Freemasonry is the world’s oldest (3,000 years old) and largest (6 million members worldwide) fraternity. Freemasons believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man (Paternus Deus Humana Fraternitas).
Who are Freemasons?
Many of our founding fathers were Freemasons. George Washington was the first of 14 Presidents of the United States to be a member of the fraternity, as well as 13 signers of the Constitution. In more recent history members of the fraternity include President Truman, General Douglas McArthur, numerous astronauts, entertainers, and sports figures. More importantly, millions of men such as yourself.
Freemasonry enjoys over three million members world wide and draws to it’s ranks men from every profession and occupation, all meeting on the “Level.” While each man may have his own religious and political views and opinions, they all share one common bond, the belief in one God, and the need to treat each man with brotherly love and affection.
What are the qualifications?
It is the internal and not the external qualifications that should recommend a man to be a Mason. It does not consider any man for his worldly wealth or honor as a qualification for membership. Nor does it place any requirements on a man’s political or religious affiliations. Masonry seeks to “make good men better.” It therefore looks to those men who have already demonstrated strong moral background, and exemplary character. In Maryland a candidate for Masonry must also be at least 18 years of age, and must profess his belief in a Supreme Being as no atheist can be made a Mason.
Anyone seeking membership into Freemasonry should first seek out a Masonic friend to recommend him. He must first sign a petition on which he states his name, age, occupation, and place of residence, as well as his belief in a Supreme Being. This petition will be investigated and brought before the members of the Lodge who will vote by secret ballot. To be accepted, the results of this ballot must be unanimous. In the event that you do not have a member of the fraternity in your circle of friends and acquaintances, it is recommended that you contact the email address above, or the Grand Lodge for further assistance at: –add phone number and email–.
Is Freemasonry a Religion
Absolutely not, it is the oldest and largest fraternity in the world, and only a fraternity – Freemasonry requires a belief in a Supreme Being to become a member, and accepts men of any faith. It does not try to compete with religion. Instead, the fraternity strongly encourages you to be active in the church of your choice, and pursue your own religious beliefs. The prayers we use to open and close a Lodge meeting are non-denominational as we have members who embrace different faiths.
What About the Derogatory Comments Found On The Internet
You may have noticed that these sites never include a way of contacting them, unless that is, when they wish to sell you books, CDs or tapes espousing sensationalism – many make a living out of defaming the fraternity. To get factual information regarding their ridiculous allegations, take a look at http://www.indianafreemasons.com/imoanti/detract.html – it gives a good perspective on our feelings on religion in the Lodge room.
Learning about the Fraternity
If you are interested in learning more about Freemasonry there are over 50,000 books published on the subject, some of which may be found in your local libraries. Feel free to contact the Masonic Lodge in your area, or the Office of the Grand Lodge of Maryland in Cockeysville, Md. at the above number.
Two excellent books that you may wish to read are The Pilgrim’s Path, written by John J. Robinson, who, after several years of researching the fraternity, became so impressed with it that he petitioned a Lodge and became a member; the other is very new on the market, and is one of the “Dummy” series – Freemasons for Dummies is the title, and is easy reading and very informative. It also explores and explodes the falsehoods about the fraternity.
-Info Post requested by WM Dan Melton (2009)