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Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
01-11-2013, 07:00 PM
Post: #31
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
I found a website that says Lincoln once applied for membership in a Masonic lodge, but did not join, and that Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were Freemasons. What exactly is Freemasonry? Is it an occult organization, as so many websites say it is?

http://www.mastermason.com/wilmettepark/pres.html
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01-11-2013, 07:35 PM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2013 07:37 PM by Jim Page.)
Post: #32
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
(01-11-2013 07:00 PM)My Name Is Kate Wrote:  What exactly is Freemasonry? Is it an occult organization, as so many websites say it is?

Hi, Kate--

You ask the most amazingly interesting questions.

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization designed to make good men better, based upon the logic and geometry of the stonemason's trade. It uses their tools to explain principles whereby men can subdue their baser passions.

At least, that's what it is in our day. I did a ton of historic research in Masonic books dating back before Washington's time, and I never saw anything alarming. These societies are pretty much dying out, it seems, as modern folks don't seem to join such groups in the numbers they once did.

I'd be careful of what folks say about conspiracies; most of it is hogwash. I've heard folks say that the Proctor & Gamble soap company is a Satanic cult. It reveals more about those who spread such moonshine than it does about their targets.

That being said, individuals can twist anything. I've seen evidence of Masonic symbols and rituals in the Jack the Ripper slayings which appear hard to deny. No evidence it was the organization which was involved in any way; probably just folks who knew about Freemasonry and its workings. They needn't have been Freemasons to know such stuff.

There are some aspects of the early Mormon church that evidently harken to Freemasonry, though I didn't go very deep into that.

Ha ha!!! It's a crazy world.

--Jim

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01-11-2013, 09:21 PM
Post: #33
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
(01-11-2013 10:38 AM)Laurie Verge Wrote:  That's the best answer that I have read so far. Thank you, Jerry.

Your welcome teacher.
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01-11-2013, 10:51 PM
Post: #34
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
I'm trying to stay on track here as much as possible and not deviate too far from this forum's topic.

I read online that an Anti-Masonic Party was formed in 1828 because some people were suspicious of the covert nature of the Masons, many of whom were politicians and high-level, influential public figures, and because there had been suspicious disappearances of some political opponents to Freemasonry. The Party dissolved in 1838, and a fair number of its members migrated to the Whig Party, including Thaddeus Stevens.

Some people today are saying the same things about the covert, insidious nature of Freemasonry. I welcome anyone's informed information on this subject.
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01-12-2013, 12:31 AM
Post: #35
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
(01-11-2013 10:51 PM)My Name Is Kate Wrote:  . . . because there had been suspicious disappearances of some political opponents to Freemasonry.

Gosh; it's been over 25 years since I read any of this stuff but there was an uproar in the mid-1820s over a Mason or former Mason named William Morgan publishing the secret Masonic Ritual and many thought he had been kidnapped and killed in revenge. That was in Western New York, I believe, and became a big deal in the newspapers of that day.

That may have been a factor in formation of the Anti-Masonic political party.

My belief is that there have been, from time to time, isolated elements of the Masonic order who have gone off the rails. Masonry isn't alone in having such incidents. In the 1920s, there was some bad feeling between some Masons and some Catholics. I don't believe that is the case today.

I know for a fact that at least nowadays it is forbidden to discuss politics, particular religions, or nationalities in a Masonic lodge, as the order considers those subjects where honest men can honestly disagree.

--Jim

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01-12-2013, 05:20 AM
Post: #36
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
There is a footnoted article titled Abraham Lincoln and Freemasonry here.
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01-12-2013, 07:22 AM
Post: #37
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
That was an interesting article, and very different from so many on the internet. I must admit that I didn't read every single word of it, so maybe it answered these questions, but I missed it if it did:

Is Freemasonry a religion, or similar to a religion?
Is it a secret society, and if it is, what is the necessity of it being secret?
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01-12-2013, 10:45 AM (This post was last modified: 01-12-2013 11:06 AM by Jim Page.)
Post: #38
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
(01-12-2013 07:22 AM)My Name Is Kate Wrote:  Is Freemasonry a religion, or similar to a religion?
Is it a secret society, and if it is, what is the necessity of it being secret?

Freemasonry is not a religion; there is a requirement that anyone desiring to become a Mason believe in a Supreme Being.

The society is not secret; some of its rituals and means of recognition and identification are secret. Freemasonry is an enormously complicated system and demands a tremendous amount of learning and memory work from those who earn the right to call themselves Freemasons.

It has been that way for hundreds of years. Remember, the Freemasons came from the stonemason craft guilds of Europe, where once a member became a master craftsman or mason, he earned more money and respect. In many cities in Europe, big cathedrals were being built and the men who built them had money and respect.

Once one earned a Master Mason's rank, after years of apprenticeship, he could go to any city and get more money. Since they didn't have cards or computers, these men were taught secret signs and handshakes that only another Master Mason would know.

Folks tried to pass themselves off as Master Masons (or whatever other guild or craft) and if they didn't know the secrets, they were exposed as phony. So the secrets were like a passport or a password for your computer; they weren't evidence of evil intent; they were to ensure accurate identification for those who earned certain rights and privileges.

Does that make sense?

--Jim

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01-12-2013, 09:05 PM
Post: #39
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
Yes it does.
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01-13-2013, 01:42 AM
Post: #40
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
Yes, and thank you for the explanation.
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01-13-2013, 05:02 AM (This post was last modified: 01-13-2013 05:37 AM by My Name Is Kate.)
Post: #41
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
Well, I thought I was done with this subject, but came across this article.

http://www.sabotagetimes.com/people/a-ma...ld-not-us/

So now I have one more question:

Is Freemasonry open only to men? If so, why? That is not in keeping with their stated principles of equality.
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01-13-2013, 10:52 AM (This post was last modified: 01-13-2013 11:18 AM by Jim Page.)
Post: #42
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
(01-13-2013 05:02 AM)My Name Is Kate Wrote:  Is Freemasonry open only to men? If so, why? That is not in keeping with their stated principles of equality.

As far as I know, Freemasonry is open only to men. I've heard that is because a candidate for Masonry has to enter the Masonic lodge room divested of all things, as if he were being re-born. This involves wearing only a minimum of clothing. I have heard of a few women who have not been put off by that requirement, and they were, I believe, in France a couple of hundred years ago. And Masonic law requires that a candidate be "a man, freeborn, of lawful age, and well-recommended."

Also, Masonry does not have a stated principle of equality; some men are more clearly able than others, whether we admit it or not, though they should all be treated equally probably is a good summation of their views. There are good men and bad men.

By no means does every man who applies to the Masonic order gain membership. A candidate for Freemasonry is investigated by the brethren and if something in his past causes a flag to be raised, he is asked about it, and some applicants do not pass that bar. Then the candidates are voted upon in open lodge, and one vote against by a lodge member disqualifies the applicant, no questions asked. This is where the term "black-balled" comes from. Masons vote with a wooden ballot box and they use white balls to elect and black balls to reject a candidate.

Also, please know that Freemasonry does NOT solicit members-- ever. One has to ask to become a Freemason. No one will ever ask anyone to join. And, in some Masonic jurisdictions, a person has to ask three times before they receive a response. This, of course, helps explain declining Masonic membership!

Please remember that Freemasonry is a remnant of a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. There were no female stone masons. There were no female Knights Templar. Both of those orders are aligned with today's Freemasonry. Of course, women couldn't vote in this country until 1920 and weren't allowed to serve on some juries-- at least murder ones, I know-- until the 1940s in some states. So an order dating back to at least 1717 would reflect the conditions of that era.

We can't apply today's views on something that old, as BettyO's sig states.

That being said, the Order of the Eastern Star and some others are Masonic-affiliated orders for women.

--Jim

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01-13-2013, 01:15 PM (This post was last modified: 01-14-2013 10:25 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #43
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
Thanks for the info. I didn't know much of that either.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-17-2013, 11:40 AM
Post: #44
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
I come from a family that had Masonic and Eastern Star ties up until it hit my generation. I am an only child with no cousins on that side of the family, so the ties have stopped with me. As for joining the Eastern Star, I have always had commitments to other things that cut into my time.

I can assure you that it has been a well-respected institution for hundreds of years and many of our Founding Fathers and leaders in commerce, industry, and society have been Masons. On the local and state level that I am most familiar with, the Masons and their higher ranks (such as the Shriners - who fund many reputable burn centers in the U.S.) as well as the Eastern Star do many charitable things.

I think there has been a resurgence of questioning about the Masonic lodges thanks to Daniel Brown's novels - The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons - over the past decade.
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01-17-2013, 12:56 PM
Post: #45
RE: Lincoln Poll in USA TODAY
Laurie: I agree. I work with several men who are Masonic members. They are involved in great causes, for sure.

Bill Nash
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