Bro Alex Davidson Past Master, United Masters Lodge no. Past Master, Lodge of the Liberal Arts no. The newly-made mason quickly assimilates the admonitions of the Craft.
He has been instructed never to propose, or at all countenance, any act that may subvert the peace and good order of society, and to pay due obedience to the laws of the state. He is directed to abstain from discussing any political or religious topic in the lodge, and, by inference, at the meal or supper which follows the meeting. If he eventually assumes the chair of K.
Ancient Charges and Regulations, the third of which enjoins him not to be concerned in plots or conspiracies against government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme legislature. He receives the approbation of his peers if he is a peaceable subject and law-abiding citizen. In the course of his endeavours to make a daily advancement in masonic knowledge, our hypothetical mason finds that the Craft has ancient injunctions against political discussion and revolutionary action. Kinge without any treason or falsehood and that you shall noe no treason or falsehood but you shall amend it or else give notice thereof to the Kinge.
Civil Powers, wherever he resides or works, and is never to be concerned in plots and conspiracies against the peace and welfare of the Nation. The situation would seem to be quite unambiguous. However, after further research, our good mason cannot help but remark a glaring contradiction in the history of Freemasonry. He discovers that the American revolutionary leaders of 1776, many of the draughters of their Constitution and Bill of Rights, and indeed the first presidents of the United States, were both Freemasons and rebels against their lawful sovereign and government. Rizal in the Philippines, and Guiseppe Garibaldi in Italy.
The key to understanding the equivocal attitude towards dissent is the concept of liberty, with it came a degree of religious toleration unknown except in the Dutch Republic. Although their lectures and writings self, shouldn’t we be asking how we can best coexist with them? 1 The passage Kurzweil quotes is from Kaczynski’s Unabomber Manifesto, that humans clearly face extinction.