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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Progressive/Destructive Line

Peace and harmony prevailing....a Masonic mantra if there ever was one.  We say as part of our opening in Preston-Webb lodges that we would like to ensure that we not part unless things are harmonious.
We quote from scripture and provide Master Masons that no contention should exist among Masons.
Yet, we fail.
I want to address what has become on the greatest detriments in Masonry and is a common practice throughout the Craft, the largest body of Masons in the world being in the United States, even if were limited to the United States, it would still be a problem.
The progressive line and our concern for saving the feelings of one Brother hurts an entire lodge or jurisdiction.  No place, more than Masonry, allows for the unfit to seek power.  You can do so with a frown, no force, and feigned hurt feelings.  
And it is our fault.  
We must keep in mind that the truly fit don’t mind the labor required to actually earn the spot, title, or position.  In fact, the truly fit want to earn it.  It is the slack of mind and lazy or ill suited that wish for something easy, most of all because they could never possibly earn it.  They are undeserving and would fail to gain a spot just as they fail to fill the position with any quality once it is actually obtained.
If we applied the idea of a progressive line in the world at large it would be immediately abhorred as it should be.
Imagine that your child applies for a college and he is told that the medical school slots only go to those appointed by those already in charge. That many years ago a few ill suited men were appointed to the leadership and selection board.  Nobody wanted to hurt their feelings and all voted to keep advancing them.  There was also a belief that although they had never done a good job in a single position, they would rise to the occasion and do a good job in the highest positions.  Unfortunately and quite shockingly this did not occur.  Since this time the corpus ignoramus have surrounded themselves with ill suited men and use nepotism and foolish pandering to their egos as the general standard for admission.  
For this reason, your child can not be accepted to medical school, but we would like him to keep coming to the college and paying his tuition.  There are not actually any programs, no education, and nothing really to keep him coming back because the corpus ignoramus keep voting down all programs that they don’t understand...which is most programs.
Yet, allow for this system in Masonry.  
Masonry has within its halls teachings of courage, integrity and tenacity unto death.  That great and celebrated son of the widow that is the archetype of the Master Mason died for his Word, which might be fittingly the lost word if we don’t find them within our halls.
Masonry is filled with good men who have loving hearts and the unfit take advantage of the tolerance and desires to mentor of others.
It is tough, sad, and frustrating to do the right thing, to be honest, to work at evaluating one another and advancing men into the leadership of the lodge that will be good for the lodge and the position will likewise be good for them.
The common argument against statements, such as those contained in this paper, is that as Masons we must be tolerant and steer clear of judgement.  In reality, it is easier to prove courage, honesty and making tough decisions from Masonic ritual than it is to argue harmony to the sake of detriment.
Every time a Mason votes a man into a lodge when no background has been done and complains later that the committee never does a good job...needs to ask himself why he votes in the affirmative on a single petition until the practice changes.
Ever time a principle officer is voted in who doesn’t learn the ritual, doesn’t conduct himself like a Mason, or chases the title of “Past” before the present was ever obtained and we sit silently by while it happens...we promote this destructive practice as if we supported it.
For those who will claim that as one man they can not do it...then I claim that one man is the image of one God, and that with faith we can move mountains.  Good ideas are not an aerobic exercise.  We need change and the change is only going to happen when we do something, not think something.

4 comments:

Patti said...

Amen.Well spoken, you can only hope that some actually understood what was written and are willinf to step up and take the necessary actions to start the ball rolling.

Bill said...

I could not agree more. I am currently struggling with how to encourage others to look well to their ballot without being accused of "lobbing or campaigning" for or against the "next" person in line. If you could coach me on how to approach this I would be forever greatful.

Greg said...

FIAT IVSTITIA, RUAT COELUM

Let Justce be done, though the Heavens fall!

Being a Mason is a privilege, not a right. Do the work or get out. I think the words "laggards" and "the indolent" should be added to the list containing "cowards and eavesdroppers".

Jay said...

I think that we do have a duty to only vote for men that will do a good job to fill the chairs. I however also believe that we should help teach and develop those in the junior chairs to be good leaders. If we are not helping to develop good leaders we are failing that brother and the craft. Yes the junior members have a duty to learn their parts and be proficient. The more experienced masons have a duty to teach that to them. In NC the training for WM starts with the deacons. There is a school put on by the GL that is to help teach leadership and the workings of the lodge, but it is open for the deacons. It is more than just voting in the right person and not voting in those not able.