No, this post isn’t prompted by the recent Roseanne or Samantha Bee language furor. These incidents only prompted me to write some thoughts swirling around in my head for a week or two caused by a Facebook friend request – by a Mason.
Several weeks ago, I received a friend request and as I always do before blindly accepting, did a small bit of research to see who this man is. Typically, I go to the person’s profile, look at some posts, look at those who have already become his friend and then make a judgment whether to accept or not.
This time I didn’t get past the cover photo on his page which displayed a meme that used the F-word about 5 or 6 times. Also, very prominent, was the square and compasses.
Several years ago, I encountered a profanity-laced, public rant by a man I knew to be a Mason. It disturbed me so that I sent him a private message reminding him of his obligations to maintain the character and dignity of the fraternity. His reply further shocked me as I was told by him to mind my own business and then questioned why I felt the need to even bring it up to him. When I replied that I was just providing “wise counsel” to a Brother, he indignantly questioned my use of the ritual to correct his foul language.
A 2016 survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 25% of the American public admits to daily use of the f-word, an increase of 10 points since a similar survey conducted in 2006. It also revealed that 34% of the people surveyed, admit using profanity in public sometimes.
Frankly, I can think of no justification for the use of the word. As a Mason, I can think of multiple reasons not to use it.
The one that comes to mind for me is the white, lambskin apron – a reminder of a “purity of life and rectitude of conduct” and “a never-ending argument for nobler deeds, for higher thoughts…”
How does the F-word achieve these aspirations? Simple, it doesn’t.