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Freemasonry vs Lions/Rotary/Kiwanis

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NobleShabba View Drop Down
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    Posted: May/01/2012 at 12:33pm
So, let's say that I have NOT been initated, passed and raised to the sublime degree. I'm just a regular joe-the-plumber, I meet you and we get to talking about Freemasonry.

My question is "How is Freemasonry different from service organizations such as the Lions, Rotary or Kiwanis?"

How would you compare & contrast?

Bonus challenge: can we do this without quoting "a peculiar system of morals..."?

Edited by NobleShabba - May/01/2012 at 12:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jaya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2012 at 1:14pm
They are similar in that they both do good work for the community. Freemasonry is the oldest fraternity and allows only men. It also teaches a system of morality that the others do not. We are committed to helping out each other in times of distress and working together to better ourselves, our relationships, and our community.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hyksos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2012 at 1:30pm
I hereby incorporate Jaya's post.

I also add that I don't think those organizations have the history of quality of membership as we do.

Quote US Presidents

Buchanan, James - President of the US
Ford, Gerald R. - President of the US
Garfield, James A. - President of the US
Harding, Warren G. - President of the US
Jackson, Andrew - President of the US
Johnson, Andrew - President of the US
McKinley, William - President of the US
Monroe, James - President of the US
Polk, James Knox - President of the US
Roosevelt, Franklin D. - President of the US
Roosevelt, Theodore - President of the US
Taft, William Howard - President of the US
Truman, Harry S. - President of the US
Washington, George - President of US, 1st

Supreme Court Justices

Black, Hugo L. - Supreme Court Justice

Blair, Jr., John - Supreme Court Justice

Blatchford, Samuel - Supreme Court Justice

Baldwin, Henry - Supreme Court Justice

Burton, Harold H. - Supreme Court Justice

Byrnes, James F. - Supreme Court Justice

Catton, John - Supreme Court Justice

Clark, Thomas C. - Supreme Court Justice

Clarke, John H. - Supreme Court Justice

Cushing, William - Supreme Court Justice

Devanter, Willis Van - Supreme Court Justice

Douglas, William O. - Supreme Court Justice

Ellsworth, Oliver - Supreme Court Justice

Field, Stephen J. - Supreme Court Justice

Harlan, John M. - Supreme Court Justice

Jackson, Robert H. - Supreme Court Justice

Lamar, Joseph E. - Supreme Court Justice

Marshall, John - Chief Justice US Supreme Court 1801 - 1835

Marshall, Thurgood - Supreme Court Justice

Mathews, Stanley - Supreme Court Justice

Minton, Sherman - Supreme Court Justice

Moody, William H. - Supreme Court Justice

Nelson, Samuel - Supreme Court Justice

Paterson, William - Supreme Court Justice

Pitney, Mahlon - Supreme Court Justice

Reed, Stanley F. - Supreme Court Justice

Rutledge, Wiley B. - Supreme Court Justice

Stewart, Potter - Supreme Court Justice

Swayne, Noah H. - Supreme Court Justice

Todd, Thomas - Supreme Court Justice

Trimble, Robert - Supreme Court Justice

Vinson, Frederick M. - Supreme Court Justice

Warren, Earl - Supreme Court Justice

Woodbury, Levi - Supreme Court Justice

Woods, William B. - Supreme Court Justice

Military

Arnold, General Henry "Hap" - Commander of the Army Air Force

Bradley, Omar N. - Military leader

Byrd, Admiral Richard E. - Flew over North Pole

Doolittle, General James - Famous Air Force Pilot

Jones, John Paul - First Admiral of the US Navy

Lafayette, Marquis de - Supporter of American Freedom

Lindbergh, Charles - Aviator

MacArthur, General Douglas - Commander of Armed Forces in Philippines

Marshall, George - General of the Armies

McClellan, General George B. - Army of the Potomac, Presidential candidate against Abe Lincoln, faced General Robert E. Lee at the battle of Antietam and twice Governor of New Jersey.

Montgomery, Richard Major General - Fist General Officer of the Continental Army killed in the Battle for Quebec on Dec 31, 1775.

Murphy, Audie - Most decorated soldier of WWII

Peary, Robert E. - First man to reach the North Pole (1909)

Pershing, John Joseph - Decorated American Soldier

Rickenbacker, Eddie - Great American Air Force Ace

Tirpitz, Alfred Von - German Naval officer responsible for submarine warfare

That is a small list. See the full list here. http://www.glflamason.org/grandlodge/famous.html

I don't think any other organization can claim such membership. There is something very special about our fraternity.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2012 at 1:55pm
don't know ... I'm not a member of those organizations ....  Each has their own purpose and/or charity. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 12:26pm
Lions is mainly a social group which does fund raising for eyesight related things. I know several Lions.

Rotary and Kiwanis are mainly community service oriented groups. Last I knew one had to own a business to be in them, but that was a long time ago. I know several Rotarians. They are also noted for having guest speakers at their functions.

There have been many prominent people who have belonged to these others as well, but they don't boast about it like we do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote maboot38 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 1:18pm
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:


My question is "How is Freemasonry different from service organizations such as the Lions, Rotary or Kiwanis?"

Bonus challenge: can we do this without quoting "a peculiar system of morals..."?


Sure.....the main difference comes right from your question.  Freemasonry isn't a service organization.

People often make the mistake of saying that Freemasonry is about doing good for people, helping out those less fortunate, etc.  That's not what Freemasonry is about.  It's a self improvement organization that focuses on the fraternal bonds that are established WHILE improving ourselves.  PART of being a better person is helping others, so I would say that unlike service organizations - for Freemasonry, service is merely a by-product.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Z111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 1:26pm
Originally posted by Hyksos Hyksos wrote:

I hereby incorporate Jaya's post.

I also add that I don't think those organizations have the history of quality of membership as we do.

I don't think any other organization can claim such membership. There is something very special about our fraternity.

A "vintage" list.  Don't seem to attract many of that caliber anymore.
In my district, imo, the biggest difference between Lion's and Rotary and Freemasons is we wear aprons.
Some have worked a long time to make it so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PSquared Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 1:27pm
The biggest difference I would note is that none of the others are Fraternities.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/02/2012 at 9:32pm
I could have just as easily included the Greek Fraternties in the question, so let us continue to explore.

@maboot38 - that is precisely the type of discussion I want us to dig into. The quest for self-knowledge as Masons is a critical part of our adoption of the craft.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlueThunder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/03/2012 at 8:23am
Originally posted by maboot38 maboot38 wrote:

Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:


My question is "How is Freemasonry different from service organizations such as the Lions, Rotary or Kiwanis?"

Bonus challenge: can we do this without quoting "a peculiar system of morals..."?


Sure.....the main difference comes right from your question.  Freemasonry isn't a service organization.

People often make the mistake of saying that Freemasonry is about doing good for people, helping out those less fortunate, etc.  That's not what Freemasonry is about.  It's a self improvement organization that focuses on the fraternal bonds that are established WHILE improving ourselves.  PART of being a better person is helping others, so I would say that unlike service organizations - for Freemasonry, service is merely a by-product.


Very well said brother!  That is exactly what freemasonry is, and it is unfortunate that some brethren have their focus on the wrong aspect of what it is to be a mason.  Freemasonry is not a service club, it is a fraternity.  If one truly wants to concentrate 100% of their efforts on charity, then freemasonry is not for them, and they would be better off to join one of the service clubs.
Charity is a part of our effort, in becoming better men, but in no way is it the driving force of our fraternity.


Edited by BlueThunder - May/03/2012 at 8:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/06/2012 at 4:42am
From what I know about Lions Club; especially around my area, is that are probably the easiest to join; and they also do from what I see the most for their communities. 

I live in a rural area, and where there is one Masonic Lodge, there are Three Active Lions clubs. 
I know of a number of Masons who are also Lions. 

They not only raise money for there eyeglasses charity, but they help out each community they are in. I run the Minor Softball League where I live, and I ask the Lions clubs for donations every year; they comply without hesitation: financially, getting us uniforms, gear, and by letting us use their hall whenever we wish for registration and banquets. 

I have never asked my Lodge for a donation. I mentioned it once to a brother, who said Masons build hospitals, not fund softball leagues.  (Don't get me wrong my Lodge gives money to the Alzheimer society every year, and the Children's wish foundation, along with bursaries for underprivileged students, and scholarships for children of brothers) 

As it was already stated above; these organizations are Service Clubs, while Masonry is for the individual, I just wanted my feeling towards the Lions to be well known, Smile

BUT

Take Lion out to the other side of town, or another city, and introduce him to another Lion. Chances are it would begin and end with a handhshake and a, "Nice to meet you."
Do the same thing a Mason, and we all know, we are in for at least a half hour conversation, and a promise to visit each other's Lodge in the near future. Email addresses and Phone numbers will be shared...wives will be rolling there eyes and tapping their watches. 
We don't simply call ourselves brothers. We feel it. 

THAT is the big difference. TO me anyways. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote goomba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/06/2012 at 5:23am
Originally posted by drew drew wrote:

From what I know about Lions Club; especially around my area, is that are probably the easiest to join; and they also do from what I see the most for their communities. 

I live in a rural area, and where there is one Masonic Lodge, there are Three Active Lions clubs. 
I know of a number of Masons who are also Lions. 

They not only raise money for there eyeglasses charity, but they help out each community they are in. I run the Minor Softball League where I live, and I ask the Lions clubs for donations every year; they comply without hesitation: financially, getting us uniforms, gear, and by letting us use their hall whenever we wish for registration and banquets. 

I have never asked my Lodge for a donation. I mentioned it once to a brother, who said Masons build hospitals, not fund softball leagues.  (Don't get me wrong my Lodge gives money to the Alzheimer society every year, and the Children's wish foundation, along with bursaries for underprivileged students, and scholarships for children of brothers) 

As it was already stated above; these organizations are Service Clubs, while Masonry is for the individual, I just wanted my feeling towards the Lions to be well known, Smile

BUT

Take Lion out to the other side of town, or another city, and introduce him to another Lion. Chances are it would begin and end with a handhshake and a, "Nice to meet you."
Do the same thing a Mason, and we all know, we are in for at least a half hour conversation, and a promise to visit each other's Lodge in the near future. Email addresses and Phone numbers will be shared...wives will be rolling there eyes and tapping their watches. 
We don't simply call ourselves brothers. We feel it. 

THAT is the big difference. TO me anyways. 

This is it!  I visited a lodge not long after being initiated.  Someone asked me who I knew there.  I told them not a living soul, but I was going to be with brothers.  I left with phone numbers.  This is the greatest organization I have ever joined.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2012 at 12:27pm
Love the discussion, lets keep this going!

A few brothers here have suggested the big difference is Freemasonry is about self-growth before it is about community development.

What does the lodge put in place to encourage and support this self-growth?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlueThunder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2012 at 12:37pm
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

Love the discussion, lets keep this going!

A few brothers here have suggested the big difference is Freemasonry is about self-growth before it is about community development.

What does the lodge put in place to encourage and support this self-growth?


Well I would not say that the lodge puts anything "In place" for self-growth.  It is up to the individual to interpret the ritual, according to its tenants, for their own betterment.  The "tools" are in place, for that exact purpose.  Also supplementary reading is out there that may further enhance our quest for knowledge, allowing us to understand ourselves, and the world around us in a more thorough fashion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2012 at 12:54pm
Originally posted by BlueThunder BlueThunder wrote:


Well I would not say that the lodge puts anything "In place" for self-growth.  It is up to the individual to interpret the ritual, according to its tenants, for their own betterment.  The "tools" are in place, for that exact purpose.  Also supplementary reading is out there that may further enhance our quest for knowledge, allowing us to understand ourselves, and the world around us in a more thorough fashion.

Appreciate the feedback - but following the orientation of the original post: "Why then would I need the lodge? Can't I just buy the books?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hcl40 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2012 at 2:19pm
The History behind the craft, its fraternal and esoteric aspects are a major difference between it and all others. Comparing the craft to these other groups is like comparing the Sistine chapel to Walmart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlueThunder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2012 at 2:58pm
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:

Originally posted by BlueThunder BlueThunder wrote:


Well I would not say that the lodge puts anything "In place" for self-growth.  It is up to the individual to interpret the ritual, according to its tenants, for their own betterment.  The "tools" are in place, for that exact purpose.  Also supplementary reading is out there that may further enhance our quest for knowledge, allowing us to understand ourselves, and the world around us in a more thorough fashion.

Appreciate the feedback - but following the orientation of the original post: "Why then would I need the lodge? Can't I just buy the books?"


The ritual itself and the tenants that it provides is all that it really needed.  Without that as starting point, all the books are meaningless.  You have to learn to walk before you can run.  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NobleShabba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/23/2012 at 8:47am
That is fine for someone who has already attributed some value to the craft, and is looking for guidance. My question is meant to address the friendly and curious.

The question seeks to explore "how would we simply and clearly differentiate our ancient and honorable fraternity from any other groups?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2012 at 10:01am
Well, I'm sitting at home recovering from a herniated disk so I got a lot of time on my hands. So I'm surfing the web and come across a YouTube about Marine Corps Boot Camp. A drill instructor being interviewed says, "One of the things that sets us apart from the other services is that we teach values..."

Bingo... It hit me- that is what sets Freemasonry apart from other organizations. We teach and emphasize values. It is the basis of our being. Now, the other groups promote values, don't get me wrong, it's just that, outwardly anyway, values are not the top tier of their reason for being. With Masonry, values are constantly being instilled, pounded into us. To me that is the fundamental difference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tm274 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2012 at 6:42pm
Nice post and personally, I think that most organisations like Rotary/Lions etc have much the same values.
 
Hope you do recover from your injury and ride that bike to Lodge.  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/24/2012 at 7:10pm
Yes, they do have much the same values, but in those groups, I don't think they put as much emphasis on them as we do.

You can be assured I will be riding that to Lodge and elsewhere. I been cooped up here for a month. I just got OK's to return to work next Tuesday but riding is going to be a bit longer as the sciatic nerve was affected and my right leg has atrophied.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PSquared Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2012 at 7:41am
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:


The question seeks to explore "how would we simply and clearly differentiate our ancient and honorable fraternity from any other groups?"
I think we already are different.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/25/2012 at 7:44pm
Originally posted by NobleShabba NobleShabba wrote:


The question seeks to explore "how would we simply and clearly differentiate our ancient and honorable fraternity from any other groups?"

Answer: The connection we have for one another. 

That connection, that bond cannot be found in reading books. 
Freemasonry has found that bond; through its ritual; through its education and through the fellowship we partake in. We need all three in the right dosage, and when it is done right, we are cemented together, as if with a trowel. 

The KoC have ritual.
Other 'Service Clubs' have fellowship, and perhaps education. 

But we, perhaps from our longevity, or perhaps from something else, have perfected, or nearly perfected what it takes to create the bond we all share. 
...when the guns are the fenceposts; the cars are the doghouse; and the telephone no longer rings.
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