As the unrest, the protests, and the seemingly endless display of divisive rhetoric and behavior envelop us all, I have been asking myself, “what should our behavior be as Masons in response?”
I have read the words of men whom I know to be Masons suggesting that I ignore guidance from experts or disobey the orders from government officials. There are those trying to convince me my rights are being violated, and I am a victim of a suppressive government.
All of these behaviors seem in violation of what I believe Masonry has taught me about being a citizen.
You don’t have to look too far to find guidance – there is a whole section in James Anderson’s Ancient Charges, or you can find advice in the charge at the end of the EA degree.
Both of these references ask me to be a peaceful citizen and graciously submit to legal authority. Anderson also tells me that I am not to concern myself with “conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the nation…”
Does submission to legal authority mean that I blindly do what my government tells me to do?
Not at all. As a Mason, my obligation requires me to seek the truth. A search for truth requires investigation, the acquisition of facts, and the application of discernment and reason. I must do so without bias.
I must be an informed citizen who, after the acquisition of the proper knowledge, may disagree with my government’s decision but must have trust that those who lead have made decisions for the general welfare of society.
Finally, I believe that more accomplishment and value will come from dialogue with “well-informed Brethren” than shouting my displeasure in public.