If brotherly love, relief, and truth are the foundation stones of Freemasonry, Tolerance is the cement that unites them. Yet, in a world that has recorded and/or witnessed increasing tolerance, we as Freemasons are intolerant of much. In many ways, the unacceptable level of intolerance within our lodges makes sense when we observe the efforts to maintain the current status quo.
As a fraternity, we have long spoken of tolerance, universalism, and Freemasons meeting upon the level. This is fantastic ideal and is it true? Do Freemasons really practice tolerance and equanimity toward all, and have they in the past? Does Freemasonry treat African Americans the same as Caucasians, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Mormons, and other monotheistic faiths the same as Christians; women the same as men? Can we within and those without truly observe that there is no bigotry in Freemasonry? Have you heard racial or anti-Semitic jokes, racial or anti-Semitic slurs, and pejoratives, stereotypes of men, women, religions, races, and ethnic groups from another Freemason? Personal observations and experiences have exposed this writer to all of these intolerant comments-not just from the profane world, these were heard directly from the mouths of men who call themselves Freemasons.
S & F, Philip Carter / The Quarry / Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge (Khalil Gibran)