FREEMASONRY

The Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons is the oldest, largest, and most widely known fraternal organization in the world.  There are over 6 1/2 million members worldwide with over 1 1/2 million of those members here in the United States.  Alabama alone has nearly 27,500 members in almost 400 lodges.  Volumes have been written about it, yet to many, Freemasonry remains a secret.

In an effort to bring Freemasonry into the 21st Century, this is simply an attempt to relate a few facts that will be informative to all and to correct a few misconceptions.  Also, on the page labeled "
How to become a Mason", you will find out how to become a member, as well as the steps one must take to receive the degrees offered by the Fraternity.
 
Some historians trace Freemasonry to the Tenth Century, B.C., during the building of King Solomon's Temple.  Records reveal that Freemasonry was introduced into England in 647 A.D.  Freemasonry is directly descended from the associations of operative masons, the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, who traveled through Europe employing the secrets and skills of their craft. 


In the 17th Century, when cathedral building was on the decline, many guilds of stone masons, known as "Operative Masons" or "Free Masons", started to accept as members those who were not members of the Mason's Craft, calling them "Speculative Masons" or "Accepted Masons". It was from these groups that Freemasonry, as we know it today, had its beginning.


Freemasonry came to America with the early settlers.  George Washington served as our first President and during this time, also served as Master of his Lodge.  Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were active Masons as well.  As you can see, Masons played a very important role in establishing and instituting many of the freedoms we still enjoy today.

With divulging this information, our purpose is not only to tell you about Freemasonry, our origin and our people, but to also clarify some misconceptions about membership. 

  1. We are NOT a "secret organization"....  Ours is a well-known organization whose members wear emblems and meet in buildings with our emblems displayed.  We publicize our meetings in the newspapers, T.V., radio stations, and the internet.  There has been no attempt to conceal the purpose, aims, and principals of Freemasonry.  It is an organization formed and existing on the broad basis of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. 
  2. We are NOT a religious organization, but 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.  The only requirement is a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.  Our teachings come to life from the pages of the Holy Bible. 
  3. Freemasonry is NOT an insurance or beneficial society, but ours is an organization of benevolent people.  It is NOT organized for profit.  Freemasonry is an organization that contributes over $450 million dollars a year, or $1 1/2 million dollars a day to assist people in need and to alleviate the suffering of mankind.
  4. Last, we are anxious to clarify a misunderstanding concerning our method of membership selection.  One of the reasons for our success is that we do NOT solicit membership as other organizations do.  Each of our members has come of his own free will and accord.  They have sought out one of our members and asked for a petition for membership.  There is no violation of Masonic Policy when a Mason tells a non-Mason that membership is predicated on a request to join and NOT on an invitation.   

 

Today, Freemasons around the world come from virtually every occupation and profession.  Within the Fraternity, however, we all meet as equals.  We come from diverse political ideologies, but we meet as friends.  We come from virtually every religious belief, but we all believe in one God and in respect for each other.  We are respectable citizens who are taught to conform to the moral laws of society and to abide by the laws of the government under which we live.  We are men of charity and good works, and we remain unchallenged as "the worlds greatest philanthropy".    

One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry has always been: how so many men, from so many different walks of life, can meet together in peace, never have any political or religious debates, always conduct their affairs in harmony and friendship, and call each other "Brother".  

Quite simply, Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternity.  Our history and tradition date to antiquity.  Our singular purpose is to make good men better.  Our bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries.  Freemasonry is neither a forum, nor a place for worship.  Instead, it is a friend of all religions which are based on the belief in one God.  It is a Brotherhood!  To learn more on "How to become a Mason", click here.  To learn more about the Degrees in Masonry, click here.  

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