Friday, August 29, 2008

Guard the West Gate?!

After reading through the blogs and boards, I have found one phrase that has been driving me insane. What is that phrase? "Guard the West Gate." Urgh!!! Every time I read that phrase, it makes me so mad that....

Argh, Nick Mad!!!!!
From whom are we guarding the West Gate? I continue to read many brothers who seek to restrict membership to the point of idiocy. They attack Shriners for being to big and they find One-Day Masons to be fake. If a brother does not attend every meeting, they believe the brother is somehow destroying Freemasonry. Now, I realize that most brothers who participate on message boards and write blogs are like myself, extremely passionate about Masonry.

It appears to me that if we are to guard the West Gate, then we must guard it from both sides, those men who really are problematic if they join the Lodge and those brothers that seek to prevent good men from entering into the Lodge. We already have ways to prevent men of questionable qualifications from entering our doors; it's called an investigation. These passionate brothers seek to close the door, leaving only a crack. They really are not seeking good men but men that are mirror images of themselves. But take a look in the mirror, are you the best man in Freemasonry? If you answered yes, I have some bad news for you, you're not . This excuse has been used for many evil purposes such as keeping good minority candidates from entering the Lodge. Yet it continues to pop up in people's arguments. It is a cliché, people.

Obviously, I do not seek to end the investigation of candidates but I suggest to those brothers on the other side of the door that they might look at themselves first before casting judgment on worthy candidates. Remember where you came from, stop and think. Unfortunately, I must end this article with another Masonic cliché. Our Fraternity seeks "to make good men better." We are not asking for Adonis only to enter the door but all good men who seek to be improved. Yet, we still hear brothers, on every blog and message board, use the excuse that we must "Guard the West Gate." They forget that we all enter into the Lodge as rough ashlars seeking to be improved. Masonry is about self-improvement and societal improvement and we, as a society, do a great job finding good men to improve.

Ahh, better.
Okay, that was cathartic. At least "The Incredible Hulk" is on,


Dan said...

Excellent Post! We must NEVER forget the symbolism of the Checkered Carpet or Tile.

Tom Accuosti said...

I have this theory. Our obs are pretty strict, and cover a lot of things.

Sociologists tell us that if you want to know what was popular in a culture, look at their taboos. So, are we to assume that many brothers were, themselves, notorious rakehells?

I think that we have the Obs that we do because our forebrothers (is there such a word?) realized that human nature is varied, and that anyone initiated was bound to be tempted by some vice?

burntloafer said...

In my short time in Masonry I have only seen a few turned away, and those were with good reason.

I think the Masons do a pretty good job with the screening process, in spite of some of the rhetoric.

This does not detract from your point. Excellent blog, as usual.

(Come on Nick, this is not what I meant when I said you ought to 'go Green'...)


LtJim said...

Excellent post. "Guarding the West Gate" will cost the Craft in ways those forcing background checks on petitioners don't even know. It's the stupidest idea since the One day class...