Thursday, April 2, 2009

Returning to Masonic DEFCON 5

I have been informed that the resolution passed in the 156th Annual Grand Lodge Communication which would have our Grand Lodge investigate and make a recommendation on withdrawing recognition of the Grand Lodge of West Virginia has been rescinded by our Most Worshipful Grand Master. The edict presented today shows that just as there are two sides to every court case, there are two sides to every action in Masonry. In fact, the Grand Lodge of West Virginia has presented their side complete with their Appeals and Grievances Committee report to our Grand Lodge. Although there remain unanswered questions, I am willing to admit that as it is in the civil court system of the state of West Virginia, they are in the best position to determine the truth. The edict, itself, could go down as one of the best written Masonic jurisprudence documents of its time. I want to thank MWB McCarthy for having a cooler head than most when it came down to this issue.

I still admit that I see merit in MWB Haas' plea to the brethren but I understand why this resolution must not stand. There is, in fact, a court case going forward at this moment. There are still unanswered questions but there is a wise Judge presiding over that case that will sort through the arguments made. Also, it is bad form to attack a Grand Lodge when this is exact action has happened before to us, i.e. Grande Loge de France. The most important argument to me is that the resolution is far too vague to even give any guidance to the External Committee, the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. In the law, vagueness and or overbreadth are two ways that a statute cannot stand. When a law is vague, it is nearly impossible to apply and is almost assuredly going to be unfairly applied to someone. All in all, MWB McCarthy has shown that good legal research and argument as well as good sound judgment can keep brothers from doing something rash. My sincere hope is that there is a just and rational determination made by both parties to resolve this case. I know that I am backtracking and sounding like a hypocrite which is fair to say but as the old song goes, "what a diff'rence a day made." Here is the full text of the edict signed by MWGM Tom McCarthy.

And as my Grand Master has talked us off the ledge, I have decided to include a classic WKRP in Cincinnati episode about a ledge and a newsman known as Les.

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