I like MW Charvonia. He is, as best as I can observe from my few interactions with him, a great guy. It pains me to critique his Recommendation no. 10, but he is attempting to make innovations, which he once admitted was beyond his power. Combined with his Recommendation no. 8, we can be sure to look forward to a plethora of non-Western brothers feeling right at home in our Lodges as soon as they step off the boat. 

I wrote about this once before. Thankfully, it did not pass our super majority threshold. But it got enough votes to rise again. Here are some (edited) remarks I had hoped to give, but I was a day late and a dollar short: 

…. As Masons, we always respect the office, but I also respect the man. But as deplorable as it may seem, I will offer the following: 

I have heard many thoughts on this matter. Here are a few:

  • That this is an innovation in the body of Masonry – a violation of our oaths. 
  • That this is right, because Masonry has no ties to Christianity
  • That this resolution is a whitewashing our history in America in the name of political correctness
  • That this resolution recognizes the inclusiveness of Masonry
  • This resolution will wreak havoc on our ritual, and we will need to revisit many of the stories in our ritual on account of their ethnocentrism. 
  • That we should just begin referring to those two eminent patrons as the two dudes John. 

I don’t know if I’m qualified to say whether any of these perspectives is on the mark, but what I do know for certain is that this recommendation is a solution desperately in search of a problem. Show me the problem. I have attended degrees featuring several different holy books. The _________________ had participants from at least 4 continents. Where is the exclusion? That the words “Holy Bible” are spoken? If it doesn’t fix a problem, we can think of it as a feel-good measure, one that suggests, but does not say that our fraternity is deficient for referring to our founding fathers’ Holy Bible. 

These types of initiative, when we find them in other spheres of life, are often presented in a Narrative of oppressor vs. oppressed. I am pleased to see that this recommendation was not framed this way, but the (((kinship))) is plain to see to anyone willing to see it. 

We can’t even agree on The Moral Law; so much so, that we suspended recognition of other American GLs. I wonder if this is the time or place to even contemplate such a change. 
I will leave the floor with this: MW, you may remember a number of years ago when an atheist made the news after suing the government to remove the words “in God we trust” from our currency…No doubt he too saw his effort as a positive affirmation of America’s inclusiveness. A lesson that we needed to learn. He wanted to impose his values on us. His suit failed. I hope the brethren see to it that this recommendation fails as well.

The Ritual Commitee is in the bag for Charvonia. The Legislative committee is in the bag for Charvonia. R. Stephen Doan is in the bag for Charvonia. John Cooper is in the bag for Charvonia. The Grand Lodge has abandoned you, brother. What have you to say?