Saturday, October 27, 2007
Tired of the “Should the Shrine Split?” Posts Yet?
It seems that most bloggers everywhere are tackling the controversial subject of should the Shrine split, since I started in Masonry a year ago. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone thinks their solution is right.
I’ve read every excuse for people that think the Shrine should split, most of them seem to come from somewhere not so Masonic. For instance, the fact that the Shrine was founded by Masons wanting to have more fun than could be had in the Blue Lodge, then let them leave the Blue Lodge. Well, the same could be said then of the Grotto which was founded 19 years after the Shrine, but has the same basic philosophy. If this is the case, then why am I not seeing a once a week post about how the Grotto needs to split?
Others don’t seem to care for their aggressive recruiting style, going to raising of a members just to shove a Shrine application at them after they are taught the word. Again the same could be said of the York Rite and Scottish Rite in America. It isn’t unheard of a Candidate being given an application to either rite while still learning the FC catechism. This wasn’t the case for me, but it isn’t unheard of. Still, I don’t hear about calling for a split from either rite (well sometimes I hear people talk about the Scottish Rite, but that seems to be more about rivalry than anything).
The Shrine has been accused of lobbying for all the way in one day to serve its membership needs. On the Philalethes mailing list there has been multiple discussions about this, the Shrine isn’t the only lobbyist behind the perceived need to do these classes, and honestly all the way in one day has been going on since the beginning of documented Freemasonry, well before the formation of the Shrine.
Now, to be fair I’m not a Shriner, and I don’t have a desire to be one either. The Shrine aspect of Freemasonry wasn’t why I joined the world’s oldest fraternity. Still, you can’t deny that the Shrine has its roots in Freemasonry and depends on quality members that hold Masonic principles dear to be such a successful organization.
The Shrine, like everyone else in Freemasonry is trying to find answers to the questions facing its organization. The inflated bubble of membership of the 1940s is leaving them to answer some serious questions, just like the blue lodge. I don’t think the answer is as easy as “Split or not to split”.