I have decided to present examples of Freemasonry once a week in Pop Culture. Freemasonry and Fraternal Organizations, in general, have played as backdrops for many movies, books, and television programs. Whether it be the "Water Buffaloes" or "The Stone Cutters", creative types have used these organizations to show secrecy, reverence and just plain buffoonery.
My First example is an old classic from the Simpsons, "Homer the Great." Homer wants to know why his friends are capable of getting great perks.
Homer then becomes curious about the secret society that they belong, the Stonecutters.
Homer is then allowed into the Stonecutters through his father. At Homer's first meeting, the famous Stonecutters song is sung.
Homer learns the benefits of membership in the Stonecutters.
Homer fails in his Stonecutters duty and is kicked out of the Club.
He is invited back in after the birthmark is discovered.
After Homer decides to leave the Club, Marge decides to create the exclusive Simpson Club so that Homer has a feeling of belonging. The episode is obviously a lampoon of Freemasonry and Fraternal clubs in general. I have no qualms with the Simpsons introducing this very humorous concept. The Stonecutters drink and eat excessively and sing hilarious songs of what they control. Homer was restricted from a young age from joining clubs and finally feels a sense of belonging. It is his manners that get him in trouble and requires him to reassess who he becomes acquainted with in his life.
It may appear during the episode that Freemasons are being insulted and presented as the punching bag. However, I would say that there is a much deeper question explored in this episode. Homer seeks a club because he feels lonely and is unable to find the love and respect that he believes he is not getting at home. Homer does not realize that, for a man like him, that it is his family that will provide the best group to foster those feelings of togetherness.
Freemasonry gives men the opportunity to share in collegial feelings amongst men desirous to make the world better. The Stonecutters have a very minor similarity to the Freemasons. Many Lodges do not allow drinking within their Lodges, table lodges excepted. (If you would like better examination of Alcohol in the Lodge, click here.)
I really believe that we, as Freemasons, seek more than just alcohol and arcane ritual. Many of my brothers seek to know more about history and meanings behind Masonry. We seek a place of Fraternal ties where religion and politics can not be discussed. A society of brothers that seek to aid each other and others in the community to make our world a better place and making good men better. Although I find the Stonecutters episode particularly funny, the content concerning secret societies does not change my opinion that Freemasonry is one of the best institutions to have been created and has done many good deeds for the world community.
Stay Tuned next week for more exciting pop culture.