Welcome to Henry's Page of Freemasonry
One of the most basic questions people have asked since the beginning of time, is that of their unique relationship between them and their creator.
There are those who may not believe in a supream creator, I am a firm believer in the existence of GOD as the superior and almighty force in the world, the final judge of mankind, and who is all seeing and all knowing.
I have been criticized by my acquaintances who subscribe to the Darwinist theories of the universe, and equally chastised by my fundamentalist Christian friends who believe that the belief in Jesus as the incarnate persona of GOD is necessary for redemption. (And for the record, I don't believe that there is a flashing sign at heaven that says "Only Christians can enter", or "Christians Only". If we learn anything we should learn that GODS love is universal, and that he accepts Christians, Hebrews, Muslims, and persons of other religious backgrounds, regardless of denomination, as long as they live an upstanding life according to the tenants of their religion and freely admit their shortcomings and attempt earnestly to improve upon them. Perhaps that's why I subscribe to Deism with very strong Wiccan leanings.
His Holiness the Pope understood very clearly that a belief in a supreme being of us all, regardless of theology or religious dogma, was the most important ideal, above all else. Furthermore, perhaps that is why is was so open to many leaders of different religions and encouraged people of different faiths to pursue their beliefs.
Now that I have repudiated my one half theological upbringing (and I don't feel guilt about that, as the Roman Catholic Church has not been progressive, nor have they pragmatically addressed many of the world's problems in a manner consistant to acheive results.) In fact the Church has been very narrow minded, and promoted religious superiority (something I was a victem of as a young child, as the Nuns told me my Mother's family could not get into heaven as they were not Catholic.). Thanks to this, and many other things I earnest learned about other belief systems and theologies. (and I really enjoyed Ed Collin's "Comparitive World Religions class. Straight A's)
Freemasonry is not a religion, though religious in nature. It is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, illustrated through symbols. It reiterates basic truths of life, and gives the individual an opportunity to understand those truths. It is all that it is, and nothing more.
One of the great benefits of the society, is that we accept people of many different religious, social and financial backgrounds, and we are no better/ no worse than the man next to us. (as we are all equal in the eyes of GOD) Our only stipulation is that we do not discuss religion or politics while in lodge, as these can very easily lead to social discourse and destroy our basic tenant of brotherhood and our ability to work together for the greater good of mankind.
This unique experience has so enriched my life not unlike other famous freemasons of the past and present. (Among those are included George Washington; most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence; the Marquis De Lafayette; Benjamin Franklin; Paul Revere; Eddy Arnold; Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin; James Monroe; Wolfgang A. Mozart; Ludwick Van Beethoven; Arthur Godfrey; Arnold Palmer; Irving Berlin; John Handcock; Norman Peale; John Pershing; Ernest Borgnine; Harry Houdini; Omar Bradley; Sam Houston; Hubert H. Humphrey; Will Rogers; Burl Ives; Teddy Roosevelt; Ty Cobb; Al Jolson; Davy Crockett; John Paul Jones; Jack Kemp; Red Skelton; Rudyard Kipling; John Phillip Sousa; Danny Thomas; Dave Thomas; Duke Ellington; Charles Lindberg; Harry S. Truman; Alexander Fleming; George C. Marshall; Gerald R. Ford; Thurgood Marshall; John Wayne; Mel Tillis; and others just to mention a few.) What a fantastic group on men to be associated with.
My members of my lodge (Gainesville #41) graciously elected me their Worshipful Master in 2006. I will be eternally greatful to my brethren for the oppurtunity to serve them, their lodge, as well as the Grand Lodge of Florida. I was also fortunate enough to serve as Sr. Warden, Jr. Warden, Sr. Deacon and Junior Steward.
In addition , I have been fortunate enough to expand my knowledge by completing the 4 to the 14th degrees and all the way to being 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason. I have also completed the Chapter, Council and Commandery Degrees of the York Rite. In 2008, I became a perpetual member of my lodge. In 2010 I became an Endowed Member of Tranquility Lodge No. 2000 of The Grand Lodge of Texas A.F. & A.M.
I am also a charter and founding member of the Scottish Rite Honor Society, the Knights of St. Andrew, for the Valley of Ocala.
I am a Past-President of the Alachua County Scottish Rite Club.
After completing the Three Symbolic Degrees of the "Blue Lodge" one can petition to join the appending orders, usually either York Rite or Scottish Rite. Some masons go on to join the Shrine ( These are the Shriners who run the Hospitals for Children and Burns).
These are many other orders within these, and I am blessed that I am a member of National Sojourners (a group consisting of present and former military officers who are masons for promoting Americanism and Patriotism), where I served as their President.
It is most fulfilling to get together with like minded men, who see needs in the community and act to make this world a better place than we found it. (or rather than stay home and complain, or place themselves behind the television day in and day out.)
Every day the institution of Freemasonry donates some $2,000,000 to charity.
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