Friday, October 20, 2006

Freemasonry: Monotheistic?

I was recently present at an investigative committee review of a new candidate for Masonry. An interesting question came up, "Are you monotheistic?" This shocked me. The real question, traditionally is "Do you believe in a Supreme Being?" There is a big difference between these two questions. After some dialogue with the candidate, the conclusion was reached that yes he believes there is a "head honcho" and that this satisfied the requirement.

1. How many people think Masonry requires monotheistic belief? Do certain Grand Jurisdictions have this as an official requirement?

2. How many Masons reading this are NOT monotheists? (I am not. I'm a henotheist)

3. What purpose would such a restriction be perceived to serve for the Good of Masonry?


Greg Stewart said...

juristictionally, my understanding is a "belief in a supreme being", not a monotheistic one.

Did you check the brother after the questioning?

Widow's Son said...

Georgia ritually asks a candidate: "Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, in some manifestation of His will, and in the immortality of the soul?"

At the preliminary interview, I was asked, "What church do you belong to?" When I answered the local Presbyterian church, the look on their faces made me wonder if I'd be allowed to join the Lodge.

Widow's Son

Tom Accuosti said...

In Conn, we just ask if you have a belief in a Supreme Being. I've noticed, though, that part of our recognition for other jurisdictions includes that, plus a manifestation of His revealed will, and a belief in the immortality of the soul. I've never seen those conditions applied to mere members, though.

Frankly, I felt very weird explaining that I was a Taoist (reform, not orthodox). Someone else described it as "believing in the Architecture more than the Achitect."

The Tao of Masonry

Widow's Son said...

Bro. Tom wrote: "...believing in the Architecture more than the Architect."

LOL! I love it! So true, so true!

Chase's Dad said...

I agree with you, brother. Belief in a supreme being does not have to be singular in order for it to be accepted in the blue lodge. I am actually quite taken aback by this question.

BTW: Love the Blog

Tubal Cain said...

we had a new initiate that had been involved with a druidic group many years ago, and fellow brother when learning about it, commented to me "they are not monotheistic?"
That thought and whether monotheistic or not never crossed my mind because i new he believed in the Grand creator of the all.
that was his reply to "in whom do you put your trust?"

Golden Spike Lodge No. #6 said...

The Charges of a Freemason
A.D. 1723, A.L. 5723

I. Concerning God and Religion
A Mason is oblig'd by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be found a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charged in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, 'yet 'tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish'd; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the means of conciliating true friendship among persons who must otherwise have remained at a perpetual Distance.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

One entry found for irreligious.
Main Entry: ir·re·li·gious
Pronunciation: -'li-j&s
Function: adjective
1 : neglectful of religion : lacking religious emotions, doctrines, or practices (so irreligious that they exploit popular religion for professional purposes -- G. B. Shaw)
2 : indicating lack of religion
- ir·re·li·gious·ly adverb

One entry found for libertine.
Main Entry: lib·er·tine
Pronunciation: 'li-b&r-"tEn
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English libertyn freedman, from Latin libertinus, from libertinus, adjective, of a freedman, from libertus freedman, from liber
1 usually disparaging : a freethinker especially in religious matters
2 : a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality; specifically : one leading a dissolute life
- libertine adjective

2 entries found for stupid.
To select an entry, click on it.

Main Entry: 1stu·pid
Pronunciation: 'stü-p&d, 'styü-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French stupide, from Latin stupidus, from stupEre to be numb, be astonished -- more at TYPE
1 a : slow of mind : OBTUSE b : given to unintelligent decisions or acts : acting in an unintelligent or careless manner c : lacking intelligence or reason : BRUTISH
2 : dulled in feeling or sensation : TORPID (still stupid from the sedative)
3 : marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting : SENSELESS (a stupid decision)
4 a : lacking interest or point (a stupid event) b : VEXATIOUS, EXASPERATING (the stupid car won't start)
- stu·pid·ly adverb
- stu·pid·ness noun
synonyms STUPID, DULL, DENSE, CRASS, DUMB mean lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions. STUPID implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary (stupid students just keeping the seats warm) (stupid with drink). DULL suggests a slow or sluggish mind such as results from disease, depression, or shock (monotonous work that leaves the mind dull). DENSE implies a thickheaded imperviousness to ideas (too dense to take a hint). CRASS suggests a grossness of mind precluding discrimination or delicacy (a crass, materialistic people). DUMB applies to an exasperating obtuseness or lack of comprehension (too dumb to figure out what's going on).

One entry found for atheist.
Main Entry: athe·ist
Pronunciation: 'A-thE-ist
Function: noun
: one who believes that there is no deity
- athe·is·tic /"A-thE-'is-tik/ or athe·is·ti·cal /"A-thE-'is-ti-k&l/ adjective
- athe·is·ti·cal·ly /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb

This is the only mention of religion in Masonry.... Any other questions outside of -
Do you believe in a supreme being,or a higher powere, that is to say a power higher than yourself?
Do you believe in the fatherhood of God, that is to say that your understanding of your higher power exists in the compacity of a kind, protective, benevolent creator?
Do you believe in the immortality of the soul, that is to say that there
exists a life after this; an existance after this?
Do you believe that your higher power has offered or promised a path towards this immortality, that is to
say, that through that promise you will obtain the existance you merrit and desire?
Outside of these lines of questioning would be considered Un-masonic.

Golden Spike Lodge No. #6 said...
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Golden Spike Lodge No. #6 said...
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