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Black Freemasons in the continental U.S.? (also few other personal questions)
Posted: 25 April 2011 05:34 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello everyone, thanks for reading. As the title insists, I’m asking if there are any African American members in Freemason lodges around the continental United States. I live in the United States Virgin Islands, and I know that there are some black masons. I never knew that there were any before I saw them on island.

I also have a few other personal questions. If it’s no problem to read through this wall of text, I would definitely appreciate any answers.

Are the Freemasons a Christian organization with Christian beliefs?
My father (a Catholic police officer) was once asked if he would be interested in joining, about 20+ years ago, long before I was born. He heard rumors about freemasonry, and the question he asked the “representative” is “Do masons believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God?” the reply being something like, “Well uh, we believe in a higher power, but-”. That being where my father cut him off, and declining the invitation. I’ve heard elsewhere that my father might have definitely fit in.

Does the initiation “ritual” go against any Christian (esp. Seventh-Day Adventist) beliefs?
When one is being welcomed into a Freemason lodge, are they required to do anything in terms of assault, the consumption of alcohol or pork/seafood, or anything else of the sort that might go against Christian beliefs?

Does the organization accept members of the United States military?
I will soon be enlisting in the United States Navy. Does Freemasonry conflict with the active duty lifestyle? Are only officers accepted? I am planning on using a NROTC scholarship or the G.I. Bill to complete a technical degree and returning as a Naval officer. If the military moves me to a different area of the country, would I be able to visit other lodges?

What is the Eastern Star’s purpose/importance to Freemasons?
That is how I’ve come to recognize the Freemasons on my island. On either the license plate or the back windows of their cars, there’s a upside-down star with a white center and different colors. Is the Eastern Star based off of the infamous satanic pentagram, or vice versa? Are there any Freemasons who see Satan as their “Supreme Being”?

Is it possible to sit in on a Masonic meeting before I decide to join?
And also, if I believe that it would be best for me not to be attend and be a part of these meetings, is it just as easy for me to stop coming?

I am an 18 year old African American male, a United States citizen by birth from the Virgin Islands (a US territory). I go by the Seventh-Day Adventist Christian faith, and have no criminal records or anything of the sort. I am deciding to dedicate myself to the U.S. military for the purpose of national defense. I would be interested in the Freemasons for the general camaraderie. Thank you very much for reading all of the that, and I appreciate any help.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I am delighted to help answer your questions. (You may get additional information, as well).

Freemasonry is a non-denominational, non-sectarian, inter-faith organizations. Our members are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Shintos, Mormons, and men who hold no specific faith system at all. Only an avowed atheist, cannot be made a Mason. Nothing in masonry, is opposed to the Christian religion.

Your religious beliefs and practices, are a matter of extreme privacy. Your decision to abstain from alcohol or pork, is a matter for your own conscience. Most Masonic lodges in the USA, do not serve alcohol. If you choose to eat a vegetarian or pork-free diet, that is not a problem.

We are delighted to accept military men into our fraternity. (I work in Afghanistan, as a civilian). George Washington, the founder of the US Army, was a Mason. John Paul Jones, the founder of the US Navy, was a Mason. Samuel Nicholas, the founder of the Marine Corps, was a Mason. Henry Arnold, the founder of the modern Air Force, was a Mason. Masonry and the US military have a splendid history.

The Eastern Star is a women’s auxiliary for the Masons. Their emblem is in no way connected to Satanism. There are no Satanists in Masonry.

Masonic meetings are closed to members only. There are dinners, festive celebrations, George Washington birthday banquets, etc. which are open to the public.

If a man decides to participate in Masonry, and later decides that he no longer wishes to participate, then he is free to resign or “demit” from Masonry.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

Hello everyone, thanks for reading. As the title insists, I’m asking if there are any African American members in Freemason lodges around the continental United States. I live in the United States Virgin Islands, and I know that there are some black masons. I never knew that there were any before I saw them on island.

I also have a few other personal questions. If it’s no problem to read through this wall of text, I would definitely appreciate any answers.

Are the Freemasons a Christian organization with Christian beliefs?
My father (a Catholic police officer) was once asked if he would be interested in joining, about 20+ years ago, long before I was born. He heard rumors about freemasonry, and the question he asked the “representative” is “Do masons believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God?” the reply being something like, “Well uh, we believe in a higher power, but-”. That being where my father cut him off, and declining the invitation. I’ve heard elsewhere that my father might have definitely fit in.

Does the initiation “ritual” go against any Christian (esp. Seventh-Day Adventist) beliefs?
When one is being welcomed into a Freemason lodge, are they required to do anything in terms of assault, the consumption of alcohol or pork/seafood, or anything else of the sort that might go against Christian beliefs?

Does the organization accept members of the United States military?
I will soon be enlisting in the United States Navy. Does Freemasonry conflict with the active duty lifestyle? Are only officers accepted? I am planning on using a NROTC scholarship or the G.I. Bill to complete a technical degree and returning as a Naval officer. If the military moves me to a different area of the country, would I be able to visit other lodges?

What is the Eastern Star’s purpose/importance to Freemasons?
That is how I’ve come to recognize the Freemasons on my island. On either the license plate or the back windows of their cars, there’s a upside-down star with a white center and different colors. Is the Eastern Star based off of the infamous satanic pentagram, or vice versa? Are there any Freemasons who see Satan as their “Supreme Being”?

Is it possible to sit in on a Masonic meeting before I decide to join?
And also, if I believe that it would be best for me not to be attend and be a part of these meetings, is it just as easy for me to stop coming?

I am an 18 year old African American male, a United States citizen by birth from the Virgin Islands (a US territory). I go by the Seventh-Day Adventist Christian faith, and have no criminal records or anything of the sort. I am deciding to dedicate myself to the U.S. military for the purpose of national defense. I would be interested in the Freemasons for the general camaraderie. Thank you very much for reading all of the that, and I appreciate any help.

Hi Marooning, those are all excellent questions! I’ll try and help you out a bit.

First, yes there are many African American Masons. Some join Prince Hall Lodges (Prince Hall founded the first African American Lodge in the US), and others join traditional lodges.

Second, Masonry is not a “Christian” organization, per se, but you have to believe in God. What form or name that God takes is personal to you - but you have to believe in a “Great Architect of the Universe.” It can be safely argued that most Masons in the US are Christians, but many are not. Myself, for example; I am not a Christian.

Third, I’m not a Seventh Day Adventist so I don’t know if anything we do might go against Seventh Day Adventist beliefs, but there is no hazing or assaulting allowed in a Masonic lodge. You will not be made to drink alcohol or eat anything that might be offensive to you (Masons do like to eat, though!).

Fourth, not only does Masonry support out military, many brothers are either veterans or currently serving in the Armed Forces. I am a US Army vet and, though I was not a Mason when I was in the service, I knew many men who were. You can be officer or enlisted, and being transferred is no problem. There are Masonic groups at nearly every military installation around the world.

Fifth, about the Eastern Star. It is a fraternal organization that is not a part of Masonry, but that one must be either a Master Mason or the wife of a Master Mason to join. The inverted star that constitutes their emblem is NOT satanic, but rather represents five important “women of strength” from the Bible; Adah, Ruth, Esther, Marhta, and Electa. As to the second part of your question, I know of no Satanists who are Masons - I think that their beliefs would probably run counter to what a lot of Masonry stands for.

Sixth, while you cannot sit in on a Masonic lodge meeting, you can visit a lodge, meet some of the Brothers and go to the stated dinners that precede the stated meetings. In fact, I would suggest this. It’s a good way to meet Masons and decide if Masonry is a good fit for you. As to the second part of this question, yes, it’s just as easy to stop coming. Masonry has to be something that YOU want to be a part of. I’ve never heard of a Brother putting pressure on a candidate to join. We’re not a cult and only want men who want (of their own volition) to be a part of the Fraternity.

Whether or not you decide that Masonry is right for you, I wish you the best of luck in the US Navy!

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Posted: 25 April 2011 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Wow, thank you both very much for helping me with all that information. I appreciate it very much. I know everything I need to now, and would definitely be interested in being a part of this fraternity.

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Posted: 25 April 2011 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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HI there and thanks for your interest.

You actually have a situation unique to this Forum in the last five years. So you might need to know a bit more before petitiioning a Lodge.

Because you are an American living in the American Virgin Islands, you may want to do a little investigating before deciding both which Lodge and which type of Freemasonry to join. As one of the posters said, you generally have a choice of Prince Hall Freemasonry, which has been traditionally, thought not always today, composed of men with African American backgrounds, or what you might call “regular” Freemasonry, which originated in England and came to America before the Revolution. Most of the members of this Forum are American’s operating under Regular Grand Lodges in various US states—although we do have a few from England.

I will have to check with a couple of Grand Lodge Secretaries, but the best I can tell the only Regular recognised Lodges operating in the Virgin Islands are in St. Thomas and are actually chartered under the United Grand Lodge of England, not any American Grand Lodge. To my knowledge that would make them the only Lodges on American soil that operate under the Grand Lodge of England. You don’t need to know all these details, it just means that your requirements for joining could be a bit different—such as age requirements (18-21), etc. Also, I’m not sure if Prince Hall Lodges in the Virgin Islands are recognised by those in America.

Recognition is an important part of Freemasonry. Especially when you travel. Any group can call themselves Freemasons, so it’s important to check back with the Forum to find out if anyone here has any more information.

I would start by checking out the Web pages for the different Lodges in the Virgin Islands and find out what their requirements might be for joining. Both Prince Hall and the United Grand Lodge of England have many lodges throughout the Caribbean, so let us know what you find and we’ll try to help.

Some of our English Brethren may also have more information for you when they see this Forum.

Bob Heruska
Forum Administrator.

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Bob Heruska
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Columbian Lodge
Boston, MA

Member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite, and the Mystic Shrine.

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Posted: 26 April 2011 05:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

Hello everyone, thanks for reading. As the title insists, I’m asking if there are any African American members in Freemason lodges around the continental United States. I live in the United States Virgin Islands, and I know that there are some black masons. I never knew that there were any before I saw them on island.

I don’t know about the USVI but the UGLE has some Lodges on the British Virgin Islands (BVI). There is some real history to them: http://www.freemasonrytoday.com/12/p05.php

Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

Are the Freemasons a Christian organization with Christian beliefs?

NO, Freemasonry is a 300 year old plus secular Fraternity that does not admit Atheists.

Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

Does the initiation “ritual” go against any Christian (esp. Seventh-Day Adventist) beliefs?

NO, The Ceremonies actually reinforce certain lessons found within all major religions but do not go against any of them. No one is forced to eat or drink anything.

Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

Does the organization accept members of the United States military?

Even I know this and I’m English, YES.

Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

What is the Eastern Star’s purpose/importance to Freemasons?

The Order of the Eastern Star is an American invention and is a form of adoptive Masonry available to the female relatives of Freemasons.

You must be very careful not to get confused between Hollywood symbolism and real symbolism. The pentagram that some people today routinely associate as a symbol of satanism is quite the opposite. The pentagram is actually a symbolic representation of the number 5 because it takes 5 lines to draw (pentagram is greek for 5 lines) and all of its meanings are based on that number. The OES uses it to represent 5 Biblical women and their attributes, Freemasonry uses it to represent the 5 points of fellowship, early Christians used it to represent the 5 wounds of Christ, it’s link to demonology comes from the protective power it displayed as Solomon’s Seal. It is worth pointing out that Solomon’s Seal is variously claimed to be either a pentagram or a hexagram (six lines) depending on which version you’re familiar with.

Marooning - 25 April 2011 05:34 AM

Is it possible to sit in on a Masonic meeting before I decide to join?

This answer to this question is a NO as our Lodge meetings are private and open only to Freemasons. However, you will have to get to know and meet with Freemasons before you can join a Lodge, so you will get a feel for the type men who are Freemasons.

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Posted: 27 April 2011 03:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Mike Martin - 26 April 2011 05:33 AM

early Christians used it to represent the 5 wounds of Christ,

Riding into work this morning I spotted this Church and felt that you would find its symbolism of interest.

http://churchpostcardviews.co.uk/LondonE/pages/Barking - St Margarets & All Saints LEA003.htm

It is called St Margaret’s & All Saints RC Church and it is in East London and was built in 1859.

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Mike Martin
Click here for Mersey Lodge No.5434
Click here to chat about UK Freemasonry
Click here to view my Masonic watch fobs

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