Jerry Marsengill

Politics has no place in the lodge room! Masonry does not engage in political action! How many times have we not heard statements of this type from one or another well-intentioned brother? Perhaps Masonry, as such, does not engage in political discussion, especially within the precincts of the Masonic Temple, but to say that Masons do not engage in politics is not only unreal, it is not even intelligent. Masonry is one of the bulwarks of our American form of government and certainly the lessons learned in the Masonic Temple should, if at al1 possible, be put into practice within the voting booth.

Some Masons, perhaps fewer than we would wish, were among the founding fathers of our country. Many of our Presidents and members of the houses of our legislature have been members of the Masonic fraternity, and it is not hard to believe that many of the fundamental principles of our form of government were the result of the Masonic teachings which these men had received.

Masons belong in politics! When a Mason has the opportunity to go to the polls and to cast a vote in favor of the form of government of which he approves, it is the duty of that Mason to go and to vote! Certainly if we apply the test of our Masonry to all candidates for public office or to any legislation on which we have an opportunity to ballot, the result of our voting cannot help but be beneficial to the public interest. Masonry, as an organization, has no place within the political arena, but Masons, as all other concerned citizens should cast their ballots each time they are given the chance to do so. If our form of government ever perishes, it will not be from outside aggression, but from the apathy of the unconcerned citizen who cannot take the time to go to the polling place to vote his convictions.

We are a strange people. We will cross an ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross town to vote for it.

We need only look at the records of the countries which have become totalitarian dictatorships within our own lifetime to see what these regimes came into power by legal means, simply because the ordinary citizenry would not take the time to go to the voting booth to defeat this form of government. Presently we are in no great danger. But if some form of dictatorship would ever come to pass in this country, the Masonic fraternity would be the first organization to be banned. If we as Masons believe in the teachings of our fraternity, and if we wish to see the American form of government continue to progress, then our duty to our government and to our fraternity is plainly visible.

No one in a Masonic lodge will ever tell another brother how to vote. There will be no Masonic slate of candidates presented, but if we have learned the lessons presented to us, when we go to the polling place, we will vote that which is best for both our country and our institution.

Masonry as such has no place in politics, but believe me brother, Masons do.