Lest we think we are living in the same old world, here’s an important reminder that we are not. The rest of the world is taking notice of what is going on vis-a-vis Tennessee and Georgia. How the rest of US Freemasonry responds will be very significant indeed.
Already, there has been a protest outside an academic conference on Freemasonry at UCLA It has also been noted in the US press, including NPR. In the European Masonic blogosphere what is happening here has been noted and critiqued. Several online organizations have formed attacking the position of Tennessee and Georgia already and a Facebook group dedicated to addressing the issue in Pennsylvania has been created as well. Whatever one thinks of their approach or their position, allow me to remind everyone that what we as masons think about such responses doesn’t matter here. What matters is what the public will think.
Freemasonry, especially North American Freemasonry, has historically been slow to react and less than accurate in divining which way the winds are blowing. With that in mind, it is extremely important that the rest of the US Jurisdictions do some serious communications at the top end and actually come up with, for once, a uniform strategy for dealing with this matter. It will not just go away, no matter how much we wish it would. I do hope they are listening.
In addition to these public notices I have become aware of various groups which are actively voicing their views on the matter. We are as someone remarked seeing only the tip of the iceberg thus far. Or are we sitting on the rim of a volcano?
I have no desire to stir any cauldrons. I am not trying to suggest what form any organized response might take. I am simply noting that it is needed. However, it seems to me that the big boys will need to finally earn their keep, if they wish to influence the outcome of this matter and lead us all to a happy end. Old biases will rip us asunder otherwise.
A word or two by way of explanation may be
worth offering concerning the title of this blog.
Hedge Mason, like similar terms Hedge Master,
Hedge Lodge, and the more widely recognized
Hedge School, are terms from Hiberno-English.
The latter of these terms, as many Irish will know,
refers to illicit schools dedicated to the maintenance
of Irish culture and language, alongside the classics
of European Philosophy, including Greek and Latin studies.
These institutions were founded throughout rural Ireland during
the Penal era when Irish Gaelic culture was under attack
by the English occupier. During this time also, the term
Hedge was added to masonic terms to refer to any masonic
individual or institution not approved of by the
Anglophone world. These often were lodges and masons
working to advance the cause of Irish independence.
It seems a very appropriate term then, for me to use to
name this blog.
For quite a while I have observed various blogs and podcasts
relating to Freemasonry, finding both much worth emulating
and a few things worth avoiding among them. Fairly
quickly it became apparent to me that there was little
being published in North America (or elsewhere for that matter)
that dealt fairly and offering a positive perspective on Liberal
Freemasonry or the world beyond the confines of the
Preston-Webb Rites or the AASR Northern or Southern
Jurisdictions and especially with the Modern Rite with which
we are associated.. Such sites exist beyond the Anglophone
Internet, but The Hedge Mason will endeavor to bring some
of that information within the grasp of an English speaking
It seems to me that it is time for a change, and this blog
will hopefully serve as a small corrective step in that direction.
The goal of this blog will be to provide interesting topics
from time to time on subjects relating to Liberal Freemasonry
and on responsible alternatives to what is exemplified by the
mainstream Grand Lodge system in North America.
While this site will not avoid covering contemporary issues,
it will try to avoid heavy handed critiques of any system or
tradition within Freemasonry. It is my belief that there is no
such thing as clandestine or irregular freemasonry. Such
labels belittle the rich tapestry of our traditions both
contemporary and historical. Further, such attitudes
directly contradict the premise of brotherhood and fraternalism
which is the foundation of Freemasonry.
In short, this site is about education and expanding
the horizons of Freemasons of all stripes and those who
are just interested in the subject. It is not a place intended
for debate or dispute, although if it engenders some that might
be a good thing.
Just in case some object to certain posts being off topic,
please note the subtitle of this blog includes the phrase,
“and other stuff.” That of course is because it’s my blog and
occasionally I want to ramble.
We look forward to sharing with you!
Source: The Hedge Mason