I was raised in December of 2014. So I haven’t been a mason long. I’m trying to give it a year, but I’m seriously considering leaving masonry. Since my first meeting as a MM, I was asked to take the J.D. chair. I politely declined. The very next day after my first meeting, I was asked to take the S.S. position. I was told all I needed to do was prep candidates. I explained I may not be able to make it to every meeting because I don’t have a babysitter if my wife is working. They said no problem. After accepting, I was told to help open and close the building, prepare food because the J.W. needed a break, coach all newcomers while it was fresh in my mind, and be on the investigation committee. This required I be at every meeting as well. So after one meeting as S.S. I withdrew from the position.
Since then, I still get pressure to take the J.D. chair. I even backed out of my third degree proficiency just to keep from forced into the chair. Or at least to me, that’s what it felt like. Even though I didn’t do my third degree proficiency, I still get asked or teased every meeting about taking the chair. I’ve even overheard snide comments about me not doing my part for the lodge. I’ve tried helping the lodge the best I can in other ways. I’m still on the investigation committee, I built the lodge a top notch website, purchased a domain out of my own pocket, and did a tad bit of photography for the lodge(like take pictures of officers and digitize photos all past masters in the past 98 years.
In meetings, religion and politics get brought up. Not in heavy discussions, but a seed gets planted which leads to a short discussions. Two meetings ago, there were racial slurs being made in which I was deeply offended. I tried to let it go, but the next day I tried calling the W.M to address it. I didn’t get ahold of him on the phone, so I then called my coach. We discussed it and I just asked if our lodge was racist. His answer was “yes”, but he personally wasn’t. The I asked if all the lodges in our area was, and he answered “yes” and told me which ones were the worst, so I could avoid them(I like visiting other lodges).
Now an hour ago, I called our J.W. to find out why he wasn’t doing our dinner tomorrow night. He said because he was removed from the chair. His wife split a week ago accusing him of cheating. I asked if he was, and he said “no”. I asked him if she had any so called evidence that he was. He said “no”. I know it is his word versus hers, but how can they remove him from the chair without evidence or confession? His wife works with the Secretary’s wife, and has been friends with the controlling group of the lodge a lot longer than he has. What happened to being there from our brothers? For months the controlling group(mostly P.M.‘s) have been bad mouthing him. I even had a friend who asked about masonry, and I asked my coach what do I do if he wants to petition the lodge. That my friend knew both me and the J.W. My coach said don’t let the J.W. sign the petition or my friend won’t get in. WTF?
I could go on about other issues with there being factions within our lodge. I visit 3 other lodges looking for a better lodge, but I don’t know the procedure for leaving my current lodge and joining a new one. I haven’t found a new one yet, but I certainly don’t want to continue in the lodge that I’m in.
I’ve even considered abandoning masonry altogether, mainly because I’m not Christian, but masonry seems to evolve around it. I know masonry accepts people of various faiths, but it appears as though only Christians would be comfortable and fully accepted there. Is it mostly like this elsewhere? In our lodge, the masonic education is based on how many bible versus are in masonry. Rituals I can tolerate, but not Sunday school.
Please advise. I don’t know what to do. I want to move to another lodge, but don’t know the procedure, and I don’t want to leave masonry, but I will if something doesn’t change.