In another section, we've attempted to identify some commonalities in those who object to Freemasonry on religious grounds. You can read that essay by clicking here. In this section, we outline the common (and often debunked) arguments. There are so many inconsistencies in the charges they make against Freemasonry and they're put forth by a small minority who claim to have the ultimate religious knowledge (we call them 'Religious Intolerants') that it sometimes seems fruitless to disagree. However, lies and shadings of truth, when allowed to stand as if they were the truth, can ultimately be perceived as such.
The charges against the fraternity take different tacks. Below, you can click on various links to read about them:
In reality, though, these arguments really reflect different views of the same argument:
We need a villain - and you're it!
Trying to respond
When first confronted with any/all of the claims above, most Freemasons are either mildly amused or completely 'turned off'. Why? Because they know that these silly charges are simply not true. When faced with the earnestness and perseverance of the argument's proponent, regardless of any information given to them, the Freemason often becomes defensive or angry: Can't this person see the truth???
Dismissive or argumentative responses often result. Regrettably though, such actions can serve to confirm in the mind of the person presenting the claim - regardless of how ludicrous - that there must be some truth to it, else there would be a total refutation provided. Masons too can innocently confuse the naive inquirer who is simply repeating something which s/he has understood with someone having an 'agenda' of anti-Masonic action.
Freemasonry has for some 300 years simply ignored its detractors. Having an 'official position' on people who charge that Masons are in league with space aliens or that Masons are plotting to overthrow the worlds' governments seems just too foolish for the organization to even consider acknowledging. (For the record: no, we're not in league with space aliens nor are we planning any sort of world domination!)
Those who are Freemasons look around in their Lodge to see peace and harmony. They see men of various religious and political persuasions working together for the good of all. They see charity at so many levels. Why would anyone find this offensive - particularly someone who has never been inside a lodge and works only from hearsay and/or hatred?
In some cases, it seems as if certain so-called religious groups want to tear everyone else down in order to make themselves look better. Unable to compete, it's easier to disparage.
In the final analysis, it returns - we believe - to the same argument:
We need a villain - and you're it!
The summary? Freemasonry is neither a religion nor does it take a position vis-à-vis ANY religion. A member's religious beliefs are his own and while some detractors would want Masonry to mold itself into their interpretation of 'truth' - or see the organization as a threat - the fact remains that Freemasonry is a fraternity of like-minded men dedicated to the ideals of brotherly love, relief and truth.
Updated 9 March 2006 and a few times thereafter
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