Thursday, June 12, 2008

That All Men Are Created Equal.

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition That All Men Are Created Equal (emphasis mine)." - President Abraham Lincoln (From the Gettysburg Address)

The Widow's Son from the Excellent Blog 'The Burning Taper' featured a blog that sparked our Ruffian interest.

Here is an excerpt from that blog:

"A Masonic event of historic importance occurred recently in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Friendship Lodge No. 84 recently hosted a visit from members of Oak Springs Lodge No. 41, Prince Hall Freemasonry. This was the first time members of the two local lodges met together. More than 70 Master Masons from three states attended.

They met together in tyled lodge to witness the Master Mason degree conferred, the Herald-Mail reported.

Masons in attendance included M.W. Bro. John Biggs, the Grand Master of Masons in Maryland and R.W. Bro. Melvin Thorpe, senior grand warden of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Maryland.

Prince Hall Masonry is primarily made of black men. Mainstream Freemasonry in the United States is predominantly made up of white men, and the two Masonic streams have been segregated since Prince Hall's inception in the late 1700s. In 1989, the Grand Lodge of Connecticut became the first mainstream grand lodge to recognize Prince Hall Masonry. Since that time, all the mainstream grand lodges outside the Old South have recognized Prince Hall. The Grand Lodge of Texas was the most recent holdout to finally recognize Prince Hall members as Masons, in 2007. Delaware finally recognized Prince Hall Masonry a year before that, in 2006.

The remaining states that do not recognize Prince Hall are Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida.

A Mason from the non-recognition states — from either mainstream or Prince Hall Masonry — is subject to suspension or expulsion from the fraternity for sitting in a tyled lodge of the other group, or for allowing a member of the opposite group to sit in his lodge.

Recently, it has been reported that mainstream Bro. Charles Martin, who held/holds dual membership in Kentucky and New York, has been expelled from Masonry by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky for sitting in a Prince Hall lodge while serving in the American military in Iraq. At present, this report is unconfirmed, though it is known that the Grand Secretary of the Kentucky Grand Lodge wrote Bro. Martin to inform him that charges of unmasonic conduct had been filed against him. The outcome of those charges is unknown to me at this time. It was stated on some blogs that he had been expelled; on other blogs it was said his trial had been postponed." (The Burning Taper)

I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am to be a Master Mason. And I am proud of this because I know what the Ideals of the Order are...Brotherly Love, Relief (or Charity) and Truth. On March 6th in 1775, an African American named Prince Hall was made a Master Mason in Irish Constitution Military Lodge No. 441. Today, Prince Hall Freemasonry is recognized by Most of the Mainstream Grand Lodges (40 out of 51) and is considered regular by the Grand Lodge of England. True Masonic Ideals achieved this.

Times are surely changing as evinced far and wide in our culture and on the obvious political front as Barack Obama, an African American, now faces the very real possibility of becoming the first African American man to sit in the Oval Office.

Still, it is apparent that segregation continues, especially in the South. This intolerance is not a part of Masonry so much as it is a part of some of the individual Brothers in the Craft. I am saddened whenever I hear a Brother speak ill of Prince Hall. Unfortunately, bigotry continues to be a part of some mason's rough ashlar.

Some may argue that if something began one way then it is best if it stays that way. From that perspective, white men founded Freemasonry and those are the faces that should be seen in the Lodge. Really? Where is the Brotherly Love...the Truth?

God made the First Grand Lodge...the Heavens and the Earth, of which King Solomon's Temple is merely a pale reflection. And in That Grand Lodge, men of All colors were born and have served that Great Divine Will ... together.

What makes a man a Mason is not his religious belief, his nationality or...his race. A Mason is a man...any worthy man, who strives toward those Ideals of Perfection of his own free will. God will know that Mason and Recognize him no matter what Lodge he belongs to.

Surely it is difficult for some men to find the personal courage to break free from their prejudices...many of which have been deeply ingrained over a lifetime. But it is time for Masons who are hesitant to receive their Prince Hall brothers to Remove That Hoodwink and see at last how wonderful it is that so many young black men have followed in Hiram's footsteps and deigned to journey to the Light.

I realize the topic of Prince Hall Freemasonry can be a heated one, depending on where your Lodge may be. But I speak with so many fine and eager Black American Prince Hall Masons and am often warmed by just how much Freemasonry means to each and every one of them. These are men looking to make themselves better men through the Craft. And I applaud these men I gladly call Brother.

Change does not always come easily. But it is coming. If we Masons truly believe in Brotherly Love then such change is welcome. As far as I am concerned, Prince Hall Masons are welcome in my Lodge anytime.

Brother Martin has had to fight a battle that should have been over years ago. A Mason must be a kind of paragon of those ethics and morals that are taught in the Order. Whenever I see men standing against Brotherly Love and expelling or even threatening to expell a man for standing by his Brother in Mankind...That's when I see UnMasonic Conduct.

Come on Brothers. We're better than that. Don't forget for a moment that Light is composed of Every Color. Good for you Prince Hall.


Anonymous said...

Yet White Masons have no problem going to Mexico and affiliating with Mexican lodges, incredible.

Anonymous said...

Also last I checked Masonry was actually born in Eygpt and last I checked Eygptians where not White so your statement as to "Masonry was invented by White men" is very untrue to those in the know, nice article but first do your homework before making General Statements, and also as quiet as it is kept Prince Hall is one of the few true lodges in that the Prince Hall's charter was granted directly from the King of Scotland himself, there is no go betweens as many York Rite or White lodges have, therefore Prince Hall is actually more illusterious than many of it's White Brethen's lodges, fact !

Anonymous said...

Eygptians live on the Equator which would make it next to imposible for any Eygptian to be "White" after years of expousure to the burning sun, but then again Hollywood also portrays Jesus Christ as being Blonde and Blue Eyed, when was the last time you ever seen anyone from Jerusalem Blonde and Blue Eyed ?, not to mention that Jerusalem also is not exactly a cold climate like Europe which is where the Anglo-Saxon Whiteman originates from.

Anonymous said...

Even the Bible states that Jesus Christ had "Brunt Bronze feet and hair like wool", As we all know there is only one race of people that has hair like wool and that would be the BlackMan, National Geographic had a cover store in there 1985 issue showing the migracion of the original man migrating from out of Africa.

Ask yourself with Africa being the most mineral and precious stones resouces in the world what would the world be like now had it become "The United States Of Africa" instead of waring agmost themselves and allowing the Whiteman from the USA and Britain to come in and devour Africa, The United States Of Africa would have without a doubt had the most powerful Military in the world, now they only have Blood Diamonds.

I don't want to sound racist because I'm not, but the truth of the matter is that the White Man has robbed, raped and pilaged every race of people they have every come into contact with from the American Indian, to Montezuma Aztecs / Mayans to Africans, how did they do this, simple because they invented firearms first from years of waring agmost themselves in Europe.

Anonymous said...

It is for this reason that China, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela will not allow the Whiteman into their countries on any type of permanent basis simply because of the WhiteMan's history of robbing, raping and pilaging, and the ironic part is that after the WhiteMan has robbed, raped and pilaged these other races and gained power he puts laws on the books making it illegal for the conquered race to do the same.

Personally speaking I think that Abraham Lincoln had the right idea when he wanted to send all the Slaves to South America upon freeing them but chose not to when Fredrick Douglas told him that Black Men had fought on the side of the Union also during the Civil War and had just as much right to stay in America as any man, Lincoln's response to that was "O.K. you can stay in the USA but I don't think that you will ever be treated as a First Class citizen", it would appear that Lincoln was correct in that here we are in the 21st Century and RACISM is still alive and well.

Anonymous said...

There is so much hate for Lincoln by the WhiteMan for freeing the slaves that they placed him on the lowest denomination of currency that is available, the penny, then painted it Brown to portray a N-Lover, and if you line up the coins in this order (Quarter, Nickel, Dime, Penny) you will also see that all the Presidents faces are facing in a opposite direction than Lincoln's face thus illustrating that they turned their back on him, and they were all fellow Brother Masons except for Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

I remember a Phil Donohue show that showed the world that the majority of all inventions and patents that are used today have been invented by Brown-Eyed people, the Shriners know the truth as to who the original Man was and is, but as the 5%'s or five percenters say, 90% of the world is in the dark and the other 5% works to keep it that way, my being a Patent Draftsman know this to be true. Stop and ask yourself who do you think invented the "Cotton Gin" or had the ideal, Eli Whittney who has received the credit or some poor slave in the field that actually had to go and pick the cotton everyday ?

Freestyle said...

Clearly a hot topic. However, if any sort of bridge can be established between those still insisting upon 'white/black' divides, then all sorts of ignorance must be dispelled.

I DID NOT assert that 'White Men' created Masonry. Actually, the statement was addressing a bias that I do not agree with...

It read " From that perspective, white men founded Freemasonry and those are the faces that should be seen in the Lodge. Really?"

From that perspective. This is a bias that I am acknowledging. I certainly dont need a lesson in history. This does no functional good from either end to settle hot topic matters of race and culture.

In any case, I believe that no race can lay claim to the monuments of humanity. That in itself is racist. Where are the Asian peoples or Native peoples in all of this?

For my money, there is only one race...the human race.

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