Way back in September of 2003, I received an email from WB William R. Sproles, Past Master of Marine Lodge in Massachusetts, regarding an old journal entry. Here's what he had to say:
I have a minor correction for your page. The pictures of the mural in Marine Lodge's Dining Hall are a great link. We are very proud of Mari's work and miss seeing her next door after meetings. However, the GL of Mass. does not use lodge numbers (the only state in the Union that doesn't & a long story). Massachusetts was also responsible for defeating the formation of a GL of USA by the original 13 colonies (thus maintaining MA as the 3rd ranking GL in the world, behind the GLs of Scotland & England). The 200 indicated on the pages refers to Marine Lodge's 200th Anniversary. It being originally chartered in 1798. We are also quite proud of the jewels worn by our officers which were crafted by MW Paul Revere.Non-Masons may wonder about the significance of the idea of a Grand Lodge of the United States. Freemasonry in the United States is organized in such a way that each state has its own Grand Lodge, and each is entirely autonomous. No state can tell another what to do, although in the past we've seen political moves, such as the suspension of recognition, used to influence unruly jurisdictions which drift away from the Ancient Landmarks.
In more troubling Masonic news, there has been discord and controversy brewing in the Grand Lodge of Missouri. I do not have all of the details, but you can read about it on the MoMason.net Web Board, in particular this topic. Here is what it has to say:
The Grand Master of Missouri, M.W.B. Stanley Thompson, during and after his Official visit to Richmond Lodge (at the Camden Masonic Temple), made derogatory statements regarding Paganism and those who may consider themselves Pagans within the Masonic Fraternity. The leader of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, while representing himself in the position of Grand Master, openly stated to those in attendance that "Pagans are Satanist" and that Pagans "lie at the alter" when they profess a belief in God.This country is supposed to pride itself on its commitment to personal freedom, especially freedom of religion. Above all, Freemasonry is supposed to be a shining beacon of the celebration of religious tolerance, above and beyond that grand example set by our Constitution and Bill of Rights. That this fundamental and precious principle could be threatened and cast aside by one so prominent in our fraternity brings me a great deal of sadness and shame. I truly hope that the Grand Lodge of Missouri will be able to work through this and that the Light of Freemasonry will shine there once more.