Masonry & Civil Disobedience

School of Light immediately follows a short business meeting that begins at 1900 hours, Thursday, January 14, 2021 in the Library.
All Master Masons are welcome to join the School of Light in person/online.

Ripped from the Headlines
Civil disobedience is being used as a tool to shape public opinion and force societal changes.  

Bro. Bruce Shopfner leads a discussion regarding the history of civil disobedience: The refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.  Reflecting back on the founding of our nation, it is apparent that Freemasons were very active in committing the “crime” of civil disobedience. Nine of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Freemasons.  One of the greatest acts of civil disobedience was performed by a Freemason known as Nathan Hale. Of course, all these Freemasons that initially performed acts of civil disobedience became revolutionaries and framers of a new nation. 

The purpose of this School of Light is to reflect back on the civil disobedience of our heroic brother Masons at the founding of our nation and evaluate whether civil disobedience will be required of us to preserve the nation.

Brother Bruce Shopfner, 32º, is Commander of the COL Louis Joseph van Schaick (MoH) Council of Kadosh, Armed Forces Scottish Rite Bodies. 

Epilog. The actual discussion centered around the Colonial era and the acts that distinguished men of great character and firm determination: To establish a new nation of people free from a distant and tyrannical government.  The conclusion of our study was that Masonry itself had nothing to do with any acts that might have been considered seditious, treasonous or disobedient.  Being a Mason, however, was a significant indicator of the great character of many of the primary actors of those times.  Further, we concluded that current times do not compare to the catalysts of the Colonial era.  As Masons, we are taught to be obey the laws of our nation.

Another moral lesson that we teach is that whatever our philosophy on religion or politics; in lodge convened, we meet on the level and part upon the square. We can be divided on social issues yet share a common bond: The Fatherhood of the Grand Architect of the Universe and Brotherhood of man. We can hold a difference of opinion and still be brothers. This is the lesson of which we must be the exemplars.