, similar to the rift that occurred between the Antients and the Moderns.
"You say you want a revolution, well you know we all want to change the world. But when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out?"
I know, it’s rather trite to quote The Beatles in a piece on social change, but sometimes you just can’t write it any better than they did.
While I’m not afraid to fight for improvement in our fraternity, it’s important not to allow our passions to lead us into the destruction of those values we hold so dearly, and it’s equally important that we not allow our arguments to bubble out into the public view where it starts to hurt our reputation.
I don’t have any right to tell you that, because if you’ve followed me online, you’ve seen me speak vociferously regarding some of our issues. Had you asked me a week ago, I would have told you that it was important to fight the status quo, because the status is not quo. (Yes, I frequently quote Dr. Horrible in my daily life)
This week, I received feedback on another piece I had written from a non-Mason. It’s usually pretty cool when you get to hear from someone outside the fraternity on things they have picked up on from reading through our writings here, except this time the message wasn’t as great; he told me that he’s been thinking about joining for a long time, but that he keeps hearing about all the troubles we’re having in the fraternity, and he is reconsidering where his search for light is going to take him.
Reading it, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. In my zeal to seek improvements for our craft, I’ve contributed to scaring away the very men we’re trying to attract!
Gentlemen, I want to see a better tomorrow for Freemasonry, but I realized something important: it isn’t going to come from me. Or from you. The future of Freemasonry is going to come from the men who haven’t joined yet, and it’s our job to protect the fraternity until they get here, so that they may find in it all of the things we ourselves were searching for.
Because after all, don’t you know it’s gonna be alright?
WB. Adam Thayer is the Senior Warden of Lancaster Lodge No. 54 in Lincoln (NE) and a past master of Oliver Lodge No. 38 in Seward (NE). He’s an active member in the Knights of Saint Andrew, and on occasion remembers to visit the Scottish and York Rites as well. He continues to be reappointed to the Grand Lodge of Nebraska Education Committee, and serves with fervency and zeal. He is a sub-host on The Whence Came You podcast, and may be reached at email@example.com. He will not help you get your whites whiter or your brights brighter, but he does enjoy conversing with brothers from around the world!
Ah, the voice of reason. Well said. Some of the discussions (if you can call them that) are so heated that they have blatantly crossed over the line of what could be called Masonic. This has led me to remove myself from several FB groups recently. I can understand folks being upset or passionate about a subject, but that’s no excuse to be vehemently uncivil toward another Brother.ReplyDelete
You know what may have prevented this whole issue? If, after the MM degree, each brother was required to read, and sign acknowledgment of understanding, the ancient landmarks and charges of Freemasonry (I'd throw review of jurisdiction Constitution and Code in there as well, but hey, that's just me).ReplyDelete
Lots of interesting stuff there about what discussions can be held in lodge, between brothers out of lodge, and the uninitiated. Then we teach the Masonic principle of accountability.
Lo and behold, the world returns to normal.