Sunday, September 16, 2007

George Washington and Freemasonry

Recently I was in Washington D.C., specifically Alexandria, VA. While I was there I had an opportunity to visit several historical locations. The first was The George Washington Masonic Memorial. When you fly into the Reagan airport it's impossible to miss it. It towers over all of Alexandria. It's a massive structure, very impressive. It is the most prominent structure in skyline of all of Alexandria.


President Calvin Coolidge and former President and fellow mason William H. Taft participated in the cornerstone ceremony dedicating this memorial. When first entering the memorial one is confronted by a 17 ft. tall bronze statue of Washington the Mason dedicated by President Harry S. Truman, the Past Grand Master of Missouri.


While there you can also see a replica lodge room of the one that George Washington was active in, several other lodge rooms, and many Masonic artifacts of his era. This memorial is not only a glimpse into history but an active lodge as well hosting many different Masonic rituals and activities. When visiting the massive theatre within the memorial you can see the 14 bronze base-relief plaques commemorating the United States Presidents who were fellow Freemasons.

It is impossible to visit there and not be struck by the influence that Freemasonry had on the life of Washington. He was an active in lodge from his entrance into it in 1752 until his death near the end of the century. Here is a very helpful chronology of George Washington’s Masonic Life.

The second historic site that I visited was Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. The very first thing one is confronted when entering his estate is an entrance gate built by the Masons themselves. It is the very first object on the grounds! When one visits the multi-million dollar museum there they have a very prominent display of Washington's involvement in Freemasonry.

When visiting the shops on the ground, specifically the bookstore, I was struck by the fact that every book ever written and currently published on Washington was there. What I failed to find was Michael Novak's book on Washington. I looked for it three times. It was not there. How could it be missing? And his book is not considered to be one of the "Ten Best Books on George Washington". This is a scandal, at least it should be for all my Catholic Neo-con friends who worship at his feet.

I did find at the bookstore though an important book, signed by the author himself in fact, on the religious faith of Washington. It is written by Dr. Peter A. Lillback.



Dr. Lillback claims that Washington was a Christian and not a deist. He admits to Washington's Masonic past but makes the claim that Christianity and Freemasonry are compatible. No I'm sorry, Freemasonry has never been compatible with Christianity. One cannot be a Christian and a Freemason. It would be helpful to refer to John Salza's book below.

John Salza, a former Master Mason, has recently authored a helpful book on Freemasonry published by Our Sunday Visitor. In this book he clearly shows how Freemasonry was and is not only a dangerous ideology but a religion as well. I recommend this book to anyone interested in this topic.



Related posts are linked here - Freemasonry and America and How Charles Carroll Influenced U.S. Founding Fathers.

The third historic site that I visited was the National Archives. There I viewed the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States. These documents were designed and written by Freemasons. The vast majority of our Founding Fathers were Freemasons, all of the most prominent ones. This is conclusively shown in my linked posts above. These founding documents of our country are the fruits of Masonic ideology and religion. As Catholics, or any other Christian who might be reading this blog, this should concern you deeply and profoundly.

11 comments:

Freder1ck said...

What about Mozart?

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that freemasonry is, as Albert Pike tells us, two organizations: the lower orders for the dupes who believe the organization based on self-improvement and charitable giving, and the noble orders who actually know what is going on.

Masonic Traveler said...

"No I'm sorry, Freemasonry has never been compatible with Christianity. One cannot be a Christian and a Freemason."

To the contrary, a Christian who chooses to not be a Freemason cannot be a Freemason. The practice itself merely recognizes the value of other faiths.

The concern you feel over the founding fathers participation in the US Governments founding is curious. What aspects of the original documents do you find questionable, and which would you change? Would you rather impose your own set of values, or perhaps those of your church or pope? Would that then even be American?

David said...

Fred - The answer to this question of Mozart is answered in one of the linked posts but in short the vast majority of Mozart's music was composed long before he was a Mason.

anonymous - The Founding Fathers were members of the "noble order". They certainly were not "dupes". And they were not just "social Mason" but active leaders of this ideology and religion.

Masonic Traveler - refer to my classic posts on this topic of Freemasonry, Liberalism, and those of Scindler, Rowland and Augustinian Thomism vs. Whig Thomism. A lot of cyber ink has been spilled on the answers to your questions.

Anonymous said...

Mr. David Jones:

"The answer to this question of Mozart [as a Freemason] is answered in one of the linked posts [which? I couldn't find any "answer"] but in short the vast majority of Mozart's music was composed long before he was a Mason."

And what exactly do you want to tell us with this "answer", Sir? That the music he composed after 1784, in the remaining 7 years of his life, is crap? That from his operas alone "Le nozze di Figaro" (1786), "Don Giovanni" (1787), "Così fan tutte" (1790), "Die Zauberflöte", and "La Clemenza di Tito" (both 1791) should not be considered masterpieces because he wrote them as a Mason and was, according to today's Roman doctrine, in a "state of great sin" when he concieved them? That his "Requiem" and the "Ave verum corpus" (both 1791), a declared favorite of Pope Ratzinger, are the botch of a Satanist? Do you actually know how many Catholic clergymen, Prince bishops, archbishops, abbots, have been Masons or protectors of Masonic lodges during that glorious age of Enlightenment that brought about the American Revolution and created the nation that you name as one of your main interests ("God, family, and country") on your profile page?

You know what, Mr. Jones: You stick to your top secret military occupation and your church, and leave talking about history, masonry and music to those who have the expertise to do so.

Regards,

Wolfgang

Freder1ck said...

Wolfgang,

I believe that Masonry itself was quite young at the time - and Catholics were not as yet under any restriction regarding membership.

Fred

Anonymous said...

"I believe that Masonry itself was quite young at the time …"

Fred,

You are right, Masonry was still young at that time. The first Masonic lodge in the German-speaking countries was established in Hamburg in 1733, 15 years after the Grand Lodge of England had been formed. Already in 1731 Francis Stephen III, Duke of Lorraine, the later Emperor Francis I., had been received into a lodge in The Hague. The first Austrian Masonic lodge we know of was founded in Vienna in 1742, and in the years to follow many important people --aristocrats, clergymen, officers, scientists, artists, and businessmen-- became Masons. Empress Maria Theresia, the wife of Francis I., wasn't too favorably disposed towards Masonry; in fact, after her husband's death in 1765, Austrian authorities cracked down on several lodges for reasons unknown today. However, Joseph II, her successor, took great interest in Masonry; he did never join himself, but protected the Masonic bodies throughout his reign (he died in 1790, one year before Mozart). So, German-speaking Masonry looked back on a tradition of roughly 50 years at the time Mozart joined.

" …and Catholics were not as yet under any restriction regarding membership."

Here you err, Fred. Two years after the first lodge had been founded in Rome, Pope Clement XII issued the bull "In eminenti Apostolatus specula" in 1738, condemning Masonry as heresy and excommunicating all those who "enter, propagate or support these aforesaid societies of […] Francs Massons, or however else they are called, or to receive them in their houses or dwellings or to hide them, be enrolled among them, joined to them, be present with them, give power or permission for them to meet elsewhere, to help them in any way, to give them in any way advice, encouragement or support either openly or in secret, directly or indirectly, on their own or through others" (see Wikipedia for full text in English). The question is: why did so many good Catholics, even priests and bishops, disregard Clement's bull, and the one by his successor Benedict XIV ("Providas", 1751)? I don't know the answer for sure, but I guess it is something like: they didn't care. They knew that Freemasonry could have a positive effect on society and the nations of Europe, and for that reason they wanted to be part of it; Rome was far away, and the Sacred College of Cardinals was dominated by a nepotistic web of Italian aristocrats who used to buy their positions (as Clement XII himself had done). It has been argued that the majority of European Masons in the 18th century have in fact been Catholics, with France, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and considerable parts of Germany being predominantly Catholic. When the Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773, many former Jesuits became Freemasons.

Regards,
Wolfgang

David said...

Wolfgang,

First I have to state that I love your name. If it is your true name that is. Considering you're posting "Anonymous" I have my doubts. Why not show your real face?

Second as you know Mozart was a child prodigy. He composed the majority of his music long before he ever became a Mason. His gift of music was a gift from God.

Third I have never made the claim that Masons are incapable of knowing the truth or unable to produce beauty or lack the ability to do good. They are human. They do have a religious sense.

Fourth the question you must ask yourself is this - did Freemasonry help Mozart become a better musician? Did his music continue to grow in depth because of his musical experience or solely b/c of his involvement with Freemasonry. I think it would be quite difficult to prove the later.

Anonymous said...

David,

thank you for paying my name a compliment. I also like your name very much, it is the name of a very dear friend of mine and of course the name of every music lover's favorite Old Testament hero. If God should give me a son one day, his name will be David; as long as my spouse agrees, that is.

I want to apologize for letting my annoyance win over my sense of politeness in addressing you – I was a bit put out about these two very disrespectful and silly articles on Masonry on "Mother of all Peoples" you had linked to your blog.

You wrote: "[…] as you know Mozart was a child prodigy. He composed the majority of his music long before he ever became a Mason. His gift of music was a gift from God." Yes, David, and Mozart said so himself. But your reply to Fred's question ("the vast majority of Mozart's music was composed long before he was a Mason") could be understood as disparagement of the music by Mozart the Mason compared to the music by Mozart the non-Mason. And Mozart's musical genius was still a gift from God after he became a Mason, don't you think?

You wrote: "[…] I have never made the claim that Masons are incapable of knowing the truth or unable to produce beauty or lack the ability to do good. They are human. They do have a religious sense." Good. We agree on that. Let me add: Some of the most humane and religious people I have ever met are Freemasons.

You asked (rhetorically): "Did Freemasonry help Mozart become a better musician? Did his music continue to grow in depth because of his musical experience or solely b/c of his involvement with Freemasonry[?]" David, I have never made, nor will I ever make, the claim that Masonry directly and solely improved Mozart's musical output (although his "Masonic Funeral Music" KV 477 has always been one of my favorites; but that is entirely personal…). We simply cannot know how much Mozart was inspired by Masonry; we do know, however, that he was a regular in two Vienna lodges, and that he corresponded with his father Leopold (a Mason, too) about his thoughts and feelings regarding the brotherhood (Leopold unfortunately destroyed all these letters except one); in short, it must have meant *something* to him. (The "Zauberflöte", at least, wouldn't exist without Mozart being a Mason; of course, we can argue whether it is one of his masterpieces or not, but that would be another topic.) In conclusion, David: Freemasonry certainly didn't make Mozart a *worse* musician. *That* is quite easily to prove, and *that* was my point. If I misunderstood your reply to Fred: mea culpa, and please no hard feelings.

Regards, and best wishes for a blessed Sunday,
Wolfgang


PS: I post anonymously because I don't trust the internet and don't have an overview of the commercial interests connected with it. There is so much personal data harvesting going on and so many crooks around that I decided to better be cautious, maybe overly cautious. I also do not take part in competitions or anything else I have to register for with my real name / (e-mail) address / phone number / date of birth etc. Nothing against you or your blog. It is a principle.

David said...

Wolfgang,

We are in agreement.

Thank you for last response but also for your input on whatever posts provokes you.

***

For Wolgang, Greg (Masonic Traveler) or any other Freemasons - I am interested in writing a post which details the history of Freemasonry with our Founding Fathers - signers of the Declaration and participants of the Cont. Congress. How many of them where Masons? Is this information provided anywhere on the web? It woudl be appreciated if you can you provide links to helpful articles, books, etc.

Anonymous said...

David,

not being an American, I don't know enough about this topic to contribute to the article you intend to write. Greg (Masonic Traveler) has written a post on the Freemasons among the Founding Fathers last year. He knows better than me about these things, and if he doesn't know himself, he certainly knows whom to ask. Search his blog http://masonictraveler.blogspot.com/ using "declaration" and "independence".

Regards,

Wolfgang