Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tolerance Awareness Tuesday

Earlier this month, an 88-year-old man approached the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Security guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns, saw he was having difficulty and opened the door for him. The man produced a firearm and shot the guard dead.

James Von Brunn is a white-supremacist and holocaust denier. Stephen Tyrone Johns was an African-American.

We can all hope and pray that fanatics like James Von Brunn are in the miniscule minority. This tragic event reminds us that even one crazed person is too many.

Masons have always stood for tolerance of religion. We prohibit discussion of religion and politics in our lodges. We seek to recall what brings us together, not what may divide us.

It is time for all Masons, throughout this great country and throughout the world, to take an unequivocal stand against bigotry in any form. We cannot tolerate intolerance on the basis of race, creed or religion in our organization. If we do, how can we speak with any authority to those outside the Craft on this important topic.

I call upon all Masons, all Grand Lodges, to immediately remove all restrictions to membership on the basis of race. I call upon all Grand Lodges and all Masons to immediately recognize Prince Hall Masonry as our legitimate partners in Masonic heritage, history and brotherhood.

And I call upon all Masons and all Grand Lodges to bring to bear whatever influence they have on our brothers who have yet to remove restrictions on race to remove those restrictions forthwith and take a stand – the stand required by the oath we all take as Masons – to meet all men who have been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason on the level.

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For another perspective on the tragedy at the Holocaust Museum, see SGW Tom Hendrickson’s blog, All Things Masonic.