Monday, December 18, 2006

Scottish Rite Cathedral


Built in 1915 for the Scottish Rite Freemasons, this is a huge rectangular building that pretty much dominates the area where it sits. A bit ponderous for my taste, it just exudes massiveness and power.

Who are the Scottish Rite Freemasons? As it turns out the question is really who are the Freemasons. Quoting from Wikipedia,
"Freemasonry is a Fraternal organization whose membership is held together by shared Morality and Metaphysics ideals and—in most of its branches—by a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being".

They use allegory related to medieval stone masons to teach moral lessons, such as one should "square their actions by the square of virtue". They have reputation for being secretive and appear to have a quite remarkable internal culture of private language and ritual. Oddly enough Freemasonry has been criticized by organized religions because they see it as an attempt to create a religion (which the Freemasons absolutely deny) which engages in unorthodox beliefs and practices.

Women cannot become Freemasons though they can join auxillary groups (in the US, see comments).


Blogger Susan in Hotlanta said...

I like buildings like that!

Maybe there are some "freemasons" who may see this blog and will tell us more about the secret things they do!

No women? Boo!

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Freemason, in England. It's only in the USA that women can't be Freemasons. Everywhere else in the world there are three 'strands' of Freemasonry - one with men-only lodges, one with women-only lodges, and one with mixed-sex lodges (known as co-masonry). Co-masonry is not all that popular, as most men and women see Freemasonry as a night out with the girls/lads (as appropriate). However, in the USA there are ONLY the all-male lodges, but with associated organisations for women, usually just women who are related to Freemasons. Americans do like to do things differently...

1:09 AM  
Blogger Louz said...

Well its internal ritual and what we would know would just on the surface. I just found their history rather interesting.

How cool to have someone who is a Freemason leaving a comment. Since the whole thing began in England, its interesting that there would be women's lodges and mixed sex lodges there but not in the US. I would imagine though that like there its largely social here too, a night out with the guys.

11:29 PM  

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