Freemason & Baha'i

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JusticeForAll
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:16 am

Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:27 pm

I have read both sources reguarding this topic. I have come to understand a few sides to this issue.
I know what the Guardian says. He basically said that a Baha'i should not be a Mason due to the secreative nature and exclusion nature (not admining woman in some states) of the organization of the Masons, as it might confuse non-Baha'is in the belief system of the Faith.
The Guardian went on to state that the issue is then left upto the LSA to decide if membership in the Mason's is appropiate and refer to National if they believe there is an issue with a Baha'i becoming a Mason.

(whew)

Ok, having said that. The writings teach us to pursue Independant Investigation of the Truth.
And teach us to change things that are not correct from the inside out, using the proper lines of communication to change things politically without being involved in politics, etc ...
Having said all of this, if one were to argue that being a Baha'i and a Mason could confilt, then could it not also be said that being a Baha'i and a member of other groups conflict? [Remember these are receptions, not nessessarly truths, I will limit to expressed beliefs I have encountered personally] Examples? Here:

1) College/High school basketball (or other sport) ... at least in Missouri there are no co-ed teams.
2) Goventment employee (having access to places the avg citizen isn't allowed to go, being influenced by political forces directly [NOT BEING INVOLVED IN POLITICS, that isn't my point but thanks :)]0, etc ...
3) Working in a car factory, getting deals and discounts the avg person can't.
4) Boy/Girl Scouts , beyond the largely [at least in Missouri] Christian basis, Masonic Founding [long story], it is gender exculsive (in Missouri the leaders of those two groups site Safty from Sexual threat as to the reason for excluding the opposite sex.)
5) Going to Hospitals with Christian, Jewish, or Shriner (Masonic) in the name (I can't find one without in Missouri).
6) DeMolay youth
7) YMCA, largely believed to be a Christian based in the areas I live.
8) Chamber Of Commerence (politically minded, in small towns can control city structures).
9) Working for companis who proclaim a Christian (or any other faith) basis
10) American Red Cross (Red Star in Iseral (I am bad at spelling sorry)).
11) Multifaith Groups made up of multi-Christian chruches

Ok I hear ya enough. But my point is, if we avoid confusion in all fronts are we not avoiding advancment, truth, change, knowledge, history, enlightenment, ...

Replies private and public welcomed.

talmont
Baha'i
AF&AM (for those who don't know it means Freemason)

JusticeForAll
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:16 am

Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:09 am

Barb, thanks for the thoughtful reply.
Yes I did take it a little far but I did it to illistrate that these things can get out of hand.

As far as how the Masons used to be, then should a used to stop an action of today?
The Boy Scouts used to prevent non-Christians from joining, should we now refrain from having our youth join them today?

The split between the Christian Chruch and the Masons are varied and wide, it is the reason Knightes of Columbus were formed and the Odd Fellows and such. But what I have seen, what I have experienced states the Masons as a religion is rediculous. (The lodge I am a member of bought The Most Holy Book to be placed next to the Bible, a good look at the diversity in religion is found in [don't laugh] 'Freemasons for Dummies').

All organizations hold secrets, in College Frat houses you have secret handshakes and passwords and such. Government and Millitary are similar. But today there are only three things I am not to talk about to anyone ... not even other masons, until the right time/setting ... but that is mostly simply to identify me as a member. Heck you can find anti/former mason websites that tell you those three things.

But to address the Attempted to rule the world issue most people seem to possess. It is offically answered by the Masons with the showing of the Structure of the Mason administration. But the true answer is simply that it couldn't happen in today's world. And as the guidlines for who becomes a Mason have changed in the past 10 years in Missouri and many other states, I would have to say the likely hood is diminishing. Bringing me back to my question for this posting...

Should the past actions of an organization determine our reaction to an organization whos rules and actions have changed.

+=+=
Side: I have know a couple of Mason's whos reaction to my Faith [prior introduction to my Faith before me] is; 'I have wondered why Masons have not all become Baha'i ...'
Just thought you might enjoy that one, I did once my jaw got off the floor.
+=+=

~talmont

CJ
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Location: Canada

Postby CJ » Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:08 pm

Hi talmont;

I can't really reply to your post because I don't know a lot about the Freemasons, but would like to take this opportunity to ask you a few questions about it, if I may. I have heard some things from various people, such as comments that the Freemasons give a lot to charitable organizations, and that they are family-centered. the other thing I have heard is that they don't admit women (no problem there), but also that they believe that women and girls should dress a certain way (skirts and blouse all the time), and that the primary role of women is to be looking after the home, and not out pursuing a career or doing anything else. This may be all wrong, it's just stuff I heard (rumors) But I'm wondering, is there any truth to this at all?
Thanks!

CJ

JusticeForAll
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RE: Rumor on Freemason WAS:Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:51 am

CJ wrote:... Freemasons give a lot to charitable organizations, and that they are family-centered.

Very true. I had no idea how much the Mason's gave and did ... I was astounded. And as far as family centered: No denying it, beyond focusing on YOUR family, as a Mason you focus on ALL families. They even have a term for Masonic youth groups [DeMolay, Job's Daughters, Rainbow Girls] and other groups [Order of the Eastern Star, etc..] the Masonic Family.

And every Mason watches any children present at events, it is a community raising family ... I was stunned.

CJ wrote:... the other thing I have heard is that they don't admit women (no problem there),


They don't in my state, but there are some who do, and there is the Co-Mason org., and a very old Mason from France is Napoleon's Wife. Plus there is history of other woman admitted in history. But not in the states.

CJ wrote:... but also that they believe that women and girls should dress a certain way (skirts and blouse all the time),


Woman, men, boys, girls should all dress appropiatly, But you just TRY to catch a Mason ordering his wife to dress a certain way ... there are Masonic home out there for Masons who have no where else to go, I am not at all sure estranged husbands haven't been there!

CJ wrote:... and that the primary role of women is to be looking after the home, and not out pursuing a career or doing anything else.


See Above. Not on their LIVES ... (shudder), no. Most wives I know of support the Masonic traditions, Youth, events .... and many, many events would not occur w/o their support ... but just try to confine a Masonic wife (or any wife for that matter) to 'You should be doing this, or that ...' you will think Fireworks were fireflies by comparison.

There are rules and oaths concerning Masons and woman. [Find a DeMolay and you will have a clue as to the strength of those rules]. And there are two rules concerning family and Mason:
1) God First,
2) Family Second
3) Masons if you have time.
And if the wife of a potential Mason does not approve, or believe it will cause a problem in the family/marriage the Mason's will not accept the canadate until that concern/belief naturally changes [no pressure, or phone calls, or mailings, or such ... they don't approach the canadiate until they are approached by him again].


Hope that helps wih some of the rumors you have heard.

+=+=
NOTE: I have not gone even outside of my state (Missouri) to varify what I have seen with in my state, but I have had many discussions with many, many Masons and the answers/stories are similar in responce and nature.
+=+=

~talmont

uninstreasting@aol.com

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:19 am

Although by saying that you read "both sources" you may have meant two kinds of sources, but if not (or for the sake of others here), I found a number which mentioned masonry in the Writings:

Bahá'ís Belonging to Churches, Synagogues, Freemasonry and the Like

"As regards the question of Bahá'ís belonging to churches, synagogues, Freemasonry, etc., the friends must realize that now that the Faith is over 100 years old, and its own institutions arising, so to speak, rapidly above-ground, the distinctions are becoming ever sharper, and the necessity for them to support whole-heartedly their own institutions and cut themselves off entirely from those of the past, is now clearer than ever before. The eyes of the people of the world are beginning to be focused on us; and, as humanity's plight goes from bad to worse, we will be watched ever more intently by non-Bahá'ís, to see whether we do uphold our own institutions wholeheartedly; whether we are the people of the new creation or not; whether we live up to our beliefs, principles and laws in deed as well as word. We cannot be too careful. We cannot be too exemplary.

"There is another aspect to this question which the friends should seriously ponder, and that is that, whereas organizations such as Freemasonry may have been in the past entirely free from any political taint, in the state of flux the world is in at present, and the extraordinary way in which things become corrupted and tainted by political thought and influences, there is no guarantee that such an association might not gradually or suddenly become a political instrument. The less Bahá'ís have to do, therefore, with such things, the better."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the British Isles, August 5, 1955, Lights of Guidance, no. 1387)


Bahá'ís Requested to Withdraw from Masonic and Other Secret Societies

"As regards your question about Masonry, the Bahá'ís, the Guardian feels very strongly, must learn at the present time to think internationally and not locally. Although each believer realizes that he is a member of one great spiritual family, a member of the New World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, he does not often carry this thought through to its logical conclusion: which is that if the Bahá'ís all over the world each belong to some different kind of society or church or political party, the unity of the Faith will be destroyed, because inevitably they will become involved in doctrines and policies that are in some way against our Teachings, and often against another group of people in another part of the world, or another race, or another religious block.

"Therefore, all the Bahá'ís everywhere have been urged to give up their old affiliations and withdraw from membership in the Masonic and other secret Societies in order to be entirely free to serve the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh as a united body. Such groups as Masonry, however high the local standard may be, are in other countries gradually being influenced by the issues sundering the nations at present.

"The Guardian wants the Bahá'ís to disentangle themselves from anything that may in any way, now or in the future, compromise their independent status as Bahá'ís and the supra-national nature of their Faith."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 17, 1956, Lights of Guidance, no. 1388)


Why Bahá'ís Are Requested to Withdraw from Membership in the Church, Synagogue, etc.

"The point is not that there is something intrinsically wrong with Masonry, which no doubt has many very high ideals and principles, and has had a very good influence in the past.

"The reasons why the Guardian feels that it is imperative for the Bahá'ís to be dissociated from masonry at this time, and I might add, other secret associations, is that we are the building blocks of Bahá'u'lláh's New World Order ... the Bahá'ís should be absolutely independent, and stand identified only with their own teachings. That is why they are requested to withdraw from membership in the church, the synagogue, or whatever other previous religious organization they may have been affiliated with, to have nothing whatsoever to do with secret societies, or with political movements, etc. It protects the Cause, it reinforces the Cause, and it asserts before all the world its independent character.

"Another reason is that unfortunately the tremendous political influences in the world today are seeping deeper and deeper into men's minds; and movements which in the past were absolutely uninfluenced by any political tinge of thought now in many places are becoming infiltrated with political side-taking and political issues; and it becomes all the more important for the Bahá'ís to withdraw from them in order to protect the Faith.

"The Guardian believes that you, as an intelligent man, a Bahá'í, will see the need for this. It is only by all living according to general principles that we can knit the fabric of the Faith all over the world into a closer unity.

"He is fully aware that certain individuals are struck much more forcibly by such requests than others. This has been the case with some of the old Bahá'ís in England, who have been Masons from their boyhood on; but, as it is his duty to protect the Faith, he can only appeal to the Bahá'ís to assist him in doing so; and to consider the general good, rather than their personal feelings, however deep they may be, in such matters."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, February 12, 1956, Lights of Guidance, no. 1389)


Resignation from the Masonic Order

"As regards your question about the Masonic Order, he considers that the honest and courageous thing for you to do is to inform your Lodge that you no longer consider yourself, for purely personal reasons, a Mason; and would like to have your name taken off their list. If they should press you for an explanation, which he imagines is unlikely, everybody being free to do as they please in this world, you can explain to them that in the present chaotic period the world is passing through, with so many streams and counterstreams of political thoughts and prejudices of all kinds, racial, religious, etc., storming the minds of men, that you wish to disentangle yourself from all association with the past and to stand alone, free in your own ideas.

"He does not think that such an explanation will prejudice the Masons or their friends, or arouse in them a feeling of anger against the Faith, or indeed need involve the Faith at all."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, March 26, 1956, Lights of Guidance, no. 1390)


Bahá'í Membership in Masonic, Theosophical, Rosicrucian, and Similar Societies

"The following two principles should help to guide your Assembly in dealing with the problems of Bahá'í membership in Masonic, Theosophical, Rosicrucian, and similar societies:

(1) Formal affiliation with and acceptance of membership in organizations whose programs or policies are not wholly reconcilable with the Teachings is not permissible to the friends.

(2) The friends should not become members of secret societies.

"Your Assembly is advised to carefully inform the friends of these principles and to deepen them in their understanding and appreciation of them. Having made certain that all friends, especially those directly concerned, have been so deepened, your Assembly should then set a time limit by which the friends must obey your directive to withdraw their membership in the organizations. Each case will have to be considered on its own merits. Some of the friends may have to fulfill certain commitments as officers before they can withdraw with honor. The time limit should make allowance in such cases.

"Whereas persistence in membership in these and in similar organizations is ample ground for deprivation of voting rights, your Assembly is advised to give sufficient time for each of the friends to be thoroughly deepened, and to comply with the principles before any disciplinary action is taken."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Colombia, December 26, 1963, Lights of Guidance, no. 192)


May Be Occasions When Enrollment Must Be Postponed
"There may be occasions when an enrollment must be postponed, as in the case of someone holding a political post, unless that person is able and can, in good conscience, resign from such a post immediately. Other cases may permit acceptance but indicate a need for fixing a time when the individual will be required to conform to certain laws, such as membership in the Masonic Order, church, or other ecclesiastical organizations. Still other times an individual may be encouraged to become better acquainted with the spirit, laws, and principles of the Faith before submitting his application. However, the Guardian has cautioned us not to be too rigid in our requirements for accepting new believers or to place hindrances in their way. The question of conforming one's character and the pattern of one's life to the standards of conduct upheld in the Bahá'í way of life is a matter which should be inculcated in the new believer in the course of his spiritual education and deepening."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, May 13, 1979, Lights of Guidance, no. 254)

JusticeForAll
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Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Thu Jul 13, 2006 3:13 pm

Ok originally I erroneously stated both sources, I meant The Guardian and Abdul Baha and have since found (as you have shown) The Universal House.

I know their statements, made 30 plus years ago.

I have made progress for the Faith in the Masons.
I am unclear as to how being a Mason would confuse anyone as to my Faith, especially when I place a symbol for my Faith above and before Masonic emblems.

The Masonic Org is not a religious one, they bind their members (as previously posted) to 1) God, 2) Family, 3) Masons (if their is time).

So, my confusion comes into play there. The best example are the Boy Scouts. Today you can be any Faith and join, years ago it was understood to be Christian. did the Baha'is then not have their children in scouting?

I understand trying to show our Faith is our Faith, that we are dependant upon no other organization or Faith. Do we then not have our family visit a church or read the Bible to avoid confusion ... how would we investigate the history of God's Messengers? Reading the Bible is one thing, seeing a service is another, but equally important to learning, do we then avoid going to other churches and places of worship for the same reason?

Do we pull all of the Baha'is who might be members of the military out of the armed forces to avoid confusion, even when we are told we can join and should join to support our government ... just not in a position of killing ...

I am biased (don't faint I know you could never tell), I admit it. I have seen the work these people have done, the good work. They touch people across the globe ... not just in their cities, not just in their states, not just in their country ... the world is touched by the chartable works of the Masons.

Maybe the Masons did give globally in the past (from looking at it, I don't think that is the case), maybe they have simply kept their good works silent (the ultimate in giving, no recognition). But today the world knows the work the Mason's do ... eg The Shiner's Hospital, The Museum of Our National Heritage, George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Scholarships, and more!

When a Boy Scout makes Eagle Scout the Masons of New York send him a Scholarship ... one state, sending to ANY Boy Scout who makes Eagle, if it is known to them. No ties, no catches.

The concerns of the UHJ and the Guardian from 30 + years ago are addressed.

I just believe the statements should be reviewed, and that those requests, the Guardian ultimately to the LSA and if need be the NSA, should be reconsidered.
Ok, I am rambling and beating my point over the head. I have been a Baha'i for years, and a Mason for awhile. I love the Faith, so please don't get me wrong. The the works and deeds of the Masons, plus the knowledge gained are of great value.

[Stepping down from soap box.]

~talmont

JusticeForAll
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Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:17 pm

tawna wrote::!: I never knew about that. All this time, I thought that being a majority member of Job's Daughters might come in handy in case whoever I marry decides that he wants to become a Mason. (A man lacking Masonic heritage can become a Mason if he marries a former Job's Daughter.) I guess I can kiss that thought good-bye.


Tawana:

My wife has no Masonic Family Ties, No Job's Daughter's Ties, No Rainbow Girl Ties.
I have no Masonic Family Ties and I became a Mason.
But I did pulled my Daughters from Job's Daughters upon seeing one of the ceremonies. Job's Daughters are undeniably Christian Base, in this state they form a Cross and bow to the Cross to finish the ceremony ... Thus we couldn't have our daughters apart of it.

tipnum
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Postby tipnum » Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:09 pm

So, Talmot, have you written to the Universal House of Justice about this? Maybe you can write your National Assembly first. I'm sure they would know if the UHJ has changed its mind.

JusticeForAll
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Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Fri Jul 21, 2006 4:58 pm

tawna: The Bethel we went to refused to acknowledge the depths of the Christian Symbols they revered. I made all the appropiate questions to the proper members of the Bethel and was assured there were no over Christian symbols ... then we saw the closing ... We politely asked to have our daughters removed from the rosters and got a stunned series of questions as to why. It was also the retiring of the Honor Queen ceremony, well we got our request but there are still people in the Bethel who were hurt that anything approaching Christian Symbolism was in the ceremonies.
I am not upset, but amused and harbor no ill feelings.



tipnum wrote:So, Talmont, have you written to the Universal House of Justice about this? Maybe you can write your National Assembly first. I'm sure they would know if the UHJ has changed its mind.


Yes, I was quoted the UHJ response from 30 years ago. I pray for a resolution within myself, one that doesn't conflict with Faith or belief. But I am still at turmoil.

I will ask for the UHJ to review the decision, offer all the information I can, and pray for a resolution I can come to peace with [yes either way].

I just worry that We are making decisions based on the way things used to be, based on past perceptions. Not current actions and realities.

We are not autonomous, we Baha'is' live in this world and share it with our fellow humans. That means getting tangled in the affairs of others by simple existence. Everytime I see an injustice on the television, web, in the paper and don't take full actions that are available to myself I am tangeling myself in the affairs of those who perform these actions by not opposing them.

We all do, inaction is action.
Permission can be as simple as keeping silent.
How does this tie in with the Masons? They are good people helping the world. They have a history that might not be the brightest ... but then if I shun membership in them for that reason, we should shun membership in government organizations for their past behaviors, not working for them, not paying their wages, not supporting them ... except we are to do otherwise, support the governement even if we disagree with them ... but try to change them through normal channels

{Found on SoapBox again, getting down}.

~talmont

JusticeForAll
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Re: Freemason & Baha'i

Postby JusticeForAll » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:43 pm

numbrel wrote:I guess I still puzzled by your insistance on being a Mason. So far, the positives you have mentioned are found in the Baha'i Faith, except for the level of organization. I can see that one would be attracted to a formalized and working structure that is already accomplishing good deeds, and that one may not find that in their Baha'i community. But it is the duty of Baha'is to work toward making their communities capable of such good works.

Why can't you transfer your time and effort to your Baha'i community? The Masons seem to already have enough people to do their good works.


Ah, good question. While i was in the communities I have been in for Baha'i I have found my efforts to be un-needed and in cases unwanted. My input was not received with much more then apathy if not out right refusal.
Now that I am not near a Community I have found that, in this area, ,it is more productive to make associations in the community I live and work. Because then we have a common bond and basis before venturing into the realm of the sublime. I never hide my Faith, nor do I omit my Faith. I am well spoken, I have no reservations on presenting the opportunity of my Faith as the doors of opportunity open.

But where I live there are five Baha'i adults (on considered a youth) and out of those two aren't of my family. One is not in health to be active, the other (non-family Baha'i) is active 50 miles from our area. Our choices to channel our Baha'i energy are very limited. And as we are of limited resources, it is difficult to accomplish the prompting of the Faith without assistance, and thus far the assistance of promoting our Faith comes most indirectly from non-members of our Faith. As weird and 'wrong headed' as that sounds it is no less true: Our greatest chance to do the work of the Faith comes from those in within the Faith, as does our greatest help in doing the work of the Faith.

One would also argue a point in your statement (and this is the arguer in my, no malice or condescension is meant) there are more Baha'is then Masons, yes there are enough many Mason's promoting their good efforts, but there are alot more Baha'is and they have just as many people doing good work if not more then Masons.

We attempted to open a Baha'i bookstore and gathering place in our area. We asked the members of the faith who were not apart of a community if they would support such an effort as we couldn't do it alone. We then also asked members of a couple of large communities if they would also support such an effort. . .

The best response we got was that if the store/place got up and running, they would try to visit the place and make it occupied.

No books, no furniture, no offers of assistance with the raising of funds (through activities), no spreading of the word, and no offers of prayers for the project.
So, if I am able to make my life a success enough to be able to promote the Faith in this manner, then I might expect some assistance from other Baha'is.
I opened a business in the area, a Mason found out we were in business and began a word of mouth promotion of the business in his work, his person life and his lodge ... I didn't know about the source of our small customer surge for months.

Yes, the second example was an example of something done for me in the material world. But the first example was promotion of the Faith for the Faith. And the response was very, very different. The first example we asked for help, the second example we didn't.
But when we made offers to help the Faith in communities we were politely declined, when not out right dismissed. So, I don't put energy into driving over 160 miles (round trip) to support a large community, I am attempting to promote the Faith in my area but am very, very limited on funds, material, man power and am able to promote my Faith through social contacts as my best means of success.

[How do I keep ending up on these soapboxes?, sorry. ... Getting down}

~talmont


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