I was tickled when I saw the title of Freemasonry: Shattering The Myth on AskMen.com. The article claims to debunk some common myths about Freemasonry, but instead perpetuates some weird inaccuracies, including some I haven't heard before. "Possession of a Masonic Bible is required for membership," claims the author. I guess I'm not a real Mason, then.
Later on he repeats the standard bit about Freemasonry being persecuted by dictators and religious regimes, which is certainly mostly true, but also gets a few more things wrong, such as his claim that, "The bad rap Freemasonry received, which has fueled conspiracy theories for years, goes back to 1827." The author's research doesn't seem to have been very thorough. Anti-Masonic sentiments go back much further than that, and in fact there was at least one tract against the fraternity published before we went public in 1717. The article wraps up with some more misinformation, and perpetuates the anti-Catholic myth during its conclusion. I'm glad Freemasonry is getting some publicity, but give me a break! Maybe they'll use more facts next time, or have one of the world's five million Freemasons double-check the information they've gathered.
The Sacramento Bee, on the other hand, featured a great article yesterday. Inside the Masonic Temple is a touching visit to the Masonic Temple Building in downtown Sacramento. The story is one that is undoubtedly familiar to many Masons, such as the brethren of Sunnyside Lodge No. 163 whom I featured in one of my earliest articles: a beautiful building is falling into decay, and the Brethren fight for its upkeep. The author has some nice things to say about the Sacramento building. The photo gallery accompanying the article is worth seeing, as well.
One of the five-story building's most remarkable features is its extensive terra cotta ornamentation. Statues of Knights Templar, eyes cast down and holding shields, adorn the ground floor, while cupids cavort above each window. The terra cotta and brick exterior is glazed a coppery green.Those interested in helping the Sacramento Masonic Temple may want to take a look at the Sacramento Masonic Fund Raiser page, which is attempting to raise $26,000 to help restore the beautiful building. You can also read their excellent article about the building.