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Religious Opposition to Freemasonry

February 2, 2007

Mega Church  When one searches on the Internet for “Freemasonry”, you are inundated by many anti-masonic websites.  Personally, not one person in my hometown of Calgary has raised a single religious concern about Freemasonry to me. 

Of course, I haven’t talked to hundreds of Calgarians about this, but I figure there are two reasons why I have not come across opposition.  The first reason is that most people I have talked to have never heard of Freemasonry except for the references in The Da Vinci Code.  The second reason is that I live about 1500 miles (2400 km) away from the “American Bible Belt”. 

I’ve discovered that there are definite differences in religious opposition to Freemasonry from country to country, state to state, and of course religion to religion.

One of my Brothers in my Lodge became interested in becoming a Freemason a few years ago when he lived in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.  He soon discovered that the religious Islamic government there had outlawed Freemasonry.  Soon after moving to Canada, he exercised his new freedom, and became a Mason.

I find it interesting that Americans in general find Islamic Religious States so offensive, yet the “Religious Right” in the U.S. wants a Christian Government under a Christian God - eerily similar?   I’m sure that an American Christian government would ban Freemasonry just like the U.A.E’s government did – but for different reasons of course.

What really got me interested in this topic was a number of comments in an earlier post.  The post “Entered Apprentice Requirements” resulted in a series of comments dealing with religious opposition to Freemasonry. 

“Eric” responded that he was very strongly considering becoming a Freemason, and that I was only a few steps ahead of him.   He then raised his concern about joining.  He stated that Freemasonry was “an organization that recognizes “a supreme being”, without… acknowledging the sacrifice of or the existence of Jesus as the Son of God.”  He then read sections from the book of Revelations, John and Jude and discussed how his interpretation of these passages swayed his interest away from Freemasonry.  His comment was actually 7 paragraphs long and very well written and thought out.

“Carter” responded by saying ” … good-faith Masons do not deny Christ. Out of respect for non-Christian brothers, it is not a topic for lodge to avoid conflict.”   

“Bill” also responded “Your references to the 2nd Book of John would necessitate Masonry to be only Christian in its nature. That is not the case as Masonry accepts those who are Hebrew, Hindu, Muslim, Bhuddist or any other religion that recognizes God or a Supreme being by any name. I know of Lodges that have rather diverse memberships made up of many races, cultures and religious sects. … To not associate with or fraternize with another group of men because of their non-christian beliefs I believe is counter to what Freemasonry is about.”

I do agree with those points brought up by Bill and Carter and could not have said it any better.

Pilgrim’s Path  I really wanted to know more about the history of religious opposition to Freemasonry, so it was suggested to me that I read “A Pilgrims Path, Freemasonry and the Religious Right” by John J. Robinson.  It was a quick read, and quite and eye-opener.  The first part of the book dealt with the religious opposition and the second related to ways of improving Freemasonry.

The most surprising thing that I learned in this book is how some people, such as Pat Robertson, can take quotes from proven forgeries or misquoted individual Masons, and then say that they speak for all of Freemasonry to try and prove their own anti-masonic agendas.  These are people of faith who are blatantly lying about historical references and twisting  obscure facts, and not to mention simply making things up.  They are so concerned with their hatred of Freemasonry, that their hate has blinded their own honesty and integrity. … As you can tell, this book got me fired up!

At the time of writing this book, and his previous one “Born in Blood, The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry”, the author was a historian and writer, and was not a Freemason.  At the end of “Pilgrims Path”, he states that after all of his research into Freemasonry he has now decided to become a Freemason himself.

This is my 12th post on Freemasonry and my experiences as a Freemason.  Here is the Table of Contents of my Masonic Journey.

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10 comments

  1. The relationship between religion and Freemasonry is even more complicated here in the rural American Old South.

    Masonic lodges here are filled with — and controlled by, in many cases — fundamentalist Baptist Christians. I first realized this when years ago, after petitioning the local lodge, one of the men assigned to the investigation team me asked me what church I belonged to. He and others actually raised their eyebrows when I said I was Presbyterian.

    Later I became the webmaster for the lodge’s website, and one day received an email from a woman who lived in a town about 50 miles away, asking for our advice or help. Her father, a man in his 70s, had been not only a Mason for 40 or 50 years, but also a Sunday School teacher in his church for at least that long. A new, young minister had recently been hired, and he immediately told the elderly Mason/Sunday School teacher that he could no longer be a teacher unless he renounced and quit the “Satanic Masonic lodge.”

    It’s amusing, but sad, to see so-called Christians attacking and demeaning each other over Freemasonry, an organization meant to bring men together.

    Widow’s Son
    BurningTaper.com


  2. It’s funny how your journey parallels my own in some ways. Come to think of it, this journey is probably typical for lots of initiates.

    Like a lot of “newbies”, my journey started after *discovering* Freemasonry in the Da Vinci Code. As I began to investigate further, I came across tons of anit-masonry material. So much so, that I had serious reservations about the nature of this organization.

    After about a year of research, finding both good and bad (mostly bad), I began to form an opinion. Oddly enough, I learned that while their theories are quite entertaining, to say the least, conspiracy theorists and the anti-masonic movement have no teeth.

    On the flip side, my conversations with Masons and further research made me find a sense wanting to belong…if for no other reason than to improve my own being, but also for the brotherly love aspect.

    I also decided that to gain an true understanding one way or another, it would have to be done from within – not from the outside. I have since become very attached to this good fraternity and can’t wait to continue the journey!


  3. Here’s a thought I’d like to hear from others on. Last weekend, I went to the bookstore to check out the many books I haven’t read yet. All of the books I have read thusfar were purchased off the internet. This was the first time I had done some looking in a bookstore. Not sure where to start, I ask for some direction. I thought this person would take me to a categorical section. Apparently, books on Freemasonry are not neatly stacked in one area. I found most were split between the “History” section and the “Metaphysical” section. I felt I was pretty versed on the history side of things, so I ventured for the “other”. I’d say most of this “other” dealt with the esoteric concepts that I’ve yet to embrace. I find these concepts a bit obscure and beyond the length of my cabletow…for the moment anyway.

    So, what about this esoteric stuff? Is it really part of the true speculative masonry, or is it something that’s evolved with the help of some prolific authors with a different view of the world? Perhaps it’s open to interpretation. Any light from the Bretheren is very much appreciated.

    (Maybe I should start my own blog, eh!)


  4. The Burning Taper Blog has a post that relates to my article here. It gives more details about the history of some anti-masonic christians. Here is the link to that post.


  5. Greetings All,

    FWIW, I am still here and still doing lots and lots of research. I have read in between the lines of every ones comments. If Freemasonry makes good men better, it has done so for me even while still under consideration. I have read more Bible scripture, and more reading on Biblical history that I have ever done in my entire life. I have explored a lot to the anti-mason stuff, just to get an understanding of their objections. Some of my uneasiness may be related to some of the “esoteric” things as well. I would be glad to share exactly what I have found, but I don’t want anyone to feel that I am out to give away some of your secrets.

    I would like to make it clear. I am by no means anti-Masonic. I would just like to become as educated as possible prior to taking a solemn oath. Just as I wouldn’t have married my wife without first understanding the oath and commitment, such is true with Freemasonry. In keeping with the title of this blog… I like to play with horseshoes, and I would love to play with hand grenades in a controlled environment, but I would never play with where my soul spends eternity.


  6. Eric,

    I found that if you really want to know all the secrets, they’re all out there for the taking. It’s kinda like the big secret is there are no secrets!

    Anyway, I don’t think a discussion of esoteric material would violate any oath (Brothers correct me if I’m beyond the length of my cabletow). I’m certain that if it did cross a line, someone would politely step in.

    Go for it Eric. How about a separate blog on it?


  7. Carter,

    Sure, there may not be secrets but there are questions. What I would like to see is a Masonic Mythbusters and FAQs. Since I have more questions than answers, I wouldn’t be appropriate person to start such a venture. I realize that Masons aren’t suposed to talk religion and politics within the lodge, but a website isn’t a lodge. Within the millions that have become Freemasons, I am sure that there are at least some among you that have had the same spirtual level concerns that I do. If not, then perhaps Freemasonry isn’t for me.


  8. Religion and Freemasonry is a concern for a lot of people. Freemasonry does not forbid discussion of religion, only the discussion of religion within the walls of the lodge as it does have a tendency to bring heavy debate and arguments which is against some of the tenants it teaches.

    Freemasonry is not a religion as many try to claim, but it is very religious in nature. Freemasonry actually teaches that your religious duties should always come before any duties you owe to the lodge. In my lodge, if the brethren found that I was placing the lodge before God, my family, or my community the number who would come forward and let me know I was remiss would be overwhelming. I have met people who were anti-masonic due to, as they put it, their religious beliefs. I have also met preachers of churches in the same religion who were masons. Masonry does not teach any one religion, but is set up in a way to accept and be tolerant of anyone believing in any monotheistic religion.

    The only person who can decide if masonry is in harmony with your religious beliefs is yourself. Even within one religion there are different beliefs. Within one single church you are likely to find people who are strongly anti-masonic as well as masons. For anyone who has these concerns I suggest you seek out a brother of the same religion and see if he will be willing to sit down and talk to you regarding any concerns you may have, I am sure he has probably struggled with the same or similar concerns himself. While mingling amongst the church crowd look for men wearing rings or lapel pins with the Square and Compasses then approach them discretely and let them know you are interested and see if they would be willing to meet with you to discuss the fraternity further.


  9. Thanks Ryan. Well said.


  10. “I find it interesting that Americans in general find Islamic Religious States so offensive”

    We don’t find the “states” offensive, we find their practices and barbarism offensive.

    “yet the “Religious Right” in the U.S. wants a Christian Government under a Christian God – eerily similar?”

    Not eerily similar at all. The Christian Right isn’t promulgating the need to kill you or make you convert. That, is a huge fundamental difference.

    “I’m sure that an American Christian government would ban Freemasonry just like the U.A.E’s government did -but for different reasons of course.”

    Ahh, the beauty of a Federal Republic. The Christian Right couldn’t ban Freemasonry anymore than it could ban Methodists or Pentecostals or Catholics. Our constitution specifically draws the line at “State Sponsored Church” (which most people confuse “the separation of church and state” which is what State Sponsored Church is…) So, while you may get some fundies in office, it doesn’t change the color of the constitutional rights of Americans. They may not like Freemasonry, but they’ll have to seek counseling to get over it, because they can’t outlaw it unless they can prove that Freemasonry is seditionist, treasonous and a threat to national security.



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