Monday, March 26, 2012

Maj John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company - What's the Point?


This past Grand Lodge of Texas session, under article 242 was established the Maj John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company. What is this organization, that is a question I have been asking myself for a while now, and am still unclear of the answer.

By the websites own words it allows for lodges for a small fee of $500.00 to register their lodge as a "Ranger Camp". While it is clear that the portion of the fee goes, to "...for each RANGER CAMP will go to the Grand Lodge of Texas Library and Museum, and a portion of it will be allocated to a special Major John B. Jones exhibit in the Texas Rangers Heritage Center." It seems to be little more than anything else except a title and a number afterwards.

An individual Mason in good standing in Texas can join the Masonic Rangering Company for a small fee:

Memberships Levels Available

RANK FEE

Private $ 500.00

Sergeant $1,000.00

Lieutenant $1,500.00

Captain $2,500.00

Major $5,000.00

Now I am sure you are all asking yourselves, so for this fee what do we get. Again according to the website, "Each member will receive a 16” x 20” framed certificate confirming their commission (which will be personally signed by a former Texas Ranger), a unique Masonic/Ranger lapel pin, an official ID card, a window decal and a subscription to Straight Talk, the newsmagazine of the Former Texas Rangers Foundation. TEN (10) percent of all membership fees will be donated IN YOUR NAME to the Grand Lodge of Texas Library and Museum. "

There you have it, I have summed up the Maj John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company. After finding out about this, and reading about it, I am perplexed as to why this organization exists outside of donations made to both the Grand Lodge library and to the Former Texas Rangers Foundation, does little more. While there are Masonic related groups that are specific to their trade, National Sojourners for instance is a Masonic organization that you need to be an E-7 or higher to be a member of as a Mason. But this organization doesn't have being a Texas Ranger as being a membership requirement, I mean you can buy your status within the organization, even though I am unclear of what the rank equates to outside of donation levels.

So again, I ask, what's the point?

To add to this situation the Comanche Nation is upset about the establishment of the Former Texas Ranger Museum, in recent public statement the Comanche Nation wrote:

"Fight with us to stop the Former Texas Rangers construction project at Fort Martin Scott. We will build the powwow arena which was promised to the Comanche Nation by the City of Fredericksburg 10 years ago before the rangers got the idea to ruin this important natural, cultural landscape and as well as our legacy of peace and diplomacy."




Is this another hornets nest that we need to get involved in? When you join a portion of your fee goes to support this museum, which the Comanche Nation takes exception to (for it's location, not necessarily the concept).

Now, I am not disparaging this new Masonic organization, but is this the best use of our limited resources and efforts? Does this organization spread further light, or is nothing more than a fund raiser with Masonic written all over it?

As a Past Nothing, I know my thoughts are worth next nothing (and little more as a PM), but I can't see how this advances Freemasonry in Texas, and provides more light. With all of the national organizations that are available to provide our brethren with further light, why was this a priority?

I doubt I will ever really get these questions answered, but I wanted to ask the question.

S&F,
-Bro Vick

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