Knights Templars to Freemasons

A few of you have expressed interest in knowing a little about the fraternity known as the Masons. As usual, anything so steeped in mystery creates monsters & legends for the uninitiated to fear and loathe. So, for no other reason than that you, my readers, and some of you my friends, albeit via the blog o' sphere, having asked questions and having shown some interest, I will try and supply you with a brief run down on my perspective on this "Secret Society."

In 1717 Britain, organized speculative Masons (as opposed to operative or working masons) emerged as a fraternity to inspire Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth; also known also as Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. It is known as "A system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."

One might ask, "Why? Isn't this just another religion or perhaps a substitute for those that have no religion?"

If you had to put a name to the most violent and divisive power in all of history, you would have to conclude that it has been religion in general or perhaps more specifically, the religious leaders of history that have set up their seat of power in the name and the reigning blessings of God. For if God be for us, who can be against us? Remember the bumper sticker, "QUESTION AUTHORITY"? Throughout the world's history, this has been totally anathema and is to this day a daily battle. When you link those that profess to speak for God with their laws and their religious rule, who dares to question. Who dares to question God or his vicar assigned to speak for him?

Fundamentalism equals authoritarian rule within the structure of any organization. Its power is magnified tenfold when The name of God is aligned with those that are in power; the evidence of which everyone can agree.

Can you imagine a time where everyone save the very few lived and labored entirely for the Pope or the King? If you were freeborn, you earned a very meager wage and earned nothing if you were not. You had no rights and found yourself hungry most of the time. If you were found hunting on the land of the King, the Church or that of a Lord, you could be executed. Criticizing the Church could bring the penalty of having your lips cut off.

Imagine being part of a group that followed the dictates of the Church with fervour. Where every waking hour is devotion to the wishes and directives of the Pope and the King, who holds his throne only through the graces of the Church. Imagine killing or dying, undergoing hardship and trial, ever trusting and loyal to the Pope, the Church, the King. Never daring to question authority; for in so doing you question God. Imagine knowing that you have been faithful, loyal, dedicated, self flagellating, ever seeking to mold yourself into a perfect soldier of Christ. Then imagine that the Pope, the Church and the King seek your arrest and accuse you of blasphemy and homosexual acts. Accuse you of outright heresy? Imagine the Pope assembling the finest group of torturers whose goal was to inflict suffering bringing the tortured to death's doorstep. Argumentum ad baculum (for an interesting look at the logic of the Church's zeal. Remind you of anyone? or anything?)

Imagine then, the shocked and betrayed accused, hiding and seeking asylum, bewildered by the result of their loyalty and devotion. This, I believe, is the beginning, the root of these rights; which need to be fought for again and again with every shift of political and religious power.

Right for all people to vote for their representatives
Right against self-incrimination
Freedom of religion and press
Equality of all persons before the law
No judgment touching life, liberty or property but by jury trial
Abolition of capital punishment except for murder
No military conscription of conscientious objectors
No monopolies, tithes, or excise taxes
Taxation proportionate to real or personal property
Grading of punishments to fit the crime
Abolition of imprisonment for debt

I believe that the root our Constitution's entire Bill of Rights
could trace their heritage to this period in history AND to the birth of the fraternity that we now know as the Freemasons.

In 1685 the last claim of a Catholic to the British throne fell apart. In 1701 it was made law that the British Royal Family would be members of the Church of England. Shortly thereafter the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of London was formed and much of the need for secrecy and the horror of the Inquisition was dimmed but not entirely eliminated.
To be cont'd????


Mystic Wing said…
Glad you're back in the blogosphere, Tim. We were starting to worry.

I confess to knowing very little about the masons, so this was an interesting explanation.

I had always heard freemasonry had roots back much further in medieval Europe—I heard a scholar once descibe the symbols from medieval alchemy that were found in the modern freemasonry literature. Then again, that may simply be evidence of the human fondness for making things more complicated than they are.
Jess said…
i've been absent, but continue, continue!! i LOVE reading about this!

so...the book "angels and demons" ... is that fact or fiction? and do freemasons have anything to do with illuminati?

i have lots more studying to do. i've been swamped with something called "life" lately. maybe you've heard of it?