Confessions of an atheist Freemason

One of the most humbling things about maintaining this blog is when someone stumbles across it out of the blue and lets me know that they value my contributions. What is even more heartening is when this blog is deemed a suitable conduit for others to express their opinions. Usually this is done through comments on my own posts, but in this instance, and for understandable reasons, the reader wished to remain anonymous when expressing their views on atheism (a subject with which I am very familiar) and its relationship to Freemasonry (something about which I sadly know far too little).

It is an inspiring piece; one which speaks volumes about human beings and their ability to maintain numerous identity positions simultaneously… regardless of what the ‘authorities’ who ‘police’ the uses of those labels might say. It is with gratitude that I can present this opinion piece to you. Enjoy…

I’m an atheist Freemason (they’d expel me if they knew)

Is it possible to reconcile being a confirmed atheist with participating in a religious organisation?

People usually think Masons are either a bunch of old farts with their trousers rolled up, or evil genuises bent on world domination. Dan Brown, in his otherwise execrable Lost Symbol, described us fairly and with a sneaking admiration (though in this country we don’t do anything like locking ourselves in cupboards with skulls). It’s a way of meeting people (well, men) on a basis of immediate friendship. It teaches a moral code: integrity, fidelity, benevolence etc. It raises a *lot* of money for charity. It offers a chance to perform ceremonies. Why does it need to be religious?

Every candidate for initiation is asked “Do you believe in a Supreme Being?”. When I was asked this, I replied “Yes”, and meant it – nothing further is ever asked or expected. At the time I was a wishy-washy not-quite-a-Christian, like many other members I’ve met. People from any faith are welcome, and oaths of secrecy and fidelity are taken on a bible, or other holy book if appropriate (requests for Darwin or Dawkins wouldn’t be well received!). Each meeting involves prayers to the generic “Great Architect of the Universe” to look favourably upon the organisation and its members, and to keep us steadfast in our oaths. I question whether any passing God would trouble Himself to shine His rays upon a bunch of men waffling on in coloured aprons, but this low-key interventionism is woven in. The secrets themselves serve no purpose other than identification, aren’t hard to find on google, and really aren’t interesting in their own right.

Moral teachings are a central part of the ceremonies, in which the “candidate” (new member) is taught various lessons about how to be a better man. There are some wonderful moments in these ceremonies, which are genuine once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and I can honestly say that they’ve had a very real and positive effect on my conduct in everyday life. One key point they hold that I utterly reject is that God is the moral compass and fount of all goodness.

I derive a lot of enjoyment from performing the ceremonies. They involve learning large tracts of dignified, old-fashioned dialogue and monologue, and performing them in such a way as to give the candidate a memorable and impressive experience. Any frustrated actor would revel in this. Amateur pageantry is also an important part, and for anyone who enjoys watching the pomp and circumstance of a royal wedding, military parade, or a high church service, this is good fun to take part in. Some of the buildings are nothing short of magnificent and it’s a privilege to use them. Alas, those small parts of the ceremony which reflect the religious underpinning engender in me feelings of hypocrisy; I’ve filled various offices which involve leading short prayers. It feels dirty – perhaps more so than mumbling the Lord’s Prayer at a wedding, though there is no logical reason for this to be the case. Is it any different from being in a church and not agreeing with the letter of everything being said? Maybe it’s the difference between being an atheist church-goer and an atheist priest.

Why do I do this? It’s fun. It fills a gap which I think church fills in the lives of the religious – community, morality, ceremony etc. I agree strongly with the intent of its teachings, even though I reject the jump from “being nice to people is good” to “God is good and He wants you to be nice to people”. Given the don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy after the initial interview (religion and politics are taboo subjects on account of being too divisive), all that’s required is a certain amount of finger-crossing and keeping my mouth shut. It’s a price to pay, but the benefits (strictly non-pecuniary!) of membership far outweigh this price.

There’s no secular equivalent, alas – society is still to emerge fully from the assumption that all good people are religious, and all religious people are good, and Freemasonry is lagging far behind. In my opinion, the religion could be removed from Freemasonry to no loss, but I’m probably in the minority.

You may call me a hyprocrite, and you may very well be right. So be it. I’ve made a significant positive contribution to a number of lodges over a number of years, and they to me. I have every hope this will continue.

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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Director at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

46 responses to “Confessions of an atheist Freemason”

  1. anon says :

    You’re not alone as an Atheist in Freemasonry . There are many of us, but we choose not to reveal ourselves due to the nature of the beast.

    • John Catt says :

      Sounds like a more complicated versions of the Boy Scouts, who also require you to believe in a god (any god will do) and similarly have many members who are probably hypocrites, even though a major aim of the organisation is to promote integrity.

    • leadraft says :

      Yes we do exist and our quite numerous. In fact we also have our own meetings still within the framework of masonry. By it’s nature it is of course treason.

    • WM (3rd time around) says :

      Many of us have struggled with this but managed to square it!

    • Curt Detman says :

      I think that the rule sucks. I was looking into Freemasonry and read that. I can’t hide my non-belief. Too bad because I would be a dedicated member. I want to help my community more. So sad what religion does.

  2. David Pollock says :

    There is a continental tradition of Freemasonry with a strong secularist (largely anti-Catholic) position, which split from the British Freemasons around the end of the 19th century and is not on speaking terms with it. Many of their Grand Orients do not require any belief, however vague, in a deity. It seems that they provided and to some extent still provide a way to organise secretly on a secular basis in societies where the church was and remains all-powerful. More information about them would be interesting!

  3. Anon says :

    I am with you.

  4. Anon says :

    I am also with you, Brother.

  5. David Pollock, President, European Humanist Federation & board member, British Humanist Association says :

    There is a totally different tradition of freemasonry in much of continental Europe – a secularist “a-dogmatic” tradition that broke with the English version in the 19th century – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Freemasonry

    These freemasons are strongly favoured by the EU Commission over mainstream humanist and secularist organisations in the treaty-mandated dialogue with “philosophical and non-confessional organisations” – see links at http://humanistfederation.eu/?s=freemasons

  6. Chris says :

    We are many, my Brother. Atheists, Polytheists and other Irregulars. : )

  7. Undisclosed says :

    Atheism is not incompatible with Freemasonry per se.

    Freemasonry requires a person to stem his life from the single centre of morality, goodness and perfection – that is – to know his aim and governing force. The God or The Great Architect does not have to be necessarily personified to be called a deity. One can take values of goodness and morality and put an infinity sign next to them – and this will be what is understood as God in many religions. It is mostly the terminology that creates a problem, as well as an archaic view upon atheism as being synonymous with anarchism in a way.

    Since atheism per se rejects the notion of a personal deity, but its scope does not touch moral values or the ultimate truth – it’s a question of how much a subjected person is a fundamentalist – and fundamentalism (whether religious or atheistic) was never appreciated by freemasonry anyway.

    If a person sets his aim and the source of inspiration as an infinite absolute unlimited goodness – he can be said to believe in a supreme deity in the impersonal form, at the same time it does not go against being an atheist – it’s not hypocrisy. What Freemasonry really objects to – is to accepting members that do not have any central aim, that drift with the wind without having the proper awe and respect for the single truth, people, who are unwilling to accept the existence of absolute values, at least as much as their life and the world they live in is concerned.

    • Anonymous says :

      Drifiting with the wind is what sand does, and builds dunes. To say that’s unmasonic is untruth. Evolution strives for perfection by adopting anomalies that benefit the species. Without those variations, nothing can advance to perfection.
      I’m no Freemason. Nor will I ever be. But I do however command a lot of attention from all lodges worldwide.
      To the future brothers and sisters, with no turning back.

      • Undisclosed says :

        I can understand perfectly the argument of stagnation (or inbreeding). But with everything said I can just wish you good luck with sympathy.

        Our conscious decisions and constructive creativity are a part of evolution, and so is the morality and respect of another being’s free will.

  8. chris says :

    hi,

    very useful read for me indeed.

    i have recently showed my intent to be a freemason, and i have reached a point in my life that i dont believe in God anymore ( a God which was suggested to me by my religion, i am a cradle catholic, an ex seminarian and a person who used to cry on the very mention of doubt in god).

    now my concern is the interview, i believe everything, the workings of life and the universe has a beginning, not necessarily something or someone who wishes to be worshipped but just in laymans terms started the ball running, with that said am i not an atheist for humbly believing this beggining. and could i honestly say yes as you did and live with it after i get initiated to the respected brotherhood, hopefully you could shed light on this with your personal experience as i am torn to the point of sleeplesness.

    sincerely waiting for your reply.

  9. The OP says :

    A point which I overlooked in the original article was the rather patronising notion that atheists are unwelcome because they cannot be trusted to keep their Obligations – i.e. not to tell anyone the secrets (which one can google readily).

    I think any attempt to describe “humanity” as being a Supreme Being, as complexity emergent from many simple parts, would be given short shrift and regarded as hollow wordplay justifying that black is white. It would be a brave initiate who turned up with the Gospel of the FSM to take his oaths on, but I would want to witness the result!

    In recent times I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with the arbitrary exclusion of women. This, along with the exclusion of atheists, is inviolably baked into the very heart of ‘regular’ Freemasonry. It was a sad day when the Augusta National Golf Club become more socially progressive than an institution of which I am a member!

    To Chris, you sound very much like the deist I was when I joined. Your view does not entirely tally with that of the ritual in mainstream (Craft) and the most established side-degree (Royal Arch), which regards its Supreme Being as being interventionist, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, the judge of the dead, and the sole path to everlasting afterlife. As I say, this is a small part of the teachings which are otherwise sympathetic to a humanist interpretation. If you can answer “yes” in good conscience then I suggest you do so, and figure out later if you regard a bit of finger-crossing as being a small price to pay for membership to an organisation with many unusual virtues.

  10. Chezzdevil says :

    Thanks for your insights, Serge, Perpignan

  11. Craig Brawley says :

    Excellent article. I too am an both atheist and Freemason, the former stemming from childhood when I grew out of God much around the same time as I grew out of Santa, and the latter since my early forties.

    I am a committed and enthusiastic Mason, loving the tradition, architecture and camaraderie.

    With the Craft more or less on its knees as far as new membership goes, the sooner this is opened up the more chance there is of saving the movement.

    If they want to throw me out for having evolved, they can…but no-one will win.

  12. asgard says :

    I’ve been a Master Mason for a little over a year now, and I thoroughly agree with what you wrote, although I’m not an atheist. I’m pretty irreligious even though I attend a wishy washy Protestant church from time to time. I am however intrigued by esotericism, and mysticism. I also am a frustrated actor, and enjoy giving the first charge for Fellowcraft, and who knows, perhaps I’ll give the Middle Chamber one day, and consequently sit in the East. That’s all theatre. I also do believe that the Craft teaches moral lessons, however, on the other hand, I have noticed that many Masons, if not most, are a big bunch of hypocrites, and drunkards. Our moral compass is no better than any profanes, or atheists. In fact, some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life have been Unitarian Universalists, many of who are agnostic, skeptic, or even atheist. Having said all of this, I enjoy my Masonic journey, and was a bit guilty about it, therefore stumbled upon this blog after googling. I feel better now; S&F, thanks.

  13. anonymous says :

    This really spoke to ne as a prospective member. Thank you

  14. Freeto says :

    The increasing luminosity of today’s knowledge from our modern world has tilted my stance to be more atheist than theist. Yet the benevolent spirit of free masonry has also allured me. It looks like it will be impossible to reconcile both and my changes for being a member is slim.

  15. TK says :

    Privately, I am an atheist (after being member of many religions). I have been a Freemason for 8 years now and honestly I LOVE the Craft and the Fraternity. I do not know a secular fraternal organization where men of various faiths and none; where left and right wing political affiliates can hang out, break bread and call one another “brother” while all striving to be good men and serve their community.

    Technically, I am not lying during any rituals when they ask me regarding “God”/”High Power”. I am a due paying member of World Pantheist Movement. They asked me “In whom do you place your trust”, I answered “In God.” Here is why it wasn’t a lie:

    My personal philosophy more identifies with ignosticism where due to the simple fact NO ONE has a coherent definition of what a “God” really is, it is a meaningless discussion. No two religion agrees, no two philosophers agrees and the dictionary definition reflects cultural biases.

    IF you were to ask me, does some invisible celestial intelligent being is puppeteering the globe, spying on my thoughts and actions while taking notes to either send me to celestial chuck-e-cheese or fiery San Quentin when I die; and that is God to you? (and most theistic religions) – If that is the definition of God? Then I am avid atheist!

    If you take a Deistic first-cause approach where a “power” kick-started the Big Bang while everything else is naturally taken cared of – Then I guess I’m an agnostic because how do we prove or disprove that? It serves as a possible hypothesis on why the Big Bang occurred, somewhat makes sense but can’t test it, can’t prove it, can’t disprove it. If that is what God is? Then I’m an agnostic.

    But as Carl Sagan once said “…if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.” In this definition, where “God” is a metaphor for creator, sustainer and destroyer of all things. In this definition and ONLY in this definition, I believe in God.

    This “God” I do trust. This “God” needs no faith to know it’s there, and is as real as it gets. This “God” is facts, science and it doesn’t care if you believe in it, it will always do what it suppose to do. It created and destroys all things, it is in us and we are in it. So many of us nontheists are in the Order. I am an atheist pantheist. And in the words of Richard Dawkins: “Pantheism is sexed-up atheism.” – The God Delusion; I am a living example of that and of an atheist Freemason

    • Anon says :

      I am also a Pantheist. I do not believe in the same God as most of my Brothers, but I feel perfectly justified in my own understanding of Spinoza’s God. Since I don’t believe in an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God who troubles himself in the affairs of humans, I would probably be labeled and atheist by others, but that is not how I label myself. I do not need a supernatural God, instead I see God as a metaphor for the sum of all things natural.

      • TK says :

        Indeed, this God we do trust. “He” controls all things, “He” is all things. The “scripture” I chose for initiations and subsequent oaths that would indeed reflect my conviction, is Spinoza’s Ethics. Dependent on the Masonic jurisdiction, many would allow works of philosophy to be the VOST. Mine is one of them

    • Reverend Veritas says :

      I can’t believe in God as a personal deity that concerns itself with masturbation, but if God is used in the pantheistic sense of “God is everything” or even “God is structure, complexity and order within the universe that counter-balances the destructive forces of entropy” I could get behind that. If that were the case I think the name God is useful for a general purpose label, but it brings so many other subjective connotations and interpretations that vary widely from person to person.

  16. Michael says :

    Question # 30 on the Texas Petition is this-
    Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, that you firmly believe in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the
    Divine authenticity of the Holy Scripture? That’s the one question I’m having trouble with. Because although I pray to a God, I’m not sure of the afterlife. And I have a lot of questions concerning the authenticity of the Bible. What should one do in my shoes, as I would really like the join? Thanks.

  17. Dan says :

    I am an atheist and i would like to become a mason, i’m fairly young (20’s) but i would like to learn the principles that are tough.

  18. Eve says :

    There is a name for people who relish being the “wolf in the henhouse” and secretly join in where they know they will never be wholeheartedly accepted and where you can create “reasonable” excuses to not be totally identified with the group….it’s called schizoid personality. If you are really men of integrity than you would honor the traditions of other groups whether you qualify to be with them or not. You honor nothing. Go make your own organization…why hide in the shadows of a group that has an identity you cannot possibly connect with?

    • SB says :

      I think “relish” is not applicable for many that have posted here. Nobody here sounds as if they wish to infiltrate for whatever nefarious reason. Many, including myself, wish to navigate the cloudy waters so as not to be dishonest to ourselves or the fraternity.

  19. Scott says :

    Here is my issue. I am left of left in my political and philosophical beliefs and hold a belief in God undefined by any formal religion. I agree with you wholeheartedly that faith in God is not a prerequisite to being a compassionate or moral man, but your deception is wrong! As a Mason the greatest personal reward I have received is from the warmth and support of my brothers who I’ve come to view as family. This relationship is based on trust that we will support one another and it is the foundation upon which a Fraternity by definition rests. By entering our great institution under false pretenses you have created relationships built on a lie. While I may not believe an obligation sworn in God’s name anymore binding than simply giving my word, I do believe a relationship predicated on a lie is the worst kind of betrayal and the antithesis of the moral vales and teachings of Freemasonry!

  20. anon says :

    Its a process of “seeking more light”.

  21. PM says :

    There is a way to creatively interpret some of the lessons of the third degree that have helped me harmonize my atheism with my Masonic journey. Though this is certainly not the proper forum to explain, all I can suggest is to ponder the third degree in depth and at length. Wish I could elaborate.

  22. Phil says :

    When initiated I was (like yourself) a whist washy almost Christian. However in the last year I have become an atheist, I asked my father (a mason of nearly 40 years and my proposer) what masons do when they loose their faith, he put his pint down, looked me in the eye and said…”we don’t mention it, most of us feel the same”. Good enough for me

  23. Anon says :

    18th Century Deism is essentially 21st Century Atheism
    Freemasonry in the 18th century could be considered quite radical, secular and liberal. A side-effect of existing for so long is that the doppler effect of time has cast a conservative hue over this fundamentally bold character of the organization. I believe those brothers, unbelievers perhaps (I am one of them), that understand the intent and role of the organization can see through this unfortunate distortion. Freemasonry is at its essence based on astro-theological motifs drawn from a pre-Axial age mythology. At this point in time the requirement for a belief in a supreme being has more to do with how tightly coupled the ritual is to theistic language and lore than anything else. It is fair to say that to dispense entirely with this concept could possibly prompt a need to somewhat re-engineer the ritual and lectures themselves. Such a change would undoubtedly cause more schisms and could shred what remains of regular Freemasonry.

  24. Ivan says :

    Brother, I also struggled with this, and still do in a healthy fashion. The way I dealt with it was to look around and find among the plethora of religious (ish) postures, the one was closer to my beliefs. That turned out to be Pantheism (for Dawkins, it is just sexed-up atheism) and it was my pass for a less stressful masonic life.

    Abrazos desde Mexico.

  25. M says :

    My Grandpa is a very famous Mason and I have always been kept from learning the secrets of it. I know a little and has seen things here and there for instances in his private loft there was books and then there is the coper family crest that hangs on the wall in the office as I was a kid. My Grande parents partially raised me, while my Mom attended University in her late 20s. Now at my age with having been kept from knowing things I took it upon myself to learn. I have looked past all the conspircacy crap and decided it was time to start looking at the big picture. I’m writing here because I havecome across some things I truly feel people need to know. First of all the best way to hide things is to smear the truth with so much other stuff that one will just dismiss all of it rather then search with open hearts and minds. I want you to do the research I have. Look up Albert Pike in Archive.com a free and fully available source for liture. Particularly the Pike’s letter to Mazzini…look up Eurmus Dawkins yes Charles Dawkins grandfather was a 33 degree Mason? Look up Charles Taz Russell the founding father of the Jehovah’s witnesses religion. That should raise a few question for now.

  26. Masonic Atheist says :

    You are most definitely not alone. I am fresh out of my belief in god and i can’t even begin to express how much of a relief it is.

  27. Anonymous says :

    Dear Sceptic Freemason,

    I have read your blogs with great interest and I wanted to say thank you for putting my mind somewhat at ease over the apparent hypocrisy of someone who belongs to Freemasonry and yet subscribes to an atheistic, sceptical and feminist viewpoint.

    Let me explain my situation.

    I am not myself a Mason. To put it bluntly I am a female atheist so that explains that. I should add that despite the fact that I’d never be allowed to join, I’d have absolutely no interest in joining. No offence intended, I just don’t particularly like the concept of institutionalised or ritualistic practices even if their aims are positive. When they exist under a veil of secrecy, it doesn’t help. My boyfriend of 4 years, however, recently revealed to me that he was a Freemason. For context, I’ll add that we’re both London based, mid to late twenties. I’ll admit when he first told me my reaction was pretty volatile. Not because I believe in all the conspiracy nonsense surrounding Freemasonry, but in retrospect I think I was perturbed because he’d concealed it from me for such a long time. Worryingly he seems quite good at concealing things in spite of being a very honest and genuine person. He concealed my existence as his girlfriend to his family for a good number of months, I’ve never really known why. It could be self protection or protecting others. But that’s off topic.

    When I asked him to explain Freemasonry to me, he talked about how it is essentially about bettering yourself as a person and raising money for charity. My research on Freemasonry confirms this. I’ll add that while explaining it to me he seemed to be tripping over himself because of the various things that ought to be “secret” which didn’t help my first impressions of his involvement. As you have pointed out, there is a wealth of information online and anything still “secret” is essentially fairly trivial and about identification which yes, does sound pretty dull. I don’t care that I don’t know about that stuff or the particular details of the allegorical plays acted out in lodges. I should say I avoided hysterical forums and got all of my research from UGLE’s website including reading the Book of Constitutions in full. Perhaps as an Entered Apprentice (I think that’s what he is) he felt unsure about what he should or should not be telling me, or maybe he just didn’t want to. What he didn’t tell me, was that part of being a Freemason was accepting the existence of a Supreme Being. Here’s the rub.

    My research indicates that while Freemasonry claims not to be religious it does stand by the fact that the foundations of its practices are based on and couldn’t exist without religion or religious belief. While my boyfriend’s family is affiliated with a branch of Christianity, I’ve always been told that for them it’s more of a cultural affiliation rather than a firmly held belief. My boyfriend in particular (I’m sure of this) has admitted to me, on many occasions, that like me, he doesn’t believe in God; we do discuss the problems with religion quite regularly. He is also a sceptic and believes strongly in equality for all, and as such Freemasonry’s no women policy also presents an issue. Personally, I think it’s not only outdated but inexcusable.

    My issue with his involvement is that I do feel it is deeply hypocritical (although, I accept that you have your own personal reasons while you do not feel like one). While an individual Mason may not be religious or misogynist (I’m sure most aren’t), the fact that the society pretty much is both of those things is making it very hard for me to understand why he would ever want to be affiliated with such a group in the first place. How did the first whiff of religion not make him run for the door? How could he lie at his initiation, presumably swearing his oath over a copy of the Bible? Unlike you, he didn’t lose his faith later on. He never had it.

    Gender equality and the issues with religion are two things that are incredibly important to me and I have very strong principles pertaining to them. I thought we shared them but the fact that he’s a Mason has thrown some mist over my trust in his assertions. Either he’s lying to me or he’s lying to Freemasonry. Or perhaps he’s just dealing with something of a hypocrisy. His father is a mason so maybe that’s why he joined, but while I love and respect my father I completely disagree with his political leanings for example. I don’t feel compelled to follow. And my Dad’s much scarier…

    If you can offer me any advice in how to talk to him about my worries or any further words that might help me see that maybe this isn’t so bad for him to participate in, I’d be very grateful. I’ll be honest whilst I’ve tried to get on board with it with an open mind, I’m really really struggling. I cry when I think about it and I worry that it might become the only barrier to exist between us if he continues with it, or worse progresses up the ladder in it and becomes more involved. I’d much rather he resigned. He’s an incredible man who’s already as honest, compassionate and charitable as anyone could ever be and he already has a very wide and varied network of close friends, both male and female. I just don’t see why it’s worth it.

    This is a very long message, I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I hope you feel like you can reply. Don’t worry about any responsibility over your advice, I’ll take it with a pinch of salt since we don’t know each other. I just feel like you’re the best person to whom I should voice my concerns and ask advice.

  28. Reverend Veritas says :

    So your obligation to be a good man and support the fraternity has to be owed to some supreme being and not just naturally granted to your brethren? What kind of nonsense is that? I think proving yourself to be trustworthy and honest purely of your own accord, and not because you think you’re under the watchful eye of a metaphysical security camera documenting and judging your every action, would be far more honorable; being good for the sake of being good even without God. Like someone else noted, it seems like Boyscouts for adults. At the very least a deist could pass, I would think.

  29. Jose says :

    I have been since my early twenties intrigued about freemasonry. I wanted to join so bad but my ex wife always had complaint about it. Time passed by and now I have no impediments to join but one. I came to the realization that I’ve been an atheists all my life. Even though I was raised catholic and for quite some time I really looked for a god to pray to. I never found any reason to follow any religion. And after much thought it became clear. I want to be a helpful member of society. I want to make a difference. And many times I feel very alone in my way of thinking. And like you said, freemasonry fills that space that church fills in the majority of people. I don’t have any other individuals in “my team”. I wated to become a free mason to have the support of others to guide me on how to maximize my potential. But for that, I would have to believe in fairytales, and I don’t. I could lie and join. But I think that just defeats the purpose of joinin. If I’m gonna have to lie, I should had just stay in church. It’s a complicated world we live in. I apologize for not leaving any meaningful comment. But as I explained before, I feel very alone in this atheist world I live in. And you sound like what I would had done if I had joined in my twenties. Thank you for your post.

  30. Anonymous says :

    I agree completely. I even went in an atheist. I know how it feels, but you’re right. The benefits far out weight the cost. I am only 18 and while all of the brothers in my lodge have approx. 50 years on me, they’re some of the best friends I’ve ever had. (The guy that went through the degrees with me is 72 and we’ve become the best of friends).

  31. Cg says :

    I honestly thought I was the only free mason who was also a devout atheist

  32. Trey Johnson says :

    I’m a 32nd degree Freemason who has left the fold and left both lodges as a result. I feel you. I even inked the square and compass on my forearm and now I wish I could remove which I honestly never in my wildest dreams thought that I would want that. Freemasonry in my family like many others, is generational. But I can’t in good conscious support a system of control based on a deity that doesn’t exist be it catholicism Freemasonry whatever. I can’t do it as a firebrand atheist.
    I wish there was a lodge that didn’t have a requirement to believe in a deity but I haven’t found one.
    Thanks for your honesty and candor. Perhaps one day Freemasonry will evolve.

  33. H.L. says :

    Unfortunately in most of North America, there is no continental Masonic Jurisdiction with the exception of Quebec where the Grand Orient de France has lodges and some Droit Humain co-masonic groups sparsely scattered in the U.S. I would immediately change to such an organisation if it existed in my region as l, like many closeted Freemasons, have become atheist as I reasoned more and more on the subject. Actually I believe that in order to survive Freemasonry will need to do away with the requirement of believing in a Supreme Being, no matter how tenuous that believe may be, since 1//3 of young people today are atheists and the numbers will only grow with time. I think the Grand Orient of France has a fertile ground in North America.

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