The Indispensible Blog

We have a weekly educational question called Masonic Monday on the Lodgebuilder website.  Recently, the question was posed:  If you only have time to give a two or three line answer (about 15 seconds), what do you say to someone who asks “What is Masonry”?

I thought about it a bit, and thought I might share my answer here.

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Colleges and universities are fond of issuing summer reading lists to incoming students.  I thought I might provide an alternative list, after this brief introduction.

Intending to spark a student's thinking toward higher themes that will thread through all of the educational experience, too often, modern collegiate lists devolve into mere indoctrination. Yet originally, these lists had a noble purpose of opening the 'Canon' or list of the noblest works of Western Civilization to new liberal arts students. While I'd argue there is plenty of room to expand the Canon, if a work withstood the tests of time, sadly, the tendancy among educators in these days is to waive off all "dead white male" writers who were once prevalent on the list, and replace them with Anyone But.

This Mason disapproves of such a sheltered, and illiberal practice...

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This is one in an ongoing series for the thinking sort of fellow, of which we have many.  Why does Masonry insist, stubbornly, on a belief in God or some higher power?  I think it boils down to Masonry's transcendent understanding of Man, and our belief in the ultimately ennobling value of a spiritual basis for life.  Without it, we believe the result is de-humanizing: an absolute denial of the aspirations of any people, and ultimately destructive.  Read on...

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Writing the new Chairmen Unit initiation ceremony was a hoot for Brad and me.  One of the humorous lines in this little play has a brother questioning whether the candidate is a 'mooch', with the advice that a gentleman pays his own way (as things balance out over time).  Our friends at The Art of Manliness just ran a cartoon that captures exactly what we mean... 

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I was invited recently to speak at a festive board in Oklahoma City, by Guildhall Lodge, a leader in the Traditional Observance movement.  It gave me an opportunity to compare and contrast what we are doing at Churchill Lodge, with the "TO" movement, now spread to some 40 lodges around the nation.  Here's what I had to say..

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There's always one in a crowd: He's noticable because he's got the least class in the place. Sometimes it's the same guy, again and again, or maybe it's someone new. They tend not to get invited back...

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For those who are interested, here's what is new on this ever-changing website...

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Manly advice from Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.  The Chairmen Shrine brothers collect a great deal of wisdom from cultural icons like Sinatra and men of his generation.  This posting, for now, will be a place to collect these little gems.  Add your idea with a response to this post.  Our first item is on Wearing Hats:

 

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Remember those mid-century ads, where marketers would attempt to woo new customers by promoting some ephemeral new benefit to their product?  I'm reminded of these as I try to think of a way to promote our Cool!  New!  online form for registering your Masons in Motion pledge, on the MIM page.  Already a simple process with the paper form, now you can literally pledge your, er, pledge in 90 seconds.  Go ahead.  I timed myself.  See if you're faster, bub! 

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The lodge had a very successful turn at promoting the Atlantic Brotherhood Summit (ABS) and Masons in Motion (MIM) at the Grand Lodge Annual Communication this year.  Things are gearing up for a terrific set of events.  A number of brothers excelled at signing up attendees, and follow up sales on this website have been very good.  Read on, to learn more about it...

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