THE BADGE OF A MASON
by Judge C. Clyde Myers 32 degree
THE NEW AGE - JULY 1950
Each and every Mason treasures a white lambskin as a badge to remind
him of that purity of life and conduct in which it is necessary for
him to live a good and upright life. We wear our emblems and say our
Masonic rituals with great eclat, but we too often say them without
thought. We do not try to understand what is meant by this or that
emblem or pronouncement. We do not worry too much ahout our
privileges and duties as Masons.
It takes a lifetime of thought and study for anyone to know and
understand our priviledges and duties as Masons and what Masonry
means, but I am sure Masonic rights and privileges are not to be
interpreted as they were the other day by a litigant in my court.
I was hearing a lawsuit that was quite important to the parties
involved. Of course, all lawsuits are important to the parties
involved. I finally indicated that my decision would be and actually
was against the accused. His attorney later told me what then
happened. He said the accused poked his attorney in the back and
whispered angrily, "What's the matter with that damned Judge. I'm a
Mason the same as he is, and I've been giving him the grand hailing
sign of distress for half an hour and he pays no attention to me."
That accused is like many other Masons. He is looking for something
by reason of his Masonry that he is not entitled to in law or
conscience. He is looking for an advantage by reason of his Masonry.
He has not yet learned that justice is not dependent upon race or
religion, or even the fact that he is a Mason.
Masonry exemplifies endless philosophies and truths. Every truth and
every lesson is a thing that will make you and me a better citizen
and a better man and neighbor, if we but heed. Every truth is a
badge to be worn by every Mason. " No man can be a good Mason who
does not wear the badges of these teachings.
Masonry teaches that we are our neighbors' keepers, that we have a
duty to make our neighborhood a better place in which to live, and
that we are not to shirk this job. Masonry teaches tolerance of
race, creed and religion. It teaches love and friendship for all
mankind. It teaches respect for government, and admonishes the
worship of one God. It teaches love, generosity and every other good
quality. It gives us the Bible as a guide, the Square and the Plumb
to keep us in the faith, and the Compasses to cir cumscribe our
All through your Masonic Degrees you have heard about toleration.
Albert Pike, one of the great writers and philosophers of Masonry,
says we have no right to assume the prerogatives of a God and punish
a man for his beliefs. He says that one born of Protestant parents
would naturally be a Protestant, one born of Roman Catholic parents,
a Catholic, and one born of Jewish parents, a Jew. One born in
Constantinople would naturally cry, "Allah is God and Mohammat is
his prophet." That because of these things no ne of us should become
intolerant of another. Tolerance is one of the badges of a Mason. No
one can be a good Mason unless he is truly tolerant of his neigbor's
beliefs and recognizes his neighbor's right to his beliefs, the same
as he claims the right to his own faith.
Masonry wears the badge of religion, though it is not in itself a
religion, but Masonry is not all the religion the Mason needs.
Masonry leaves the religious faith of the man to the Brahmmn, the
Jew, the Mohammedan, the Catholic, the Methodist, or any other sect
that soothes the conscience of that individual. Masonry teaches no
doctrines except those common to all religions accepting and
believing in one God, and no doctrines beyond such belief except
those producing the goodness and morality of man, and the living of
a true, just and faithful life.
AIbert Pike says that Masonry opens "wide its portals; it invites
all to enter there and live in peace and harmony, the Protestant,
the Catholic, the Jew, the Moslem; every man who will lead a truly
virtuous and moral life, love his brethren, administer to the sick
and distressed, and believe in one, all-powerful, all-wise,
everywhere-present God, Architect, Creator and Preserver of all
He says we must pity the misfortunes of others, be humble, rid
ourselves of hatred and revenge, be generous, an enemy to vice, look
for wisdom and virtue, respect innocence, be patient and modest, and
avoid every irregularity that stains the soul and distempers the
Masonry is not a religion, but it gives us the Bible as a guide.
Masonry tells us to read and to study and to understand the Bible.
Masonry does not require us to accept all of the Biblical tenets,
but it does require us to live by the rule of brotherly love,
sympathy, tolerance and good deeds as expressed in that verse of
Scripture which reads: "Whatsoever ye would that men shoud do unto
you, do ye even so unto them."
Masonry requires of us that we so live that we are on the square
with our neighbors, our God and with ourselves, and that the
Compasses may circumscribe our lives with a life of good deeds
beyond which we are not to pass into the darkness beyond the line
made by our Compasses.
Every Mason has heard and sought to understand the word ashler. An
ashler is a builder's stone brought from the quarry for the building
to be built. A rough ashler is a rough, unpolished stone as it comes
from the quarry. A perfect ashler is that stone after it has been
hewn, squared and polished by the masons into perfect shape to be
used in the construction of the building. The building represents
life - yours and mine. You and I come into life and being as rough
and imperfect ashlers. The Great Architect soon begins to hew and
saw upon us, trying to make or shape and polish us into perfect
ashlers. He works upon us through the years to take out of us our
imperfections. At last, when our roughness has been smoothed away,
our imperfections hewn out and we have thus become perfect ashlers,
then is when the Great Builder uses us and gives us our place in
this building of life which He is constructing.
In the building of life, you and I be big or little ashlers
according to our capacity. We will have much or little capacity
according to how we come from the quarry, and then according to our
fitness for the building as perfect ashlers. There are large and
small ashlers, but there is a place in the building for each. Our
responsibility is large or small according to our side and fitness
for the building. You and I are required to accomplish our design,
whether our capacities are large or small.
If you are designed for a large job, then you must accomplish large
things in the service of the Great Architect. But I am not excused
because any capacity is small. The temple cannot be built without
the large, perfect ashlers, and it cannot be built without the
small, perfect ashlers. It takes all sizes and shapes of perfect
ashlers to build the temple, and it takes all types and conditions
of men to make a world.
The badge of a Mason is that he does all things required of him as a
Msson and as a man to promote and to actually live the morals,
dogma, citizenship, neighborliness, worship, appreciation, justice,
tolerance and the thousand other things required of him as a Mason.
If he does all these things, he will have lived that purity of life
and to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge, the goal of