Taking a chance to join in beating up a very dead horse, this issue came up numbers of years ago in this forum. One of the wisdom imparted to the young man was a reminder that marriage is about partnership, about trusting and respecting other belief and opinion, making allowances to each other errors--- in short making the union work. If the other half is being force to "defend" something that the other half believe is important then, we could only speculate where this trend could stop. Defending why a 32" LED flat screen is better than 54" plasma or SUV rather than family van? There are things that a man could tell his wife, girl friend, or fiancée to just trust him and in the same token, there are things that she could say the same. If this fundamental ingredient is absent i.e. lack of trust then the young man has more important issue to resolve. Without doubt, that the Craft will still be around when he is truly ready to knock as all brothers and fellows have done who have gone that way before.
Not to belittle or offend the intelligence of uninitiated, even regularly made Masons could not come to agreement on how to define Freemasonry. Freemasonry can be defined in many different ways. It is like defining beauty--- it is in the eye of beholder. For some it is a good old boy network, some see it as social group, some it is a mystic circle and some perceived it as making good men a better man. As the definitions numbered as almost the same as its members world wide, how anyone can “defend” something he does not even experienced or even know yet?
If we subscribed with Brother Albert Pike definition of the Craft as “a system of morality, veiled in allegories and illustrated by symbols,” one need to know the symbols first before grasping what it mean to him, to his brethren, and to the world around him. This study as our young Brother is now embarked is a life long endeavor. The journey is bisected with trials and tribulations over the rough and rugged road—it is not always easy. It will take time therefore; it is wise to allow the time and patience to run its course. The journey is not for anybody else, it is always for the traveler--- to build his own temple not made by hands eternal in Heaven. The answer to the inquiries at the door can only truly answered by responses coming from the candidate’s heart. Am I duly and truly prepared? Of what I am in search of? If the object is to be able to wear a ring with square and compass to impress those who can, then just buy the ring and be done with it. If someone need permission or to “defend” himself to join a group of good men trying to be a better man—then someone need to think again as to why he wanted to be one. Freemasonry is not for everybody.