Ashlar Masonic Gifts

It is believed by many non Freemasons that we harbor secrets and hidden agendas to subvert the world order for our own sinister advantage. As a practising mason and member of the craft I’ve seen no evidence of this and would suggest that anyone joining Freemasonry in order to take over the world, will be hugely disappointed.

King George VI with Scottish Freemasons

We are not s secret organisation but an organisation with secrets. Even these secrets are not that well guarded as any trip around the internet will reveal all. The Royal family and Freemasonry.

Freemasonry Brotherhood

Every brother (member) well have his own view of what Freemasonry is and what it means to him. To me it’s a brotherhood where we conduct ourselves in an orderly way and show respect for each other.

Procedures and Rituals

It has it rituals and procedures but these are spine chilling acts that belittle a candidate in anyway. They are based on our ancient honourable customs. Indeed it’s quite similar to the UK’s house of parliament with their ritual and often arcane way off doing things. But passed down over time. Indeed even the M used is arcane and fallen out of common usage. But every Freemason no matter what their position in society has to go through the same process, that’s what makes us brothers.

So why do we do it? Pay annual subscriptions meet up four of five times a year and practice ritual? Well I can’t speak for others but for me, I enjoy the social side and as the years go by we all make long lasting genuine friendships.

A Mason’s Attire

We wear all black suites, black ties (or regional ties) and a white shirt. That’s standard Freemason attire. But also wear other garments to show our rank or duty within the Lodge. We’re also allowed to embellish our attire with cufflinks, tie pins, lapel pins watches, rings.

Each of these embellishments can be just plain but we like to do things a bit special so these ornaments will have Masonic symbols on them which are only meaningful to other Freemasons. like the ones you can see here

A tongue-in-cheek view of the Freemason’s dress code commandments

Jesus in Islam

Jesus and the Four Approaches

Statue of Jesus  Mosque  Koran

There are two extreme views on Islam and Muslims in western eyes. Either it is only for terrorists and jihad portrayal or Islam as a religion of peace. Both can sometimes be true, but neither is completely correct. You can think you have to choose one of these extremes. But that simply is not the reality. Many people, regardless of life view, see Jesus as a model of high stature. This also includes Muslims. In Jesus, one can see at least four approaches to the people, to religion and to oppression. And here we all have something to learn – believers as well as non-believers.

1. Jesus lived with others

Jesus lived side by side with ordinary people, even those who did not believe in him and with those who had other customs and faiths. Jesus actually lived in a multicultural society.
Even today, we have many religious groups and all kinds of customs and practices – from the conspiracy of surrender to the removal of pork by both Jews, Muslims and vegetarians. We have liberal Christians to devote Muslims; fanatic vegans, converted Buddhists in our mist. And we must learn to live side by side, share joy and sorrow, pay taxes, provide schools and social care.

2. Jesus lived for others

We need to live for others and care for the those with needs. It can be about helping Muslim refugees or helping those oppressed by totalitarian regimes. This could contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq, support human rights defenders in the Arab world, work among Palestinian widows and children in Gaza. Think of Jesus likeness of the merciful compassion.

3. Jesus spoke freely and sought to convince others

In a free and democratic society, political parties, non-profit organizations, churches work to convince us and others to attract more members. Of course, we will stand up for this right, not only to believe but also to propagate advance those beliefs. This right applies to Social Democrats, Mormons, Green peace activists and to Muslims. This is freedom of expression, which includes the right and the freedom to testify of his or her faith. It also means the right to change opinion, political party or religion.  Many, like Jesus, sometimes seem to forget that he was quite exclusive in his claims: “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to God but through me.” Jesus spoke openly and freely; he evangelized; propagated if desired. Everyone has the right to express and everyone has the right to reject.

4. Jesus resisted oppression

There is also a reason to sometimes confront, forcefully question and occasionally also ban certain groups, even if they exist within Muslim societies.
We can not tolerate women being treated as less worthy of the law. We can not tolerate the request for suicide bombing. We can not tolerate men, women or children being demeaned or repressed in the name of Islam, such as Iran, for example. Even Jesus went to confront religious leaders who abused privilege and religious authority in this way.

Final Thoughts

In true democracy, all of these four approaches must be provided: living together, helping and supporting, speaking freely and seeking convincing, but also confronting and questioning.
Further reading Jesus and Islam