Hiding Behind 2BE1ASK1

Preaching to the choir doesn’t help others to understand the good we do.

By: Joe Chrisman
District Deputy Grand Lecturer
District 6

Joe Chrisman

For many years now, we have secluded ourselves into our lodges and discussed the pride we have in being a Mason and what the fraternity has done for us. We speak of our great pride of the role of Masonry in the founding of our country.  We talk of all the famous men who were members of our Noble Craft.  But, we are simply preaching to the choir.  Simply put, Masonic lodges have become echo chambers, turned inward only speaking to ourselves. 

For the past 50 years we have failed to engage young men and our interactions with the community have faded.  We have lost the appreciation and recognition of the communities that once held the Craft in such high esteem.  It seems that the general public has no idea what Masons are or what we do.  

We wear our Masonic rings and display the Square and Compasses on our cars.  Our buildings proudly display the words “Masonic Lodge”.  However, the overwhelming majority of young men don’t even know the Masonic Fraternity still exists.  Jornada Lodge #70 runs the Handicap Equipment Lending Program (H.E.L.P. Program) that provides a vital service to the community, but very few people, besides the direct benefactors, know we provide this service.  Everyone knows of the Shrine Hospitals.  However, even with all the positive public exposure the Shrine provides, very few people I meet know that Shriners are Masons. 

We hide behind the moniker “2B1ASK1”.  Our numbers are declining and our lodges are closing.  I believe our Masonic fraternity must come out into the open and revitalize our public presence.  We must be active and visible in our community and on-line.  In everything that we do we need to ensure people know we are Masons.  We must show everyone that, even through the clamor of today’s social confusion, there is ONE organization that cultivates good men, strong communities and moral actions. In all our interactions with the public we must ensure that they see us as just and upright men.  We must demonstrate, by our actions, that we are Masons. 

Additionally, we must seek out good men of our community and tell them what Freemasonry stands for and what we do. We must communicate the fact that we are interested in them because they embody the qualities that qualify them for admission into our honorable order, and should they seek membership, they are welcome. 

If you know or deal with a good man, make sure he knows you are a Mason.  Brag about the local charities and programs your lodge supports, and the good things Masons do.  Boast about Masonry’s role in the founding of our country and the famous members of the Craft.  More importantly, tell him what Masonry has done for you.  We must stridently guard the West Gate, but opening the eyes of good men to the Masonic Fraternity can only be a positive for the Craft. 

Continuing down the current path we are on only ensures that our fraternity will continue to decline in public awareness and stature, which will result in the eventual extinction of our lodge and the Craft.

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