Sunday, April 22, 2007

Exist In Harmony

Letters and Figures
by RmOlano

Couple of years ago I have a not-so-friendly email exchanges from some of the supporters and one of the founders of United Grand Lodge of America—Jeff Peace. After being aware of the founding of UGLA I went to their website and read what they have to say about their action. It seems like the “young Masons,” have legitimate issues. However, their manifesto was presented as holier than thou and employed serious words to those who did not agree with them. I dissented in this approach and replied to Peace that if they could tone down their rhetoric they might find and win more sympathetic ears.

Before the Declaration of Independence and Tacloban Manifesto by United Grand of the Philippines in September 2006, I wrote in GLP yahoogroup my personal concern of the idea of breaking away. The influence of our Craft through the key individuals who shaped the history of the country cannot be denied or ignored. My concern was that breaking up of GLP into three distinct Grand Lodges, one for each major geographical regions might lead into breaking up of the country. I wrote that it is my hope and let it not be said that the breakup of GLP was the start of breaking up a Nation. Needless to say I was against the move.

Being stonewalled and yet to received information relative to serious financial and procedural issues brought forth by concerned Brethren, I came to realization that the absence of response is either the charges were true or the accused simply ignored the issues hoping that it will go away—ningas kugon in local parlance. The problem became real predicament and to divert attention to the questions or allegations, it became personal issue. Instead of talking about missing funds, cemetery irregularities, etc..., the GM expelled and decreed selected Brethren as clandestine Masons. Discounting the causes that lead them into such path, they became THE issue. Only blind fools wont recognized that ploy which unfortunately, maybe not a bad statement after all. It is therefore unnecessary to reiterate why my position is different from previous response to UGLA as these opinions are documented in past writings.

The notion of only one Grand Lodge can exist in one geographical location flies into the face of reality. There are fifty (50) independent Grand Lodges in United States, multiple in Canada and if we scale down a notch there are numbers of individual Lodges located in the same building all over the world! Obviously, there are differences that cannot be overwhelmed hence, the solution was to form and /or join a group that can be closely identified with. Each Lodges has its own character which is directly proportional to the personality of its members. Lodges with young members are more into physical activities, i.e. community support, sports, etc… while more senior Brothers prefers those with less physical involvement such as dinners and likewise enjoy time with those with same outlook in life. Birds of same feather flocked together; there is nothing wrong with this concept. The idea of tolerance should not be confined to religious aspect as life encompass more than the idea itself.

If a Brother could join multiple Lodges which meet in the same building and remain civil to all, I cannot comprehend why this example of Brotherly Love cannot be exemplified in the Grand Lodge level. The display of gang-like mentality of “they” and “us” could possibly be overcome by more serious contemplation of what is meant by a concept called---Freemasonry.

Based from what had transpired; only time will tell before we see our Brethren who formed and joined the IGLPI to even think of returning to GLP unlike the aborted UGLP from Samar-Leyte. There are enough differences that each side will need to seriously work out but in the end I do hope that each will exist in harmony.

Photo obtained from Internet shows three Volumes of Sacred Laws (Christian, Jew, Islam) on the altar of a Lodge in Grand Lodge of New York. I apologize for not capturing all relevant infomation for photo credit. If you know the source, please send it for update. Thank you. /rmo

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