Those that dislike Freemasonry due to ignorance or misinformation are most often the people that base their feelings on supposed religious grounds. The most heard argument from these people goes like this: “Freemasonry is a religion that teaches a false path to salvation.” To back up their false claim – they point to such things as the use of prayer in Masonic lodges, the use of words like “Worshipful” when Masons address the Master of a lodge, and many outlandish activities that just do not exist within the Freemasonic fraternity. This group often publishes their unfounded opinions on the Internet, where others sometimes read and believe the misinformation.
Yes – Freemasonry requires its members to have a belief in a Supreme Being, but that is about the extent of the Fraternity’s involvement in a man’s spiritual life. A man’s faith, as far as Freemasonry is concerned, is left between that man and the Almighty. His church, synagogue, or other place of worship is the place for him to pursue his relationship with his Maker. The lodge is not the place for that. Freemasons do offer up prayers at their meetings – guilty as charged. Just prior to the next race at Daytona International Speedway and the next session of the Supreme Court of the United States, prayers will also be offered up. It would be rather silly to assume that NASCAR and the Supreme Court are religions. As for the word “Worshipful,” these types of detractors do not understand the historical application of the word. It is simply a term of respect.
Worshipful - British. a formal title of honor used in announcing or mentioning certain highly regarded or respected persons or groups. Source: Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/worshipful (accessed: September 27, 2009).Freemasonry is not a religion and it never has been. Seekers of truth or knowledge – as Freemasons are – know this fact. However, there is a much more sinister group than the folks that dislike Freemasonry simply out of ignorance. The second group consists of the dictators, tyrants, and extremists of the world. Here one finds the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Franco, and Ahmadinejad.
The Nazis of Germany rounded up Freemasons in a similar manner as they did people of the Jewish faith. Lodge temples were confiscated and – after supporting props were added – turned into tourist attractions designed to show the “evils” of Freemasonry. The Communists of the former Soviet Union were no less brutal in their treatment of Freemasons. There, Freemasonry was outlawed and many a Freemason met the same fate as their German Brethren. The fascist government of Franco in Spain spent years confiscating the property of individual Freemasons as well as imprisoning and executing many of them. In Franco’s Spain, sometimes just being accused of being a Freemason was a death sentence. To this day, tyrants and radical Islamic governments declare Freemasonry to be illegal. Masonic membership in those types of places – if discovered – can be very dangerous. The Grand Lodge of Iran, for example, exists only because it is in exile in California.
Now why do the likes of Hitler, Franco, Stalin, and Iran’s Ahmadinejad dislike Freemasonry so much? It is because they fear it. They know enough about Freemasonry to understand that Freemasons value truth and liberty – and have always been promoters of those lofty ideas. Truth and liberty are not compatible with tyranny and injustice.
Viewed by examining her enemies – whether they are the ignorant or the ruthless – Freemasonry sure comes out looking pretty good.