Perhaps one of the reasons I find the Masonic value of Tolerance so important in my life is because the land of my father's people has suffered from intolerance for centuries.
Ireland, the land of St. Patrick and thus mainly of Catholicism, has been the scene of wars and battles between Catholics and Protestants since the time of King Henry VIII.
More recently, "The Troubles" have plagued Northern Ireland. Sectarian battles were openly waged in the memory of many of us. The "Good Friday" agreement, signed on Good Friday, 1998, was a huge step to limit the violence that had plagued Northern Ireland for generations.
The murals show the depth of the passion of each side during the height of "The Troubles".
Ireland is the home of the second oldest Grand Lodge in the world. Isn't it a shame that the tenets practiced in the lodge halls could not find their way into everyday life to stop the violence and the killings?
Let's pledge that, in our little corners of the world, we will not permit intolerance to fester and grow. It really is our duty as Masons.