Page 23 - Montana Freemason Feb 13
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Montana Freemason  February 2013                                    Volume 86 Number 1

                      THE RITE CORNER
                   “New Year’s Thought”
                   David L. Nielsen, Deputy in Montana
Our country just beliefs can be challenged and tempered to make sure
      experienced the greatest they are genuine, sincere and do good to others.
attribute of our American Our brotherhood with those of differing beliefs goes
democracy and freedom—the beyond just courteous civility.
election of our national and state
leaders. Though the campaign The diversity of beliefs can share strengthens our
process seems arduous and own and teach us to reach middle ground on problem
discomforting at times, it is solving while retaining strong individual core beliefs.
still a much better method than coup d’etat and violent As Masons we believe and practice compromise and
overthrow of government leadership. Of recent we understand that compromise is not a weakness of
have heard public discussion over the ostensible belief but is strength of character. We understand that
dysfunction of government decision-making because civility and courtesy are minimum virtues that should
of absence of compromise for solutions to problems. always be present in problem-solving discussions.
Of course, we accuse our elected leadership of not To disagree does not mean we must hate those with
being reasonable and refusing to look for middle whom we disagree.
ground on resolution of issues. But before we rush
to the conclusion that our elected leadership are the As Masons, the greatest contribution we can make
only people in this nation that refuse to engage in to our country is to practice publicly and regularly the
the art of compromise, we need to look at ourselves Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.
and our expectation from our leadership. We all have Brotherly love is helping others despite differences in
strong beliefs that we deeply hold and the thought beliefs; relief in providing aid and charity to all; and
of any compromise that encroaches on these beliefs truth in being honest to our Masonic teachings in our
we resist as being an abandonment or capitulation of daily lives.
those beliefs. We sometimes unreasonably expect our      I wish you all a very Happy New Year.
leaders to never bend or yield on issues upon which
we have very strong opinions. We expect them to
compromise so long as they do not compromise on
our beliefs and only when the opposition capitulates in
that compromise. Our leaders are us and not a distant
people with no connections to those they serve.

  What does this have to do with Scottish Rite
Freemasonry? First we know that historically
the fundamental principles of Freemasonry were
adopted by the founders of this great country as the
cornerstone to our form of government and our
recognized individual rights. Masonic principles such
as equality, freedom of belief, and tolerance of those
with differing beliefs are embodied in the foundation
of this nation. Second, as Masons we know that we are
free to hold strong beliefs even when sharing God’s
gift of brotherhood with brothers who have differing
beliefs. We enjoy their companionship and through
our mutual respect of each other’s beliefs, our own

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