By Olympia Lodge #1 Senior Warden Benjamin Witten (as appeared in the MWGLofWA Masonic Tribune Spring 2015 Issue)
We have an uncommon strength at Olympia Lodge No.1: cultural adaptation. Our ability to adapt to modern culture is what makes my Lodge unique and relevant to men today.
The Tenets of Freemasonry and its precepts are ancient and honorable, and yet our society has changed rapidly in the last decade. Unlike many Lodges, our membership is younger now than it was ten years ago. Specifically, men in their twenties and thirties make up the majority of active members of our Lodge, and with them come their customs.
Some customs have been embraced by our Lodge. We use information technology and social media to enhance communications between the Officers, members of our Lodge, and the community. We offer libations at our festive boards to encourage our members to spread the cement of Brotherly love, toast a Brother, or drink as a devotion to deity. Our Lodge will continue to have better than average attendance in the foreseeable future if we continue these practices.
However, other youth customs are less supported. For instance, many younger Brothers engage in casual marijuana use (it’s legal in Washington) and are accepting of homosexuals. If these views are not in line with your morals or your religion, that’s fine. Masonic precepts prescribe that we each follow our own moral compass, but they do not forbid Brothers from smoking pot or being gay.
I ask that you be tolerant of these customs in the same way you are tolerant of another Brother’s differing political and religious views. Meet on the level. Without tolerance, there can be no Brotherly love. I encourage the future Officers of our Jurisdiction to prepare to lead by adapting to society’s changes while practicing and promoting the tenets and precepts of our Fraternity.