Please welcome Wor. Bro. Kevin Homan’s second contribution to this series, a thoughtful commentary on current events and the impact they have on Freemasonry and Masons alike. WB Homan is a member of Olive Branch Lodge #114, AF&AM in Leesburg, VA. He was Raised in 2007, served as Master in 2011 and 2012, Secretary in 2013-14 and is currently the District Educational Officer of Masonic District 2 of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
Our Kind Offices
Wor. Bro. Kevin Homan
Olive Branch Lodge No. 114
Brethren, this past week we were once again witness to evil in this World. I am of course referring to the senseless ISIS attacks that took place on Friday, November 13th in Paris. This event has captivated ours, and the World’s attention, since taking place. We have seen incredibly kind and heartfelt actions, such as Parisians opening their doors to others to get them off the streets and find places of safety, or taxi cabs who ferried people out of the city free of charge.
We saw various buildings from around the world lit up in the colors of the French Tricolour and tributes from sporting events and college campuses worldwide. The outpouring of support for France has been immediate and loud. It has even brought more light to recent events in Kenya when many people said the events in Paris had overshadowed those that happened in Beirut one day prior.
Unfortunately these events bring out the ugly in society as well, and as is generally the case after these terrorist related events, people of the Muslim faith are set squarely in the crosshairs. In Canada, a man was arrested after posting a Facebook threat to “kill one Muslim a day.” We are now seeing Mosques and other Muslim sites defaced or vandalized. Sadly, I have seen troubling statements towards Muslims and the Muslim faith come from members of our own Fraternity.
I belong to several Masonic groups on Facebook, and over the past several days I have seen things that should cause all of us to pause. What started out as a seemingly simple question, asking if “those of the Muslim faith can be Masons,” devolved rather quickly into name calling and ridicule of the Muslim faith and of the teachings of the Koran. It makes me truly sad to see this going on. The common trend seems to be that the teachings of the Koran are inherently violent and intolerant. But couldn’t we say the same about the Old Testament?
We have Christians in our own Country today who would use “the word of the gospel” to deny same sex couples the right to marry someone they love and share in the benefits of marriage. Do we not remember that Christianity has its own period of conquest and war mongering in the Crusades. Those events, and those more conservative or radical aspects, however don’t define the religion as a whole. Just as there are bad Muslims, who would use the faith to kill or do bad things, the same can be said of all religions.
In Myanmar, the Buddhist monk-led “969 movement” has promoted violence in which over 10,000 people have been displaced and over 200 killed. They have also directly sought out the persecution of Muslims in the country. Do these monks represent the Buddhist faith as a whole? Of course not, just as Islamic jihadists to not represent Muslims as a whole, and the Westboro Baptist Church does not represent Christians as a whole.
But Brethren, more importantly than playing tit-for-tat over the missteps of a particular faith or group of faiths, let us remember something more important:
We are ALL representatives of this great Craft of ours, and the eyes of the public at large are on us at all times.
Please remember, Masonic sub-Reddits and Facebook pages are generally open to the public. You are certainly free to post your opinion on any matter on those sites, but take some time before you hit that submit button to think about how that particular post will look to someone desirous of joining the Craft. We claim to be a Fraternity that opens its doors to men of all faiths, and the Scottish Rite backs that up by putting five volumes of Sacred Law on its alter at the House of the Temple. But based on the Facebook and Reddit posts and comments I’ve been seeing recently, many of us are not living up to our expectations as Masons.
Sincerely and fraternally yours,
Kevin Homan, PM
Thank you Wor. Bro. Kevin Homan for you contribution this week!
If you would like to be the next contributor to From The Mentor’s Mouth, send me an email. I hope you will.