"Rescind the Three Blackball Rule by amending Art. 1. 352, 389, 418, 420, 421425, 428, and 429. Purpose to enhance the selection of qualified candidates. The recommendation will effect reinstatements in a Lodge or the petition to affiliate with a Lodge. One blackball or protest will stop actions on joining the Lodge."
Currently if a man petitions a Texas lodge it takes three black balls for that man not be elected to receive the degrees of Freemasonry. The above amendment would make it so one ball would exclude a man from joining a lodge, a brother who wishes to be reinstated to be denied, or a brother wanting to affiliate with another blue lodge. The argument for this is that this will help ensure that the highest quality of men will be allowed through the West Gate.
Now, I think it's been pretty well documented on this blog and by those that know me that I am a Past Nothing (PN), and don't have a vote on this issue, but it does bring up some concerns. Anyone that has any long term and heavy involvement in our fraternity knows that pettiness seems to be a far to often occurrence. While the teachings of Freemasonry teach tolerance and forgiveness, sometimes men push that aside in attempt to secure their own power or personal grievances (shocking, I kn0w). My fear is that the "one black ball" could encourage this type of petty behavior.
MW Carnes is right that we must be diligent in the men that we bring into this fraternity, and that we must ensure that they will reflect well upon Freemasonry in their respected community. But a man that isn't right for Freemasonry or vice versa should be vetted in the investigation phase and a brother that feels strongly about that a man receiving the degrees would bring this up during discussions of voting, not sitting in the shadows knowing that he can deny a man the right, lights and benefits of Freemasonry, because of an inconsequential matter.
I have no idea how well received this recommendation is with the brothers, it seems from various conversations it's about 50/50 and will most likely be a close vote, I just hope it's not a short sighted attempt to fix a problem that seems sporadic at best.