Friday, September 25, 2009
I had posted awhile back on another site about the Swedish Rite, which is practiced in Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. Let me say that I have nothing against the Scandinavians, and I am sure that there are many outstanding brothers in those jurisdictions.
I do have issue though with the fact that the Swedish Rite is only open to Christians. I see this as contrary to the traditional practice of Freemasonry. Even in the US, and England, which are bastions of conservatism regarding Masonic practice, no man can be denied Masonic membership on the basis of his religion.
By any standard, this is a violation of one of the Landmarks of Freemasonry. What if the Grand Lodge of Israel were to announce that only members of the Jewish faith could join? What if the Grand Lodge of Italy were to announce that membership was only available to Roman Catholics?
What if the Grand Lodge of Mississippi were to state that only White men could join..................?
When the Grand Orient of France decided that whether or not a man believed in God was a matter of personal conscience, and should not be asked as a condition of membership, the United Grand Lodge of England, acting "shocked" at such an offense, cut off all recognition.
Their supporters, in lock step, fell into line and denounced the Grand Orient as well. Any complaints about those Grand Lodges that discriminated on the basis of religion, or race? None.
Throughout the world, the UGLE has set up puppet Grand Lodges where there have been Grand Lodges, and Grand Orients for centuries, something that the U.S. Grand Lodges would consider to be a violation of Territorial Exclusivity.
Somehow, when the UGLE does it, it is alright. Since the United Grand Lodge of England decides who is a "real" Mason, and who is not, that apparently, gives them the right to establish lodges wherever they wish, regardless how long other Grand Lodges have existed there.
My point here is that the U.S. Grand Lodges, the largest and wealthiest of the Grand Lodges in the world, should stop kowtowing to the UGLE. Freemason's Hall in London is not the Vatican. The Grand Master of the UGLE is not the Pope.
It is hypocrisy to recognize jurisdictions that are restricted to a particular religion, or race, while severing relations with the Grand Orient of France, not to mention the Grand Lodge of France, which is "regular" in every sense of the word.