Myths about Freemasonry

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Freemasonry is a religion

While it is true that most lodges require masons to believe in a supreme being, Freemasonry is not a religious organization. In fact, in many lodges Masons are discouraged from discussing politics or religion. While it is also true that many lodge meetings have an open Bible or other sacred text open for administering oaths and rituals, this is similar to the use of a Bible or other sacred text in a court of law to swear in a witness. In reality, Freemasonry accepts all religions. It does not require anyone to believe in a specific god. It just asks that masons recognize that there is a supreme deity responsible for organizing or structuring the universe.

Freemasonry is a secret society

Secret societies are societies about which very little is known. That certainly does not apply to Freemasonry. Masonic Lodges are often listed in the phonebook and are clearly labeled as lodges. Many lodges even have web sites. In addition, all rituals and histories of the Freemasons are written down and recorded, widely available to the general public. Many Freemasons even have Freemason bumpers stickers, pins, or other accessories that clearly identify them as masons.

The story of Hiram depicted in Lodges is true

The Legend of Hiram Abif is used to teach lessons, and is considered a legend rather than a factual account.

Pythagoras was a Master Mason

Pythagoras was a great scientist and mathematician, and his findings have enabled engineers, masons, carpenters, and many other professionals to do their job wonderfully well. However, Pythagoras lived between 582 and 507 B.C., and while there were masons and practicing stone cutters and other professional craftsmen at that time, there were no lodges and no granting of Master Mason degrees at that time. The degree didn't come into being until the late 1720s. However, some Freemasons do believe that Pythagorean theorems do influence modern Freemasonry in some small ways.

William Shakespeare wrote Masonic rituals

Shakespeare was not a Freemason and there's no evidence that he was even aware of the Freemasons as an organization.

George Washington's generals were Masons

and he insisted that that the Marquis de Lafayette (or Baron von Steuben) be made a Mason before he could be promoted to general.

Historians have proven that thirty-three of Washington’s generals were Masons, but this only constitutes a minority of all the generals serving under him. Both Baron von Steuben and the Marquis de Lafayette were masons before they met Washington and before they reached America.

The Boston Tea Party was organized and executed by the masons of the St. Andrew's Lodge

In fact, historians still do not know who took part in the famous Boston Tea Party. Some people point to the St. Andrew's Lodge because the lodge didn't meet that night and the minutes of the Lodge simply shows a scrawl that looks like the letter "T." At best, this is circumstantial evidence – lodges fail to meet for all sorts of reasons and in any event minutes for the lodge show a scrawl that could be any letter in the alphabet. It is impossible to know at this time what that scrawl was meant to signify.

There are no women Freemasons

Femine Freemasonry and Co-Masonry do have lodges, and even Feminine Grand Lodges exist. Although it is true that mainstream Grand Lodges to not recognize lodges that allow female members, female masons practice many of the same rituals, have many of the same beliefs, and reap the same benefits of belonging to a community and social organization as male Freemasons enjoy.

To join a lodge governed by one of the Prince Hall Grand Lodges you must be a Christian African-American

They are currently 44 recognized Prince Hall Grand Lodges and all of them accept men of all faiths and races. Historically, at least one Prince Hall Lodge consisted largely of Jewish, white masons.

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