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The "Offensive" Shriner Organization

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Caution1010 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October/25/2014 at 8:55pm
I was reading an article that got me thinking, author made the assertion so I'll ask here.

Do you think the shriner organization either started or currently is a mockery of arab culture and lifestyle?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/26/2014 at 12:44pm
I'm not a Shriner for my own reasons. I don't believe the Shriners intentionally seek to offend Islam. Just as some of our Craft Lodge Ritual is outdated and behind the times so is the Shire's Ritual. At the time it was written, little was known of Islam in this country. The Shrine Ritual was written to inspire Masons, not insult Muslims.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2014 at 5:47pm
You should read

http://sahibshrine.org/shriner_primer.pdf

to get a full understanding of the origins of the Shrine.

The Shrine was not set up to deliberately offend anyone.

In the latter 1800's, one of the most popular books was the "Thousand and One Nights". Americans were enthralled with the tales of Aladdin, and Ali Baba.

When Walter Fleming and Billy Florence were setting up the organization, they settled on a "Near East" theme.

Edited by cemab4y - March/31/2015 at 6:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookslc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/27/2014 at 10:32pm
What part of the craft ritual is outdated and behind the times?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2014 at 9:36am
Originally posted by Cookslc Cookslc wrote:

What part of the craft ritual is outdated and behind the times?

Since discussion of these topics, especially in a public forum would be a violation of my Obligation, I refer you to a book who's author has done a much better job of pointing out the simple fact that we need to update our Ritual to modern times:


I have no business relationship with the author but we are acquainted and he has spoken in my lodge on this topic.


Edited by windrider - October/28/2014 at 9:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookslc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/28/2014 at 10:39pm
I'm familiar with that theory. I find it flawed. If the Masons of today do not join or remain because of the ritual, the same would hold true of the Masons of the 1950's during our great growth. 18th C. English was no more relevant for them, yet they joined en masse. The theory is also insulting to young people: they are too lazy or ill educated invest in a difficult endeavor; they are the entitled generation of participation trophies and do not wish to work for their reward. I find that a very sad commentary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote windrider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2014 at 11:31am
Originally posted by Cookslc Cookslc wrote:

I'm familiar with that theory. I find it flawed. If the Masons of today do not join or remain because of the ritual, the same would hold true of the Masons of the 1950's during our great growth. 18th C. English was no more relevant for them, yet they joined en masse. The theory is also insulting to young people: they are too lazy or ill educated invest in a difficult endeavor; they are the entitled generation of participation trophies and do not wish to work for their reward. I find that a very sad commentary.

I find no part of the book accusing young people of not being willing to "invest in a difficult endeavor". The point of the book is that over the past 300 years, human knowledge has advanced to the point where many of the devices we consider commonplace today would be indistinguishable from magic to the man of the 1700s. Expanding the arts and sciences to include areas of study that simply did not exist at the time makes sense to me. Expanding certain portions of our rituals to include the candidate capitalizes upon the simple fact that we retain more when we see, hear and do something rather than just hear it. Making the language more understandable to modern ears would also enhance retention. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anthony660 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2014 at 12:49pm
@caution1010- can you link to the article?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookslc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/29/2014 at 11:54pm
"Expanding certain portions of our rituals to include the candidate capitalizes upon the simple fact that we retain more when we see, hear and do something rather than just hear it"

I agree and I suspect that is why the candidate does so, adopting the Renaissance memory techniques
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caution1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2014 at 1:39am
Originally posted by Anthony660 Anthony660 wrote:

@caution1010- can you link to the article?
http://kenthenderson.com.au/m_papers02.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rchadwic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2014 at 10:51am
Thanks, Caution. A most interesting article. Only one reference to the Shrine organization that I saw.

I have been a member of my local Shrine center (Azan, Melbourne, FL)and have been in the ritual unit that performs the first part of the ceremonial twice a year. I will note that, about 8 years ago, the Imperial Council rewrote the first section effectively eliminating any references to terms used in Islam.

 I am uninformed on why this was done, I would only note that it happened after the events of Sept 11, 2001. My opinion is that these references were outdated and not necessary to the meaning of the ritual.

As far as the removed references being "a mockery of Islam", I suspect these parts were incorporated in the ritual at the very beginning of the Shrine organization, and were incorporated  as an homage to the mystical and romantic nature attributed to the Middle Eastern countries' heritage and customs.

Regarding the reaction of our Islamic neighbors, the most charitable reaction I could have is..... "Lovely weather we are having today, isn't it?"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cemab4y Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/03/2014 at 12:49pm
The Shrine ritual was based on an "Arabian Nights" theme. An actor, Billy Florence, was in Paris, and he observed a celebration, where the audience was initiated. You can read more about the history at the "Shriner's Primer".

see

http://www.sahibshrine.org/shriner_primer.pdf

I have lived for many years in predominately Islamic countries. The Shrine has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.

Edited by cemab4y - November/03/2014 at 5:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anthony660 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/05/2014 at 5:43pm
I have been a Shriner for more than 10 years and attended multiple ceremonials. I find nothing offensive with the SHrine or the ritual.
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