What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies, whose members are concerned with moral and spiritual values. Freemasonry teaches its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms and use stonemason's customs and tools as allegorical guides.
The essential qualification for admission is a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is open to men of any race or religion who can fulfill this essential qualification and are of good repute. Although it has a religious basis Freemasonry is neither a religion in itself nor a substitute for religion.
It expects its members to follow their own faith. It has no theology or dogma and by forbidding the discussion of religion at its meetings prevents the development of any dogma. Nor is there a separate Masonic god.
The use of honorifics, such as the Great Architect, is simply to enable men of different faiths to meet together, offer prayers and address their God without differences of religion obtruding. To the Christian the Great Architect is his God; to the Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim etc. he is the God of his particular religion.
Freemasonry is not a secret society. Its aims, principles, constitutions and rules are available to the public and its members are at perfect liberty to acknowledge their membership. Freemason's are proud of the membership and often proudly display their membership with masonic rings, clothing, and automobile decals. The only secrets in Freemasonry are the traditional modes of recognition.
A Freemason is taught that his prime duties are to his God, to the laws of the country in which he lives and works, and to his family . Any attempt to use his membership to promote his own or anyone else's business, professional or personal interests, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonorably or unlawfully, is contrary to the conditions on which he seeks admission.
By following the three Great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth a Freemason hopes to show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others; to practice charity within the community as a whole both by charitable giving and voluntary efforts; and to strive to attain truth and high moral standards in his own life.
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