About Freemasonry



Free and Accepted Masons are one of the oldest fraternal organizations. It is also the largest, and best well-known.





What is Freemasonry?


Freemasonry is not a religion even though it is religious in character.
It does not pretend to take the place of religion nor serve as a substitute for the religious beliefs of its Members.
Freemasonry accepts men, found to be worthy, regardless of religious convictions.
An essential requirement is a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.
Freemasonry is not an insurance or beneficial society.
It is not organized for profit. However, the charity and services rendered are beyond measure.
It teaches the Golden Rule.
It seeks to make good men better through its firm belief in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the Immortality of the Soul.
The tenets of Freemasonry are ethical principles that are acceptable to all good men.
It teaches tolerance toward all mankind. It is known throughout the world.
Freemasonry proudly proclaims that it consists of men bound together by bonds of Brotherly Love and Affection. It dictates to no man as to his beliefs, either religious or secular. It seeks no advantage for its Members through business or politics.
Freemasonry is not a forum for discussions on partisan affairs.
Freemasonry believes in moral teachings above all, and uses architectural symbols as a means to convey this message to its members in such a manner that such moral teachings become part of their everyday life, especially in beauty (love and respect for others), charity and truth.





The Principles of Freemasonry:


Freemasonry admits only men, but many Masonic-related organizations, such as the Eastern Star, Amaranth, Job's Daughters, Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay for Boys, offer ample opportunities for women and youth.
Freemasonry is open to all good natured men, and teaches unity with all mankind. Freemasonry is also a gathering of like-minded people.
Freemasonry does not conduct any business or participate in any political activities.  





Freemasonry does not require improper oaths:


The solemn promises taken in Freemasonry are no different than the oaths taken in court or on entering the armed services.
The much-discussed "penalties," judicial remnants from an earlier age, are symbolic, not literal.
They refer only to the pain any honest man should feel at the thought of violating his word.


Freemasonry teaches individual improvement through study:



Freemasonry encourages study, including literature by the great writers of ancient times.
Freemasonry does not sanction the views of these authors but offers them for each individual's reflection and evaluation.


Freemasonry is a fraternity, not a religion:



As a fraternal association dedicated to making good men better, Freemasonry respects the religious beliefs of all its members.
Freemasonry has no theology and does not teach any method of salvation.
In particular it does not claim that good works gain or guarantee salvation.


Freemasons are united in their desire to be of service to mankind:



While Freemasonry supports homes for members and their spouses, most Masonic services, including Shrine medical and burn centers, are available to all citizens.
In 1995, major North American Masonic philanthropies totaled more than $750 million or over $2 million per day of which 70% went to the general public.


Freemasonry is an open, not secretive, society:



Masonic meetings are announced publicly, Masonic buildings are marked clearly and are listed in phone directories, and Masons proudly wear jewelry identifying their membership.
Freemasonry inherited a tradition of trade secrets from the cathedral-building guilds of medieval Europe.
The only "secrets" still belonging to modern Masonry are traditional passwords, signs of recognition, and dramatic presentations of moral lessons.


Freemasonry teaches in steps:



Masons learn through a series of lessons.
These "degrees" of insight move from basic to more complex concepts.
This no more hides the nature of Freemasonry from novice members than does having a student understand fractions before calculus.


Masonry is practiced worldwide:



There are over 2 million Masons in North America and nearly 5 million throughout the world.


Freemasonry has no single spokesman:



Freemasonry is made up of many individuals in numerous organizations, all subordinate to the Grand Lodge within their jurisdiction (i.e. state).
None of these members or organizations can speak for Freemasonry; that is the responsibility of each Grand Lodge within its jurisdiction.
No Masonic body nor author, however respected, can usurp the authority of a Grand Lodge.


Freemasonry is made up of many organizations:



Masonry has many groups, each with a special social, educational, or philanthropic focus.
A man becomes a Mason in his local Lodge.
Then he joins any of the following "Appendant Bodies": the Scottish Rite, York Rite (which includes the Royal Arch and Knights Templar), Shriners, Grottoes, Tall Cedars, etc.
A Masonic Lodge encourages its members to contribute to society.
There are several lodges in Japan which contribute funds for the education of children. 
Other lodges contribute to orphanages, and rehabilitation facilities.
In recent years, Masonic bodies have worked together to make donations to the handicapped children’s fund sponsored in principle by the Japan Times.
The Grand Lodge of Japan has worked to assist the blind obtain proper medical care.
Other instances include individual members working with burn victims, as well as orphanages.

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