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Masonic News & Views - Lessons of the 30th Degree
April 28, 2014
Greetings Brother,

I trust this finds you well.

I recently came across a comment left by a Brother on a Masonic discussion board. The discussion had nothing to do with our Masonic obligations but in the comment the Brother referred to them and said, "...we promise to never go against our country or government."

This got me wondering that there may be other Brethren who are laboring under this misunderstanding. While it is true, and I speak only of the jurisdiction to which I belong, that the Entered Apprentice Mason is charged to be true to his government and just to his country this is not a part of his obligation as an Entered Apprentice Mason. It is a part of the Entered Apprentice Charge. In the former he is making certain promises before God and man. In the latter he is being urged to certain conduct as a Mason. Nowhere in Masonry do we swear blind allegiance to any institution.

In fact, if you are a Scottish Rite Mason the teachings of the 30th Degree, The Knight Kadosh or Knight of the Black and White Eagle, will be familiar. In that degree we are taught to arm ourselves with faith in God, love toward our fellow man and knowledge in preparation to war against ignorance, tyranny, despotism and vice.

In the war against ignorance, knowledge alone gives men power. "The well-informed man only is really free. He sees, he understands, he knows..."¹

In the war against despotism we are taught "...that a constitutional Monarchy, or a well-regulated and safely-balanced Republic, based on an inviolable Constitution, expressing the will and having the assent of the people, is the only government to which a moral and enlightened human being ought to submit."²

The great truth and lesson of the degree of Knight Kadosh is that the people are sovereign over institutions. It is "...the right of the people of every State to govern themselves, and to adopt or continue only such institutions of government as shall seem to themselves best suited to their condition. ...The heart of man craves only justice and love. Men are good. Evil institutions alone have made them bad; and it is the duty of Masonry and of every Knight to aid in leading them back to the truth."³

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

Quotes are from Albert Pike's "Legenda XIX-XXX" as found in "A Bridge to Light" Second Edition by Rex R. Hutchens, 33°, G:.C:.
(1, p. 289) (2, p. 290) (3, p. 292)

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