liberty ascends on washington
By Douglas V. Gibbs
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― Freemasonry ― 

A Mason might tell you the very beginning of Freemasonry occurred with the Knights Templar.  The Order of Solomon’s Temple was a Catholic military order.  The members accompanied pilgrims to the Holy Land, charged with protecting the travelers from bandits and marauders along their journey.  The men of God were humble and steeped in poverty at first, until nobles and church leaders began to put their support behind the figures.  The Pope also exempted the order from obedience to local laws, allowing them to pass freely across all borders, and making them exempt from any taxation.  The order grew rapidly, eventually accepting valuables and issuing “letters of credit.”  Upon arrival in the Holy Land the funds could be retrieved with the letter.  The arrangement was akin to banking, and the early use of what would become cheques.  The system eased the fears of the travelers, making them less attractive to thieves.

The Templars became very wealthy in time through the system of banking they used, and they built a network of commanderies and fortifications throughout the Holy Land, and Europe.  Their power and wealth, however, was viewed as a threat by the leaders of the church and governments, so accusations of unholy rituals and deceptive practices began to emerge.  Eventually, they were proclaimed to be enemies of the church, and many were rounded up and executed for their alleged crimes of financial corruption, fraud, heresy, idolatry, and homosexual practices.  Some even confessed to some of the charges under torture.  The scandals led to all Christian monarchs arresting all Templars and seizing their assets, forcing those who escaped to hide in the shadows, and gather in the deepest of secrecy.  

The Knights Templar were dismantled in the Rolls of the Catholic Church in 1309.  Freemasonry incorporated the symbols and some of the rituals of several medieval military orders including the Knights Templar, with some stories claiming that Freemasonry is directly descended from the historical Knights Templar through its final members who allegedly took refuge in Scotland.  For the most part, the stories connecting Freemasonry to the Knights Templar are speculation at best, and not supported by Masonic historians, nor non-Masonic historians.

The impact of Freemasonry on American History is an often discussed topic.  Some Americans believe that the Founding Era was infested with Masonic influences, and that the Founding Fathers were largely members of the “Secret Society.”  If Freemasonry was a large part of the founding of the country and if a majority of the Founding Fathers were members of the secret fraternity, then it raises questions regarding whether or not Christianity was truly the foundation of the American System.

Studies regarding Freemasonry shows that modern American Freemasonry is antithetical and hostile to Christian Biblical teachings.  Much of the data we have that assists us in coming to the conclusion that modern Freemasonry stands in opposition to Christian principles is largely available due to the testimony of high-ranking Masonic officials who renounced their Masonic membership after welcoming Jesus Christ into their lives.

A common belief is that an overwhelming majority of the Founding Fathers were active members, and even leaders, in Freemasonry.  Various sources proclaim that the governing documents, seals, symbols, and even the blueprint of Washington D.C., incorporated Masonic beliefs and symbols.

A study of history and the documents remaining from the founding era reveal that the United States was founded on a value system, and a belief in Natural Law, connected to Christianity.  The concept that our rights are divinely dispensated by God is at the heart of our founding.  No enduring hope for liberty and prosperity could be formed from a pagan foundation.

Modern Freemasonry has masked its true nature by involving itself in charitable endeavors.  Today most citizens only know the fraternal group for its good work in the community, and its symbol sometimes adorned on the back of a vehicle or on a ring on somebody’s finger.

American Freemasonry is a massive organization.  The infrastructure is rigidly organized, filled with a system of degree rituals and teachings that seem religious and philosophical.  As far as secret societies go, Freemasonry is America’s largest, and oldest.  A friend of mine, a level 33 Freemason, once told me that Freemasonry is not a secret society, it is simply a society with secrets. 

Freemasonry’s American origins date back to about 1730 in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.  In today’s society Masons are frequently prominent and visible members of the community, with a disproportionately high percentage of them serving as high-ranking, powerful officials.  The fact that so many of them have worked their way to positions of power, yet they come from a relatively small secret organization, has launched many conspiracy theories.  If so many hold positions of power today, we might believe, then, that it must have been similar during the era of the birth of the United States.

Membership has been working its way downward in modern times.  Freemasonry’s popularity has waned.  One wonders if the downward spiral of the number of Masons in the United States is partly due to the fact that not much about Masonry is any longer completely secret.

As for the high percentage of political officials who are members of modern American Freemasonry, Masonry itself does not get involved in politics.  However, the organization does hold a couple strict political beliefs; separation of church and state as defined by modern establishment politicos, and replacing all religiously affiliated schools in America with secular public schools.

Rather than recognize God as He is presented and defined by biblical texts, Masonry recognizes whatever god any individual Mason might claim.  There is a great deity, Masonry provides, known as G.A.O.T.U.; the Great Architect of the Universe.

The history of American Freemasonry reaches back in time, finding its roots in Europe.  Craftsmen traveled across Europe more than a thousand years ago building cathedrals, abbeys, churches, castles, and other stone buildings.  They journeyed the continent performing physical stone-cutting and stone-laying.  Many of these craftsmen were members of Masonic lodges.

Traveling masons were known as free masons, and they devised a system of secret signs and handshakes that identified them to other free masons.  Non-traveling masons usually belonged to local Masonic guilds rather than lodges.  They lived and worked in their own region and all construction they participated in was local.  Often, local masons were employed by traveling free masons for their construction jobs in the area.

The Old Charges of 938 A.D. were early Masonic regulations that called for the following:

1.     God and religion is very important.

2.     Masonry is a professional craft.

3.     The Science of Geometry is an important part of the craft.

4.     Masonry is a regal duty.

The first charge to the mason that God and religion are very important was more than a mere belief.  The primary source of a mason’s work was cathedrals, and most of the countries in Europe had state established religions.  If God and religion were not an important part of masonry for the world to see, they might not get any work.

Considering masonry as being a professional craft demanded that the members follow strict regulations regarding conduct, behavior, and training.

Using the science of geometry meant that to be a mason one must understand the scientific and mathematical basis for architectural designs.

Instruction in royal protocol was required because much of the work that masons performed was at the request of monarchs, nobles, and governmental church officials.

The 926 A.D. Constitutions instructed that “Every mason shall cultivate brotherly love, and the love of God, and frequent holy church.”  It was required that at every meeting of masons the members would pray heartily for all Christians.

In 1583 masonic documents declared, “The might of the Father of heaven, and the wisdom of the glorious Son, through the grace and the goodness of the Holy Ghost, yet being three persons and one God, be with us at [our] beginning.”  In 1686 masons were demanded to “be true men to God and the holy church.”  In 1722 the charge required “A mason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the art, he will never be a stupid atheist nor an irreligious libertine.”

In short, the early masons were Christian, and were expected to follow the tenants of the Faith.  While it may be appropriate in today’s world to question if a practicing Freemason can also be a Christian, the question did not pertain to early American Freemasonry.  In fact, if early American Freemasonry had been incompatible with orthodox Christianity, and a massive number of Founding Fathers were members of such an organization, the lack of Christian values and principles would be evident in the writings and founding documents by the Founding Fathers. 

A change began to occur when in the late 1600s and early 1700s, as their numbers began to decline partly because edifices were being built primarily by carpenters rather than stone masons, masonry attempted to increase their numbers again by opening their ranks to those who had never before laid a single stone.  The Masonic regulation of 1703 provides, “The privileges of masonry should no longer be restricted to operative masons, but extended to men of various professions.”

Newly accepted members included aristocrats and members of royal families.  As word got out that important people were joining the ranks of the masons other politicians and prominent individuals began to join, too, hoping to rub shoulders with royalty and other important personages.  The newcomers, having no real knowledge of operative masonry, began to speculate and spiritualize the symbolism of operative masonry, interpreting the symbols and artifacts in an allegorical, moral, and religious manner.  What emerged was “speculative masonry.”

By 1723 the new Masons developed their own standards to replace the Old Charges that have previously governed operative masons.  The new teachings mixed and merged their new rituals with the old traditions of operative masonry, preserving the three degrees, secret methods of recognition, and the requirement of a belief in God.  Despite the foundation of its system of ethics being that of Christianity, unChristian doctrines began to emerge, and masonry eventually abandoned its Christian roots and instead embraced pluralistic and pagan philosophies.

Speculative Masons changed their calendar system from the time of Christ to the time of Adam, adding four thousand years to their calendar.  Adam was then considered the first Mason, and therefore the father of the organization.  The changes were popular, and in 1717 masonry began to grow rapidly.  By 1730 there were 100 speculative lodges in England.

By the time the Founding Fathers were around Freemasonry had grown into a very influential organization.  Therefore, many eyes into history have determined that Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, James Madison, Charles Carroll, John Jay, Samuel Adams, and a long list of other prominent Founding Fathers were all Masons.  Except, out of the list of names just provided, not one of them served as a member of Freemasonry. 

Contrary to popular opinion Freemasonry did not enjoy significant influence on the formation of the United States.  The truth is supported by historical documents, and the work of reputable Masonic historians, who have investigated actual records.

Freemasonry itself has done much of the research regarding any alleged connections between Freemasonry and the birth of the United States and has found that only a few of the Founding Fathers were Freemasons, and the ones who did have a brush with the society were largely not active members, and very Christian in their belief system. 

·       Neither John Adams or Samuel Adams were Masons, as argued by the authorities of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

·       No information has ever been located linking James Madison to any Masonic membership.

·       Thomas Jefferson was not a Freemason, either.  On page 91 of “Masonic Membership of the Founding Fathers,” Ronald E. Heaton wrote regarding Thomas Jefferson, “No mention of the Fraternity appears in the millions of words he wrote and which are in print.  Strict search has uncovered no evidence.”

·       The same book by Ronald E. Heaton provides that there is “no evidence of [Alexander Hamilton’s] activity in or connection with the Masonic fraternity.”

·       Charles Carroll was not only not a Freemason, as suggested by the movie “National Treasure,” he was an active and devout practicing Catholic.  The Catholic Church, then and now, has been one of the fiercest opponents of Freemasonry, with over fifteen papal pronouncements having been issued against Freemasonry since 1738.

·       Researchers from The Masonic Services Association of North America, an organization that describes itself as “the servant of Freemasonry,” state that John Jay was never a Mason.

The list of Founding Fathers wrongly assumed to have been associated with Freemasonry is a long one.  However, that is not to say that none of the Founding Fathers were Freemasons.  Some were.  However, several of the few that were members of the fraternity had minimal contact or involvement with the society.

·       George Washington, Father of the Country, is probably the most recognizable Founding Father associated with Freemasonry.  According to Washington’s Writings, published in 1941, Volume 36, page 453, in a letter to G.W. Snyder, written September 25, 1798, Washington asserts that he wanted to “correct an error you have run into of my presiding over the English lodges in this country.  The fact is I preside over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice within the last thirty years.”  Any Masonic activities performed by George Washington are very few.

·       Benjamin Franklin was probably the most active Mason of any of the Founding Fathers that were Masons, but his constant tendency to refer to Scripture, the fact that he recommended prayer before each session of the Constitutional Convention, and his proposition to the Great Seal that an image be provided of Moses lifting up his wand and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the waters, with a motto, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” is hardly the actions of an anti-Christian individual, much less an anti-Christian Mason.

·       John Hancock was a Freemason, and the son of a famous Gospel minister.  He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and twice served as President of the Continental Congress during the years the governmental body existed prior to the Constitution.  He was head of the militia in Massachusetts, and was elected the first Governor of that State, of which he would serve many times.  He was instrumental in writing Massachusetts’ first constitution, which includes an explicitly Christian declaration for those who would hold office in that State:

“I, ___________, do declare, that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth.”

In his first Inaugural Address as Governor of Massachusetts in 1780, he announced, “Sensible of the importance of Christian piety and virtue to the order and happiness of a state, I cannot but earnestly commend to you every measure for their support and encouragement.”  Hancock also urged a “due observation of the Lord’s Day,” calling for a statewide day of prayer for “the knowledge of Christianity to spread over all the earth.”  The request for a day of prayer was a frequent request by the statesman.  His writings and actions were hardly those of a person who put his Freemason membership above God or country, or that of a person who believed Pagan teachings by a secret organization bent upon ruling the world.

·       John Dickinson, signer of the Constitution, and a person who helped draft the Declaration of Independence, became a Mason on January 11, 1780.  His membership was followed by a notation in the Masonic records, “Never since appeared in Lodge.”  He lived his life as a Christian, and during the revolutionary crisis he called out to his countrymen to “seek God.”  When he faced death, he reaffirmed his dedication to Christ.

“Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.” 

·       William Hooper, signer of the Declaration of Independence, became a member of Freemasonry, and then shortly after the Lodge he was a member of ceased to exist.  No records exist of him ever attending another lodge.

·       James McHenry, signer of the Constitution, became a Freemason on May 21, 1806.  His entry in Masonic records is followed by the notation, “Struck off, 1809” after he was in the organization for only three years.  McHenry was also the founder of the Baltimore Bible Society, an organization that exists today, but under a different name; the “Maryland Bible Society.”  McHenry utilized his organization with the goal of putting a Bible in the hands of all people.

·       Richard Stockton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a Freemason.  Like the other signers of the July 4, 1776 document that declared America’s independence from the British Empire he pledged, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence” his “life, fortune, and sacred honor” for the cause.  He did not survive the American Revolution.  After being captured by the British, he was tortured severely.  He was released through a prisoner exchange, but his health never recovered.  With the understanding that his death was imminent, he spent the time to get his affairs in order, penning his last will and testament, giving particular attention to his children who would never know their father, and giving strong attention to his Christian faith.  He died a strong Christian, and sacrificed his life for American Liberty.  Freemasonry was something he was a member of, but it was not the primary driving force of his life, nor did his membership to the organization have a negative influence upon his Christian Faith.

·       Robert Treat Paine was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was a Freemason.  As the first Attorney General of the State of Massachusetts and a Justice of the State Supreme Court of that State he left a clear written record of his beliefs and leanings. 

“I have for some time had a desire to attend upon the Lord’s Supper and to come to that Divine institution of a dying Redeemer, and I trust I’m now convinced that it is my duty to openly profess Him least He be ashamed to own me another day.”

Like his father, Robert Treat Paine became a minister, and during the American Revolution he was a military chaplain.  As an outspoken Christian and Patriot, though a member of Freemasonry, he was not one to chase after any tenants of the organization that might exist today, likely because the non-Christian, global and diabolical attributes that are assumed to be a part of the organization in modern times were not a part of Masonry during the time of the forging of the United States.

·       Gunning Bedford, Jr. was a signer of the Constitution, and served not only as a Freemason, but as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Delaware.  In his 1799 oration on the death of George Washington, he openly proclaimed the Christianity of Washington, as well as his own.  Bedford was unashamed of his belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and was vocal about it.

·       Francis Scott Key, author of the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem, identified as a Freemason.  In the fourth stanza of the song (originally a poem by him) are the words, “In God is our trust,” which may have been the inspiration for the motto “In God We Trust” which began appearing on coins after the War Between the States, and ultimately the phrase became the official motto of the United States in 1956, two years after “under God” was inserted into the Flag Salute. 

Freemasonry membership, during those times, did not deter any of the Founding Fathers from their Christian belief system, nor their duties as a patriot.  And, According to the book “Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers” by David Barton, “Most of the Founders were not Masons; and many who were, at best, were inactive.”  Barton provides that of those who signed the Declaration of Independence, a maximum of one in six could have been Freemasons (16%).  Among the delegates to the Constitutional Convention a maximum of one in four (25%) could have been Freemasons.  Those numbers represent the maximum number possible, including inactive members and those who were allegedly Masons, but only inconclusive evidence exists.  Those with indisputable evidence of having been Freemasons represents a much lower percentage.

Even if Founding Fathers were members of the fraternity the Freemasonry of their time period was vastly different from modern American Freemasonry.  The most radical changes Freemasonry has undergone occurred since their era.  To compare today’s Masonic beliefs and practices to those of two centuries ago is like comparing night to day.

A large part of the radical changes that occurred after the Founding Era during the nineteenth century can be attributed to influences by the Order of the Illuminati.  Founded by German Adam Weishaupt and aided by allies like the Jacobins, the Illuminati was behind much of the bloody French Revolution and its widespread anarchy.  Influence by the Illuminati and Jacobins did work its way across the Atlantic Ocean to America.  In 1798 Reverend Jedediah Morse delivered in Boston a sermon warning that European Illuminati had infiltrated America, and in 1799 Morse warned that the Illuminati had infiltrated European Masonic Lodges.  History demonstrates that the Illuminati never took hold in America, and the organization and its beliefs were actively opposed to the American Founding Fathers and the principles they inserted into America’s founding documents.

Some conspiracy theorists argue that Washington D.C. was designed based on Masonic influences, and that Freemason symbolism exists throughout the capital of the United States.  It is alleged that a Masonic Pentagram exists in the district that serves as the seat of government, centered near the White House.  The points of the pentagram, however, were neither planned nor built until almost a century after the Founding Fathers had the District of Columbia built.  For example, the Jefferson Memorial, a key to the imagined Masonic symbolism in the city, was not built until 1943, and it never appeared in any of the original 1791 plans of the city.  Even more interesting is the fact that the spot upon which the Jefferson Memorial was built was underwater in the middle of the Potomac River at the time of the original construction of the district.  The center of the alleged pentagram is the Masonic House of the Temple, a building that was not built until 1915.  The building also never appeared on any early plan of the city.

It is also alleged that the Great Seal of the United States is fraught with Masonic symbolism.  The pyramid, with 13 levels, represents the 13 colonies that became the Original 13 States, not Egyptian and Babylonian mysticism.  As for the “All-Seeing Eye” above the pyramid, while it has been suggested that it is a symbol of the Illuminati, according to the Founding Fathers the presence of the symbol is to represent the All-Seeing Eye of God, or should we say as the Founders provided, “the eye of Providence.”  God is watching over His people both day and night, and intervening on their behalf to destroy their enemies.  Rather than a pagan or Illuminati symbol, the All-Seeing Eye on the Great Seal of the United States, which is also on the backside of the One Dollar Bill, is the vigilant all-seeing eye of Almighty God, watching over his people.  The principal designer of the Great Seal, by the way, was Charles Thomson, and Charles Thomson was definitely not a Mason.

On the Great Seal of the United States is the Latin phrase, “Novus Ordo Mundi.”  The phrase has been inaccurately translated as meaning, “A New World Order.”  Instead, what the true translation, and what was meant by the Founding Fathers, is “A New Order of the Ages.”  In a sense one might still argue that what they were saying they were introducing to the world was a new world order, and essentially, one would be correct in making that assumption.  Except, what a New World Order, or a New Order of the Ages, might mean today is not what they meant back then.

The Old Order was the system of monarchs, mercantilism, and ruling elites that existed in the Old World.  The New World, and more specifically, the United States, represented something different.  The Constitution of the United States introduced a new kind of system, and the Articles of Association and the Declaration of Independence began the building of that road to a government that would be unlike anything ever seen in the world.  America represented a new political line off of the mainstream by introducing a government limited in its authorities, and tasked with securing the Natural Rights of the people.  A republican form of government with a foundation based on biblical principles and values designed to allow self-government and numerous checks and balances against a potentially tyrannical government so that tyrants may not be able to entertain their despotic natures was something new, different, and not seen before on the main stage of global politics.  The new American System was indeed a new order for the ages; one that the Founding Fathers suspected would be emulated around the world, and one that would create a type of prosperity that would attract immigrants from all parts of the globe. 

Freemasonry membership did not run rampant through the population of the Founding Fathers, Freemasonry of their era was filled with Christian principles as opposed to today’s version of American Freemasonry, American Freemasonry was not a hotbed for the Illuminati, and the Founders established the American System not on Pagan Freemason principles but on the foundation of the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” also known as God-given Rights based on a foundation of both Saxon and Christian influences.  To accept the fables presented by those convinced our country was founded upon the heavy influences of an organization that may exist today in a cultic form, but did not back then, would be folly, at best.

— Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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