Well - first off I applaud Kentucky for loosening the rules about attire - encouraging, considering they only recognized Prince Hall two years ago (do they have visitation yet?)
In general, Charles, I appreciate that you are mostly willing to look at all options I put on the table, with the exception of permitting women, which frankly, after all the reading I’ve done on Freemasonry, continues to baffle me.
The ancient landmarks - that seems to be the fallback position to justify this rule. Essentially this equates to “we have a rule that we can’t change the rules”. Stated in those terms, I hope you can see how weak a defence it is. I’m sorry but there is no reason to bar women.
I have a simple measure for these things - take the statement “we do not admit women” and for “women” substitute “blacks” or “Jews”. Does it still seem defensible by invoking something called the ancient landmarks?
And I know, I’m an outsider, so what can I possibly understand about Masonry? But consider, gentlemen, that by definition every new recruit you want to attract is an outsider. In the 21st century they will look at the suits and say “elitist” - they will look at the men-only rule and say “misogynist” - they will look at the agenda for your average monthly meeting and say “boring” and they will look at the ritual and regalia and the kindest thing they will say is “archaic”.
And unfortunately, quoting the “ancient landmarks” will not alter the progression of the statistics posted by myself and especially those posted by Charles. Yet if the results here can be in any way considered indicative of the general mood of current Freemasons, I would say that change has an uphill battle ahead of it.
So the suggestion above that I become “the little mason who could” seems like a bit of a longshot, doesn’t it?
I’m someone looking to be a member so let me reply to a few thing you have said also from the outside looking in.
1) woman; Freemason is a fraternity and what does that mean; ‘A fraternity (Latin frater : “brother”) is a brotherhood, although the term sometimes connotes a distinct or formal organization and sometimes a secret society. A fraternity (or fraternal organization) is an organized society of men associated together in an environment of companionship and brotherhood; dedicated to the intellectual, physical, and social development of its members.’
Today more than every I think we need places we can go and be man. I also think my wife would prefer me joining a all male club than a co-ed one. You can substitute all you want, do some place need to work on the true meaning of begin a mason yes, but many other place do not. The lodge I’m looking to join their Past Master is black their current secretary is jewish. Your statement is like saying because some white people a racist we all are. Last on point one, Woman and Man can join Eastern Star, so yes woman are included.
2)The ancient landmarks as you say, why change rules that have worked and continue to work. Change is not always good just for the sake of change.
3)Wearing suits to meetings, you say it make people think elitist what is wrong with that, a person should have pride in ones self and is wearing a suit for a few hours all that bad or hard. We live in a society that dressing up nice is a thing of the past, I’m a biker and jeans and t-shirts is what I like to wear but wearing a suit and looking good does bring out a little more pride in myself.
Last thing I have to say, Jim to me it looks like you are trying to find reasons why you should not be a mason, if all you do is look for the negative in things you will never see the positive.