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December 2016 DDGM Article for The Word

This election cycle, if nothing else, reminds us why we are forbidden from discussing the broad categories of politics and religion in our Lodge rooms. Even as we put the election behind us, we are provided with daily reminders of how we, as a people, have been divided. Those who serve to divide us constantly seek to remind us of our differences.

As Freemasons, however, we strive to remind ourselves of our similarities while celebrating the enrichment provided by our diversity. We call each other by the title “Brother” because we recognize that we are equals under the fatherhood of God. We understand that, although we may be on opposite sides of the political aisle, we are all still in the same house, under the same roof, and under the same flag.

As Freemasons, we know that disagreement is the path to new ideas and new knowledge. Many in our society attempt to label, vilify, and denigrate those with whom they disagree. We understand that ignorance and arrogance are the precursors to anger, fear, and hatred. Instead, we seek to understand the viewpoints of others and, perhaps more importantly, the path that brought them to that view.

As Freemasons, we have always been builders – builders of men, builders of families, builders of communities, and, yes, sometimes even builders of nations. As we move through this holiday season and into the New Year, let us remember that our duty to ourselves comes in a distant third behind our duty to God and our duty to our neighbor.

My Brothers, I wish you a holiday season filled with the warmth of family and good friends, followed by a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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MORI
The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of the State of New York