There are many misconceptions about Freemasonry and we will try to honestly explain them.
Many result from the fact that Freemasonry has a long historic background and many aspects of the ritual and other areas relate to situations from the past.
Most anti-Masonic comment comes from the ‘religious quarter’. The comments are totally unfounded and if those who make them actually tried to find out about Freemasonry then they would have seen that their comments are totally unfounded. They criticise Freemasonry for ‘blood curdling’ oaths. They should examine Anglican Church ritual which, in particular in the Prayer of Humble Access, says – in reference to Jesus – ‘to drink his blood and eat his flesh’. Question. Is this not a cannibalistic comment? This is not meant to be an attack on religion but merely to point out how well meaning, or historical wording can be misconstrued. Another fact which anti Masonic commentators should also remember/consider is that Freemasonry has no history of burning those who did not agree with them, at the stake. Perhaps the most famous being Archbishop Cranmer who was tried, on trumped up charges for treason and heresy and burnt at the stake in 1556
It is not our purpose to change anyone’s views. If a person has a view and does not accept our explanation then that is their prerogative. All we wish to do is to put forward the explanation from a Masonic point of view.
WITCHCRAFT AND THE FULL MOON
Some people accuse Freemasonry of having a basis of witchcraft because some Lodges meet on the night of the full moon. Yes, it is true they do meet on the night of the full moon, but respecting the practical reasons within their traditions.
Historically, before the invention of the car and street lighting, the horse was the principal mode of transport and the night of the full moon was the brightest night of the month. This meant that a Brother could ride home late at night on his horse and, because it was brighter on those nights, he could better see where he was going and avoiding any problems. There was also less chance of being mugged and robbed. Respecting these traditions some older Lodges still retain that timing for their meetings.
ROLLED UP TROUSER LEG
Everyone knows about rolled up trouser leg and it seems totally illogical until one examines the history behind the practice.. Slaves wore leg irons and these, when removed would leave a permanent life long scar round the ankle. Part of the ceremony requires the Worshipful Master to ask the initiate questions and one is “Are you a free man”. In other words, not a slave. With the trouser leg rolled up then the answer of “Yes” has visual confirmation.
Freemasons do not take an oath which is defined as ‘a solemn appeal to a deity’. They take an obligation defined as ‘something by which a person is bound or obliged to do as a sense of duty’. Basically loyalty to Freemasonry and upholding and observing the laws of the nation.
Yes it does say that in the ritual but such wording is preceded with the words traditionally and symbolically. But to explain further. This historic wording in the ritual was principally related to young impressionable youths starting a 7 year apprenticeship in a time of fear of the unknown. At a time of witches, werewolves, ducking stools and curses. Of highway men and general lawlessness. Also a time where there was no ‘examination system’. Or proof of competence. Stonemasons operated, like most trades, through ‘protective guilds’. Many travelled the country to work where the pay was the best. Or where a really skilled man could command a good wage. Unlike today where finance and academia are considered important, then technical and craft ability was highly sought after. Such wording was used to ‘discourage’ an apprentice from divulging a the ritual content, a password and handshake. If this became common knowledge the whole of the system of ‘proof of competence or examination would collapse with disastrous consequences for the stonemasons’ trade and guild.