September is Constitutional Observance Month for the Lodges of Freemasonry in California.
George Washington was a Mason and the Master of his lodge. The French general Lafayette was a Mason. Paul Revere was a Mason. John Paul Jones was a Mason. Of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence, eight can be proved to have been Masons, including Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. Another twenty-four signers may have been Masons, based upon fragmentary evidence that has survived until today. These early American, patriotic Masons demonstrated the noblest support of established civil authority: They temporarily set aside their loyalty when that authority was clearly and oppressively wrong to replace it with one dedicated to freedom and liberty.
From the Entered Apprentice’s Charge:
As a Citizen, you are enjoined to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing or countenancing any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; by paying due obedience to the laws under whose protection you live; and by never losing sight of the allegiance due to your country.
And as noted by the Grand Lodge:
While Masonry teaches loyal and active support of the civil magistrate, such loyalty should never be confused with blind obedience to an unjust ruler. Loyalty to the civil authority presupposes a civil authority loyal to its people, governing in response to the people’s will and securing everyone’s basic rights and liberties. Many leaders of the American Revolutionary War were Masons. They recognized that the inferior status of the colonies was inconsistent with the natural order of democratic government for freedom-loving people. They temporarily set aside their regard for the established order, the British Colonial Government, to establish a new order to guarantee those inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
As Masons, we encourage peace and harmony among our brethren, offer strength and support to each other, and seek to strengthen our communities. The brethren of Modesto #206 are composed of members who, among others, are involved with and employed by local, regional, state and federal governments as well as businessmen, professionals, tradesmen, farmers, dairymen and ranchers. We do not discuss politics or religion while in the lodge, understanding that there is a panoply of opinion and emotion involved, but instead seek to practice the tenets of Freemasonry: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. That being said, there are times and places where certain brethren choose to enjoy a lively discussion of said topics, outside of the bounds of a tiled lodge.
Modesto #206 has numerous events that are not restricted to the Brethren, including our monthly Cigar Nights and superb dinners and presentations.
September 24th, at 6:30 PM, we will be holding a Constitution Night with a presentation by Sheriff Adam Christianson. We look forward to seeing you!
(note: all emphasis is mine -mk)