I have decided to republish a great comment to my post, Be Prepared, Not Afraid, by Worshipful Brother David Wells of Virginia. He is a Past Master of Taylor Lodge #23 of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. Worshipful Brother Wells has presented great answers to questions that may soon be posed to each one of us.
I think we should have someone in the media who is a brother mason to propose questions that local lodges could be called by local media to answer after the book comes out. Help our lodge leaders be prepared for the questions that will or could come. Questions like:
So they say Freemasonry is a secret organization are you?
Like many groups we have organizational secrets, modes of recognition such as our handshakes, words so we may recognize another brother Mason as we say in the light as in the darkness, literally. These were not developed just for the fun of it, they were developed over time for reasons. Early operative Masons (those who practiced the trade of building the great building of Europe) were had learned the building trade skills used in the construction of cathedral and castles were given special or secret words only known to other tradesman so they could travel throughout the land to practice their trade freely, therefore the name Freemasons. During earlier wartimes in other countries many lodges and brethren had their lodges destroyed and property confiscated and destroyed as Freemasons are viewed as a threat to totalitarian and dictatorial regimes. Today we use words and signs and handshakes to identify one another and to remind ourselves we can once again become the targets of those who oppose a free government and a free people.
Do you prohibit those of different faiths from joining?
No, we have members in our lodges locally, regionally or statewide who are Christian, Jewish & Catholic just to name a few. Our fraternity only requires a belief in God. I am a member of my lodge for fraternal fellowship & brotherhood; to explore how to make myself and others a better man by studying our Masonic ritual and exploring from an educational perspective what our symbols represent. I attend my church, temple or synagogue for a greater understand and search for my personal salvation. My salvation and grace come from my personal relationship I work on with God, my fraternal fellowship with brother Masons.
Do you allow only white males to join your lodge?
Most all Grand Lodges (Each state has its own Grand Lodge and governs it own jurisdiction) no longer discriminate based on race and culture. Like many organizations, both fraternal and otherwise in the past have discriminated against individuals for reasons that today we find blatantly wrong. Was it right then, we leave to antiquity but we continue to education ourselves and membership. Just like life we as individuals and organizations change and grow. That is what makes us human, at the same time always searching our past to take good men and make them better. That is what we do. Have we always been right, no, are we always searching for ways to make ourselves better, YES!
Who are your members? Are their any members of local government who are members of your lodge?
Our lodges consist of your neighbors, co-workers, and family members both present and past. We have everyone from governmental leaders in our ranks, to labors. That is what makes us unique, all men meet on the same level when we are in lodge and how we treat one another in our community and our life. No matter your occupation, your age you are no better than the next brother.
These are just a sample of some of the questions. Ask the hard questions; help formulate replies to these questions using bridging techniques of communication. You do not have to answer each question direct, although most of the above you can without any problem. How do you reframe the question? How to expand the question to inform the audience of what we do, not just what the interviewer has asked.
What are your questions? What do you think will be asked by your local media? Help us all be prepared to help our communities understand who we are, what we stand for in our towns, cities, shires and states.
WB David would also like to share with you his Twitter account if you would like to follow him: @DavidWellsVA Thank you WB David again for this great response. It was timely and good. Now that we have seen the novel from Dan Brown, it's the time to get ourselves into action. The Relevant Mason has posted a great article about what we need to do entitled, "Dan Brown Got it Right". Thanks to brother Porter for his great article.