Friday, March 22, 2013

A Small Milestone in the Blog

Recently (a couple of months ago actually) this blog received 50,000 hits, now really this is nothing in the internets and webpage hits.  Still for a blog that was mostly dormant for two years because of my deployment, and the fact that it is still going is its own little milestone.

When I started this blog in 2007, it was to document my journey as a freemason.  In 2007, there was something in the Masonic air as there were seemingly blogs being put up everywhere of newly made Masons, Masons that were in their line-up and some Past Masters.  Some of the most popular blogs have gone away, but still some, including Bro Chris Hodapp's blog which is read by most Masons on the internet.

Blogging about freemasonry is actually a pretty risky endeavor especially if you do it openly with your name attached.  While content will dictate some of this, for simply disagreeing with your Grand Lodge is considered by some to be a "Masonic Offense" copies are made, printed out, sent to Grand Secretaries.  It usually goes back to "Defaming the character and good name of a mason".  Also, some Grand Lodges have strictly forbidden their members to discuss masonic matters on-line, as a way to curtail public criticisms.

Masonic blogs have shaped so much of my Masonic journey to date, I have read articles and have met brothers through various blogs that I will continue to cherish.  I have also received e-mails from now-brothers and friends asking about Freemasonry, and if it made a positive impact on one man's journey to becoming a Freemason.

Here are some of the most popular posts on this blog:

Freemasonry in Iran

I wrote this post off of some information that was given to me, it was so sparse and there is little information on the web at the time regarding Freemasonry in Iran.  This post is by far the most popular, when this blog goes without a post, it is always number one.  Have received praise, questions, and incredibly more information about Freemasonry in Iran.

The response and seemingly craving for more information got me to search out every scrap of paper out there, including contacting academics currently teaching in Iran.  I need to compile it all and publish it somewhere, I just haven't found the right avenue, and the time to make it coherent.  I was going to push it to the Texas Lodge of Research, but current events have made me wary of that course of action.  Still, it is good information that needs to get out there, and shared with the profane and the mason.

Grand Lodge of Texas, Prince Hall, and Afghanistan

Shortly after arriving in Afghanistan after only leaving it six months before, I wrote this post.  I was homesick, tired and knew I had a long time in a warzone in front of me.  Frustrated with the relationship between the Grand Lodge of Texas and Prince Hall I wrote this as I was wanting to be at my lodges installation.  This subject is a constant theme in Masonic blogs across the internet.  Some men have unfortunately have used this divisive issue to grind their own axes, but it is a serious problem.

Even when all Grand Lodges in the US recognize Prince Hall, we will then have two recognized bodies and legitimate bodies of Freemasonry operating in America.  The inevitable merger is not a topic, but I foresee it being a topic in my lifetime, if I continue to pursue Freemasonry.  You can't have your cake and eat it too, and this is two different cultures when it comes to Freemasonry.  So all the states with recognition and inter-visitation, don't pat yourselves too hard on the back, the bigger challenge awaits us all.

The reason that this post got such a large number of hits is because Bro Chris Hodapp featured it on his blog.  Chris and I met in January 2009 when he came to speak at our lodges annual banquet.  I had a great time, and Chris is really a great and approachable guy.  A lot of masonic authors and men who have a large personality in our fraternity get so use to the sycophants that they become immediately offended if you aren't sweet as pie to them (to steal a southern phrase).

Chris and I kept in contact regularly until about a year and a half ago, I don't know what happened.  Chris, if you read this drop me a line when you get a chance, will you?

There are other posts, like my review of Jack Buta's book  which was a treat to write and also marked me finally joining the Scottish Rite.  Along with my self reflections on the degrees of the Scottish Rite, which I enjoyed writing very much.

On the controversial side, I don't agree with masonic motorcycle or riding clubs.  I took a stand against the Texas Rangering Masonic Camps that were established as it was far more controversial than what we needed and does nothing to spread further light.

I do have dry spells, and for that I do apologize.  Life becomes overwhelming at times, but of the plethora of masonic blogs that were up and running (granted a good portion were socket puppets) I am glad to be one of the ones still standing.

Thank you for those that have written me, it means a lot.

-Bro Vick