Freemasonry A Religious Institution

"There has been a needless expenditure of ingenuity and talent, by a large number of Masonic orators and essayists, in the endeavor to prove that Freemasonry is not a religion ...

"The tendency of all true Freemasonry is toward religion. If it makes any progress, its progress is to that holy end. Look at its ancient landmarks, its sublime ceremonies, its profound symbols and allegories —all inculcating religious doctrine, commanding religious observance, and teaching religious truth and who can deny that it is eminently a religious institution? But, besides, Freemasonry is, in all its forms, thoroughly tinctured with a true devotional spirit. We open and close our Lodges with prayer; we invoke the blessing of the Most High upon all our labor; we demand of our neophytes a profession of trusting belief in the existence and superintending care of God; and we teach them to bow with humility and reverence at His awful name, while His Holy Law is widely opened upon our altars. Freemasonry is thus identified with religion; and although a man may be eminently religious without being a Freemason, it is impossible that a Freemason can be 'true and trusty' to his Order unless he is a respecter of religion and an observer of religious principle.

1An estimated 495,000,000 Christians throughout the world today belong to denominations forbidding simultaneous church and lodge membership, according to William J. Whalen, Christianity and American Freemasonry (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1958), p. 147 [The actual number is over 1,000,000,000].

2Combined Statistics and Consolidated Chart of Fraternal Societies, (Indianapolis: The Fraternal Monitor, 1963) p. 263.

"But the religion of Freemasonry is not sectarian. It admits men of every creed within its hospitable bosom, rejecting none and approving none for his peculiar faith. It is not Judaism, though there is nothing in it to offend a Jew; it is not Christianity, but there is nothing in it repugnant to the faith of a Christian. Its religion is that general one of nature and primitive revelation—handed down to us from some ancient and Patriarchal Priesthood—in which all men may agree and in which no men can differ...Freemasonry, then, is indeed a religious institution; and on this ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Freemasons defend it."1

"A meeting of a Masonic Lodge is a religious ceremony...Masonry in many features is a religious as well as a moral institution."2

"Speculative Masonry, now known as Freemasonry, is, therefore, the scientific application and religious consecration of the rules and principles, the technical language and the implements and materials, of operative masonry to the worship of God as the Great Architect of the Universe, and to the purification of the heart and in the inculcation of the dogmas of a religious philosophy."3

"The system of Masonry, as in its original inception, still claims to be a system of religion in which all men can unite."4

"Masonry is not only a universal science, but a world-wide religion, and owes allegiance to no one creed, and can adopt no sectarian dogma, as such, without ceasing thereby to be Masonic..."5

"Masonry is a branch upon the tree of religion. Masonry without religion is like a branch severed from the vine. The particular lodge that is not permeated with the religious spirit is not true to Masonry as such."6

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