We all have opinions of what it takes to be a Mason. Those characteristics that we revere and look for in those that petition our lodge for membership.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a predicament with a petitioner that may be related or a good friend of a member in our lodge that we respect. We may know something on the petitioner that we feel like we should reject their petition, but our respect for the brother that turned in the petition weighs heavy on our mind.
It is times like these that we have to remember to “Vote for the good of the order.” Masonry is bigger than any one member. Lowering our standards to allow someone to join our great fraternity that we know does not meet the character of a mason is not the best option. What have we done to our fraternity? Could our actions or lack thereof be viewed as un-masonic? Have we done the greatest harm we could do to our fraternity? If the addition of your new member results in several members getting upset and leaving, have we really done the right thing?
It’s times like these that I want us all to remember to “vote for the good of the order.”. I truly believe if the person petitioning knew the turmoil that their petition would cause, if they were truly a mason by heart, they would withdraw their petition rather than disrupt the peace and harmony of the lodge.
Our first line of defense is our investigating committee. The duties of the investigating committee are so important. They are one of the first to meet a potential new member. The quality of their report is crucial in preventing someone that does not have the qualities we desire in our members from joining. Their lack of fully carrying out their duties could also allow someone in that should have been kept out.
Have you been faced with this dilemma?
If so, how did you handle it?