Friday, September 12, 2008
Pop Culture and Freemasonry: National Treasure
National Treasure. Prod. Jerry Bruckheimer, Dir. Jon Turteltaub, Perf. Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha. DVD. Walt Disney Pictures, 2004.
I have decided to bring up the movie that, in conjunction with the book, "The Da Vinci Code", has seemingly brought Freemasonry back from obscurity. National Treasure is a movie that combines the Masonic Fraternity with the theories of the Knights Templar and the Ancient Egyptians.
As I am sure that every person that is reading this blog has seen this movie at least once, I will take the analysis of this movie in a different direction. The movie concerns a lost treasure (similar to Oak Island) and the subsequent quest to recover it. How has the movie impacted Masonic discourse? I believe it has changed the way in which our Fraternity looks at itself. Before, Freemasonry was concerned primarily with the first two tenets, Brotherly Love and Relief. What had been missing was Truth. Young men coming to the Craft today are seeking the Truth in the form of symbolism, and secrecy that had once been equal to the other two beliefs but has lately been ignored or shelved in the interest of charity and fraternity.
When this movie came out, there was a dramatic shift, or to put it more correctly, a realignment of our Craft. Thankfully, Masonic education is now on the lips of brothers throughout the world. We are all seeking what has been lost. With this new focus on learning that has been encouraged, indirectly, through movies such as "National Treasure", we, as Lodges, must be willing to take a "softball" and knock it outta the park.
One of the best methods is to present a short presentation about Masonic history at every meeting, stated meeting or otherwise. These presentations need not be long. In fact, fifteen minutes is all you really need to get the brothers excited.
Even presenting this movie in Lodge can give brothers a reinvigorated sense of why they are Freemasons. For it is worth, this movie has helped present Freemasonry in a positive light and has encouraged brothers to reassess what Freemasonry is to them.