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Masonry and Religion




W. Kenneth Lyons, Jr.


Ron Ford


T. Max Tatum and Jim Tresner



Dewey C. Crutchfield



John E. Canoose



Fred W. McPeake


S. Brent Morris



The Grand Commanders Frankly Speaking

C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33d Grand Commander

Southern Jurisdiction

In 1990, the Scottish Rite Foundation of Missouri donated the

original oil portrait of President Harry S. Truman, 33d, pictured

on the front cover of this issue. It was the first portrait

installed in the House of the Temple's new Temple Architects Hall

of Honor.

This is a historic moment in American Freemasonry. We are

confronted by a virulent attack on our gentle Craft from a faction

within the Southern Baptist Convention. This June, the Convention

will vote on the issue of whether or not Freemasonry is compatible

"with Christianity and Southern Baptist doctrine."

In the February 1993 issue of The Scottish Rite Journal, the

Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, broke Masonry's tradition of

silence. We responded to our critics via 25 articles. Most were

written by prominent clergymen, many of them Southern Baptists.

Each stated clearly and strongly one truth: Freemasonry is not a

religion, let alone anti-Christian in any way. Instead, Freemasonry

complements Christian faith while it enhances each Mason's personal

religion, whichever it may be.

This May issue, again, presents essays on this crucial matter. As

Masons, we must inform the public and our own members. Most of all,

we must stand united.

It is with great pride, therefore, that this Grand Commander's

message breaks new ground by presenting not only my message but

also that of Ill.'. Francis G. Paul, 33d, Sovereign Grand Commander

of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Ill.'. Paul's message is

reprinted on the following pages with permission from the February

1993 issue of The Northern Light, the Northern Masonic

Jurisdiction's official publication.

Our unprecedented unity of response to the crisis facing

Freemasonry represents a historic closing of Masonic ranks. I

invite all Masons of all Blue Lodges and of all Appendant Bodies to

join the Scottish Rite, Southern and Northern Masonic

Jurisdictions, in opposing the religious extremism which today

threatens not only Freemasonry but the most fundamental of American

principles, freedom of conscience. Read Grand Commander Paul's

message which follows, as well as the following pages of this

special issue of The Scottish Rite Journal, to find out how you,

personally, can help defend Freemasonry and America today.

Sovereign Grand Commander

Southern Jurisdiction

Francis G. Paul, 33d

Grand Commander

Northern Masonic


He was a Baptist. He was a Mason. He was the President of the

United States. And he was proud of all three. His biographer, David

McCullough, writes of Harry Truman's high regard for Masonry:

He greatly enjoyed the fellowship and took the ritual and spiritual

teaching of Freemasonry with extreme seriousness. He felt uplifted

by brotherhood in an order claiming great antiquity and to which

both Mozart and Andrew Jackson had belonged, as had so many

presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt and his successor, William

Howard Taft. As every Mason knew, George Washington took the oath

of office on a Masonic Bible and laid the cornerstone of the

Capitol with a Masonic Trowel. (Truman, p. 78)

When it came to accepting personal responsibility for his actions,

no one in public life can equal President Truman. On one momentous

occasion, he made an unpopular decision. "The buck stops here," he

said. And it did.

Why is Bro.'. Harry Truman more admired today than when he occupied

the White House? It's clear that he possessed the one quality that

makes a difference in life: Harry Truman had character.

It's difficult not to think of Harry Truman-the man, the Baptist,

the President and the Mason-at a time when our Fraternity has come

under severe criticism from a vociferous group of Southern Baptists

who have dedicated themselves to cleansing their denomination of

what they consider contamination by Masons and Freemasonry.

When the issue first arose, I took the criticism somewhat in

stride. Since the anti-Masonic movement 150 years ago, there have

been numerous attempts to show that Masonry is the enemy of

Christianity. While these periodic outbursts have been unpleasant,

they have soon faded away.

Unfortunately, the current anti-Masonic movement in the Southern

Baptist Convention persists, even gaining momentum.

The complaints against Masonry are not coming from the Southern

Baptists as a whole. It seems to be one man's goal to vilify

Freemasonry, and, at the same time, to drive a wedge of hate into

the heart of this great denomination.

Although the perpetrator of the scurrilous and totally erroneous

attack on our Masonic Fraternity feels he is on the side of

Christianity and that Freemasonry is the work of the devil, we take

our stand with the man from Missouri who said,

"I am by religion like everything else. I think there is more in

acting than in talking."

This is exactly where the buck stops for Freemasons. We do not talk

theology because we are not a religious organization or a church.

But our individual lives and the life of our Fraternity are

open-wide open-for all to see. Our actions are the voice of


- There are thousands of young people who have been educated with

Masonic scholarships.

- There are countless victims of severe bums who have been cared

for without charge in the Shriners' burns institutes.

- There are thousands of children who live healthy, happy, and

whole lives thanks to the free medical care they received at one of

the Masonically-sponsored crippled children's hospitals.

- There is an almost endless stream of youngsters across the

country who have learned to communicate because of the services of

the Scottish Rite's Childhood Language Disorder Centers.

- There are major improvements in the treatment of schizophrenia,

thanks to the medical studies and research funded by Scottish Rite


- There are thousands of Americans who, without charge, have had

their sight restored or their vision improved, again without cost,

because of the commitment of Masons.

Our Masonic Brother, Harry Truman, was right. "There is more in

acting than in talking." From where we stand, this is where the

buck always stops before men and God.

As Masons, we will not be drawn into a hateful verbal battle over

theological or doctrinal issues. A shouting match is not our forum

trading accusations is not our style.

We will not hide, however. We will continue acting as Masons. We

will follow the light of faith, brotherhood and truth. We will

support the family. We will honor our nation. We will build

character. We will care for the forgotten and the needy.

We stand on the Masonic record, and leave the final judgment of

theological purity where it belongs-in the hands of God.

Sovereign Grand Commander

Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

Religion Are Compatible

Forrest D. Haggard, 33d, G.'.C.'.

6816 W. 78th Terrace Shawnee Mission, KS 66204

After carefully studying the contemporary anti-Masonic movement, a

well-known Freemason who is also a Disciples of Christ minister

sees three main motives-personal, political, and economic-behind

attacks on the Craft, and he advises Masons to respond by

understanding and practicing the purposes of our Craft.

THE recent revival, by fundamental Christianity, of anti-Masonry

has created a storm within both religious and fraternal circles.

Over the past two years, I have listened to, watched on TV or read

every program, article, and item concerning the modern-day

anti-Masonic movement that has been called to my attention. It has

been good for me. I have re-examined my own membership in all of my

"other than the Church" commitments. I have reached a considered

decision that Freemasonry is not now and never has been detrimental

to my Christian faith or to Christian doctrine. In fact my

fraternal relationships have strengthened and assisted me in my

ministry as well as in my personal faith and life.

I have found three predominant reasons for the existence of the


- Personal and personality conflicts are present. Freemasonry is a

human organization with no claim to Divine origin. In any human

organization you have human frailties. Where you have a structure

you have "assumed power or prestige" and with that you have

conflicts. Some critics have had a "bad experience" in their

Masonic connections. (Just like local congregations have people who

came from some other church where things were "bad.")

- Political, social, or religious dictatorships or hierarchial

structures cannot, in fact do not dare, tolerate differences of

opinion. They cannot afford any dissension or freedom of thought.

Under their rule, Freemasonry and all like groups must be attacked

or destroyed. Such systems may claim to be open minded, but they

depend on their constituents or followers to have minds closed to

all but their own particular "way" or doctrine. Freemasonry

promotes freedom of thought and discussion.

- Money: I always listen and watch for the "bottom line" whenever

I am watching the "Christian" TV station or listening to a

"religious" broadcast. The bottom line is an appeal for membership

in their group and for support funds. In spite of all of the

revelations of graft, greed, corruption, and immorality on the part

of the hawkers of fundamentalist Christianity, their kind

continues. They are an embarrassment to the Church. I have to

assume that Satan rubs his hands in glee as their message of hate,

exclusiveness, and divisiveness goes out to the public.

I call your attention to some other factors:

The same voice that speaks out against Freemasonry often also

speaks out against any other type, kind, style, or form of

religious faith other than their very own. The same families that

have left my congregation because I am a Freemason came to our

Church because where they were was not of the "true faith." And

they have already left where they went from my congregation because

that place was not the "true faith" either.

Remember that Freemasonry is not a single-minded organization. It

is a multitude of structures, groups, and units that are tied

together by a common historical tradition. We have no "one voice,"

nor one leader, nor one ritual. Our critics pick and choose their

quotations or dramatizations from any era, source, or supply that

meets their particular needs.

I have never argued with single minded fundamentalists. They are

always, ALWAYS, in their own mind, absolutely right. They must

destroy all other systems to prove their own right to exist. They

can always justify their stance on the basis of their own

interpretation of their Source (such as the Word). And they need

money to exist. If they cannot survive on their own, then they must

invade or utilize some already proven source (such as the type and

quality of people who make up most fraternal groups and, most

especially, Freemasonry).

I represent a whole host of competent hardworking ministers who

labor in a parish and who really carry the load of pastoral care

and concern. Many of us belong to fraternal, civic, or community

groups. We do so with personal joy at the sense of unity, openness,

and morality that these groups promote. These groups are not

organized religions. They not only do not compete with the

Christian faith, but in reality are supportive of it. It is

disturbing that the opponents of Freemasonry are, in effect,

attacking that which is supportive of Christian faith. The

"Christian" anti-Masonic leaders are not only inaccurate in their

attack on Freemasonry but they also are. in my opinion, making a

far more serious attack on the basic Christian faith under whose

banner they claim to operate.

How do I respond to these attacks? What do I say? I do not respond

directly to the attacker. The attacker is shrewd. He attacks the

weak spot of his enemy. In our case that weakest spot is not, as

the attacker would have you believe and thus defend, in our

rituals, customs, and traditions. It is in the members themselves

who have had only ritualistic education about Freemasonry.

Where Freemasonry has instructed its candidates in its history,

purpose, and intent and where a local Lodge is going about its

business with pride and dignity, there is very little that

anti-Masonic groups can do to destroy the Craft.

Forrest D. Haggard was ordained by the Kansas Church of Christ and

is the Founding Pastor of the Overland Park Kansas Christian Church

(Disciples of Christ) where he has served since 1953. He has been

in the ministry for 44 years and a Master Mason for 43 years. A

Past Grand Master of Masons in Kansas, General Secretary of the

World Office of the Churches of Christ (Disciples, Christian. and

Church of Christ).

ABRAHAM LINCOLN was accused of being an atheist because of his

nonaffiliation with any church. He is attributed with this reply:

I have never united myself to any church because I have found

difficulty in giving my assent without mental reservations to the

long complicated statements of Christian doctrine which

characterize their articles of belief and confessions of faith.

When any church will inscribe above its altars, as its sole

qualification for membership, the Savior's condensed statement of

the substance of both law and gospel, "Thou shall love the Lord thy

God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with thy mind,

and thy neighbor as thyself," that church I will join with all my

heart and all my soul.

Needless to say, Lincoln has enshrined his memory in the hearts of

millions for eternity.

Contributed by: Donald Lee. Arnold, 32d

Pocatello, Idaho, Scottish Rite Bodies

I Am Proud To Be A Mason

Rabbi Seymour Atlas, 33d

4321 North 41st Court

Hollywood, Florida 33021-1823

With nearly 50 years service as a Rabbi and a Mason to his credit,

Brother Atlas recalls with pride the highlights of his career as a

clergyman and Mason.

AS A YOUNGSTER, one of my favorite dreams and aspirations lingered

with me for many years, until my petition was approved for

initiation into Freemasonry. Looking back over the years, I realize

this desire came from a photograph that I admired and wanted to


This photograph was one of my father, may he rest in peace,

standing with other Masons on the steps of the Masonic Temple in

Greenville, Mississippi. As he stood with his Masonic Brothers, it

was as if a feeling of pride and joy was emanating from them, as if

there were no equals to them. How proud I was of my father, and

from that moment on, I knew I wanted to be a Mason and follow the

Masonic teaching as he had.

I was brought up in a religious home, a son of a Rabbi with seven

generations of Rabbis preceding me and yet with this religious

background, I felt I could still derive much from and give much to

this Fraternity, for the good and welfare of mankind.

When I reached my 21st birthday, one of my first thoughts was to

submit my petition to become a Mason! There was no hesitation or

second thought, for this was the beginning of fulfilling a lifelong

dream. With prayer and trepidation I awaited the call that my

petition was approved.

Having been so informed over 40 years ago, I was filled with pride

and anticipation that soon I would be welcomed into the Masonic

Bodies. I walked on air and thanked God that I would be able to

follow in the footsteps of my father and bring him the joy and

pleasure of knowing his son was accepted into the ranks of men of

integrity and righteousness.

I shall never forget my first thought as I made my initial entrance

into the Masonic Lodge that conferred the Entered Apprentice Degree

on me, and followed with the Fellow Craft and Master Mason Degrees.

I was immediately made to feel that I was surrounded by Brothers.

I felt there were no strangers present. This was one big family

that seemed to have adopted me, and I, in turn, was elated to adopt

them as my family.

Having completed my Symbolic Lodge Degrees and passed all

examinations with perfection, I immediately became an instructor

for others and became active in Masonry, never failing to attend

the meetings and partake of the fellowship as often as my

profession would permit, and I must say it was quite frequently on

a regular basis.

My cup was running over with pride, and I looked forward to my

advancement into higher Degrees. I soon advanced through the

Scottish Rite Degrees, being a candidate in several and offered the

honor and privilege to speak for the class as to my true feelings

and impressions of the particular Degrees for which I was the


My horizon of Masonry expanded, and my pride and joy were bubbling

and effervescent. I couldn't wait to be able to confer the Degrees

on others as there was so much I wanted to explain and elaborate

about each Degree.

I was offered this opportunity and immediately began to study and

memorize many parts, and over the years I became very active,

holding office, lecturing, and taking an active part in every phase

of Masonry where my talents and abilities could be used.

One aspect of Masonry that has made a great impression on me was

the ability of all Brothers, regardless of religion, to ask me why

did I need Masonry as a Rabbi, because my profession was one of

integrity, kindness, honesty, and all the attributes expounded in

Masonry. It was difficult for many to grasp my need for this

addition and supplement to religion. I worked with men of different

religions, as well as of the Hebrew faith, and they were all

impressed when I would say that Masonry is not a religion, but to

be a Mason we had to believe in God, and if this was the only

aspect of our religion and we had no other formal religion, yet we

adhered to all the moral teachings of Masonry this too would have

put us in the category of men of integrity. However, Masonry is not

a substitute for religion, nor is it a religion.

My experience has shown that Masons are, for the most part, deeply

religious men. I am proud to be a Mason and a part of an

organization that is devoted to helping, without question or

embarrassment, widows, orphans, and those in need.

I am proud to be a Mason and to be a part of a Fraternity dedicated

to the upholding of the Constitution of the United States of

America and the Bill of Rights.

I am proud to be a Mason who believes in the freedom of mankind and

the sanctity of human life.

I am proud to be a Mason who believes in the dignity of God's

children and opposes hatred and bigotry, and stands for truth,

justice, kindness, integrity, and righteousness for all.

I am proud to be a Mason and shall always be happy to number myself

among those who uphold those cardinal principles and moral

standards of life that are so needed if our organization is to

continue on the high level that has been its character from its

inception. May God grant it continued strength to go, to grow, and

to glow so that I and all Masons can exclaim: "I am proud to be a


Seymour Atlas retired in 1990 from Beth Judah Temple, Wildwood. NJ.

after 46 years in active Rabbinate as a Pulpit Rabbi in

Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and New Jersey as well

as an Auxiliary Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard. He

is a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies and the Shrine of

Montgomery, Alabama. He was inducted into the Legion of Honor of

the Chapel of Four Chaplains in Philadelphia, PA.

"A fanatic is a man that does what he thinks th' Lord wud do if He

knew th' facts iv th' case."

Finley Peter Dunne as "Mr. Dooley," Writer

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the


Sir Winston Churchill, Statesman

"Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have

forgotten your aim."

George Santayana, Philosopher

"From fanaticism to barbarianism is only one step."

Denis Diderot, Encyclopedist


A Response to Mr. John Ankerberg

Jim Tresner, 33d

P.O. Box 70

Guthne, OK 73044-0070

"The John Ankerberg Show" has sent out a circular in response to

the February 1993 special issue of The Scottish Rite Journal. Near

the end of that circular, Mr. Ankerberg invites a Freemason in good

standing to respond.

I've been asked to do so.

I can qualify as a Freemason in good standing, so long as good

standing is taken, in its Masonic sense, to mean current in my dues

and not under suspension. If, however, Mr. Ankerberg means "a Mason

who can speak authoritatively," I must beg off. No Mason may speak

with authority for Masonry, only for himself.

First, it is a genuine pleasure to see from the newsletter that

most of the issues have finally been put to rest. Mr. Ankerberg

comments that the February issue of The Scottish Rite Journal

dealing with the theme of "Freemasonry and Religion" is

"Impressive. Very impressive!" (It is indeed, and as one of the

writers in that issue, I can tell you it is a humbling experience

to appear in the same pages as such eminent Churchmen and Masonic

writers.) Second, since Mr. Ankerberg appears to have dropped the

questions, we can gratefully assume there is now agreement (1) that

a man can be and frequently is a good, highly placed, responsible,

spirit-filled church leader and a sincere, devoted Mason, (2) that

Masonry has a long and honorable tradition in support of religion,

and (3) that intelligent men have finally put to rest the

ridiculous charges that Masonry is satanic or pagan.

The remaining issues Mr. Ankerberg identifies are essentially

semanticthat is they center around the meanings of words and


The first centers around the statement, "We are religious, not a

religion." Anyone who has read Masonic writers dealing with this

topic knows it is a difficult one. Probably none of us are

completely happy with the statement but it may be as close as we

can come to defining a situation which English does not handle


Perhaps it might be better to say, "Freemasonry acknowledges that

man is inherently a religious being and celebrates that inherent

religiousness, without trying to tell a man how he should worship

or the details of what he should believe."

Mr. Ankerberg is in error when he says that "Freemasonry defines

religion to suit its own distinctive purposes." Freemasonry, of

course, does not define religion at all. Various Masonic writers

have defined religion, simply because of the duty of a writer to

define his terms. But essentially, Freemasonry is happy to let

anyone define religion for himself as he wishes. We only start

arguing when someone works out a definition of religion, and then

tries to force that definition on us as a way of attacking us.

Ankerberg argues that Masonry defines what God is like and, in the

process, defines away many qualities that various religions hold

dear. To prove this, he quotes Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia. Doing

so proves what Coil had to say, but it does not prove what Masonry

has to say. These do seem to be hard points to get across to

anti-Masons, but let's try once more.

I. No Masonic writer can or does speak for Masonry he speaks only

for himself.

II. Each Mason conceives of God as his own religion leads him.

Ankerberg insists that it is semantic slight of hand if the

candidate and the Mason conferring the Degree have different

definitions of God. But that's toleration, not slight of hand. In

fact, given a fundamental principle of General Semanticsthat each

person has his own definition for EVERY wordit is inescapable.

And then, Ankerberg again asserts that Masonry teaches salvation by

good works and that the apron is the proof. Since we speak of

"purity of life and rectitude of conduct," he concludes that we

teach such purity and rectitude are sufficient to gain admission

into Heaven.

Masonic Ritual does not say that these are sufficient. Nowhere does

Masonry say what is sufficient. That is the business of a church,

not a fraternity. The Mason finds that answer in his faith, not in

his Lodge. And that's what we encourage him to do. We point him to

the Holy Bible (not the Masonic Monitor or his apron) and encourage

him to search therein for the foundation on which to build his


Also, Ankerberg misses the point. The apron symbolizes or

represents purity and rectitude of conduct, but from whence do they

come and how are they defined? For me and most Christian Masons,

they come from the acceptance of Jesus Christ. My Jewish Brothers

tell me that, for them, they come from following the Law of the

Covenant. A Brother who is a follower of Islam tells me that, for

him, they come from submission to the will of Allah. And that's

exactly why Masonry does not define them. Purity and rectitude are

defined by faith, not fraternity.

One more ride on the semantic merry-go-round. Ankerberg asserts

that if Freemasonry were not a religion and didn't have something

to hide, we would not resent investigation of Freemasonry. But it

isn't investigation we resent, it's attack. It may be that Mr.

Ankerberg has so highly evolved as a spiritual being that it would

not distress him if someone called him a liar to his face, or

insulted his father by suggesting he were either a practicing pagan

or too stupid to know the difference. If so, I honor him for his


But I have not evolved so far.

Jim Trasner is the Director of the Masonic Leadership Institute. He

is also Director of the Thirty-third Degree Conferral Team at his

Temple and Director of the Work at the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple

in Guthrie, Oklahoma. He holds a B.A. with majors in

Communications. Theatre, English and Psychology, a M.A. in

Communication Theory, a M.B.A. and a Ph.D in Business

Communications. He has served on the editorial board of The

Scottish Rite Journal, is on the staff of The Oklahoma Scottish

Rite Mason, serves as a video script consultant to the National

Masonic Renewal Committee, and is editor of The Oklahoma Mason. He

is considered a scholar in the interpretation of Masonic symbols

and ritual and has authored numerous articles, video scripts, and

booklets on Masonic subjects.

One of Brother Tresner's most recent and effective short works,

appearing in the February 1993 issue of The Scottish Rite Journal,

is the essay entitled "Conscience and the Craft." This essay, which

supplies answers to the criticisms most frequently aimed at

Freemasonry, has been made into a fine VHS videotape that makes an

excellent Masonic program for any Blue Lodge or Scottish Rite or

Shrine Temple. To order copies of the video version of "Conscience

and the Craft" please send a check for $25.00 payable to The Grand

Lodge of Iowa, P.O. Box 279, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402. For copies

of the pamphlet, call 405-282-1281 or write: The Scottish Rite,

P.O. Box 70, Guthric, Oklahoma 73044-0070.

Signs, Symbols and Silliness

Rex R. Hutchens, 33d

Rev. Donald W. Monson, 32d, K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'.

P. O. Box 391, Tucson, Arizona 85702-0391

Anti-Masons who accuse Freemasonry of using pagan or "Satanic"

symbols fail to realize that a symbol has only the meaning

attributed to it by its user of the moment-not the meaning given it

in other times by other persons. If this were not so, neither

Christianity nor Freemasonry would have any symbols at all.

One of the more interesting charges against Freemasonry is its use

of supposed "pagan" symbols. Common examples cited include the

Order of the Eastern Star's inverted five-pointed star and the

Cross of Salem, the emblem of the Sovereign Grand Commander of an

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Jurisdiction. The English

occultist Aleister Crowley used the Cross of Salem, and it is,

supposedly, a symbol of "Baphomet," a pagan god or another name for


Critics also bring up the parallels between the symbolism of the

Rosicrucians and the Scottish Rite's Eighteenth Degree. These

claims are particularly ironic, given the overt Christian

interpretation used in the Masonic Ritual. Even such common symbols

as the sun and moon are given an occult slant in the antiMasonic


While the use of different symbols is seldom in dispute, the

interpretation of them is difficult. Taking the first example, the

inverted five-pointed star, we may come to an understanding of the

difficulty. This is the primary symbol of the Order of the Eastern

Star, a Masonically affiliated organization that admits women who

have close relatives as Masons. The symbol's source, however, is

Christianity, not Satanism or the occult. The downward point

represents the star seen in the east by the wise men (hence Eastern

Star), pointing to the place of Jesus' birth and representing the

decent of the divine to partake of earthly existence. However other

groups distort the meaning of this profound symbol, its holy

character is not affected unless we allow it. After all, the

five-pointed star on the Congressional Medal of Honor, like the

Order of the Eastern Star's symbol, is inverted, and no one has

suggested any Satanic implications.

So many groups and individuals have used the Cross of Salem that it

can hardly be said to possess any meaning other than that intended

by its user. The same also applies for the sun and the moon-

probably the two most common symbols in the history of man.

Attaching the name "Baphomet" to the Cross of Salem is totally

arbitrary and has no significance. Critics charged the Templars

with the adoration of Baphomet as a demonic object of worship,

usually described as a disembodied head. The name is thought to be

a corruption of "Mohammed," the prophet of Islam, though other

interpretations have been suggested. Idris Shah, in his

inspirational work The Sufis, suggests it is a corruption of the

Arabic phrase which means "father of wisdom." "Baphomet" is used in

no Masonic Ritual of which we are aware.

Consider the All-Seeing Eye, commonly identified as a Masonic

symbol. The reason for the association becomes clear when one

considers Psalm 33:18, "Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them

that fear him, upon them that hope for his mercy." The symbol is

found on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States,

and critics claim the All Seeing Eye is evidence of pagan

traditions in Freemasonry which have been brought surreptitiously

into our national symbols. Its Egyptian origin is a certainty,

though it did not represent Osiris, as both Masonic and

anti-Masonic works often claim, but rather his son Horus, the

Egyptian god of time. Christians adopted the image in the Middle

Ages as a fitting symbol of God. While the symbol is used in

Masonic Ritual, its meaning is given as representing God, and the

early Masons who adopted it from what was then Christian symbolism

probably had no idea as to its Egyptian origins. Even the

occasionally eccentric interpretations of Albert Pike can give no

offense in this regard, for he considers the All-Seeing Eye a

symbol of the continuous light of the sun, itself a symbol of the

continual spiritual light given by God to man.

The pagan roots of a symbol have nothing to do with its modern

interpretation. What Christian would want his faith judged by the

adoption of the Persian sun-god Mithras' birthday as Jesus'

birthday or the use of the pagan goddess Oestre's name (hence

Easter) to name the holiest season in the Christian calendar? The

dove was a symbol of the Greek goddess Venus before it became a

symbol of the Holy Spirit. Pagan names dot the cultural landscape

of Western civilization automobiles, books, months in our

calendar, days of the week, constellations all contain examples of

the continuing influence of our pagan heritage. In the Sistine

Chapel, the very center of Medieval Christendom, Raphael painted an

epic portrait of the greatest pagan philosophers.

A symbol has the meaning attributed to it by the current user-not

the meaning given it in other times by other persons. If this were

not so, neither Christianity nor Freemasonry would have any symbols

at all.

Light is the most profound of Masonic symbols. While not

specifically pagan, its symbolic use in the Lodge often causes much

confusion. The anti-Masonic press is fond of ridiculing the idea of

a Christian being "in darkness" when he has the light of Christ in

his life. No Masonic Ritual accuses the Entered Apprentice of being

in spiritual darkness. Darkness, to the Mason, represents ignorance

just as Light represents knowledge. Masonic knowledge is earthly

knowledge and an awareness of the benefits of the tenets of the

Craft: Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. As the great American

humorist Bro.'. Will Rogers, 32d, once said, "Everybody is

ignorant, just about different things." Christians attend college

and take courses dispelling the darkness in their lives with

respect to the subjects they are studying. Freemasonry is the

advocate of a liberal education-studying the wisdom of the past to

guide actions in the present. The darkness we seek to dispel is

intellectual, not spiritual. What Masonry's symbols can do, and

have done, for many men is help them to understand their spiritual

and moral shortcomings and lead them to seek the answers to their

spiritual questions in the appropriate places, whether it be a

church, synagogue, or mosgue.

Rex R. Hutchens is a Past Master of Epes Randolph Lodge No. 32

Adobe Lodge No. 41, and South Arizona Research Lodge No. 2. He is

also a Past Venerable Master and Past Wise Master of the Tucson

Scottish Rite Bodies. Presently Personal Representative of the

S.'.G.'.I.'.G.'. in Arizona for the Valley of Tucson, he is also

active in the York Rite and several scholarly research societies.

Dr. Hutchens teaches philosophy for Pima Community College.

Donald W. Monson is Rector of St. Michael and All Angels- Episcopal

Church, Phoenix. Arizona. He is also the General Grand Chaplain of

the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International and the

Junior Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of Arizona. Reverend Monson

is, along with Dr. Rex R. Hutchens, the coauthor of the new book

The Bible in Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma.


Dr. Alvin C. Rose, 32d

1013 Christopher Lane

Ashland City, Tennessee 37015

A member of the Churches of Christ tells of his personal journey

from anti-Masonry to membership in the Masonic Fraternity.

I read and hear today of people of some faiths who speak out

against being a Mason. They usually say that Masonry is a religion

and, therefore, is a rival to other religions, including


I know where they are coming from. I grew up in an anti-Masonic

tradition myself. I grew up believing that Masonry was a religion,

and a false one at that. For many years I believed one could not be

a faithful Christian and also be a Mason. And, like many

anti-Masons today, I grew up in a judging tradition.

I once believed I had the Bible down pat.

I once believed I knew just about all there was to know about the


I once believed that I was right in all of my interpretations about

the Bible and Bible-related issues. Therefore, anyone who disagreed

with any of my conclusions was obviously in the wrong.

I once believed that only myself and those who shared my views on

any of the issues that I believed to be matters of faith were truly


I once believed everyone else was necessarily lost and would never

have eternal life with God.

I am grateful to be able to say that, as I have continued to be a

student of the Holy Scriptures, I have allowed the Holy Spirit, Who

dwells within me, to work within me and allow me to grow

spiritually in God's word. The more I study the Bible, the more I

have come to realize that I never have known all there is to know

about God's divine will, and perhaps I never will. Yet, I intend to

continue to study, and grow, and press on toward the higher calling

of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Many years ago, I discovered that many men of my religious

fellowship, the Churches of Christ, were Masons. I have always

considered members of the Churches of Christ to be Christians, and

I wondered how men who claimed to be Christians could also be


I began to study Freemasonry to be able to prove to these Christian

brothers that they were biblically wrong to also be Masons. While

I was doing this, a Christian brother who was a Mason challenged me

to continue my study. He told me that if I ever became a Mason and

found anything in the Lodge that was anti-Christian, to let him

know, and he and I would leave the Lodge together.

As I continued to study what Masonic materials were available to

me, I found nothing in Masonry that was anti-Christian, nor anti

any other religion for that matter. And during that time, I learned

what happened to a boy named Walter.

Walter was about seven years old and was a student at a nearby

elementary school. He had taken his household trash outside and was

burning it. An aerosol can happened to be in that particular bag of

trash, and the heat caused the container to explode, sending

burning material over much of Walter's arm and leg.

When some area Shriners learned what happened to Walter, they came

to his rescue. At no expense to Walter's family, the Shriners sent

Walter and his mother to the Shrine burns hospital in Cincinnati.

The Shriners paid for transportation, medical, food, and lodging

costs for Walter and his mom.

My parents-in-law live in Cincinnati, and we told them about Walter

and his mother being there with no friends and family nearby. My

in-laws often visited Walter and his mother and gave them someone

to know while they were a long way from home. Like me, my

parents-in-law were positively impressed with how well the Shriners

provided for Walter and his mom.

I wanted to become a Shriner and help them help kids as they had

helped Walter. I knew that one had to be a Mason before one could

become a Shriner.

I soon petitioned for membership at the local Masonic Lodge,

Ashland Lodge No. 604, in Ashland City, Tennessee. I received the

first three Masonic Degrees at Ashland Lodge, and I proudly remain

a member of that Lodge today. Some years later, I received the 29

Degrees of the Scottish Rite and then joined the Al Menah Shrine

Temple in Nashville.

I have found that Masonry promotes friendship, brotherly love,

moral living, and charity. Being a Mason gives me additional

opportunities to participate in those attributes.

Masonry in no way replaces or opposes my Christian faith. It does,

however, allow my faith to work with people and in situations that

would not otherwise be possible for me.

I regret ever having had antiMasonic views. My views were the

result of my ignorance about this fraternal organization.

I also regret being a hypercritical judge towards other people in

religious matters. The more I study the Bible, the more I realize

how desperately all people, including myself, need God's grace and


God wants all people to be saved. He offers His grace to all who

will receive it and who will attempt to the best of their ability

and understanding to obey His word.

That is the kind of life I want to live. Whosoever will, please

join me.

Alvin C. Rose is a supervisor of secondary education (grades 7-12)

for the public schools of Cheatham County, Tennessee. He is a

member of the Scottish Rite Bodies of Nashville, TN, and Al Menah

Shrine Temple of Nashville.

Former President Supports Moderate Southern Baptists

Compiled from The Washington Post, January 28, 1993. Page A13

Former President Jimmy Carter announced at the end of January that

he will leave the Southern Baptist Convention. During an interview

with Baptists Today, a biweekly newspaper in Decatur, Georgia,

Carter said he will join the more moderate Cooperative Baptist

Fellowship (CBF). In his announcement Carter said, "Rosalynn and I

have become increasingly uncomfortable with the policies of the

dominant clique in the Southern Baptist Convention." A life-long

Southern Baptist, Carter added, "We will share our personal gifts,

time and influence with CBF," while remaining"loyal Baptists."

In addition, President Carter recently sent a letter to his pastor

at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. The editor of

Baptists Today, Jack U. Harwell, quoted from the letter where the

former President says "the political and religious policies of

Southern Baptist Convention leaders are no longer compatible with

our [the Carter's] Christian beliefs ...."

In a related matter, former President Carter has played a

behind-the-scenes role in gaining support for the CBF. Keith Parks,

former president of the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board,

joined the CBF on February 1, 1993. Parks admitted that Carter had

talked to him "before I made the decision [to join the CBF] and let

me know of his interest." Carter did not influence his decision,

but "the fact of his interest certainly was encouraging to me."

According to Bill Leonard, chairman of the religion department at

Samford University in Birmingham, Carter and Parks "have enhanced

the future and credibility" of the CBF. Leonard, who wrote a recent

history of the Southern Baptist Convention, added the denomination

has begun to break apart internally. "What I have called in the

past 'fragmentation' is the order of the day," he said.

Editor's note: Many believe the Southern Baptist Convention's

growing disintegration is tied to its recent pursuit of ultra-nght

goals, including its attack on Freemasonry as incompatible with

Southern Baptist doctrine. This May issue, like the February, 1993,

issue of The Scottish Rite Journal, examines this subject and

confirms the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity.


Paul Harasim

Reprinted with permission from

The Houston Post, Copyright 1993

A Houston columnist who is not a Mason describes the criticism of

Freemasonry by an extreme faction with the Southern Baptist

Convention and calls the attack a "folly."

If Dr. James Holly of Beaumont is right, George Washington, the

father of our country, was a devil worshiper. Marvin Zindler has to

be one, too.

Ditto for Sam Houston and Presidents James Monroe, Andrew Jackson,

James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William

McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin

Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford.

To take Holly's argument to its logical conclusion, Irving Berlin

was under the influence of Satan when he wrote "White Christmas."

So was John Wayne when he played in True Grit on the silver screen.

And astronaut Buzz Aldrin did devil's work when he flew to the


What makes these people satanic?

Well, Holly says, its because they're Masons, members of the most

widely known fraternity in the world-a fraternal group that spends

$525 million each year in the United States on charities, including

free treatment of children at its network of 22 Shriners hospitals.

Now if we start thinking Holly's way-that Masonry "springs from

pits of hell and from the father of lies, Lucifer" because the

fraternity accepts people from different religious groups as

brothers-chances are our friends would suggest we get our heads


Too Much Time On Hands

But when Holly the Baptist wrote a tract arguing that Masonry is

satanic, the Southern Baptist Convention decided a study should be

undertaken to determine whether membership in a Masonic Lodge

conflicts with its beliefs.

It was not called Holly's Folly. It should have been.

Too many people had too much time on their hands. If they had

become Masons, like 1 million other Baptists, they could have found

people to help.

In Saturday's Post, you probably read that Masons are breaking

their tradition of keeping silent when criticized They've realized

ignorance isn't bliss.

They worry that a negative finding against their 4 million-member

organization by the 15.3 million-member Southern Baptist Convention

when it meets in June could cost membership.

That should worry all of us who care about children. The Shriners

hospitals alone have helped more than 500,000 children at no cost.

It's a shame that the Rev. Ed Young, the brilliant preacher at

Second Baptist Church and the president of the Southern Baptist

Convention, hasn't used his position as a bully pulpit against this

nonsense. With America's charities hurting badly, as has been

evidenced by United Way's problems, this isn't the time for him to

utilize a "don't make waves" leadership style.

Something tells me he understands the five-pointed star sometimes

used as a Masonic symbol is not a symbol of witchcraft but the

oldest symbol of man-the five points refer to the head, the hands

and the feet.

Argument For Tolerance

Holly tries to argue Masonry is a religion. The Rev. Norman Vincent

Peale, himself a Mason, says no way.

"Freemasonry has no dogma or theology," he says. "It teaches that

it is important for every man to have a religion of his choice and

to be faithful to it.... A good Mason is made even more faithful to

the tenets of his faith by membership."

Toleration, according to Holly, is Masonry's blackest sin-a

definite link with the devil.

Masonic leader Allan D. Large has a memorable response to the


"When you consider," he says, "what intolerance has produced-the

Inquisition, the massacre of the inhabitants of Jerusalem by the

Crusaders, the burning of Protestants at the stake, the horrors of

Hitler, the mass murders of Stalin, the killing fields of Cambodia

it is hard to believe that toleration springs from the devil."

Oh, by the way, I'm not a Mason

"A supreme and unchallengeable faith is a deadly enemy to the human


Wal Durant History of Civilization

A Letter From

Jesse Helms

I have reached the firm conclusion, both as a Southern Baptist and

as a Thirty-third Degree Scottish Rite Mason, that far too much has

been made of the wrong-headed, albeit sincere, obsession of a Texas

Baptist that prompted him to launch a false and unfair vendetta

against Freemasonry.

I do not know Dr. James L. Holly, M.D., of Beaumont, Texas. It is

not my purpose to attack either his character or his intelligence.

Indeed, I give him the benefit of the doubt I acknowledge that he

is probably sincere in his vendetta.

At the same time, I would advise him, and those who may have

accepted his unfortunate views, that Dr. Holly is sincerely wrong.

The Southern Baptist Convention is not led by foolish men and women

who would allow themselves to be tugged over the cliff by this

unfounded and unfair vendetta. Most of SBC's leaders are friends of

mine. Moreover, the fact that Dr. Holly's motion at the 1992 SBC

Convention asking that a "study" be made of Freemasonry was at best

routine and the 1993 Convention is supposed to receive a routine

report on that "study."

I have been a Southern Baptist since my childhood. I have served

two Baptist Churches as deacon and Sunday School teacher. I have

been a Mason for 45 years. I note that Dr. Holly has been described

as a "conservative." I too have been so described.

Many hotheaded "liberals" have gone ballistic since their having

been deposed from their longtime control of the Southern Baptist

Convention. It would be unfortunate if Dr. Holly allows himself to

be used by these angry people, resulting in great harm to the

Southern Baptist Convention.

My advice to the 1993 SBC Convention, for whatever it is worth, is

that the Messengers give Dr. Holly's motion a quick and quiet

demise. The Southern Baptist Convention has far more important

things to do.

Sincerely and fraternally,


A college student from a Masonic family contrasts the good done by

Masonic philanthropies to the negative and divisive effects of


Paula O'Neal

Senior, Political Science Department University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia 30612

Reprinted from The Cochran Journal, Cochran, Georgia

In the May 28, 1992, issue of The Christian Index, there was an

article published in which several arguments were brought out

against the Masonic Lodge. I choose to reply to these because I

feel I can provide an informed response to the allegations in this

article and also those brought out locally by concerned members in

our community.

First, James Holly accuses the Masonic Lodge of causing the demise

of many Southern Baptist churches. Amazingly, Mr. Holly refuses to

acknowledge any other possible factors that could contribute to the

decline in membership. Furthermore, he fails to cite exactly how

the Masonic Lodges are causing this phenomena, or even to establish

a connection between Lodge membership and the decrease in Southern

Baptist Churches. Without solid evidence, I fear Mr. Holly fails in

successfully supporting this particular argument. There is

something prevalent in human nature that makes it easier to cast

the blame for a problem elsewhere, regardless of how futile that

action may be, than openly to admit that they are in ignorance of

what is really causing the problem and of a solution to the


Second, Mr. Holly states that he is not attacking the individual

Masons because most Masons "are not knowledgeable of what they are

participating in, and they don't take seriously what the lodge

officially says." This statement is flawed for different reasons.

It shows that Mr. Holly himself is not as well acquainted with the

practices of the Lodge as he professes to be. First, to earn

Degrees one must have a very good understanding of the functions,

rules, regulations, and beliefs tied to the Lodge. Also, before

anyone can even become a Mason, he must believe in a Supreme Being.

One special aspect of the Lodge is that it does not discriminate on

the basis of color or religion. Baptists, as well as members of any

other monotheistic religion, are welcome. By holding in common a

belief in a Higher Being, it seems that this would only serve to

strengthen Christian faith, not destroy it, because it unites

fellow Christians in fraternal bonds that exceed the limitations of

one particular denomination.

Saying that the men are not "knowledgeable of what they are

participating in" implies that these men are ignorant and incapable

of fully understanding the principles behind the Lodge. This is

insulting to the mentality of these men and the motives behind

their actions. It implies they do not understand what they involve

themselves in. The latter part of his statement insinuates that

they do not take their commitments to the organization seriously.

Perhaps he feels Masonry is wrong because it is not solely based on

just the principles of the Baptist doctrine. By mandating that all

members believe in a Supreme Being without specifically naming the

Supreme Being, this insures against the alienation of any

particular religion. Baptists do not share the same beliefs as

Methodists, Catholics, Jews or many other religions. This does not

mean that these religions, just because they do not follow the

exact same doctrine as the Southern Baptists, are satanic or


The charities that these organizations fund speak for their

validity and the good character of the people who are members. The

Masonic Lodge sponsors Masonic Children's Homes, one being located

in Macon, Georgia. These homes provide care for children who come

from broken or abusive homes, or homes where their parents are

unable financially to provide the basic needs for the children.

Once the child reaches eighteen, the home helps to provide for

future schooling should the child wish to continue his or her

education. The Eastern Star, which is a Masonic ladies'

organization, has a retirement home for widows. The Scottish Rite,

Southern Jurisdiction, has clinics that treat children for language

and learning disabilities. Masons treat all degrees of illness and

different kinds of cancers. Masonic hospitals are staffed with some

of the best medical personnel in the country and use some of the

most advanced medical technology. The York Rite has the York Rite

Eye Foundation. This provides medical treatment for people with eye

injuries, those needing eye surgery and treatment, and those who

cannot afford to buy glasses for themselves.

The Shriners have two kinds of more specialized hospitals that they

fund. There are nineteen Shriners Crippled Children Hospitals.

These deal primarily with orthopedic problems and surgeries. They

provide prosthetics for children without limbs and perform major

surgeries to help them function as normal children. The Shriners

also have three burn centers where they care for severely burned

children. All of these hospitals are recognized nationally as being

staffed with the very best professionals in the designated medical

fields. Separating these hospitals from others is the fact that

these hospitals are free for those who cannot afford medical care.

Not only do Shriners provide medical care for the child, but they

also provide transportation to and from these hospitals by vans

belonging to the Shrine Temples. In cases of emergency, the Temple

provides air transportation, absorbing all costs, to fly children

to the burn centers. On top of this, they provide food and lodging

for the parents to enable them to stay near their children while

they are hospitalized.

I was brought up in the Baptist faith, and the one thing that I was

taught as being most important is the love for all of humanity.

Jesus taught love for all humanity, regardless of sex, race,

religion, or class. I was taught that it is the community's

responsibility to care for its members and that it is up to the

individual to help provide for those less fortunate. That is

exactly the primary purpose of these Masonic organizations. They

start all meetings and gathering with prayer and end them with

prayer. During the meetings, the Bible is open upon an altar, just

as in many churches. These are not characteristics indicative of

the occult or satanic worship.

My father is a Mason, Scottish Rite, and Shriner. My mother is in

the Eastern Star. I have seen the good the dedication of these

members has brought about. If one feels I am biased, then I suggest

they ask those who have benefited from Masonry's hospitals and

foundations to find out how they feel about the organizations. Ask

the young girl who recently spoke at the Shrine Temple in Macon

about her experience with the Shriners. She was once given little

hope of ever walking, but the Shrine Hospital performed operations

on her legs, fit her with prosthetic limbs, and she is now captain

of her cheerleading team. This is not an isolated incident. There

are thousands like her who have benefited from these organizations.

People often fear what they do not understand or have little

knowledge of. When others are privy to information they lack,

jealousy often arises. This jealousy can take the form of malicious

rumors and gossip, slandering the reputation of the innocent. The

real truth is out there for those who care to find it.

Perhaps before Dr. Holly so eagerly condemns, he should first try

to understand and look beyond his very limited view. This also

applies to the others who are anxious to criticize. If these people

would put half as much time and energy into productively

contributing to those who are in real need of their help, think of

how many would reap the benefits! At the same time, they would be

much more in line with practicing the doctrines they supposedly

espouse. It is hard to respect groups that try to promote

themselves by exploiting and destroying others. Upon evaluation of

their actions, these groups are, in my opinion, living in

contradiction of their faith.

Paula O'Neal is presently a first-year student at the University of

Georgia School of Law where she is serving as one of the Vice

Presidents of her class. In 1992, she was awarded an internship

with U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. Both her father and mother are active

in the Scottish Rite, Valley of Macon GA Eastern Star Chapter No.

400, Cochran, GA Al Sihah Shrine Temple and Daughters of the Nile,

Ha Hisla Temple, both in Macon Georgia.

The National Grand Lodge of Norway and the Norwegian Church

Leif Ottersen

Grand Prelate

The National Grand

Lodge of Norway

Olaf Bulls Veg 11 C

0765 Oslo 7, Norway

The Grand Prelate, a clergyman, of the National Grand Lodge of

Norway explains that Masonic membership by clergy of the Norwegian

Church is not at variance with ordination vows. On the contrary,

many clergymen have found in Freemasonry the "inspiration to renew

their efforts in the service of the Church."

FROM time to time, the National Grand Lodge of Norway (NGLN)

attracts the attention of the media. We are prepared for this and

understand it. Unfortunately, however, the articles of some

journalists are mere criticism rather than scientific research in

its true sense. The result of such criticism has been a strained

relationship between the Norwegian Church and the NGLN.

This is a heavy burden for Norwegian Freemasonry, and we are

determined to correct misunderstandings by placing much greater

emphasis on openness and by promulgating factual information on all

activities of the NGLN. The brunt of attacks directed against the

Order are based on sources of an unreliable nature. The concoction

of partial truths taken out of context and so-called "facts"

reminds us of a well-known line from our great national playwright,

Henrik Ibsen: "The wrong point of departure gives a corresponding


The picture of Freemasonry painted by our attackers is such that we

hardly recognize ourselves in it, and the picture itself has become

a means of aggression. We disagree entirely with the objections

raised against the work of the NGLN, and we refute the following

false claims in order to clarify the true stand of Freemasonry in

Norway and throughout the world.

The NGLN Is A Secret Order.

We are not and do not wish to be a "secret conspiratorial network

within Norwegian society" as we are depicted in some tabloid

journalism. In contrast, NGLN is a legally registered organization

with all our articles and membership lists open to the public. Our

meetings are advertised, our buildings are well marked, and many

parts of our buildings, with the exception of ceremonial rooms, are

frequently employed for public functions.

Also, the NGLN is a "closed brotherhood" only in the same way that

life meets us unprepared and "closed." We learn as we live.

Similarly, a school is "closed" until we enter its portals, attend

its classes, and learn the wisdom it has to offer. If Freemasonry,

like any other educational institution, were not "closed," it would

lose all meaning. It would be tantamount to a school not requiring

attendance and supplying beforehand the answers to all


The NGLN Has Rituals Which Are Frightening.

Freemasonry, like Christianity, uses symbols of the hereafter. In

our modern world, however, people endeavor to escape from the fact

that life must end as it started. Thus the traditional symbols of

death have come to be regarded as unpleasant and even unethical. We

can give assurance, without going into detail, that the rituals of

Freemasonry are in no way a flippant use of symbols that would

violate human dignity. On the contrary, the Order seeks to help

each individual to meet his mortal condition as a purely realistic

inevitability, combined with the consolation which the grace of God

can give.

The NGLN And Masonry Are Part Of An Evil International "New World


Freemasonry is international in that the NGLN, like many other

Masonic Bodies, maintains contacts and fellowship with numerous

foreign Orders. This does not mean, however, that the NGLN or any

other Masonic Order, agrees with what takes place Masonically in

other countries. Each Masonic Body is autonomous and independent.

The desire to participate internationally without being responsible

for the activities of other organizations is a familiar problem for

all global institutions whether they are fraternal, ecclesiastical,

or political.

Freemasonry Is A Substitute For The Church.

It is Freemasonry's express aim NOT to compete with the Church, any

- Church. The NGLN is not a creed it is a fraternity. Freemasonry

is a system of teaching without a creed as such, apart from each

member's own persuasions. Freemasonry offers no sacraments its

rituals are symbolic, not religious the Order offers no plan of

salvation the Lodge teaches an acknowledgement of the value of

deeds but also stresses their limitation.

The NGLN strives to make Freemasonry a means by which men can join

their congregations and participate in their Church activities. The

NGLN Article, Chapter 2, section 7, states, in part: "He [the

Freemason] must be zealous and industrious by prayer in service,

and confirm his sincerity of thought by showing mercy and goodwill

to his Brothers and to his fellow man by counsel and deed."

In light of the above, we clergy in the National Grand Lodge of

Norway see no conflict between our work within the Church and

within Freemasonry. We wish to continue our labors along these

lines, which is why we regard it as an asset for parish priests all

over the country to be initiated in the Masonic Order. We have

observed how the participation of clergy in Freemasonry has proved

beneficial. That the majority of the clergy themselves reap

personal and moral benefit from their activities in the Order is

another side of the matter.

We therefore plead for the confidence of the bishops, not only for

the sake of the NGLN but also for the Norwegian Church in general

so that closer relations can be established between ow respective

institutions. We, for ow part, are open to any suggestions as to

how the NGLN can contribute to achieving this goal.

Leif Ottersen has been Rector and, since 1972, Dean of Oslo

Cathedral, becoming Very Reverend Dean in 1988. He was ordained in

the Norwegian Church in 1959, raised a Mason in 1960, and has

served as Grand Prelate (NGLN) since 1979. The King of Norway has

honored him with the St. Olav's Medal and the Olav V's Memory


Editor's Note: The above article is an edited, abbreviated version

of a 1992 communication by Bro.'. Ottersen to the Bishops of the

Norwegian Church. The Scottish Rite Journal is very grateful to

Bro.'. Jens E. Lassen, Grand Secretary, The National Grand Lodge of

Denmark, for translating the original article into English.


Summary: Many ministers who are Masons have written to the Southern

Baptist Convention and/or The Scottish Rite Journal expressing

dismay at criticisms of Freemasonry which are based on the claim it

is a religion. Here is a sampling from the "Bluegrass State" of


I am not a Mason, but I want to thank you for publishing the

February 1993 issue of The Scottish Rite Journal. It was very

informative in helping to confirm what my studies and experiences

have revealed concerning Masonry and religion. The recent attacks

against Freemasonry are unfounded.

Recently, for the first time in my 18 years in the ministry, a

person's qualification for leadership in the church was questioned

due to his being a Mason. The questioners had read some books and

seen some programs which would cause any concerned Christian to

question. If the assertions were true, then certainly no person so

involved in antiChristian activities could serve as elder, deacon,

or preacher.

The elders and minister did a study. We read the books that labeled

Masonry as a religious cult, and found that the basic

presupposition that Masonry is a religion did not seem to bear

weight. After interviewing Masons I have known in three states

(including the former Senior Minister here who is now my Associate

Minister of Visitation, A. Paul Reece, Sr., and one of my present

elders, Ken Horn), the church leaders met and discussed our

findings. We have concluded that these attacks are "much ado about

nothing." The Mason was approved. We are glad to have him.

Your magazine has helped me greatly. Along with my respect for

Masons I have known, the February 1993 issue of your magazine has

prompted me seriously to consider becoming a Mason, if the

Fraternity will have me.

Reverend Richard D. Dike Kenwood Heights Christian Church,

Louisville, KY

I was saved in September 1942, made a Master Mason on February 6

1946, and ordained to the ministry on May 21, 1950, by Hiawatha

Street Missionary Baptist Church, Louisville, KY. It is a member of

the Southern Baptist Convention.

Freemasonry has never in any way interfered with my work in the

ministry. Matter of fact, Freemasonry has strengthened me as a

Christian and a minister, reminding me of my duty to God and my

fellowman. Freemasonry has also allowed me to witness for Christ to

men I never would have met otherwise.

Freemasonry in no way condones or even hints at the worship of

Lucifer. Furthermore, if one would follow the teachings of

Freemasonry, it will lead him to Jesus Christ.

Elder Clifford Ward, 32d

Hiawatha Street Missionary Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

Aperson Lodge No. 195 Louisville, KY

Lexington, KY, Scottish Rite Bodies

I have been a minister for 59 years and a Mason for 52. I have been

Master of my Lodge of about 1,200 men and Grand Chaplain of the

Grand Lodge of Kentucky of about 100,000 men. This means I have

given a lot of time to Freemasonry, and I can say with certainty

that it is not a religion or a cult. It is a Fraternity dedicated

to the welfare of those in need.

Masonry does not claim to be necessary for salvation. Its moral

teachings are good, but one can be as moral as Cornelius and be

lost. It is through our religion and church that we are saved. God

is the way of righteousness and truth. I do not feel I have been

wrong in being a Mason. The more people a minister can know, talk

to and have fellowship with, the better his chances of bringing

them to God's kingdom through a church and religion that will save


Reverend Ashky Paul Reece, Sr., 32d

Kenwood Heights Christian Church, Louisville, KY

Plumb Lodge No. 862, Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY, Scottish Rite Bodies

I am writing as a Mason and a Southern Baptist concerned about the

charges against Freemasonry made by Dr. James Larry Holly.

I am a better man and a better Christian through the bond of

fellowship that I have experienced through the teachings of

Freemasonry. I have held in my heart the admonition that I received

in one of our Masonic Degrees that I, as a Mason, should never

allow Masonry to interfere with my service to God.

I was recently recognized, along with several others, for my having

taught Sunday School at Gano Avenue Baptist Church for more than 25

years. During those years, I have also served my Lodge in various

capacities, and I can say that the teachings of Masonry have

greatly enhanced my ability to serve my church effectively.

Not only am I disturbed by the charges brought by Dr. Holly, but by

the inability of our Southern Baptist Convention to deal with these

false charges.

Charles C. Johnson, Secretary, 32d, K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'.

Gano Avenue Baptist Church, Georgetown, KY

Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 14, Georgetown, KY

Lexington, KY, Scottish Rite Bodies

I am dismayed by the recent action taken by the Southern Baptist


I became a Christian and a member of a Southern Baptist Church at

the age of 14. At 34 I entered full-time ministry as a SBC preacher

and pastor. I have always been proud of my calling and never

doubted my relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ and Almighty God.

I am now 73 years old, and 40 years of my ministry have been in

Louisville, Kentucky.

Shortly after I entered the ministry, I also became a Third Degree

Mason. Ten years later, I became a Thirty-second Degree Mason and

a member of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. I have been very proud of

this relationship and never did I consider there to be any conflict

whatsoever between being a Christian and a Mason. The accusation of

those in the SBC who began a study of Freemasonry that Lucifer is

worshipped by Masons is completely out of line and irresponsible,

even ridiculous. Personally, I feel the SBC could make better use

of time and resources in much more worthy endeavors.

W. Louis Walters, 32d, Master of Divinity

Victory Memorial Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

Crescent Hill Lodge No. 820 Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY, Scottish Rite Bodies


Reprinted with permission from The Scottish Rite Herald 1330

Linwood Boulevard KansasCity, Missoun 64109-1941

As Masons today are forced by fundamentalist extremists to choose

between their Church and Freemasonry, an anecdote from the late

nineteenth century carries a particularly significant moral of

courage, conciliation, and cooperation.

In 1884 or 1885, an incident happened in Iowa, an event probably

without parallel in Masonic history, that indicated the kind of

Freemasons who lived then. This influenced Freemasonry in the

territory now known as Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Moses F. Shinn, a Methodist minister in Keokuk, Iowa, a member of

Ft. Madison Lodge No. 13, is the principal character in this story.

A powerful leader in his church and his Lodge, he was greatly loved

by all. There came a time when his church coworkers, persons

uninformed as to Masonry and its teaching, sought to increase his

usefulness to the church by requiring him to renounce Masonry and

devote all his energies to the church. At the next general

conference of the church, a resolution to that end was adopted, and

the church waited for Brother Shinn to respond.

Brother Shinn sat in thought for what seemed to be many minutes.

The situation was serious for him. Unless he renounced Masonry, he

would be separated from the work of God to which he had hoped to

give his life. Also, he would be deprived of the livelihood for

which he had prepared. What did Masonry offer in place of that

which he must sacrifice?

After the stillness became oppressive, Bro.'. Shinn rose to his

feet, looked into the faces of his friends, then spoke in a clear

voice: "I have for many years endeavored to perform my duty as a

faithful minister of Christ, and I believed I had extended the

field of my usefulness, without violation of my vows to the church,

by becoming a loyal and zealous Freemason.

"Now you demand that I renounce Masonry or retire from the church.

The decision you require is a harsh and painful one. I must sever

relations that have been pleasant to me and, I hope, acceptable to

others. I have friends in both the church and Freemasonry from whom

I wish not to be separated, but you have made the requirement. It

is not for me to question whether that requirement is right or

wrong, wise or just. So, at your bidding, I separate myself from

the Methodist Episcopal Church."

Bro.'. Shinn then sat down to control his emotions.

The silence was oppressive, the Conference was stunned. Finally,

one who had been active in proposing the resolution rose to his

feet, walked to Bro.'. Shinn, extended his hand and said, "My

brother, there must be something good about Freemasonry or you,

whom we all love so well, would not adhere to it so tenaciously. I

want to be a Mason. Will you recommend me and present my petition

to your Lodge?" Others of the gathering followed the first.

One of these, Jonas W. Brown of Eagle Lodge No. 12 of Keokuk,

became the third Grand Master of Idaho. Another, John C. Ainsworth,

became the third Grand Master of Oregon.

At this time one may wonder what influence Bro.'. Shinn had upon

the lives of others who witnessed the incident or were familiar

with it.

WHEREVER there is a human cause we are certain to find Masonry, for

it is the fundamental base of all truly liberal associations. Thank

all of my Brothers and tell them that I am always with them, with

all my heart, and that forever I will pride myself upon my Masonic


Giuseppe Garibaldi, November 1880, Milan, Italy

Dedication of the Mentana Monument

Judgments About Masonry

Don Lavender, 32d, K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'.

2913-49th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50310

The author notes that as many judgments about Masonry are made on

the basis of false assumptions, unreliable hearsay, or statements

taken out of context."

How often do we hear of particular religious denominations

criticizing Masonry? How often is Freemasonry subjected to

condemnation by individuals who know little about the Craft? The

answer to both questions, unfortunately, is too often.

Similarly, religious denominations are often critical of each

other. Trivial disagreements regarding interpretation, doctrine, or

procedure sometimes cause splinter groups-new churches-to be


Knowing that differences exist within the spheres of the religious

world, it is all too easy to see how people unfamiliar with Masonic

doctrine might be critical of it. The old adage "a little knowledge

is a dangerous thing" certainly applies in both of these cases. In

addition, many judgments about Masonry are made on the basis of

false assumptions, unreliable hearsay, or statements taken out of


In a world where devout members of various denominations think they

are the only ones with the right answers to religious questions,

the fact that Masonry teaches simple, basic morality leaves our

Fraternity open to accusations. The Craft is considered

anti-religious because its religious views are too universally

permissible to be accepted.

What religion can truly argue with a philosophy that only requires

a man to have faith in God, hope of immortality, and charity

towards all people? Masons know these to be the basic requirements

for membership in the Craft. Few churches, if any, would argue with

the moral foundation of these principles. The fact that Masonry

does not limit its understanding of a Supreme Being to the

Christian interpretation and that it is willing to accept Brethren

from all faiths does not coincide with those who cannot tolerate

beliefs other than those of their particular church.

It is good and proper that people should be devoted to their

accepted religion. To assume, however, that there is no good in any

other religion or organization, even though it may promote similar

moral truths in a different way, is a source of distrust. It is the

same misunderstanding that has led to religious wars throughout

history and even today promotes hatred and violence in some


There is no shame in the fact that Masonry recognizes the good in

diverse religions throughout the world, nor does our Craft take

anything away from the Christian who may be a member. There will

never be a single religion acceptable to all in the world, but the

fact that the many diverse religions teach brotherly love, a faith

in their God, and the need for charity to others is a steadying

influence wherever it may be.

Brother Masons accept the precepts of Masonry and live a better

life because of it. Without Masonry the world would be a much

poorer place. It has promoted understanding between diverse peoples

and provided tangible charities seldom equaled wherever it is

active. Further, it has promoted the freedom and the importance of

the individual even against overwhelming odds and despite

tyrannical leaders.

Most religious individuals agree all of us face a day of judgment.

Any man who lives the precepts of Masonry can face that judgment

without fear. Those who, through their ignorance or

misunderstanding, are critical of Masonry face that same judgment.

If we are to conclude that organizations as well as individuals are

subject to judgment, we can confidently put our trust in


Don Lavender is a former secretary Registrar (1974- 79) of the Des

Moines, Iowa Scottish Rite Bodies. He is retired from the City of

Des Moines Engineering Department, and enjoys hobbies of instrument

music and photography.


J.C. Montgomery, Jr., 33d

P O Box 1352, Chesteffield, Missouri 63001

Brother Montgomery offers practical advice on how to explain

Freemasonry while responding to the attacks of anti-Masons.


Our Masonic instruction forbids this.

You can't win in an artillery duel of Bible texts. Chances are your

opponent will use biblical texts only to prove "his point."

Masons use the Scriptures as a "rule and guide for our faith and

practice," and not as a club to beat down an opponent.


A society of friends and brothers.

A beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated by


A universal fellowship which conciliates those of every sect and



One of the prime creators and protectors of all of our religious,

political and social freedoms.

More than a dozen Presidents, including George Washington, both

Roosevelts, Harry S. Truman, and Gerald Ford, have been Masons.


Your Masonic heritage has been too beneficial to humankind to yield

to misguided or uninformed prejudice or harassment.

A Mason who "quits" or is lapsed is seen by others as admitting

that Freemasonry is not worth the "fight." Your loyalty to

Freemasonry is the best witness there is for our Fraternity.

Freemasonry sponsors and supports great charities, most without

cost to the beneficiaries and without regard to race, creed, color

or ethnic origin, for example:

Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children and Burns Units

Scottish Rite Children's Hospitals

Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Centers

Scottish Rite Foundation scholarship aid programs

Knights Templar Eye Foundation

Royal Arch research in hearing difficulties

Cryptic Masons research in arteriosclerosis

Grand Lodge College scholarship funds

State and national disaster relief funds

National Masonic Foundation for Prevention of Drug and Alcohol

Abuse Among Children

Children's Miracle Network

Care of elderly Masons, widows, wives, and members by Grand Lodges

and the Order of the Eastern Star in Masonic homes or in their own


Sponsorship of wholesome youth organizations for young men and

women: DeMolay, Job's Daughters, Rainbow for Girls.

"Ye shall know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:16


Our Masonic charge is that "every human being has a claim on your

kind offices. Do good unto all."

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that

hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and

persecute you." Matthew 5:44

J.C. Mootgomery, Jr. is a retired pastor and district

superintendent in the United Methodist Church as well as a past

member of various Methodist national boards. He is also a Past

Grand Master of Missouri and the editor of The Missouri Freemason

and The Royal Arch Mason Magazine.

Freemasonry and Religion

The Reverend Dr. W. Kenneth Lyons, Jr., 33d

P.O. Box 118, 12367 Route 216, Highland, Maryland 20777-0118

A respected young pastor gives his personal testimony regarding how

Freemasonry fosters unity and brotherhood and is opposed to those

who hate on the basis of race, creed, color, and religion. "

IT has come to light that there are those who label Masonry as a

religion. Even among British Methodists there has been an outcry as

to the use of Masonry as a means of getting in some professions

where only Brothers advance Brothers, and where British Masons have

neglected their Church for their Lodge.

Sad to say, some of these criticisms do have a basis of truth in

the way that certain Masons apply what they believe to be

Freemasonry. Application, however, is often a far cry from the true

spirit and actual teaching of the Fraternity. Personally, I have

found that the Scottish Rite and the Symbolic Lodge espouse the

belief of no one religion, but are respecters of all major moral

religions of the world. Scottish Rite and Symbolic Lodge Masonry

have never inferred nor stated that their edifices are houses of

worship. Rather, they are places where every good man's religion is

equally respected and persecution for one's religious beliefs is

not tolerated.

Democracy is taught by all major Masonic Fraternities as opposed to

totalitarian forms of government. A government, or Lodge, which

states that one religion must be practiced in order for one to

exist peaceably in that society is an infringement upon the

freedoms that we hold dear in American society.

As a Christian minister, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I

also believe that any Lodge prohibiting me from holding that belief

or berating me for being a Christian is not a Lodge of "Brothers"

but a stronghold of bigotry. This same belief, however, should hold

true in a Lodge of "Brothers" for a Jewish Mason.

Facing squarely the misconceptions and criticisms concerning our

Fraternity is the only constructive way of dealing with this issue.

Much of the Ritual of our Fraternity does in fact come from Old and

New Testament Scriptures. It is the most solemn of all

responsibilities to administer God's Word. It is also believed by

most theologians that in Old and New Testament Scriptures, the

Jewish and Christian communities are stated as the primary

caretakers of the faith. Masonry has indeed recognized this great

Scriptural resource and incorporated a belief in a Supreme Being as

its foundation. Masonry, however, is not the primary caretaker of

the faith but a respecter of faith in practice.

Faith in one's God is appropriately ritualized and sacramentalized

in the synagogue, church, or mosque. The major part of the lives we

exhibit, as God-believing Masons, should be learned within these

houses of worship. Attending Lodge is no substitute for regular

attendance at your place of worship. We are also learning that the

scheduling of Masonic activities during worship hours only enhances

justifiable criticism of our Fraternity by responsible religious


Certainly there will continue to be bona fide Masonic teachings

which run contrary to some religious denominational practices.

Masonic Brethren who fashion our practices and found Masonic Orders

will fall prey to human error when dealing with religious and

secular issues. We must be aware of this and be willing to change

for the better. I do believe, however, that Masonry is represented

more by the way we of the contemporary Lodge live, than by what

ancient Masonry taught. The teachings of Masonry and the lives you

and I live as Jewish and Christian Masons will combine with others

of the Fraternity to represent what Masonry is in this century. Our

Jewish Brothers will espouse Moses, Abraham and David, while

Christian Masons will also speak of Saint Paul and Jesus Christ.

Together, hopefully, we will exhibit unity and Brotherhood to those

who hate on the basis of race, creed, color, and religion.

W. Kenneth Lyons, Jr. is pastor of Mount Zion United Methodist

Church in Highland. MD. In addition to his Masonic affiliations, he

is active in the Boy Scouts of America. Police Chaplaincy, and

civilian International and has received awards from Freedoms

Foundation, Military Order of World Wars, and the Maryland state

government. For his portrait, see the back inside cover of this



Dr. Ron Ford

Pastor, Central Baptist Church

5200 Fairway Avenue

North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116

A Baptist minister believes the controversy over Freemasonry is

"moving in the direction of a spirit which is uglier and meaner

while our world needs the love of Christ."

This year's Southern Baptist Convention has created some confusion

and questions among members of our church body. A medical doctor

from Texas is marshaling forces against Masons. This is the same

man who led the fight against Dr. Leon McBeth's history book about

the Sunday School Board. He eventually had the book banned and

destroyed. He is part of the fundamentalist group that now leads

the Convention.

He is asking Southern Baptists to take a stand against Freemasonry

which he denounces as being of "Satanic origin." As pastor, I am

not about to defend the Masonic Lodge. I am not a Mason. The

Masonic Lodge does not need my defense. But I do raise this

question. Since when did the Southern Baptist Convention start

investigating and "taking stands" against such organizations as the

Masonic Lodge?

The recommendation for the Convention is to authorize a study so

that actions might be taken that would lead to "local churches,

including prohibitions against Masons serving as pastors, deacons

or in other positions of church leadership." This is an example of

extreme fundamentalism. Can you imagine being against Masonic

Lodges, the Eastern star, the Rainbow girls, and the DeMolays?

Would you have ever imagined this coming?

Our Home Mission Board, which must study this issue, is now in a

difficult position. If they decide to recommend that we adopt the

motion to remove Masons, a large group of fine Christian men will

be offended in the churches. If they decide to recommend against

the motion, the fundamentalists who made the proposal will be

offended. What has been touted as nothing more than an attack on

Liberalism and those who do not believe in the Bible has now shown

it is more. We are moving in the direction of a spirit which is

uglier and meaner while our world needs the love of Christ.

The question in my mind is, "Who will be next?" What group will

next be on the outside looking in? We are moving in the direction

of the SBC becoming smaller and smaller with more and more people

on the outside looking in.

To the Masons of our congregation, I simply say we are still a

free, autonomous church, not directed by the actions of the

Southern Baptist Convention. It is not the policy of Central

Baptist Church to lead an attack on Masons or forbid Masons to

serve in leadership in its missions, education, and evangelism. We

must leave the policies of local churches in the hands of people in

the local church. Masons of our congregation should not feel any

attack on them because of the actions on the national level.

How To Assure Success At The SBC

On March 17, 1993, the Home Mission Board of the SBC submitted its

"Response to the Report on Freemasonry" saying, "we therefore

recommend that consistent with our denomination's deep conviction

regarding the priesthood of the believer and the autonomy of the

local church, membership in the Masonic Order be a matter of

personal conscience."

The issue of the Home Mission Board condemning Freemasonry as

incompatible "with Christianity and Southern Baptist doctrine" is

over. At the same time, the threat of anti-Masonic forces over

turning the Home Mission Board's report at the Convention itself is

very real. Therefore, the Scottish Rite urges every Freemason to

write a brief letter to the two main leaders of the Southern

Baptist Convention urging support of the Home Mission Board Report.

Dr. Ed Young, President

Southern Baptist Convention

6400 Woodway

Houston, TX 77057

Dr. Morris Chapman

Executive Committee

901 Commerce street, Suite 750

Nashville, TN 37203

Also, if you are a Southern Baptist, consider counseling with your

local church leaders and becoming a messenger to the Houston

Convention. There you can support Freemasonry by voting to approve

the Home Mission Board report. For how to do this, see pages 59-60

of this issue.

A Masonic Response to the Report on Freemasonry by the Home Mission

Board, SBC

T. Max Tatum, 32d, K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'.

Grand Master of Masons of the state of Oklahoma

P. O. Box 1019, 102 S. Broad, Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044

Jim Tresner, 33d

P. O. Box 70, Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044-0070

The Freemasons of Oklahoma congratulate the Home Mission Board on

the conclusion reached in their report on Freemasonry: ". . . we

therefore recommend that consistent with our denomination's deep

conviction regarding the priesthood of the believer and the

autonomy of the local church, membership in a Masonic Order be a

matter of personal conscience."

That conclusion is, indeed, in accordance with the traditional and

highly commendable insistence in the Southern Baptist denomination

that each person must decide issues of faith for him/herself. In

reaffirming that tradition, the Home Mission Board continues the

rejection of the narrow radicalism which has characterized the

fanatic from the earliest history in Europe to modern Iran.

The report recommends that the decision to join a Masonic Order

should be made thoughtfully and prayerfully, and we completely

agree. The entire process by which one petitions for membership in

a Masonic Order is designed to encourage exactly that thoughtful

and prayerful consideration.

We especially appreciate the warm and kind commendation of the

Fraternity for Masonry's charitable activities, including "the

operation of 22 Shriners hospitals, 19 orthopedic hospitals, and

three burn institutes with noteworthy success in treatment,

research, and education, often providing free treatment to children

under 18 years of age. [In fact, the Shrine never charges for any

hospital treatment.] Also, we commend support of the Foundation for

the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Children and the

Eastern Star sponsorship of Masonic Homes for the Aged. [Actually,

most Masonic Homes are funded by Grand Lodges.] These, with many

other charitable and benevolent endeavors, are commendable."

While Freemasons support these operations with the goal of meeting

human needs, not for publicity, we appreciate the Home Mission

Board's commendation given in its report.

On two or three matters covered by the report, there may be some

misunderstanding, and I appreciate the opportunity to clarify the

more important ones.

The question of the penalties of the obligations each Mason assumes

seems to be especially vexing. The Home Mission Board Report

suggests that some Masons may not take them seriously. I would hope

that all Masons take them seriously, but that none take them

literally, for that would violate both their spirit and their

intent. It is made clear to the Mason that the penalties are not

literal, for the only actual "punishments" for violation of an

obligation are reprimand, suspension, or expulsion from the

Fraternity. Like the other symbols of Masonry, the penalties of the

obligations are a teaching device, and the candidate is not

supposed to fear them but to consider what they could symbolically

represent-that any liar or vowbreaker is likely, for example, to

find himself cut off and rejected by those around him.

The Report is concerned that many Masons read materials which make

reference to pre-Christian or "pagan" ideas or teaching. But the

subject matter of Masonry is the history of man's thought and

philosophy, and that history begins thousands of years before

Christianity. Nowhere, in any official Masonic publication, are

those ideas advocated. They are simply acknowledged as having

existed and as telling modem man something about the way ancient

man thought.

The Report is concerned that the use of the term "light" in Masonry

might lead someone to assume that we are referring to salvation,

rather than insight and knowledge. While a non-Mason, reading

Masonic material might possibly run that risk, I

"While I disagree strongly with several points critical of

Freemasonry in the Board's report, I compliment the Home Mission

Board for its intent to report even-handedly on Freemasonry. Most

of all, I commend the Board on its conclusion that membership of

Southern Baptists in Freemasonry remain what it has always been, a

matter of personal conscience and decision."

C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33d Sovereign Grand Commander Response to the

Home Mission Board Report on Freemasonry

think it is unlikely that a Mason would, since not only is the term

"light" clearly explained, but the Mason is repeatedly told that he

must find the path to salvation in his church or synagogue, not in

the Lodge. And that same fact would address the fear that a Mason

might think we were teaching salvation by good works. A Fraternity

clearly is not the organization to offer a path of salvation, and

we do not.

Language causes a few additional concerns, and it's probably

because Masonic terminology developed in England hundreds of years

ago. Some terms are now used differently in the "world outside"

than they are in Masonry. The term "worshipful" as applied to the

Master or President of the Lodge, for example, does not mean "one

who is worthy of worship." It simply means "honored" or

"respected"just as Mayors in England and Canada are called "your

worship" rather than "your honor" as in the United States.

That the Holy Bible, square and compass are referred to as the

"furniture" of the Lodge is not to lower them, nor to suggest the

square and compass are the equal of the Bible. We use the word

"furniture" in its original meaning of "essential equipment." No

Lodge can meet without them. In Masonry, the square is a symbol of

&e world, while the compasses are symbols of spirituality. They

rest upon the Bible because the Bible and the truths it contains

are the foundation and underpinning of both the world and of


Finally, the Report remarks that some materials written by some

Masonic writers may allude to ideas offensive to some

denominations. That may be, for any Mason is at liberty to write

anything he chooses-that is a fundamental American right. But those

writers speak for themselves, not for Masonry. It would be as

unfair to hold all Masons responsible for the writings of one as it

would be to hold all ministers responsible for the events in Waco,


These points of clarification aside, however, we again congratulate

the Home Mission Board on upholding the intellectual integrity of

the SBC. While I cannot speak for the Grand Masters of the Masonic

Lodges in other states, I am sure that those Grand Lodges are as

ready as is Oklahoma to answer any sincere question anyone may have

about the Masonic Fraternity

Thomas Max Tatum is a member of the Thirty-first Degree cast for

the Valley of Guthrie, a member of the Oklahoma Lodge of Research,

and holds a Class "A" Lecturer's Certificate. For a portrait and

biography of Jim Tresner, 33d, see page 15.

Home Mission Board Returns Positive Report on Freemasonry

The following quotations highlight the positive statements in the

Home Mission Board's report on whether Freemasonry is compatible

with Christianity and Southern Baptist doctrine. Also, please see

A Masonic Response to the Report on Freemasonry by the Home Mission

Board, SBC, by T. Max Tatum, 32d, K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'., and Jim

Tresner, 33d, on page 46 of this issue for more information on the


"We commend the Masonic Order for its many charitable endeavors


"We acknowledge that many outstanding Christians and Southern

Baptists now are, and in the past have been Masons, including such

notable past Southern Baptist leaders as B. H. Carrol, George W.

Truett, L. R. Scarborough, W. T. Connor, Louie D. Newton, and J. B.


"We recognize that many of the tenets and teachings [of

Freemasonry] . . . could be considered compatible with, and . . .

supportive of, Christian faith and practice, such as the strong

emphasis on honesty, integrity, industry, and character and the

insistence that every member believe in God."

"We recognize . . . explicit references to Christian faith,

including exact quotes from the Bible, such as in the ritual

constituting a new Lodge in the Monitor of the Lodge of the Grand

Lodge of Texas."

"We recognize . . . the explicit reference to Jesus in the Masonic

Code of the Grand Lodge of Alabama."

"We recognize . . . the strong affirmation of the Bible found in

the North Carolina Lodge Manual."

"In summary, . . . we therefore recommend that consistent with our

denomination's deep convictions . . . membership in a Masonic Order

be a matter of personal conscience."


Dewey C. Crutchfield, 33D

P. O. Box 6368

Raleigh, NC 27608-2310

The following article consists of two letters, one from a demitting

Brother in North Carolina and a response to him from Illustrious

Dewey C. Crutchfield, Jr., 33d, Secretary of the Valley of Raleigh,

Orient of North Carolina. It clarifies the position of one

well-versed Christian Mason vis-a-vis extreme religious

fundamentalism and restates the basic Masonic principle that

Freemasonry is compatible with all religions, including



After much consideration and prayer, I must at this time request to

demit as a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

My original intent in pursuing advanced Degrees in Freemasonry was

to receive light. You and other Brothers made me feel welcome and

gave me a sense of belonging. However, as I read and studied the

philosophies of the Scottish Rite, God revealed to me that the true

Light is His Son, Jesus. And that ONLY through Jesus can one reach

true knowledge.

The philosophies of Freemasonry, which I believed were supplemental

to God's plan, appear to teach that through works a man can attain

light. I still feel that the moral teachings of Freemasonry are

good however, the underlying confusion is that it is in conflict

with the one true God, Jehovah, and His Son, my Savior, Jesus.

Even though I can no longer support the Lodge nor feel myself bound

by Masonry's obligations, I will continue in prayer for your

well-being in the hope that you also receive the true Light of God.


I am writing this letter as an individual, not as a Secretary of

the Scottish Rite. However, your letter to me as Secretary has

prompted this response.

It is very disturbing to me that any person who has received the

Degrees in Masonry can misinterpret the teachings of the Craft.

I have been an active Mason for thirty-six years and have never

found anything in the Masonic teachings that tells me I cannot be

a Christian and serve my Lord to the fullest.

Masonry is not a religion and does not teach any religious

doctrines. The salvation of the soul is an individual

responsibility and must be left to each person.

We of the Masonic Order who are Christians know that you do not

receive salvation through good works. However, we also know that

Jesus said: "For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was

thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in

prison, and ye came unto me." Matthew 25: 35-36, Authorized (King

James) Version.

In addition, consider James 3:17-18 which says: "Even so faith, if

it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou

hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works,

and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

While the works of Masonry may not save anyone's soul, I must

believe that they are a part of God's plan and do meet with His


As for myself, I appreciate your prayers for my well-being, but I

feel that I have already received the true Light of my religion in

as much as I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and

strive to serve Him to the best of my ability.

I regret very much that you are not able to accept the teachings of

Masonry as they are intended and use them to enhance your own

religious beliefs.

My faith is in God, and I hope that the service, as little as it

may be, which I attempt to render through Freemasonry and in my

life meets with His approval and, if not, that He will reveal to me

a way in which I might improve myself and my relationship with Him

and my fellowman.

Dewey C. Clutchfleld is Secretary of the Scottish Rite Valley of

Raleigh, Past Master of J.J. Crowder Lodge No. 743, and Wm. G. Hill

Lodge No. 218 of Raleigh, NC. He is a member of the Raleigh York

Rite Bodies and Potentate of Amran Shrine Temple.

Declaration of Principles



THE SUPREME COUNCIL of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, S.'.J.'.,

U.S.A., reaffirms its unswerving loyalty to the United States of

America and affirms that the fundamental purpose of Freemasonry is

to improve and strengthen the character and education of the

individual and, through the individual, the quality of the

community, particularly its moral and ethical values.

This purpose can be attained best by a broad basis of principle

upon which humankind of every race, color, sex, creed, or religious

or ethnic group can unite. Such a basis can be set by practicing

OUT of the Lodge that which is learned IN the Lodge and by engaging

in visible and significant programs of service to the community

such as advocating patriotism, drug and alcohol education, youth

programs, and a quality public school education as well as

supporting all worthy philanthropic causes which are recognized by

the United States. To that end, Freemasonry stands for truth and

justice, liberty and enlightenment as well as philanthropy, along

with public and private service for all human beings. The Supreme

Council expects strict observance by its members of the laws of

their country and respect for its flag.

Another Scottish Rite principle important to the freedom of the

American people is the separation of Church and State. This is so

because the history of nations has shown that when religion

controls government, political freedom dies and when government

controls religion, religious freedom perishes. Therefore, the

Supreme Council advocates complete separation of Church and State,

absolute freedom and protection of religion, press, assembly, and

the dignity of every individual.

The preservation of unity of purpose and devotion to principles

held in common is essential to Freemasonry. The Supreme Council,

therefore, affirms its continued adherence to that time-honored

rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion within tyled doors

of creeds, politics, business and commercial interests, or other

topics apt to excite personal animosities.

It is the strongly held belief of The Supreme Council that

brotherly and sisterly love must continue to be the principal

mainstay of any Masonic Body or organization. Thus, it believes

that it is destructive to the unity and strength of legitimate

Masonic Bodies everywhere to deny visitation requests by any

individual, regardless of color, creed or religion, who has the

proper credentials in hand, that is, a current dues card issued by

a particular Lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of the

Jurisdiction where visitation is requested, plus a current dues

card and patent from a Consistory of a Supreme Council recognized

by the Mother Supreme Council of the World.


John E. Canoose, 32d


39301 Pine Ridge Road

Oakhurst, California 93644

To say that one has the truth all of the truth, and the One Truth,

and that those who differ are wrong is by definition bigotry.

ONE of the landmarks of Freemasonry is that no atheist can become

a Mason. A belief in a Supreme Being is central to all of Masonry.

Beyond that there is no religious test for candidates.

Freemasonry teaches the "Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of

God." This means that each Mason is free to worship God as he has

been taught or as he conceives Him to be. It means that no Brother

has the right to criticize the beliefs of another.

This is important enough that Masonry has developed the tradition

that religion and politics will not be discussed in the Lodge.

Freemasonry recognizes that all great religions contain truths and

that in many cases the truths are identical but phrased in

different ways.

Knowing that religion is a system of morality offering salvation

through sacraments and dogma, then it is clear that Masonry is not

a religion. Masonry offers no salvation or intercession between man

and God. The means of his salvation is left to the individual

Mason. Masonry goes a step further in its desire not to interfere

between man and his religion. The bylaws of the Order prohibit

meetings on Sunday, except for funerals or social affairs. This is

to prevent the Lodge from interfering with proper religious


Why are there so many different religions? Is not Truth immutable?

Truth is immutable, but the ability of man to discern that truth is

not. Every person's thinking is influenced by the society in which

he lives, his personal intellectual abilities, and his own

self-interest. Had I been born in a Moslem country, it is quite

likely that I would be a Moslem. My understanding of my religion

would be limited by the power of my intellect. My conformance to my

religion, of whatever persuasion, would depend on my personal

desires, my dedication, and my self-discipline.

For some unwilling, or unable, to engage in the rigorous mental

activity usually required in the search for Deity, it is a great

comfort to have a ritual form that will assure them of salvation.

No one has the right to deprive them of this ritual and its

comfort. Nor is it proper to sow the seeds of discontent by

introducing contrary ideas.

Does the person satisfied with a ritual form of religion and

worship have the right to deny another the right to invoke his

logic to obtain a belief satisfying his doubts? No. To say that one

has the truth, all of the truth, and the One Truth, and that those

who differ are wrong is by definition bigotry.

John E. Canoose is a retired machine designer. He is a member of

the Fresno Scottish Rite Bodies. P.'. M.'. of Central California

Lodge, and District Counselor of Education in California. During

World War II Bro.'. Canoose was awarded five battle stars on a

European Theater of Operations ribbon.

NOTE: Except for "Calling Masons Satanic Is Folly" where reprint

permission must be requested individually from The Houston Post,

blanket permission is hereby given to any Masonic publication to

reprint any portion of this May issue or the February issue, 1993.

Please note "Reprinted with permission of The Scottish Rite


THE worst damage is often made by the one who thinks he knows.

Dave M. Daugherty, 32

The February issue of The Scottish Rite Journal, with its theme of

"Freemasonry and Religion," produced a surge of letters, more than

elicited by any previous issue of the magazine. Here is a sampling.



Dr. Holly, regarding your attacks on Masonry, the next time you see

a child who has been burned, crippled, or has a language or

learning disorder and has been assisted without cost to his or her

family by some Appendant Masonic Body, ask yourself if it could be

that the Masons who made this child's recovery possible are the

spiritless, non-Christian, devil-worshiping pagans, you say they


John H. Roberts III, 32d, K.'.C.'.C.'.H.'.

Houston, Texas, Scottish Rite Bodies


My father was a cynical man who believed that the only

predominantly Christian organization that was truly tolerant of

Jews and gave us a fair chance was Freemasonry. Dad never joined

the Craft, but he passed his feelings about Masonry on to me, and

I did join. In fact, I am the immediate Past Master of Ann

Arbor-Fraternity No. 262, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The February Scottish Rite Journal epitomized what we all stand

for, exemplified what Dad said about us, and illustrated why I am

proud to be a Mason. In short, I found the February 1993 Scottish

Rite Journal a very moving and personally meaningful gift from our

Craft. Please receive my heartfelt thanks.

Jushn F. Krasnoff, 32d

Ann Arbor, Michigan


Regardless of the outcome of the Southern Baptist Convention

"study" of Freemasonry, the Craft will emerge much stronger. I and

many of my fellow activist Masons have long held that we need to be

more aggressive in seeking publicity and holding more open

activities to encourage membership. I am certain that we will look

back at this period ten years hence and will find that Dr. Holly

has single-handedly done more for the promotion of Freemasonry than

any other man since Albert Pike. Thank you, Dr. Holly!

Jay M. Callaham, Jr., 32d

Greensboro, North Carolina. Scottish Rite Bodies


If you had made a request to discuss Freemasonry at the Southern

Baptist Convention, there is little doubt that your request would

have been denied. But now Masonry will be on center stage with the

spotlight on it. What a marvelous opportunity!

Ernest D. Collins, Jr., 32d St. Louis, Missouri, Scottish Rite



After reading an article "Conflicts Between Christianity and

Freemasonry" in The Nevada Baptist, I wrote to the editor of that

publication expressing my concerns. I didn't get even so much as an


In 1995, with the Lord's approval, I shall complete fifty years as

a Master Mason. Beyond my lifelong practice of Christian faith, I

am a recently baptized Baptist, and I teach a Sunday School class

in the Temple Baptist Church of Sparks, Nevada.

I expressed to my pastor my concerns about the present claimed

conflict between Baptist doctrine and Freemasonry. He received my

letter in good faith and passed it on to a Baptist lay minister.

From the latter I received a bombastic reply to which I responded

by sending him a copy of the February Scottish Rite Journal which

is focused on "Freemasonry and Religion." To date I have received

no reply.

It appears to me that those who are set on discrediting the

Brotherhood become strangely silent in the presence of material

that validates the value and worthiness of Freemasonry.

George W. Grossoehme, 32d

St. Joseph, Missouri, Scottish Rite Bodies


Masonry has not taken away anything at all from my Christian

beliefs but, by its teachings, has helped me in many ways to serve

my Lord and Savior even better.

The most important thing that I have ever done in my life is when

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. The second most important

thing was when I became a Mason.

Glenn D. Belvin, 32d

Charlotte, North Carolina. Scottish Rite Bodies


Indeed, the overconcern of the Southern Baptist Convention

regarding our Fraternity is something every Freemason must

scrutinize, but the reasons for this over concern were never really

addressed in February's Journal. The Southern Baptist Convention

appears to be approaching the status of a monolithic religion with

a well-defined dogma and an ecclesiastical hierarchy. I have no

doubt that it will eventually elect a supreme religious leader

whose views on religion and religious practice will be paramount

within the group.

Mark Schulzinger, 32d

Joplin, Missouri, Scottish Rite Bodies


Thank you for a beautiful Scottish Rite Journal, February 1993. I

am a 3rd generation "Silent Mason," but I agree now is the time to

show our colors. Now I have even more reason to be a proud member!

Richard L. Stone, 32d

Louisville, Kentucky, Scottish Rite Bodies


We are losing members not because of outside, ignorant attacks, but

because we fail to let good men know what we are and what we

represent. That means we must do a better job of promoting Masonry.

The method of "to be one, ask one" will not cut it anymore.

Reacting to these uninformed people merely gives them credibility.

Truth never has to be defended. In a nutshell, Masons have to come

out from under the proverbial bushel, not react to dopes.

Richard R. Haight, 32d Washington, District of Columbia, Scottish

Rite Bodies


Fred W. McPeake, 33D

Secretary, Scottish Rite Bodies of Knoxville, Tennessee

P.O. Box 708, Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-0708

If you are a Mason and a Baptist, your presence at the Southern

Baptist Convention in Houston, Texas, on June 15-17 is urgently

needed. The following steps outline how to become a messenger and

vote. Only you can prevent an extremist faction from taking over

the Convention and obtaining a vote to condemn Freemasonry as

incompatible "with Christian and Southern Baptist doctrine."

1. Make hotel reservations before being elected a messenger.

2. Let your pastor know you desire to be a messenger.

3. Attend the business meetings of your local church.

4. Be present when messengers are selected.

5. Obtain the necessary card of authorization signed by your pastor

or your church clerk.

6. Be sure to take the card to the Convention.

7. Take care to present your card at the registration desk.

8. Get your book of official ballots and instructions.

9. Register as early as Sunday, June 13, or Monday, June 14, before

the formal opening of the Convention.

10. Be in your seat at the opening of the Convention on Tuesday,

June 15. Stay through every session and have your ballots with you.

11. Remain in your seat since it will be difficult to know when the

important vote on Masonry will come up. You could lose the

opportunity to vote by being out in the halls or elsewhere at the

time of the vote.

12. It is important to be present and to vote regardless of the

position taken by the Home Mission Board. Anti-Masons will

undoubtedly reject a positive recommendation by the Board, despite

Dr. Holly's present statement to the contrary, or try to amend it

to condemn the Fraternity unless Masons are there in sufficient

numbers to defend our position.

Fellow Masons/Messengers, meet me in the Astrodome June 15, 1993!

The fate of Freemasonry today depends on you!

From time to time religious and governmental authorities have

condemned Freemasonry and have taken steps to prevent men under

their influence from joining the Masonic Lodge. Among many such

examples one finds: the Inquisitors into Heretical Depravity,

Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Francisco Franco, and the

Ayatollah Khomeni. Rev. Ron Carlson of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is

anxious to add his name to this list.


Dr. S. Brent Morris, 33D

Book Reviews Editor for The Scottish Rite Journal

The Scottish Rite Journal does not ordinarily review the same book

twice, but The Cloud of Prejudice, by Bro.'. Arturo DeHoyos, 32d,

is not an ordinary book-it is a masterpiece. It provides an almost

line-by-line refutation of an anti-Masonic sermon distributed by

Rev. Carlson through his Christian Ministries International. Pastor

Carlson is not your common anti-Mason he establishes his

credentials by proudly stating he spent two years studying

Freemasonry. Yet with all his study, he still foists on his

congregation the bogus Albert Pike quotation created by Leo Taxil.

He lacks the ability (or perhaps integrity) to quote accurately

from Morals and Dogma. And he doesn't seem to want his listeners to

read Morals and Dogma for themselves.

For instance, at the end of his widely distributed sermon, he

answers a question from the congregation about Morals and Dogma and

imputes that Masons are trying to stop its distribution:

. . . the publishing house told them that they are now only giving

them to the Masonic Lodges, for the Thirty-second Degree Masons.

You can no longer buy it from their secret publishing house. And

so, evidently, they've heard about us, and are trying to stop the

dissemination of this information.

This is simply not true. There never has been a secret publishing

house for Morals and Dogma. It is out of print but widely available

in used book stores, and The Supreme Council, 33d, sells used

copies when available. During his two years of research, Rev.

Carlson apparently never thought to check the public library in his

headquarter town of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He would have found

three copies available through the Metropolitan Library Service

Agency: two in Minneapolis and one in West St. Paul. Copies are

also available in the public libraries of Duluth and Winona.

It is possible for honorable men to disagree honestly. But Rev.

Carlson's disagreement with Masons is neither honorable nor honest.

The lies must be exposed, and the following excerpt by Bro .'.

DeHoyos does just that.

The Cloud of Prejudice: A Study in Anti-Masonry, by Art DeHoyos.

Paperbound, 188 pp., Kessinger Publishing, P.O. Box 160, Kila, MT

59920, Tel. 406 756-0167, $14.95. S/H $4.50 first book, each

additional book add .50 cents.

Pastor Carlson continued his sermon:

Let me read for you what Albert Pike says, page five hundred and

forty-five, concerning revealing any of the secrets, quote:

"All the mysteries should be kept concealed, guarded by faithful

silence, lest it should be inconsiderately divulged to the ears of

the Profane. He sins against God who divulges to the unworthy the

Mysteries confided to him. The danger is not merely in violating

the truth, but in telling the truth."

Albert Pike says it is a sin to divulge the truth. Now how

different this is from what we reading God's word.

Ironically, the truth is that Ron Carlson is not quoting Albert

Pike. Here is what Pike wrote in Morals and Dogma (the text omitted

by Rev. Carlson is in bold):

St. Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, who was born in 340, and died in

393, says in bis work De Mysteriis: "All the Mystery should be kept

concealed, guarded by faithful silence, lest it should be

inconsiderately divulged to the ears of the Profane .... It is not

given to all to contemplate the depths of our Mysteries . . . that

they may not be seen by those who ought not to behold them nor

received by those who cannot preserve them." And in another work:

"He sins against God, who divulges to the unworthy the Mysteries

confided to him. The danger is not merely in violating the truth,

but in telling truth, if he allow himself to gives hints of them to

those from whom they ought to be concealed .... Beware of casting

pearls before swine! Every Mystery ought to be kept secret and, as

it were, to be covered over by silence, lest it should rashly be

divulged to the ears of the Profane. Take heed that you do not

incautiously reveal the Mysteries!"

Pike was clearly quoting St. Ambrose on what he taught regarding

the Christian Mysteries. It was, we find, a Christian Father who

said it was a sin to tell the truth and we here discover that the

Pastor himself becomes guilty of what he alleges the Masonic

authorities do-he lies to the unwitting.

Rev. Carlson further compounds his deception as he gleefully tells

his audience that

Albert Pike says it is a sin to divulge the truth. Now how

different this is from what we read in God's word. Jesus says, "You

shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." Jesus

said, "I am the Truth." He said, "Go unto all the world and

proclaim this good news." But the Masons say, "No, it is a sin for

you to reveal truth."

If we analyze Pastor Carlson's statement we find:

(1) He claims to be quoting Albert Pike when he was in fact quoting

st. Ambrose, a Christian church Father.

(2) He claims that the supposed words of Pike represent Masonic

teachings by stating, "But the Masons say ...."

(3) He ignores that Pike wrote in his Preface that "every one is

entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem

to be untrue or unsound."

If unchecked, the subtle manipulation of source material aids both

the construction and destruction of the ersatz Albert Pike by

allowing the Pastor to build on a false premise.

The type of slanted truth, half truth, or outright untruth

demonstrated in this one passage is rampant throughout Ron

Carlson's work. Also, such twisting of fact is typical of the

writings of other anti-Masonic authors.

Whether their intent is to deceive or they are deceived themselves

by their biased view of Freemasonry, anti-Masonic writers, when

their works are carefully analyzed, only prove one fact, the

validity of the Latin motto Magna est Veritas et prevalabit, Great

is Truth and will prevail.

Truth, like joy, can usually be discovered at its source-within.

William Arthur Ward, 32d
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