Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Masonic accolades to be given out solely based on attendance

Springfield, IL - One Grand Lodge is streamlining its awards process to focus on what really matters: attendance. The Grand Lodge of Illinois issued a statement earlier this week stating "...As the antient institution of Freemasonry is suffering from declining membership and member participation, and the Grand Lodge wishes to encourage increased member participation at all levels of Freemasonry, let it be known that all Grand Lodge awards and accolades from thenceforth will hereby be awarded strictly based on the attendance record of the recipient without respect to other member qualifications, moral or otherwise." 

The Past Bastard caught up with Bro. Joe Snow, spokesperson for the Grand Lodge of Illinois, for his comments on the new Grand Lodge policy: "The fact of the matter is Freemasonry's in a right bad state if you ask me. We don't have enough members, or at least enough members who are willing to show up, to fill the seats at the Grand Master's dinners, special events we've arranged to raise money for the Grand Master's charity, or the Grand Master's special 'Ladies Nights' events. It just makes us all look bad when we're trying to raise money for a good cause and we can't fill the chairs. That's why we decided to take a hard look at what we really need from our members, and award them accordingly. From here on out, we don't care about how you conduct yourself as a Mason, how you've furthered the Craft, or how you've used your leadership abilities to better the organization. We care about how much you show up." 

Bro. Joe Snow continued, stating that the Grand Lodge has been passively implementing this policy in other areas for years: "We've been doing this with our District Deputy selection process for years, and it has worked quite well. GAOTU knows we need those guys to show up to everything, so why not just give the District Deputy title only to the guys who show up in the first place?"

When The Past Bastard cited concerns that the new policy might lead to the Grand Lodge honoring those whose behavior or conduct might otherwise preclude them from honorifics, leading to further decreased morale and member participation, Bro. Joe seemed confident that this new policy would be successful at increasing participation across the jurisdiction: "Look, the fact of the matter is we need more people to show up. You want an award or a District Deputy slot? Start showing up. I don't want to hear some newly raised brother whining about 'Oh, Bill's crass demeanor and bad attitude is the reason why I don't come to lodge anymore, and they made him District Deputy and gave him an award!' If you stop showing up to events because you don't like how another brother is acting, you're the one being unmasonic."


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