A poster to the alt.freemasonry Usenet newsgroup asked - in a very accusatory way - why the Masons limited their hospital services to children. Why not serve adults as well? Was it that they wanted to brainwash the children?
First, the charge is inaccurate. While many of the Masonic family's most visible charities are those that include children, there are a great number which do not concentrate on minors. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is designed to help those with seeing difficulties, the Grotto has an amazing and worthwhile program to provide dental care to the handicapped, and there have long been research programs such as the Masonic Cancer Research Center. But the focus on children is strong because they are - in essence - those in society least able to cope for themselves.
Further, it seems ludicrous that someone should even ask such a question and we can easily turn such a question to them: why did the poster only give 10% to their church last year (if, indeed, they did): why not 50%? Why not give 50% to EVERY church? And why stop at churches? Why didn't they give to every single charity in the world as well? Why aren't they working for free full-time for a charity? And if for that charity, why not ten thousand others.
The answer is obvious - to all but the person who tried, in a very feeble way, to 'make a case' and draw some attention to themselves. Priorities are set and decisions as to effectiveness can/must be made. As but one example: when the Shrine decided to build its first children's orthopaedic hospital, what was the leading cause of death among children? Answer: polio - which both killed and crippled. When they decided to further expand their hospital program (as polio by that time had been 'conquered' with much credit due to their pioneering work), what was the single largest cause of death among children? Burns! With available resources, you attempt to find needs which can be addressed. Freemasonry has done just that.
Sometimes anti-Masonry can be funny - and would be so if it weren't attempting to destroy an organization that can stand toe-to-toe with any charity or humanitarian agency throughout the world over the past three hundred years!
Interested in what Freemasonry does support? Check out our Charities section!
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