Crystal City, VA -- In one of the more revolutionary concepts to come out of the 2016 Masonic Week convention, Bro. John McNaughton, SGC for the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, floated the idea that the working tools associated with the lessons of Freemasonry are old-fashioned, and could easily be replaced by more approachable forms of symbolic communication.
“... far too many current Masonic leaders do not understand that some traditions which served the needs of the fraternity in the past have very simply become outdated technology. For example, their insistence of stressing memorized ritual above all else in the craft, along with their edicts and rules, do not seem to be working very well in mostly empty 21st century lodge rooms.”
The 33º SGC went on to describe how it might be better approached.
“The younger guys, today, are familiar with Facebook and Twitter, and they’re always passing along pictures that have been altered to have pithy or inspirational messages on them. Instead of trying to convey some kind of moral lessons with a few tools, like a square - which nobody uses in real life, anymore - we would be much better off showing them picture memes with the appropriate messages. It will be faster, and less prone to misunderstanding.”
Although the SR has no authority over the Craft lodges, many Grand Lodge officers hold the various Supreme Grand Commanders in awe, and it’s not unusual for them to take those ideas and pass them along at the various Blue Lodge educational seminars. While there was little discussion over the idea of replacing the working tool lectures with Facebook memes, the fact that most of the Grand Masters and other officers present did not denounce the idea shows that at least some of them will be considering the move.
-- Conte Calvino Gliostro