A paper by Bro. CLIVE HERRON

Marine Lodge 627 I.C.

I do not intend going into the question - WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?. You have listened to many papers and have your own opinion in that regard for Freemasonry is different things to different people. Rather I am going to put to you - ARE YOU TRULY A MASON?

Our Order has at all times religiously preserved the teachings of moral self-respect. Our principles are the fundamental basis of our Fraternity. I am not suggesting that you should question your morality or self respect but rather examine the emerging problems in our modern society, in relation to yourself.

Changes are taking place and although some changes are necessary they should be attained legitimately by legislation or other appropriate means. When the foundation of trust is shattered by scorn for rules, the result is fragmentation of the trust of this basic fabric

"The law is in crisis." This was the headline to an Editorial in a recent issue of SUNDAY TIMES. In my opinion it is not only the law that is in crisis. All over the world we read of economic crises, social crises, ethnic conflicts and crises, national conflicts and crises, crises in family life, crises of poverty, crises of exploitation, crises of homelessness, crises of governmental oppression, cries of government corruption crises of man's inhumanity to man and so on.

The fundamental crisis is the turning away of men from spiritual and moral values. To my mind it is a turning away from the True God as taught by Freemasonry. Many outsiders may disagree with me when I say this. On the other hand if I say it is turning away from the moral vales that underlie religions and also humane rationalism, many more will agree.

I do not believe that any political ideology or 'ism' alone can do the job. No single ideology or `ism' can save the world. Drawing from the most constructive aspects of ideologies and `isms' will help, provided the root cause of all problems is recognized - a turning away from the spiritual dimension and the moral values common to all religions.

 Freemasonry gives us the opportunity to interact with our fellow men on that level not condemning his religious beliefs but celebrating with him the acknowledgement of a SUPREME DEITY (God, Jehovah, Allah or any other name he may call that Being)
The principles which are common to Freemasonry, include the pursuit of truth, honesty, keeping promises, responsibility, duty, avoidance of the commission of physical injury except for just cause, fairness in personal relations, concern for one's neighbours, respect for property, loyalty and duty to ones' spouse and children, the work ethic, respect for the civil magistrate and concern for the genuinely poor and the underprivileged. Emphasis is upon the duty and the responsibility of the individual. No society can function effectively or humanely and no civilization can endure without these values.

It is on thee aspects that you must examine yourself and determine - AM I TRULY A FREEMASON
Traditional morality is inestimably important. Without it, all kinds of injustice and oppression against ordinary persons are sanctioned; not only of Gang Bosses, Marxist theories, and the tin pot warlords but the real oppressions which arise when men forget the golden rule: love your neighbour as yourself.

 The abandonment of traditional morality is the cue for expropriation of private property, heavy taxation, theft, waste, compulsory association, totalitarian thought control, sexual exploitation, disloyalty to family, social engineering, genocide (including the genocide of the unborn child) and impiety. It is worth emphasizing that Freemasonry is about moral duties and responsibilities - not rights. Morality tells individuals what they must not do and provides principles for good living. The emphasis on rights in modern society (encouraged by modern educational theories and ideas) is a challenge to Freemasonry. The duty-centered society will automatically generate respect for important human rights and moral values. On the other hand the focus on rights in a society which is not concerned about duties (such as honesty and keeping promises) will lead human kind backwards.

Many write about politics, including politicians, academics, journalists and concerned people. Many suggestions are provided for building a better society and reform. These proposals inevitably draw from theories and ideas based on theories of social change, socialism, justice, social justice, liberalism, equality, anti-discrimination, ending of oppression, concern for minorities, reducing exploitation, distribution of wealth, participatory democracy, democracy, civil liberties and so on. The missing dimension is that there can be no improvement in human society unless the spiritual and moral dimensions are confronted.

A better world requires better human beings, who are honest and not corrupt. Freemasonry teaches us these morals and ethics. “MAN BUILDS ONE BRICK AT A TIME” so morally disciplined individuals collectively become disciplined communities and eventually morally a disciplined nation.

What is the use of proposals for political and legislative reform, where the government consisting of politicians, bureaucrats and the people are enmeshed in increasing corruption and nepotism, with little respect for the moral values which underpin all humane rationalism? As a Freemason, I see the root cause of all human crises today, as the turning away from the spiritual dimension and the moral virtues set out in THE VSL.


The most precious wealth in the world is that of established character. While not ALL can become leaders, each of us can be pure of heart and faithful to our principles. The greatest influence of Freemasonry is its influence on integrity.

We have the right to demand deeds of principle and integrity rather an attitude of indifference and violation that surround us.

 Truth, love, faith are the principles which should guide the life of a Freemason. It is upon these Pillars that we must base the question - AM I TRUELY A MASON?

 *** As an Individual, I would enjoin you the practice of every domestic as well as public virtue. Let Prudence direct you; temperance chasten you; fortitude support you; and justice be the guide of all your actions. Bear constantly in mind the indispensable duties of Candour, Discretion and Fidelity. And be especially careful to maintain in their fullest vigour those truly Masonic characteristics, Benevolence and Brotherly love

*** From the charge to an entered apprentice in the Irish Constitution

Masonry means more than just regular attendance at Lodge meetings, the recital of Ritual and the wearing of jewels – although these are important aspects of Freemasonry.

We must demonstrate to the public our sincerity as men of honour, dignity and moral upstanding. We must stand out as being honest and principled. It is not easy in the modern world to convince people that Freemasonry through its teachings seeks to make good men better. It is your example in every facet of your daily life that will make you stand out.


8 March 2005