October 7th & 8th
Annual Communication 2016
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Director, producer, writer and actor, Cecil Blount DeMille...
The quality of a man’s character has always been the measure of a good man and prospective Mason; it is the internal and not the external qualities that makes him square, level and plumb. Couple that with a pronounced belief in God, stated in our Masonic language as the “Grand Architect of the Universe,” and he possesses the fundamental characteristics that we can use in the evaluation of his candidacy for our ancient and honorable fraternity.
Recently, two Grand Lodges in the United States, Georgia and Tennessee have taken actions to exclude men from being Masons based upon their sexual orientation. This discriminatory innovation is not consistent with Masonic principles. It contradicts the open and inclusive culture that is the foundation of Masonry which unites men of various geographic, religious, ethnic, socio-economic, etc. backgrounds. We purposely bring good men together to collectively improve ourselves, serve our Masonic family and support our communities.
We can proudly point to the wisdom of our Brothers many centuries ago to exclude the interference and involvement of religion and politics from our Gentle Craft. That decision has served us well and removes large barriers to having productive conversations and harmonious working relationships. The influence of individual religious beliefs on the actions of these two Grand Lodges is not appropriate for Masonry and has no place in the governance of its members. It is through the religious tolerance and acceptance taught in Masonry that enables Brothers from various faiths to see past differences to look for what matters most, a Brother’s good heart and upright actions. Although I disagree with the actions of these Grand Lodges, I acknowledge the Masonic sovereignty of both jurisdictions to govern themselves and their members.
As your Grand Master, I want to be clear that the actions of these two jurisdictions presents a message that is absolutely contrary to Masonry here in Illinois. We are a welcoming fraternity of Brothers and Friends. We value the talents, skills and capabilities of all of our Brothers. Within our Illinois Masonic Family, we acknowledge all of the loving and caring relationships that our Brothers hold dear. We are a stronger family for taking that approach and will continue to stay true to our Masonic values.
Fraternally and sincerely,
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