In your opinion can a man be considered honorable if...

by Kenneth Renninger
(Raymore,Mo.)

Do you think a man is still honorable if he has a disgraceful criminal past consisting of petty crime. Should the fact that his path to being an honorable god fearing gentleman was a turbulent one really affect how another looks at him now? I have considered the others that may be affected on this man's journey, some in a negative and even still in a positive ( I'm still not sure of how to really look at a duality like negative and positive when its so much more than just black and white ) , anyway I'm starting to ramble into a pitch trying to sell you on a certain wanted reply. That is all and thank you in advance.

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Nov 25, 2015
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It depends on the man
by: Lant

Your question, Mr Renninger, is one which has been asked many times. As it happens, it was discussed last week in my own lodge. I've read one respected Masonic commentator saying that even a speeding ticket should be enough to bar admission. Personally, I disagree.

One of the guiding principle of Freemasonry is Charity. These days, modern usage of the word centres on gifts to the poor, but we use it in the larger sense. The Merriam-Webster dictionary includes the following - a benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity and a lenient judgment of others.

One thing that made Victor Hugo's Les Miserables so many moving was that the hero, Jean Valjean, continued to be hunted even though he had reformed himself and had become a good man, a pillar of the community. As a Christian, my thoughts are directed to Jesus' parables in Luke 15, one of which concludes that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (There are similar admonitions in the holy books of other religions, I gather.) The moral of those parables is that we should be prepared to accept men who have done bad but have turned themsleves around.

I would never countenance admitting a petty criminal into the Craft. On the other hand, a man who has turned himself around, renounced crime in favour of honest hard work and has maintained that path for a good time would indeed be acceptable. Now to be sure, every lodge has its own standards and every case is different, but that's my call. For me, it would depend on the nature of those crimes, how long ago they happened and what he has been doing and how he has been living since then.

Nov 25, 2015
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honorable
by: Fred

Good morning,
Your question is vague, as the offense is not specifically mentioned, but the answer is YES.
Having said that, my answer in no way speaks for Freemasonry or other Freemasons. Each man decides that kind of thing for himself. As far as becoming a Mason, it might disqualify a candidate, as Masons are supposed to be of "good moral character." Most petitions will ask if a candidate has been arrested, and should be answered honestly, as falsifying the information will get a petitioner disqualified when a background check is done. In NJ a background check is performed on each petitioner. If an arrest is found from many years past, it should be disclosed, and will be part of a report made by an investigation committee. They make the recommendation to the lodge.

Fred :.

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