The first link in the chain is forged, or is it merely a reaction to factionalism? 

RESOLUTION NO. 16-04: ALLOWS ADDITIONAL EXCEPTION TO BALLOT SECRECY

The proponents of this Resolution seek to allow an exception to the rule on ballot secrecy when reporting, preparing, investigating
and/or adjudicating charges of alleged unmasonic conduct relating to a ballot.


I have been concerned for a long time about the clear, but indirectly spoken desire of the Grand Lodge to remove our traditional balloting process. I have written about this before. This, my brothers – absent real examples of real and recurring problems – is an attempt by the authors to impose their values on you, or at least to circumscribe your actions. Don’t let my wording fool you. Mason’s circumscribe their own actions; we are not taught to circumscribe others (at least without a very pressing need). Does this rise to the occasion? Perhaps. I am interested to know what problems prompted the resolution.

If this is a result of ONOB and their tribal, identity-based politicking, then I may recommend a yes vote. I know we don’t approve of such politics in the Lodge, but you and I both know, dear brother, that there are those who engage in such politics anyway. Alas, the section of “whereas-es” is filled with justifications that don’t get at those real examples we should like to hear. 

This is a Masonic example of relinquishing freedom for the sake of the illusion of security. You encounter this when you have to submit to the TSA’s porno-scanners and remove your shoes before boarding a plane. Since we can’t ever notice significant details about who might be more likely to wage jihad, we must require all native-born Americans to jump through hoops. If we notice certain foreign groups commit violence against Westerners, maybe don’t let them into Western lands. 

Accordingly, we must never notice who in our fraternity are the most likely to lie and cheat when it comes to the ballot box. No, to do that may be considered racist (which is, or should be, described in the Code as “Super un-Masonic Conduct”). Rather than notice inconvenient facts and (maybe?) take actions to contain the problem, we write burdensome rules, which will never fix the problems they purport to solve. Sounds a lot like the TSA, no? 

However, if there is no problem of the sort I have described, we should reject this resolution. Do not doubt that there are those who would like to remove the ballot box completely. They don’t trust you to vote the best interests of your Lodge. If they find that you have refused entry to someone for reasons beyond criminal law (the Moral Law? What is this, the olden days?), they will expel you. They will call you all the usual names on your way out: xenophobe, homophobe, racist. Don’t you know it’s The Current Year?

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