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Stephen H

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Stephen H last won the day on September 8 2019

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About Stephen H

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    Apprentice
  • Birthday 01/12/1961

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  1. For the sake of harmony, it is prudent to avoid religion and politics on social occasions. I struggle to understand how freemasons can avoid discussion about moral behaviour given the nature of the organisation. How to square diametrically opposed views of moral right is a challenge for a morally based organisation.
  2. Sontaran, Thank you. I posted in haste having had a strong emotional reaction to the thread. I don't mean to high-light Sojourner particularly, it is just that his post best illustrated what I thought was a theme running through the thread. Sojourner and others are perfectly entitled to have their own views and there is no reason they as individuals should align with mine. It would hardly be respecting diversity if I believed otherwise. To move away from the personal to the institutional, I think this high-lights a real problem for organisations which have a moral aspect to their membership. It has always been the case that there are mixed views on the definition of what constitutes a person of high moral standing. It is perhaps more mixed now than ever following a period of progressive changes to the definition of morality. Ancient texts, such as the christian bible, are of limited help since they do not define the terms they use and the examples they provide are often contradictory and/or open to interpretation. I believe it is therefore for individuals to challenge themselves to live the best life they can and to continually seek to improve. In fact, for me, that is one of the reasons to explore freemasonry. But for freemasonry as a movement, which places much emphasis on moral behaviour, it is a difficult subject to navigate. This may explain, in part, the decline in membership (if indeed membership is declining - I rely on the information on this forum to reach such a conclusion). An organisation which appears from the outside to hold an absolute moral code will struggle to attract members at a time when morality is being redefined by society. The best response to this is, I believe, to have an open conversation within the organisation. This thread might be part of such a conversation.
  3. I appreciate the two examples (widow twanky and shetland pony) were chosen as extreme examples - designed to undermine a concept which, I believe, has enhanced the moral behaviour of the country. If freemasonry, and or freemasons, consider the concept of respecting diversity, equality, inclusivity and acceptance of alternative lifestyles as a decline in moral standards, then my moral compass is not aligned with freemasonry and I should question whether it is right for me to pursue.
  4. Thank you Mr Sifter. A kind offer. I am about to leave for a much needed vacation and will think some more about membership while I am away.
  5. Thanks Sontaran. Good advice. I don't have anything criminal in my background. The closest I got was when I spent two hours in a cell at aged 8 or 9 after having run away from home. It did the trick of scaring me not to do that again. And thanks Bod. Still exploring at the moment and will probably be asking for advice on how to choose and approach a lodge a little later.
  6. Thanks, Steve. Just goes to show you shouldn't believe everything you find on the internet. The approach your lodge took seems very civilised to me.
  7. Thank you Engineer, that is helpful. I am based in England - I live on the East London/Essex border (Wanstead) and work just a stone's throw from Queen Street in Holborn. The reason I asked about the process is that I felt uncomfortable with my employer/neighbour being approached. I keep my private and work lives separate. I am not nervous or uncomfortable with being questioned about what interests me about freemasonry - better to know earlier rather than later if we are not a good fit. Thanks for putting my mind at rest about this part of the process. Steve
  8. I wondered whether you would mind helping me with a question about becoming a freemason. I have been told that one part of the vetting process for those applying to join, is to be subject to a masonic investigation committee, in order to ensure the applicant is a suitable candidate. I believe that includes an interview/conversation with the applicant and their family. I believe this helps the applicant understand if freemasonry is right for them, and to establish if the candidate is right for freemasonry. What makes me a little more nervous is that I am given to understand the committee will contact an employer and neighbours. Would anyone here be able to advise regarding this part of the process? Thank you. Steve.
  9. Thank you for the welcome and information. The why or how did you became a freemason thread was interesting too, thanks for the pointer.
  10. Hello, my name is Steve and I am NOT a freemason. There is much about freemasonry that draws me to it, though I recognise my knowledge is fairly superficial. In my professional life, I benefit from the generosity of Freemasons, who donate to support the charity I work for. The idea of being part of an organisation that aims to help men be the best they can be and through that approach help make communities and society a better place, is compelling. I do wonder about the ritual and secrecy associated with freemasonry, but expect I have some misinformation and lack deeper understanding of the reasons behind it. A question I would like to ask is, what would you say was the most satisfying aspect of being a freemason?
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