For the last few months, myself and another Midnight Freemason have been, I feel, targeted by people on social media in order to stop us from publishing Masonic education. Recently I was banned from a Masonic group. Honestly it shocked me. Upon investigation I was told by a moderator of the group I was turned in because, “Masonic education offended them."
Since then my posts have been turned into Facebook as “Spam” and my author page was unpublished by the site because I had been turned in for “offensive content”. I wasn’t allowed to share posts or even post on my own page for several weeks. In this time I truly began to think, "I should just stop writing, sit down in my easy chair and just educate myself." It was about this time that phrase from my Masonic work came to mind. I realized for centuries our Brethren haven been, “often tried” in the public for just for the offense of “Being a member of the Freemasons.”
From the anti Masonic period in the nineteenth century, when Masons faced discrimination, examples being; getting fired from their jobs, not being able to rent houses and families being forced to leave communities which they had once called home.
During the Spanish Inquisition men who were suspected of being members of the Fraternity were imprisoned and tortured until they would finally, under duress, confess to the horrific offense of being a Freemason. During the Third Reich, many Freemasons were placed in concentration camps and murdered because Hitler was so intimated by our Masonic light, he knew the darkness he preached was no match for it.
Even today there are Brethren being tried in the United Kingdom because they are Masons. I have a personal friend who would have been expelled from the college he was attending if it were outed that he was a Mason. Even as I write these words there are places in the Middle East where it is a capital offense to take the obligations we took at the altar of Freemasonry. It seems sometimes “being often tried” is just part of the weight you feel when you wear a Masonic ring
When these accusations were leveled against me, I felt the need to defend myself against these accusations. I knew I was innocent and appealed. Within a few days Facebook reviewed the evidence and found in my favor. My posting privileges were restored and my authors page was republished. Not only did I feel vindicated but I knew once the evidence was judged I could claim, “I was never denied”.
“I am willing to be tried again”, because I know if I just throw down my working tools and walk away out of frustration, I'm not just failing myself, but I'm failing those who have written me to tell me they like my writing and have been touched and inspired by my work. I would also be disappointing all the Brethren who came before me and suffered discrimination, hatred or even faced imprisonment, torture or death just because of those vows we all took. I will not allow a few closed minds and hearts filled with hatred to make me leave the Fraternity which I love.
My Brother I’m sure many of you have been, “Often tried". Each of us have viewed things within the Fraternity that angered or disappointed us. The wagging finger of a Past Master or trying to stay awake during a boring meeting or something else that frustrated you to the point that you just want to walk out the door of that lodge room and never return. But my question is, "Did you quit or did you decide you were “Willing to be tried again?”"
Think about it. Every member who gets frustrated with he Grand Lodge red tape or the ever-present, “We’ve never done it that way”, who walks away, is one less person to help us develop the Craft into the Fraternity we want it to be. Each empty seat in that lodge room is one less vote to counterman that crusty stick-in-the-mud who refuses to allow the lodge to try new things. That empty seat is also one less Brother who can help with a lodge committee or serve in an office. Ultimately each man who picks up his ball and goes home is one less vote in a lodge, one less-voice for change and prolongs the struggle. Stay, help put the Craft on a solid foundation and make it ready to face new generations.
If we stand up, as a group and declare we are “Willing to be tried again.”, as a group there is no way we can, “Ever be denied again.”