Home > Masonic, Shrine, Uncategorized > I’m a Mason….So am I….Me Too……..SO WHAT!

I’m a Mason….So am I….Me Too……..SO WHAT!

The title sounds a little negative.  Not a very brotherly thing to say, right?  Well, think about how many times this has come up.  Odds are, if you are a Mason you have either said “I’m a Mason”, or have heard someone else say it.     It’s a phrase of pride and rightly so. It’s a wonderful thing to be proud of.

In Freemasonry, it is pretty simple; be a good person, pay your dues.  Don’t give us a reason to suspend you.  For the most part, it’s not very hard to retain membership.  ….With that said, it’s also not hard to maintain membership in a golf club, hunting club, the Moose, Elks, and any other “sign and you’re in” organization.

At one time, being a Freemason meant something more.  It actually was a way of life, and non-Masons were aware that there was something special, if not just different, about this organization.  It was a big deal to be a Mason.  You could love them or you could hate them, but you knew that when you met a Mason, they did, or knew, a few things that the general public did not.

One thing that crawls under my skin and annoys me more than a lot of things is the glory hound Mason.  Now, if you are educated and wish to spread the light and you have a forum and audience to do so, then by all means, have at it, but if you haven’t been to a meeting in 2 years, or have no clue what “so mote it be” means, then please, save the organization the embarrassment and keep your trap shut.

I think many times we find men who are joining the organization for all the wrong reasons.  To back up my claim, I can give at least 10 instances where a candidate I was interviewing had no clue who his second line signer was, and in some cases had no clue who his first line signer was.  This is embarrassing and causes so many problems.

In today’s Masonic fraternity, joining is probably easier now than ever before.  One day classes and dwindling numbers of active men have led to the flood gates being opened to many men who may have not joined for the right reasons.  In my own district I can see an influx of “Straight to Shrine” guys that give little or no thought to the foundation of Masonry.

Just two days ago I sat at an interview for a man joining our lodge who was given a petition by a Shriner friend, seconded by another Shriner friend, and passed on to the lodge for membership.  Upon closer inspection I discovered both signers were one day class Masons from previous years who had never even been into a blue lodge.

Was this candidate a good man?  You bet!  He was a nice guy? Yep!  He had a nice family.  He held a full time job.  What more could we ask for right?  Well, for starters, how about a desire to be connected with Freemasonry?   The only thing this guy knew about Freemasonry was that in order to be a Shriner and go to Virginia Beach in the Fall he had to also hold membership in a Masonic Lodge.

One can say, but the Shrine is a connection to Freemasonry.  Well, yes, it is, and landing on Mars has a connection to the Wright brothers too.  Without the basic building blocks of flight, we probably wouldn’t have robots crawling around extra terrestrial planets.

He had no idea what the Freemasons were.  He had no interest in Freemasonry in general.  Like most men he regurgitated something about George Washington, and then made a few references to the movie national treasure.  My reaction to this man, who was a good man, was more anger at his signers, and, in some regards, Grand Lodge, for allowing situations like this to even become possible.

After about a 45 minute education session, with questions and answers, I did feel this man to be an upstanding man.  He was very capable of doing well for the fraternity.  My point is, it should not have taken the investigation committee to tell this man what Freemasonry is.

So here we are, a fraternity of men, who, in some instances, have no clue what our fraternity means or symbolizes.  These same men are making more drone Masons who have no clue what our fraternity means or symbolizes.  Then these new men go forth and are suppose to “spread the cement.”  Am I the only person in the state that sees a major problem with this?

When I am out in public, or at my job for that matter, I meet tons of Masons.  I work in tourism and travel, so I meet Masons all the time.  I am astounded at the men who see my ring and start the conversation, “I see you’re a Mason, so am I.”  Many times, these are good conversations, but unfortunately, many times they are just what I’ve explained above.  Men, who have no clue what it really means to be a Mason, asking me basic questions like, “Did you know Georg e Washington was a Mason.”  And then asking me if I thought there is a map on the back of the declaration.   Face palm, shake head.

Usually you can tell right away what the conversation will be like.  If I am asked, “I see that you are a traveling man.”  Many times that means the fellow is at least educated enough to know what that means.   Likewise, if I say, “I see that you are a traveling man.”  And he responds with a blank face or gives me the last 3 places he was that morning then I pretty much can bet we have a card carrier.  Still, he’s a Mason, a brother, and for that matter, a friend.  It’s just a little irritating when all I am seeing is a pool on non-Mason, Masons.

I hope we can turn this around.

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Categories: Masonic, Shrine, Uncategorized
  1. 7 February 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Id never really looked at it that way but you make a good point. Ive always said that you get out of it what you put into it.

  2. 6 April 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I like this blog and agree with your points Although I agree with you disapproval,It is possible for a “one dayer” to be a Good Mason!

    • 6 April 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Absolutely, there are thousands of one day class Mason’s who are dedicated, educated, committed and every bit of a member that your traditional member is. Likewise, there are tons and tons of traditional card carriers as well. I can’t claim to disapprove of the one day class, as I have seen many great men come though this way. I happen to be a one day class Mason. I came through in an auditorium with about 400 other men in chairs beside me. I do have a few issues with the one day classes, but I concede that I have no statistics for or against the retention or percentage that go on to leadership positions. I appreciate your feedback!

  3. 6 April 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I still hold my view point above that it is easier now than ever to become a Mason, and many straight to Shrine Masons are something we need to keep an eye on. Mentoring is a huge problem in the modern lodge.

  4. Benjamin
    24 March 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I am not a mason and there of rhave right to say anything. I do have a comment. I have heard a great deal about mason and i think that a few of my family members might be masons. you rcomment about what a mason is and people joining for the right reason. What are the right reason and how do you find them. i would love to know more about the masons. thats the only reasson i have not tryied to join is becauses i know nothing about the masons, and i have a hard time find information on them and wehen i do how do i know its the truth. I want knowledge and understand and i want to be a better man, but find the truth and knowing the truth when i see it is very hard. maybe you could help me. information and i will just have you go with what i feel id right.

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