By Lynn Dumenil
Because the usa moved from Victorian values to these of recent consumerism, the spiritual component to Freemasonry was once more and more displaced through an earthly ideology of carrier (like that of industrial clubs), and the Freemasons' psychology of asylum from the aggressive international gave technique to the purpose of fine fellowship" inside it. This learn not just illuminates this method yet clarifies the missed subject of fraternal orders and enriches our realizing of key points of yank cultural switch.
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Extra resources for Freemasonry and American Culture, 1880-1930
22 In each degree, the candidate gained more "light" until with the third degree, he became a full Master Mason. The three rituals, then, served as rites of passage. The ini tiate passed from being a profane outsider to occupying a po sition of equality with other Masons. Having successfully completed each stage, he earned the right to sign his name on the roster, to attend meetings, to speak and vote in lodge, and to have a Masonic funeral. He now knew the secrets of Ma sonry. He was entitled to wear the lambskin apron at meet ings and the square and compass on his street clothes.
Both institutions grappled with such fun damental questions as the interpretation of the Bible and the nature of God. Masons' concern to delineate the fraternity's religious content indicates the vitality of religious issues in this period and illuminates both the variety and persistence of faith. RITUAL The importance of ritual to late nineteenth-century Masonry is indicated by the extensive attention officials and spokesmen gave it. Grand Lodges, for example, insisted upon "uniform ity" of ritual work, and developed a system of inspectors to visit lodges and insure that their ritual conformed to Grand Lodge specification.
38 While these men may have joined the order with the hope of gaining useful connections, it is difficult to dem onstrate the financial potential inherent in Masonry. Only oc casionally did Masonic authors endorse the idea of Masons' patronizing one another. In "Masons Should Prefer Masons," for example, a Trestleboard author urged that Masons trade with one another, stressing that this would insure keeping business out of Catholic hands and in Protestant ones. Ma sonic spokesmen also occasionally encouraged Masons to hire one another.