Are we becoming open and available or are we just revealing everything? I have been trawling Google News about Freemasonry and I have noticed a recurring theme: Masonic Lodges are opening their doors and letting the public see who we are. Here is my take: Good. No, no, that's not it, ahh... finally.
Why do I say this? It had been years upon years that Freemasons were the cornerstone of society, builders of great structures, laborers seeking to improve the world around them. For years, just doing the work was enough. Time has not been as kind to us as we had wished.
During the 1960's and 70's, Freemasonry was colored in a hue of dust. Baby Boomers did not join Freemasonry in the numbers that their fathers or grandfathers did. As such, Freemasonry entered a period of decline where there were only a few to mind the shop. Grand Lodges were scrambling to find ways to stop the hemorrhaging including One Day Classes, lowering the minimum age, etc. but these seem to have missed the mark as many men would demit or be dropped from the rolls. Perhaps opening the doors will give men a different and better reason to join: Social Status.
For every generation, a major reason to join Freemasonry was as a status symbol. Freemasons should be proud of their Masonic affiliation. I have always been open about my Masonic affiliation (one of my favorite Masonic moments is when I am on the train wearing my Masonic ring and receiving looks of astonishment.) and proud to explain what being a Freemason means to me. Masonry has never been secret and has never been quiet. We are loud, boisterous and proud to be an integral part of the community. We may have to take our lumps from Anti-Masons but it is better than the alternative, irrelevance.
For a list of the articles: