Things I learned in Freemasonry that apply to politics, and life itself:
First in the lodge there are two rules. “No Politics in the Lodge Room, and No religion in the Lodge Room.” it is divisive and goes back to an old theater rule that was instituted by QEI
Well I am going to do my best to bring Politics and Lodge together because I have seen a Brother Mason, brother Scottish Rite Mason, brother DeMolay, (probably) Fellow Noble, and (*possibly I don’t know*) Fellow Royal Arch Mason who never had an opportunity to learn these lessons it seems. So Brother Lott if some one actually sends you this, this is for you. The other part of my Inspiration is listening to Fred Thompson on Hannity after the debate I have to say I’d never want to be President but if I found myself in a position where I could credibly run for President, and I felt my country needed me to do so I might do it.
J. G Kicklighter was a big force in the world of adult leadership in DeMolay when i was cutting my teeth. Jay was also an advisor of my chapter, a big man in local freemasonry, and some one who taught me a great deal. When you presented committee reports that were the bulk of our legislative materials, he would throw at you through his Star Chamber and pick the report apart line by line. Jay would reference one Inviolate law of his chairmanship, and one inviolate law of his predecessor. The law of J. G Kicklighter was “We will not have Change for the sake of change” His predecessors law (which my memory is hazy on his name) was “The rules say what they say, not what you want them to say.” how better would our politicians be served if these two laws were burned into their political character?
Take the Immigration Bill. Did they ever do a good job of establishing that we needed a change? Well when they haven’t done a good job of enforcing the laws no they haven’t. Did they go out and say, as Jay would have demanded of me, “well why can’t we enforce the laws on the books now.” Would we have better support for a bill if our Senators, Congressmen, and gosh maybe our president tell us why they can’t do their job and enforce the laws. Would we not be better served if government said “we can only deport 25% of the people we order deported” and then told us why? Would it be then that they could build support for a bill and not write it in some smokey room.
And then “the rules say what they say, not what you want them to say” When a bill says people get temporary Z visas automatically until the enforcement measures are in place how can you say its not giving those our free. When your saying you will do a full background check in 24 hours, when we can’t even issue enough passports -which are much easier to do- to our own citizens it doesn’t seem to say what they want it to say. Wouldn’t we be better served if our congress wrote bills that said what they say and not what our congress wanted them to say?
In the lodge we have many arcane rules that are not written in stone which often keep our members happy at the expense of a handful of people. We do not attack those folks in open lodge, but in private brother to brother the issue and a compromise and negotiation is done, or the brother is asked to leave. If the Master of the lodge can’t politically (or personally) do it effectively he asks another brother who agrees with the wisdom of the course of action to talk to them. No insults, no harsh words.
Not saying that system always works perfectly, but when it isn’t done I see some of the stuff we’ve seen in our congress lately.
While I would dispute some of the claim that our government was more civil 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, or 50 years ago + i would say that we had a congress of men who had belonged then to rotary, to fraternities, to societies like the Freemasons and others. Men who have learned about the reality of politics and how to politically manage people. Maybe we need either as a country, or by the leaders we pick, to get people who know the civic virtues these bodies teach.