‘Antient’ Freemasonry is the most common form of Freemasonry found throughout the United States. It is a social fraternity composed primarily of men aged sixty-five and older that collects monies for its various charities.
I am twenty five years old. I have rarely if ever seen our Blue Lodge collect monies for "various charities."
It is perhaps most easily identified by Shriners wearing their red rhinestone covered fez's collecting money at intersections. In many areas of the country it is divided along racial lines with African American Freemasons not being recognized as legitimate Masons.
I have never seen anyone wear a red fez in my Blue Lodge. The Shrine Club is an appendant body, which should stand on its own merits and have its own identity. "In many areas of the country" is misleading. There are a few of the southern states that are not yet racially integrated, but the majority of Grand Lodges in the U.S. are racially integrated. I have in fact sat in Lodge with racially diverse Brethren, and I am in one of the "whitest" towns in the country.
Its membership is predominantly protestant in religious orientation, and in some areas of the country it is relatively intolerant of other faiths.
I missed the memo on this one. I am a Mormon, and an unusual one at that. I heard that Masonry makes no requirement of a Man's religious faith except that he have belief in a Supreme Being. I have never seen this violated, and in fact, I do not even know the specific denomination or creed of most of my Lodge Brethren. I only assume they are mostly Christian because we are in a place where most people are Christians. On the other hand, I also assume that there are more non-Christians in Masonry in Oregon proportionally than other groups, because we are more welcoming and tolerant of people of other faiths.
Yes, we have appendant bodies, and some of them have prerequisites, and some of them are invitational. However, the prerequisites are in terms of degrees attained and service rendered to the fraternity, not Masonic titles.
'Antient' Freemasonry has many appendant bodies such as the York and Scottish Rites, and others too numerous to mention. Many of these are by invitation only and usually require that you have a lengthy list of Masonic titles associated with your name before being invited into membership.
Joining 'Antient' Freemasonry is much easier than either Co-Masonry or 'Modern' Freemasonry. Many of the 'Antient' Grand Lodges hold "All the way in a day classes" where you can join in the morning and be a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason by the end of the day. If you are looking for a unique and inexpensive social club you may want to consider learning more about 'Antient' Freemasonry.
I abhor the idea of one day classes, and give my condolances to the brethren who have to put up with them, and those who pass through them. I consider Masonry far more than a social club. And, I see it as entirely un-Masonic to advertise it as a social club and refer people to a list of Lodges as has been done on this site. The UGLA seems not to be demonstrating brotherly love, but rather, childish bitterness or vengeance towards the Brethren of a fraternity that has obviously offended them in some way. They must not even care about recognition, or they would not be characterizing traditional Freemasonry in such a poor manner. Fortunately, the type of boys who would schism from the fraternity instead of seeking to make it better
are exactly the type we don't need in our ranks. We're looking for Masons, who are interested in working stones and making them fit for the builder's use. If the stone was already perfect, there would be no need for workmen in the quarries.
I am proud to be a Mason, and I feel honored to be currently going through the York Rite. I am part of an ancient heritage, and although there is much error and poor judgment in the way Freemasonry is handled, yet there are many things perfect. I want to improve the Fraternity, and that starts by helping our Brethren to improve themselves in Masonry.
I hope the UGLA does succeed in some measure. Having competition out there will be good for Masonry in the United States. It may give us strengthened motivation to step up to the challenge and be good and true ancient Masons.