June means it’s time to present the year’s Bernard Hogan Essay Contest winners their prizes. This year our First Place winner is Brooke Daugherty followed by Michael Hutson in Second Place and J.B. Delph in Third Place. This year’s winners brought their families, a fellowship meal was enjoyed by all in attendance, and finally the winning essays were presented by their respective authors.
Pictured above, left to right: Doug Logan, History teacher at Cooper High School; J.B. Delph, our Third Place winner; Michael Hutson, our Second Place winner; Brooke Daugherty, our First Place winner; and Ernie Stratton, Worshipful Master.
Picture above is J.B. Delph receiving his prize for Third Place from Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.
There is a lot of things you might not know about Masonry. There are rules that they have to follow and there are something’s you don’t talk about to a Masonry, and where Masonry all started from. And how you could join the Masonry.
Let’s first talk about where Masonry came from. No one knows with certainty how or when the Masonic Fraternity was formed. A widely accepted theory among Masonic scholars is that it arose from the stonemasons’ guilds during the middle Ages. The language and symbols used in there rituals come from this era. “The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regus Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England, and records from that point on are more complete”. (Masonic Service Association of North America). Then it spread throughout European and American colonies. During the 1800s and early 1900s, Freemasonry grew dramatically.
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It requires of its members a belief in God as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but you don’t have to have a certain faith or practice. Masonic ceremonies include prayers, both traditional and extempore, to reaffirm each individual’s dependence on God and to seek divine guidance. Freemasonry is open to men of any faith, but religion may not be discussed at Masonic meetings. The bible is hold holy to them They have the Scared law “the rule and god of life”. Freemasonry is far from indifferent toward religion. Without interfering in religious practice, it expects each member to follow his own faith and to place his Duty to God above all other duties. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions.
There are five things you may not know about Masonry. “When meeting, Masons do not discuss religion or politics , “There are certain subjects which are prevented or we simply proscribe from discussing within the lodge,” Piers Vaughan, master of St. John’s Lodge # 1 in New York, told Mo Rocca, “And religion is one, Politics is another.” The Catholic Church condemns Freemasonry, Jacob said the initial response to Freemasonry in continental Europe, particularly in Catholic Europe, was suspicion from seeing “all these men [from] different neighborhoods, different professions meeting in the cafe, breaking bread together, doing rituals, what could this be? Political conspiracy or religion, “In 1738 the Catholic Church condemned Freemasonry, and has since issued about 20 decrees — directly or indirectly — against the fraternity. In 1983 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) re-affirmed this position. Atheists are not welcome. Freemasonry is not a religion per se, but agnostics or atheists cannot belong, said Brent Morris, a Masonic historian, editor oftbe Scottish Rite Journal, and a 33rd degree Freemason, “This is an organization of believers,” he said. “When it was started on a formal basis in 1717, many historians believe that it was trying to bridge the gap between the religious civil wars that had been going on in England at the time, The Catholics would get in power and beat up on the Protestants; the Protestants would get in power and beat up on the Catholics; and everyone was beating up on the Jews. “So when the Freemasons were formed, [they] said, ‘Here’s a group of men that agree that God is central in their lives, they can even agree that God compels them to do good in the community, then they can shut up after that” That was a radical concept — which men could get together and agree on that fundamental level, and then get on with their lives. “So could an atheist join? No, said James Sullivan, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York: “The reason we, I think in the past, wanted somebody that had a belief in a supreme being is because we take certain obligation to be a good man, to support the fraternity. And if you didn’t have a belief in a supreme being, the obligation would mean nothing.” Most of the Founding Fathers were NOT Freemasons. Two of America’s earliest presidents, George Washington and James Monroe, were Freemasons, as were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Paul Revere. But many leading figures in the American Revolution – – including John and Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Thomas Paine »were not Masons. Of the 56 figures who signed the Declaration ofIndependence, only nine were confirmed Masons, according to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania; and ofthe 39 delegates ofthe Continental Congress who signed the draft of the new nation’s Constitution in 1787, only 13 (one-third) were Freemasons”.(cbsnews)
This is how you could join Masonry. You have to be free willing to become a Masonry. You can’t let anyone pressure you in. You must be a man. Another one is that you must be free born. You must be a legal age which is 18 years of age. You must of have a religion and believe in God. The most important one is that you have to show that you want to be a Masonry.
I hope after you read this paper you would like to become a Masonry, and learned some facts about m=Masonry and where they come from and started from.
Pictured above are Dan Kemble, District Deputy Grand Master, District 18, Grand Lodge of Kentucky along with Michael Hutson receiving his prize for Second Place from Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.
by: Michael Hutson
The Freemasons have been around since 1717 and have greatly impacted the way America is today. The Freemasons were there when America was growing into the nation it is today and even helped make it the great nation it is today. Freemasonry impacted the way our Constitution was written and helped in the civil war to end slavery.
During the Continental Congress when we needed to write the articles of confederation they made a committee to do so. This committee consisted of several known Freemasons such as John Dickinson. Chairman, Josiah Bartlett, Samuel Adams, Roger Sherman, Thomas McKean, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Joseph Hewes, Robert R. Livingston, and Stephan Hopkins. These men would make the 4th attempt by the Freemasons to unify the colonies to create the beginning of the United States of America. They created a draft of the Articles of Confederation and reported it to Congress on June 20, 1776 but it wasn’t approved until November 16, 1777 because of Congress’ reluctance to introduce a central government to the sovereign colonies we had at the time. Although the states were even more reluctant to ratify the Articles of Confederation because it was 3 and a half years before all the states ratified the documents. Even though it was a weak central government it was a win for the unionist’s idea to make the states unified into one country.
The Constitution had 56 signers, 15 out of those 56 were Freemasons or were associated with the Freemasons. The Freemasons who signed were Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Robert Treat Payne, Richard Stockton, George Walton, William Whipple, Elbridge Berry, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Nelson Jr., John Penn, George Read, and Roger Sherman. Many of these names are very important to the American Revolution and the development of this nation. There is also evidence that many of the big events of the American Revolution are closely tied to the Freemasons. For example the Boston Tea Party was pi armed at the Green Dragon Tavern, otherwise known as the “Freemasons’ Arms” and “the
Headquarters of the Revolution”. The person who swore George Washington, Robert Livingston, was the Grand Master of the lodge in New York and many of Washington’s generals were Freemasons or were associated with the Freemasons. In fact Marquise de Lafayette, who without his help we wouldn’t have won the war, was a known Freemason. Without Lafayette we wouldn’t have won the war because when he got to America in 1777 he was appointed Major General and eventually met George Washington and became very close friends with him. Lafayette would later go to Valley Forge with Washington and his army to help in the war efforts. Another great noted Freemason from this time period is Benjamin Franklin who was one of the main people to help write our Constitution. The Freemasons’ principals are also found in our Constitution as they stand for orderly civil, religious, and intellectual liberty. These can be seen as our 1st Amendment, giving us freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
The Freemasons’ ideas are found throughout our nation today. Like the idea of man religions and races’ under one nation. This is seen in one of Washington’s letter to a synagogue as quoted, “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it was the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily, the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens…” In other words this is saying in our new nation every religion is accepted and welcomed. They also stand for equality among men regardless of their social status, wealth, or appearance which we follow today.
After the Morgan affair where William Morgan threatened to reveal many of the Freemasons’ secrets and rituals after being denied from the New York lodge. After he threatened to do so he mysteriously disappeared and many blamed the lodge which led to a mass protest of the Freemasons mainly in New York and the neighboring states. This protest lasted from 1835 and burned out in the late 1850’s where Freemasonry started to gain its popularity back going from 66,000 members to 200,000 members and over 5,000 lodges nationwide. The Freemasons were also a big part in the abolishment of slavery. They would help free slaves from the South and get them to the North working with the Underground Railroad.
Pictured above is our First Place winner, Brooke Daugherty, receiving her prize from Worshipful Master Ernie Stratton.
Freemasonry and the Construction of America
by: Brooke Daugherty
July 4th, 1776, will be a day that everyone will always remember. It was the day where thirteen representatives from the colonies joined together to sign the Declaration of Independence to gain freedom from the English crown. However, one may not know that many if not all were actually freemasons, but with well documented research only eight of the fifty six signers were proven to be of Masonic membership.
Even though there is only proof of eight freemasons that signed the Declaration of Independence, the biggest name of all would have to be the first President and founding father: George Washington. Freemasonry played a huge role in the formation of this great nation. To start off, Washington entered the Order of the Freemasons when he was twenty years old in 1752. He became deeply rooted into it for the rest of his life and even while taking oath to become President Washington used the Bible of the st. John’s Masonic Lodge No.1 of New York. The Masonic fraternity played no part in the Revolutionary War as they decided not to choose a side, it can easily be shown that in many ways the revolutionary ideals of equality, freedom, and democracy were created through the Masonic fraternity long before the American colonies began to grow angry about the injustices of the British crown.
Another great effect that the Freemasons had on the building of the United States was their radical thoughts of different faiths within a single nation. Washington and other Freemasons rejected the idea that one government has the power over people and their ideas. Today however, Freemasonry is a quieter organization and is more prone to charity events then political and religious cases. However, while Washington and the Freemasons were fighting against the use of just one religion throughout the nation, the eye-and-pyramid of the Great Seal of the United States, familiar today from the back of the dollar bill was being designed. The design began on July 4th, 1776 by Benjamin Franklin (a freemason), Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams. The Latin maxim states “God Smiles on Our New Order of the Ages” which is Masonic philosophy to the core: It required a break with religious order from the Old World and that something new was starting in this newborn nation.
Another way the Freemasons influenced the creation of the United States was that they supported state supported school systems. However, there was not enough support to create them so the Freemasons ended up building schools that were not supported by state or political units. George Washington founded a free school in Virginia and then went on to support the creation of the Military Academy at West Point. The Masons of the revolutionary generation were not able to see their dream of state supported schools but by creating their own schools it was the start of it.
When Washington became president he chose four masons for his cabinet: Secretary of State; Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of Treasury; Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War; Henry Knox, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph who was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia. By choosing such men for these positions it was evident that the man was very trusting of Masonic fraternity brothers.
Throughout the course of the revolutionary war between Britain and America, Freemasonry had made a large impact on the foundation for the new nation after the war ended. Freemasonry paved the way for how Washington wanted this nation to look, in the same way that the Freemasons did not participate in the war, Washington also called for peace during his farewell address. He left three pieces of advice: Don’t start political parties, do not get involved in other countries’ affairs, and do not go into debt. Freemasons valued the idea of everyone having their own values and beliefs and they also valued such things as education being provided to everyone in this new country. They also developed the iconic seal of the all-knowing eye that is on the dollar bill and as well as the Great Seal of the United States.
Today Freemasonry has changed since the revolution and some of the things that they do is help support their community. They volunteer, donate, and become engaged in their neighborhoods, government, and places of worship. Freemasonry has influenced the beginnings of our government, our founding fathers, and as well as the freedom for our religion during the writing of the constitution. Freemasonry creates everlasting friendships and bonds with people who have the same common goal in life and this is why it still thrives today.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Brother William Kouns, a Brother from Lexington No. 1 that we all hold in very high esteem.
Pictured above, left to right: Brother William Kouns, Lexington No. 1; Ernie Stratton, Worshipful Master; Ed Tanner, P.M., Secretary.