If you are remotely active in the on-line Masonic community you know that the announcement was made by the Grand Lodge of New York of the expulsion of PGM Neal Ivan Bidnick. The Masonic community on-line and nationally will have two typical responses:
1) Gloating and I told you so by Masonic Self-Righteous Crusaders who have a disdain for most Mainstream or whatever euphemism you want to use for Regular and Constituted lodges. Who wag the finger of shame either at the Grand Lodge, Grand Lodge Officer or whatever body as an example of a decaying disease that is American Freemasonry.
2) Those that feel that this public information is damaging to the image of Freemasonry and should not be made available to the profane for fear that it will be used to fuel anti-masonic sentiments and an unjust portrayal of American Freemasonry.
Freemasonry politics are like Academic politics, people act very dirty sometimes because there is nothing to lose. I know this is shocking considering the teachings of our institution, but men will be men. Sometimes men will act unreasonable, abuse their power, and cause blights on the organization that they have dedicated so much for.
Sacrificing two years of my life for this country, leaving my wife, my job and the comforts of my home to live and fight in a country that has become the cradle of international terrorism, I have seen the worse of humanity. I have read the same stories that everyone else has of men posing with the dead, body parts, etc. The reporting of these events, while unfortunate, allow for others to not indulge in this activity, to not urinate on dead bodies, etc. It reminds us that we are accountable for our actions, and something done in the moment of passion, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay the consequences for the rest of your life. I don’t begrudge the press for reporting these events, and I don’t think it should be hidden, as it helps prevent future activity. We have to be held accountable to the American public, as we ultimately work for them.
Conversely, the glee and gloating that some show over this activity and outright “told you so”, is bad karma at best, malicious and cruel at worse. I understand that men out there have been, for lack of a better term, screwed over by their lodge, or Grand Lodge. I know too well the sting one feels when their lodge treats them less than brotherly. Heck, my last post on the Major John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company I received thinly veiled threats that men were going to Grand Lodge, to which I said “go”. If I can’t publically question the purpose of a Masonic organization, then there is a lot more wrong with Freemasonry than men blogging about Freemasons. Still, don’t be so happy about a Grand Lodge, or Grand Lodge officer screwing up, it makes you look petty and casting the first stone, when you most likely don’t have room to talk.
The rules of Freemasonry that we are to live by are different than rules of most institutions. They are meant to be internally enforced, from within vice a military or government entity where the rules are enforced on the outside in. The building of our internal temples must be enforced from within, not from outside pressures.
I know that the actions of Mr. Bidnick and the Grand Lodge of New York are not the first to happen in Freemasonry, it certainly won’t be the last. How we behave with the news of this, and learn from it, is much more important than the act itself.