A loose historical prospectus

You might come to the conclusion - that I am concluding this brief line of thought regarding vehicles with a determination that Freemasonry is in some way conclusive. I am not. The line that I am trying to trace is one of an experience that has often been clouded by This Being Human....where I would too often see greed and passions veiling high ideals and professions of morality and enlightenment. In this, I am included.
Freemasonry has been historically, a kind of cease fire.
In the building of that grand structure that we have come to know as the Church, beginning with the Church of Rome, it is clear that the Church must dominate and become the center of all. This is true of modern Christianity as well. The separation of Church and State is not in the mind of the church. It is taught that any thought that asserts itself against the current teachings of the church are Antichrist. Questioning authority is discouraged.
If you are at all familiar with the reformation and the inquisition, you know that any thought that asserted itself against the church put you in peril. After the reformation and the establishing of the Church of England, the whole cycle began again. People were tortured, sent to prison or the galleys or were outright killed for opposing the church on either side of the aisle, Protestant or Catholic.
Even before the city of Rome was built, there were guilds of Masons who were hired to build temples, cathedrals and fortifications. These grand examples of building with stone took place over more than one generation. The son filled the shoes of the father. The apprentice filled the position of the fellow craftsman. A Master Mason upheld all of the tenets established by and through the guild of Masonry. Over time, the Church began to create their own group of builders thus eliminating the need for the roaming and mysterious guild of builders and the threat that was thus contained in the separate and impenetrable force. As the need for the guild was replaced, so also was the role of apprentice, fellow craft and Master Mason and this set the table for the transformation of Masonry into the speculative Freemasonry that finally reached fruition in the 1700's.

It was as apparent then, and probably more so, as now, that there needed to be a division between Church and State in order for men to govern in a manner of equality for all. Equality has often been barred from all men based on religious reasons. God, it was reasoned, meant for us to enslave the black man, keep woman from the vote, ban same sex civil unions, lock up the mentally ill and separate the races. etc...
Separation of Church and State was born within the halls of Freemasonry. The idea of a cease fire or free from fire zone existed and helped form our Constitution. Freemasonry builds a bond of brotherhood that enables men of different faiths and political backgrounds to assemble in unity.
Although steeped in secrecy that placed it members at dire peril if said secrets were revealed, this is no longer the case. The Church, the Government, the powers that control the mechanisms of society that surround us, is no longer creating a need for us to gather in secret in "Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, and ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Or are we?
There is a Reform Freemasonry beginning to emerge as modern Freemasonry has in many ways begun to resemble Church suppers and that of local charitable organizations. Neither of which are bad, but there is a place and a time for everything under the sun.
Perhaps it is time to resurrect some of the old.

Comments

So where do you see all this heading?
{illyria} said…
hey, stranger. been missing you around.
Tim said…
Well, Mark. One can only imagine. There are persons of different "faiths" within Freemasonry. It is the Freemasonry that binds us together. I never feel comfortable in applying a label to myself. Sometimes I'm a Buddhist. Sometimes a Taoist. I never think of myself as a Christian but I do believe in a Christianity akin to a Nazarene.
But one thing is sure...at no point in my life could I have stated that in this (5,10 or 15 years)time could I have ever predicted where and what I would be and be doing. It has been a winding path....

illyria.....I lost (slap slap) you new place of residence. You must e mail your new address....I HOPE YOU SEE THIS....