In an earlier entry I mentioned the difficulties that one brother was having with the Grand Lodge of Missouri, which seems to have begun discriminating against pagans by restricting their activities in the fraternity. It seems that after the Grand Master denounced paganism in an open lodge, an edict was issued which prevents lodges and individual members of the Grand Lodge of Missouri from presenting anything on the Internet "that purports in any manner whatsoever, to speak in terms of representing Missouri Freemasonry." The term "Missouri Freemasonry" does not seem to be defined in the edict, so I am not sure if it means simply the official stance of the Grand Lodge, or the general state of Freemasonry in Missouri. This part is especially troubling:
This Decision and Edict is made to prevent unauthorized Subordinate Lodges and the Members thereof from disseminating information that has not been approved as the Official Position of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri; and also, to assure that those seeking Masonic Information by visiting a Missouri Masonic Web Site receive accurate information concerning the Missouri Masonic Fraternity.My feelings on the importance of revolution and progress in our Fraternity have already been made known, so it should come as no surprise to any of my readers that this approach to controversy disturbs me greatly. Freemasonry is supposed to help us work together in harmony, but not under the heavy-handed glove of authority! Ours is an ancient fraternity founded upon the importance of individual thought and action. We are brought together to understand and benefit from one another, not to suppress ideas and information.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, our pagan brother in Missouri has demitted.
In light of this distressing turn of events, the efforts of the more liberal irregular lodges seems much nobler. The North American Freemasonic Conference, a body made up of a group of irregular Grand Lodges, has coined the term "Progressive Freemasonry". The Craft is a "progressive science" in more ways than one. Indeed, I find that calling an irregular Grand Lodge a progressive Grand Lodge goes much further toward expressing my appreciation for their efforts.
I look forward to the day when the tenets of universal Freemasonry can be approached, considered, and perhaps even adopted by all regular Grand Lodges.
This entry was updated to reflect some changed URLs.