Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Dialogue with a Non-Mason

Earlier this morning I got into a dialogue with someone about Masonry on the facebook page of a local radio station. At first I thought she was commenting on her husband who was a Mason, but I quickly realized that was not the case. Here is the exchange in full:

Her: My entire problem with the masons, the higher you go, the more secretive your activities are. I have no problem with my husband coming home and not telling me every single little detail about his day. I do have a problem with parts of his day being completely off limits because some guy he's in a club with said he couldn't tell. That's a bit scary. What is it that you can't tell your spouse?????? That's disrespectful of marriage. I don't want him hanging around with people like that.

Me:
If your husband is a Mason then he knows our order of loyalty is as follows: God, Family, Lodge. Sounds like the two of you need to have a serious talk if you feel his membership in the Masons is disrespectful of your marriage.

Her:
my husband isn't a mason, I know couples who are in that boat, though, and what happens at the lodge stays at the lodge. It does cause problems.

Me:
There are things that happen in the Lodge that stay in the Lodge. But nothing happens in a Lodge that should compromise a marriage unless the wife wants to insist that she has a right to know everything, down the last detail, of what her husband does 24-7. If a man is in that kind of marriage, then, because his ultimate loyalty must be to his family, he should not be a Mason. A wife who trusts her husband will trust that if her husband can't tell her certain things about the Masons, that's a reflection of his character and ability to abide by a pledge and that nothing in his loyalty to the Lodge is detrimental to his loyalty to his wife and family.

Her:
But wouldn't that trust dictate that if asked, an honest man should be able to answer? Encouraging secrecy between a man and his wife is a HUGE red flag to me. H U G E. I don't have to know everything, but if I ask, and you tell me that some dude that ISN'T joined to you inside the boundaries of marriage, the holiest of institutions, told you that you couldn't tell me, we got a problem.

Me: I
t would boil down to how much YOU trust your husband. Do you trust him enough to forgo your own curiosity, because that's all it is. You certainly don't have a need to know the details of what goes on in a Lodge. And keep this in mind: if your husband is a Mason and you ask him to reveal certain things he's sworn not to, you would be putting him the position of violating his oath. If he does that, how much faith could you really have in him after that?

Her:
If I am to trust you enough for you to not tell me what you've done with your evening, why do you not trust me enough to tell me? Trust goes both ways. Trust also says that we have accountability between us. People who end up struggling through hardships like hidden addictions and adultery usually start with "Go ahead, honey, I trust you."

Me:
Well, clearly your husband should not join the Masons.

Her:
I'd just not have faith in someone to start with who would endanger OUR vows as we became ONE by taking an oath to an outside organization or person to keep things from me. I don't expect you to come home and tell me what you had for lunch... everyday or how many times you rode the elevator. When you go outside our home and spend significant amounts of time with people I don't know doing things you are required to keep from me, that's an issue. I can't believe someone who has taken a marriage vow WOULDN'T consider that a problem.

Me:
It's a trust issue and it would clearly be a problem for you, thus if your husband sought membership I would counsel against it.

Her:
It's not WHAT you're doing. Heck, it could be, but you're all secretive about it so we don't know. It's the fact that when you take a marriage vow, the TWO become ONE and to violate that vow with an oath to keep things from your spouse is immoral. It creates trust issues. I don't care if you're off feeding orphans, if you are keeping secrets from your spouse, it's wrong.

Me:
What if your spouse is a lawyer? Should he violate attorney-client confidence just because you want to know? Or a doctor? Should he violate doctor-patient confidence just because you want to know? Or what if he's a civilian contractor for the DOD with top secret clearance? Should he violate his oath and reveal state secrets to you just because you want to know?

Her:
Gary, I don't go out and volunteer or socialize in such a way that I can't tell my husband. I know attornies, doctors, etc. The two are one. If the spouse wants to know, they will know. Because my friends and family know that the marriage covenant is more important than any other covenant made between two people. I don't think we can equate "where we've put our warships and why" to "I'm going out for the night, don't you dare ask where I am and what I'm doing". Really?

Me:
I really don't think this is something you need to worry about if your husband is not a Mason. You clearly are suspicious of Masonry and uneducated about it. No Mason would say to his wife "I'm going out for the night, don't you dare ask where I am and what I'm doing." What is more likely is "I'm going to Lodge, honey, and I'll be back around 10. My phone will be on buzz so call if you need me."

Her:
Trust goes both ways. Sorry. I think it's immoral, and I know about as much as anybody who isn't willing to take that nasty oath is able to know.

Me:
How do you know it's a "nasty" oath if you haven't taken it?

Her:
It requires me to keep info from my spouse. REQUIRES. NOTHING escapes the accountability and devotion of a solid marriage vow. NOTHING. That fact makes it nasty. Nothing else is required to qualify that assessment. Nothing can possibly redeem it. You could destroy poverty total and completely, feed, clothe and house every woman and child on the planet.............. but if you're keeping things from your wife, especially because someone on the outside of your sacred marriage vow told you to, it's a nasty oath. You've asked your wife to trust you when, not only have you not trusted HER, you've vowed NEVER to. EVER.

Me:
So when the Chief Justice of the SC Supreme Court swore me in to the SC bar, and I swore to keep "inviolate" the confidences of my clients, was I taking a "nasty" oath? Does your view of the marriage covenant require me to violate that oath if my wife decides she wants to know something about one of my clients?

Her: yep.

Me:
Okay...at least you're consistent, I'll give you that.

Her:
It's a matter or priority. Of who you esteem highest. If my husband were a lawyer, and I had a concern for his safety or the motives of a client to do something to undermine my husbands character, morals, or general wellbeing I would absolutely ask questions and there would be a problem if he didn't answer. I wonder how many men have left to go 'to the lodge' and wound up elsewhere and go away with debauchery because their wives were never allowed to ask? I know. I know. You're honest, moral and just. You'd never do that. You do, however, have a weakness somewhere. I'll not ask you where. There will be temptation at some point, however, in that area, and if your accountability partner is being left in the dark about your activities, she can't be your helpmate, as god's word says she is to be. Keep your accountability coach in the dark and you can fall into a hole and you won't even know it til the dirt starts being thrown in behind you.

Me:
So once again your bias and ignorance about Masonry comes out. Again (and this is my last word on the subject), since your husband is not a Mason, you don't need to worry about it.

Her:
I'll go ya one further, that debauchery may be happening inside the lodge. They may very well make it in the doors. Who am I to know, a husband couldn't share that info with his wife if he wanted to. Nothing sucks more than that moment during a debate when you realize you're wrong, eh?

4 comments:

47th Problem of Euclid said...

As my stepfather (and a Mason) says, "Fancy being married to that?"

David said...

I think she may have confused marriage and incarceration.

John Benton said...

Wow, yeah, that's pretty seriously extreme.

And debauchery in the lodge? Seems almost paranoid. Most of the time, the worst thing that happens at the lodge is a little gossip. Maybe bad cooking at a dinner.

Some people already have their mind made up.

feoh said...

I am amazed that she herself can remain married. It's clear that she really *doesn't* trust her husband to be out of her sight or knowledge for even an evening.

I pity her and her husband both.