Thursday, June 27, 2013

You Know, There May Not Have Been The Supreme Court Vote On Same Sex Marriage The Way It Was Yesterday If Robert Bork Was Confirmed In 1986

I know, I know, a   l   o     n      g  headline, but a very important historical point about the current make-up of the supreme court and how had one vote been different way back when, this outcome on same-sex marriage may not have happened.
Let's take a trip in the Wayback Machine to 1986 when then President Reagan had a supreme court vacancy.
Mr. Reagan decided to nominate a very capable person by the name of Robert Bork to fill that vacancy.
Who is Robert Bork you may ask?
At the time he was nominated to fill the vacancy, he was a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He was nominated and confirmed by the senate in 1982.
Forward six years later and Judge Bork was asked to fill the vacancy due to the retirement of then Justice Lewis Powell.
So far, seems OK. I mean, the president no matter who or she is has a right to nominate who they see fit to be on the highest court in the land.
NO, NO, NO!!!
Not to the left.
Only they have the right to nominate who they want and everyone should just fall in line and glowingly approve.
Even before Mr. Reagan nominated Judge Bork, senate Democrat liberals decided to oppose any nominee to the supreme court that would actually turn the court to an originalist direction.
And Judge Bork was in the cross hairs of people like the late Sen. Ted BURP! Kennedy and his ilk.
Right from the beginning.
Sen. BURP! Kennedy took to the senate floor to denounce Judge Bork in unbelievable hostility, hypocrisy and hatred. This is what the lady killer from Massachusetts had to say about Judge Bork from Wikipedia:

Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy ... President Reagan is still our president. But he should not be able to reach out from the muck of Irangate, reach into the muck of Watergate and impose his reactionary vision of the Constitution on the Supreme Court and the next generation of Americans. No justice would be better than this injustice.

Of course I would have loved to know his Blood Alcohol Count when he delivered this stem winder of hate.
It was a coordinated assault on Judge Bork that Team Reagan never saw coming and never recovered. It was a beginning of television ads from such Hollywood stalwarts as Gregory Peck urging people to call their senators and have them vote against Judge Bork.
Thus Judge Bork was voted down in the senate, 42-58. And of course with six RINO's* to help make it bipartisan, you know. They were John Chafee, John Warner, Robert Stafford, Bob Packwood, Arlen Specter, and Lowell Weicker. RINOs one and all.
As an aside, a couple of names do pop out.
John Chafee, was the daddy of the current governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee. Hey, at least the son no longer has a pretense that he is a Republican. He ran for and is an independent. But according to reports is going to dance over to the Dems when he runs for reelection.
And of course Arlen Specter. Such a RINO that he went over to the Dems when he thought he would be treated like a king. Only to see actual Democrat voters want a real Democrat when he tried to run for reelection in 2010.
Back to point.
Now with Judge Bork out of the way, Team Reagan needed to go to the bench. And they had to be careful. And they were not.
Mr. Reagan nominated one Douglas Ginsburg to the vacancy.
One problem.
Unlike one William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, Judge Ginsburg did inhale the wacky tabaccy. Mary Jane. Weed. The Devil's Weed.
That's right. Judge Ginsburg did imbibe in the herbolic refreshment known as marijuana. And it was not just in college.
You see, back then marijuana was kind of still seen as not a good thing. Especially in politics and in the judiciary.
Now what?
Well, Team Reagan knew that they had to nominate a non-ideological candidate with an impeccable personal record.
And that, my friends, is how we ended up with one Anthony Kennedy, a little-known judge from the notoriously left-wing United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Yes, we on the right can and do blame the lady killer from Massachusetts, Sen. Ted BURP! Kennedy and his fellow travellers for derailing the nomination of Judge Bork. And by extension, I will blame him and his ilk for approving the infliction of Justice Kennedy on the supreme court.
Why does this matter?
It does not really, per se. But it should have taught Republicans something.
The left, they play hard-ass ball. They play to win. They do not care how they do it. Yes, I will write it. They see it as perfectly OK to lie, cheat and steal to pursue their agenda. When it came time for Ronald Reagan to leave a conservative imprint on the supreme court, they made sure THAT would not happen.
Because that could never happen. Liberalism must be allowed to march unimpeded.
The lesson that way to many Republicans don't get is that you can not work with these people. They never, ever give up until they get what they want. The liberal idea of bipartisan is agree with us. And if not, well give you a little window dressing. But really, agree with us and help us push through the liberal agenda.
Even one Sen. Marco Rubio has fallen into this trap with the so-called "comprehensive" immigration bill.
That is why many of us love guys like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tim Scott (R-SC). Governors like Bobby Jindal in Louisiana or Rick Perry in Texas. There are others, but these are people tired of being rolled time and time again by the left and their fellow-travelling Republicans that have no testicles.
Now, I don't care what you think about same-sex marriage, again per se. But it was a divided court that ruled on the issue. And with little clarity only inviting more legal challenges.
And leading that was Anthony Kennedy, a third-stringer adjudicating like one.
That is why it is important to know how we got to this time in American history.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sorry GOP But So-Called "Comprehensive" Immigration Reform Is Not The Answer To Gain Hispanic Votes

This past Monday I explained the best I could that the so-called "comprehensive" immigration bill being shoved in the senate is a disaster.
What I may have not explained is that it is not anything that will actually help the GOP actually win more Hispanic votes.
But not for the reasons that you think.
Look, the GOP nationwide basically, all things being equal, can count on about 25% of the Hispanic vote at the presidential level. In 2012 if polls are to be believed, it was down to 21% for Mitt Romney. And a big reason for that is because he had an incomprehensible position on illegal immigration. And it smelled of pandering.
And that is what this so-called "comprehensive" immigration bill will look like to many Hispanic voters.
Sure the majority take the pander from the Democrats, but that is because they are better at it. It looks like they care. At a level, yeah many do. They do the work that it takes to build bridges to this community.
What does the GOP do?
Well, every four years the Establishment types scream that there needs to be the monstrosity that the senate is ramming through and that will send Hispanic voters from heaven to our side. And they trot out how racist it is for many of us to point out that maybe comprehensive ain't so hot. Remember the so-called "comprehensive" health-care law?! Many of us want staggered reform.
And yes, there is a group that says why bother, they are as lost as Blacks and that if this passes, it is 11,000,000 (or whatever number they come up with) Democrats. And yet another group that says round 'em up and send 'em home.
Let's start from the last one.
There is no way that is going to happen unless the United States becomes a dictatorship. As bad as things are courtesy of the Dear Leader, President Obama, we are no where near there yet. Seriously, there is just no way that is going to happen. We could actually enforce the laws on the books and the 1986 version of this act and it would be a start. But the send 'em home people will not be happy because even with all of that, a lot will still be here and are probably going to at the very least be resident aliens.
Go back to the beginning. The "comprehensive" approach. It is as disastrous as the send 'em back people. Instead of treating illegal immigrants as people that did break the law, it makes them almost heroic for what they have done. And both sides involved in negotiations on this know that for it to actually do something marginal, each side will have to give something precious if they want to gain the trust of all Americans. And since the Democrats do not seem to want to do that, this gives a little, again little, credence to the argument among some GOPers that it won't matter because these are all going to be future Democrat voters.
Which leads to the important thing the GOP NEVER does.
In the United States are many, many multi-generational Hispanics that would be very ripe for at least looking at the GOP over the Democrats. They are the entrepreneurs. The ones that are hard working. Probably socially conservative. People that are not happy at the rise of big government. These are people that are solidly in the middle class and becoming upper middle class.
And yet where is the GOP for these people?
With the crickets chirping.
Because all the big-money consultants from Washington do not realize this is the future for the GOP. Not a boatload of illegal aliens but multi-generational Hispanics.
Psssst! Let me tell my fellow GOPers, it takes work to identify this group. But they are out there.
I have written this about 3,572 times but what the GOP HAS to do takes work. Hard work. Getting dirty.
It means they are going to have really make a multi-pronged effort.
Many Hispanics are no longer in the barrios. Many if not most are solidly in the middle class. So, we need to go where they live. Talk about real issues like education. Jobs. Personal freedom. Taxes. Because if we take them seriously, they will take them seriously.
In the poorer areas, we need to take the Democrats head on, again the best issue is education.
But if we do not take Hispanics as seriously as say suburban voters, well what do we expect but oh maybe 25% of their votes if we are lucky?
We need an army of Jack Kemps to get into the Hispanic communities. We have to tailor the message to their aspirations. And treat them as adults.
And that means to stop this mindless game with illegal immigration.
No matter what happens in the ongoing debate, the GOP will get NO credit at all.
So, time to start from the ground up.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Illegal Alien Debate Marches On

I was going to write today on the subject of illegal immigration but reading this beyond excellent piece by Victor Davis Hanson over at National Review changed the whole way that I was going to write about this subject.
Let me advise you to read the link first before reading any more that I have to write.
The thrust of what I was going to write is similar to Mr. Hanson. That this is a debate between the elites and the American people.
But he gets it right.
It is not a pretty left-right debate. Nor really Democrat and Republican. But it is about the elites, and there are left-right elites as well as Democrat and Republican elites.
The opening paragraph is epic, but I want to focus on the last part because it is important to what this is all about:

They talk deprecatingly of rubes who do not understand the new global realities, but never of their own parochialism ensconced in New York or Washington or San Francisco. They talk of reactionaries who do not fathom the ins and outs of the debate; never of their own willful ignorance of the realities on the ground in East L.A. or southwest Fresno.

WOW! So true, Mr. Hanson. So true.
Yes, the elites love to talk about the victims of this boondoggle of immigration, legal and rampantly illegal. Yet they do realize that many of the victims are in fact multi-generational Mexican-Americans. They think that they know what is best for the people in East L. A. or Southwest Fresno. Yet they really have no clue about the people that do live there now.
But what Mr. Hanson does, and this is important because this is a conservative making this point, is how the corporate class has no problem with de facto amnesty and a constant stream of cheap labor from not just Mexico but anywhere from Latin America.
The fact is that many of these people, men mostly but also many strong women, come to the United States and pick the crops, construction work, nanny service, maids. They are anywhere between the ages of 18-40. And because of their limited English, if any, and lack of legality and education and well, they will wear themselves out. Especially the farm workers. But don't worry. For the taxpayers of California eventually will subsidize these workers eventually with housing subsidies, health care, food and the children of these illegal aliens will be educated to not fare as the parents who have come to the United States for a better life.
Interestingly, the illegal that is paid less than the American worker still makes five times more an hour than they would doing almost anything in Mexico according to Mr. Hanson. So yes, they are exploited yet are better off when all is said and done in the United States.
What a country!
A little digression here.
The huge elephant in the room is Mexico itself.
Mexico is a plutocratic, socialist mess of a nation. There is not a strong middle class to speak of. The majority of people live in abysmal poverty. And unlike being an illegal alien in the United States, they have almost no hope of ever getting out of their station in life. Bottom line, there is a real reason that these people, and not just Mexicans but most of Latin America, want to come to the United States. For most it is still the land of opportunity. And while a sizable minority are criminal and yes get on government assistance, that is the minority.
Back to the article.
Mr. Hanson makes a valid point about the conservative Republican elite that really believe that fighting for so-called comprehensive immigration is going to be an electoral bonanza.
It will not.
If the 1986 immigration reform, yes it was called amnesty then, is a guide, the sad fact is that it will not help the Republican party make any considerable inroads in the Hispanic community. In fact, with any luck maybe, and it is a maybe, a rip-roaring 35% might vote Republican. And really, that is not going to happen.
What will make inroads is for the Republican party to stop this cheap way to get votes. Because it won't happen.
What will make a difference is to get involved in the Hispanic community. It means showing up! It means getting involved way before the election season, not just a few weeks before. It means that no matter the outcome of an election, to stay and keep being in the fight. It is a form of political guerrilla warfare. It is how the Democrats do it. It is why they have won the Hispanic vote election after election. It is why Republicans need to make this a long term strategy and yes, it will yield results.
And Mr. Hanson points out that the GOP, the party of Black Americans from the Civil War to the beginning of the Great Depression, has so written of the Black vote yet it may be more attainable than the Hispanic vote at this juncture of American history.
But Mr. Hanson continues to get at the heart of this dilemma.
That the elites really do not see the damage of their short-sighted policies.
For instance, now that the illegal alien scourge is getting right to the borders of Silicon Valley, why the elites there are not really sending their children to public schools. Nor public colleges or universities. And they don't care that much about their taxes going up to pay for those that do the work that they do not want to do. Yet they are not the only ones that will have to pay higher taxes and get substandard educations and lower services from the government. After all, even the elites need fire protection and police and hospitals.
And look at what our so-called immigration policies are doing to those that provide more than cheap labor. Again from Mr. Hanson's article:

Almost every aspect of illegal immigration is illiberal to the core. Respect for the law? The elite decides that for a particular political constituency, the law is now fluid. If you are a Bulgarian M.D. and overstay your visa, beware. A Korean engineer wouldn’t dare to fly to Mexico City and cross illegally into Arizona. Without ethnic bosses and millions of compatriots within our borders, all others are lawbreakers subject to deportation.

Yes other lawbreakers are going to get it. But if you are a South of the border illegal, well probably not. Your reward is going to be blanket amnesty. No matter how one looks at it, that is what this so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform leads to.
And here is a gruesome Rogue's Gallery of bad players in this drama:

Indeed, the tragedy of illegal immigration is that it becomes the cornerstone for hundreds of agendas: those of the self-interested Mexican government, exploitative American employers, the new ethnic chauvinists, the upper middle classes who deem themselves lords of the manor, and, yes, the elite whose professions are as noble as their deeds are not.

Sad that America has become a lot like Europe after World War II when most nations instituted a strong welfare state and imported a lot of cheap labor. And mostly from Islamic nations. And they failed to integrate these workers into their national fabrics. And they wonder why now they have these people rioting in the streets.
We all want something better than the so-called immigration system we have now.
But that cannot and should not happen until there is verifiable border security. And it cannot happen until there is a way to root out those that are criminals and taking advantage of American generosity. Then, and only then can we look at legalizing those that have been here a long time. But nothing like that until then.
One thing that all should have learned about a massive federal government overhaul is what happened during the Obamacare debacle. Only now and in the next several years will we learn the disaster that is. We should not want that in regards to solving the illegal alien situation.
Victor Davis Hanson has hit it on the head with this one. We need to face that this fight is between an elite and the rest of us. Until we face that, we will not be able to mobilize to defeat this abomination.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scandalpalooza Proves One Thing That Our Government Is Out Of Control

To be honest there are way too many scandals to write about in just one post that are tied directly or indirectly to the Obama administration.
There are two that IMHO really stick out that seem to prove the axiom that we have a way, way big government that may be totally out of control.
There is the IRS scandal and the NSA scandal that if it all plays out will show a frightening reach that no one could have imagined as little as five years ago when Team Obama arrived in Washington, D. C.
Start with the IRS Scandal.
The gist of it is that a multitude of new, Tea Party and allied groups applied to the Internal Revenue Service to be tax-exempt organizations starting in 2010.
Keep the year in mind.
The Tea Party, not an actual political party but an idea, started with this totally epic rant from CNBC's Rick Santelli.
From this many Americans believed that Mr. Santelli spoke for them. Count me as one of those Americans. Later that year, millions of Americans held rallies on the dreaded April 15. THAT is the date that lives in perpetual infamy for it is the day that American income taxpayers file their paperwork to pay their taxes. From that, again many Americans thought that it would be good to organize and thus as part of that organization, most are non-profit educational organizations.
Ahh, but 2010, that was a mid-term national election. At that point, the Democrats had control in Washington of the White House and both houses of congress. And both houses beyond comfortable margins.
So, the IRS got a lot of applications from conservative groups. Groups that had possibly as part of their name Tea Party. Constitution. Patriot. I think that you get the idea.
OK, it does get murky as to who actually was behind clear intimidation of new groups seeking what is in shorthand a 501(c)(4) tax exemption.
The Cincinnati field office of the IRS is the one that handles the 501(c)(4) requests. In March of 2010, they began to very closely scrutinize the many new conservative groups seeking the tax-exempt status. Here is the "guidelines" that they used:

  • referenced words such as "Tea Party," "Patriots," or "9/12 Project" in the case file;
  • outlined issues in the application that included government spending, government debt, or taxes;
  • involved advocating or lobbying to "make America a better place to live";
  • had statements in the case file that criticized how the country is being run;
  • advocated education about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights;
  • were focused on challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — known by many as Obamacare;
  • questioned the integrity of federal elections.

  • The above is courtesy of the Wikipedia link from earlier in this post.
    The evidence is very overwhelming that the IRS took way more to scrutinize conservative groups than liberal groups.
    And there are a lot of names behind this that makes clear that there is a lot of splainin to do. Lois Lerner, Douglas Shulman, Steven Miller. All are deeply involved in this clear targeting of groups that opposed the Obama administration.
    But, according to the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight  Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) claims that he interviewed an unnamed "conservative Republican" that was also involved in the targeting.
    Since the "conservative Republican" is not named, I will believe that he or she does not exist.
    And anyone can say they are a conservative Republican, a liberal Democrat, who cares? What does that mean there was not a targeting of these groups?
    Of course.
    Understand that right now, there is a liberal Democrat government in Washington, D. C. And whether this came from the White House, directly or indirectly, it says that there is a tacit approval of raw political power over just showing the same scrutiny to any group that would apply for a 501(c)(4) tax exemption.
    It is a sign of a huge, out of control government.
    The second scandal, the NSA scandal may affect more Americans than the IRS one. It is because it, as we are to understand it, the National Security Agency was conducting surveillance on millions if not billions of phone calls between Americans.
    I will be perfectly honest on two fronts.
    One, this is complex. Because from all that has been released it appears that the government has not, supposedly, actually listened to calls. They merely can know when we placed a call, to who, and how long that call was. This article from the left-wing newspaper, The Guardian, that broke the story explains how it is supposedly done.
    Oh, did I mention that all of this is supposed to be classified and one needs security clearance to access such things.
    Which brings us to Edward Snowden, the traitor or whistle blower who spilled the beans on this.
    Is Mr. Snowden a traitor, a whistle blower or both?
    I think that Mr. Snowden is, at this point, both a traitor and a whistle blower.
    This is a clearly sensitive program in the War Against Islamofacsist Terror. It is one of the tools that even the Obama administration realizes is needed in trying to track down potential terrorists and possible plots that they may be trying to commit against the United States. Yet it appears that this has gone way out of control.
    And, something many defenders of this program have not caught on to.
    The current administration has been doing all it can to downplay the Islamofascist threat. Yet on any chance that they can get, they go out of their way to emphasize domestic terror. Particularly so-called right wing terrorism. Take the IRS scandal and then understand that this program in targeting pretty much anyone with a phone and once again, the American people have a right to be leery of their government.
    But lets get back to the PRISM case.
    How do we know that phone calls are not being listened to? Not once has there been anything that has been said that in fact and indeed, everyday Americans are not being listened to?
    Also, a case can be made that a non-success of this program is that the Boston bombers succeeded in their act of terror.
    These two cases still have to play out.
    But one thing is clear.
    The federal government is way too big and way too out of control.
    When the people do not trust the government in this manner, then there is a righteous fear of the government. That is why it is beyond important for these scandals to be thoroughly investigated. That those who have committed wrongdoing are brought to justice. That we revisit our tax code and yes, even the Patriot Act, so hated by the left and libertarians alike.
    Scandalpalooza is just solidifying what conservatives have been saying since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected president in 1932.
    That the government is getting bigger and removed from the people.
    How we will balance that out is the new challenge.

    Monday, June 03, 2013

    Stop Four On The Yellowstone Experience: Yellowstone National Park. . .FINALLY!

    Well, we left on Friday, May 10, 2013 and arrived to Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in the late afternoon around 4:30ish.
    One thing about a road trip is to carefully plan it so that the driving is not the whole deal. In other words, keep the driving place to place at a minimum. Sure, it means some stops till the actual destination, but somehow it makes the real destination really fun.
    And that is what Yellowstone National Park is. The most fascinating place that Mrs. RVFTLC and I have evah been to.
    We had taken off from Jackson, Wyoming leisurely on Wednesday morning and we drove north out of town and straight through the Grand Teton National Park. And it is just as amazing as Yellowstone. What makes the Grand Tetons awesome in its way is the sheer height of the mountains. Here is a photo of it.
    The highest of the peaks is over 13,000 feet. And several of the highest are at least 12,000 feet. Very high if I do say so myself. These are some of the most majestic mountains that I have ever seen. But we were driving through. And it was amazing, we were on a mission. The mission to finally get to the end of the line.
    And within the hour, we were at the promised land. The south entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

    WOO! HOO!
    But we still had a way to go as we had to go to West Yellowstone, Montana, where we were going to stay for the next five days.
    As we were driving through the park, we were on the lookout for animals. We read that we could see bears, bison, elk and moose, the big four, so to speak.
    The first we saw were these beautiful, majestic elk.

    Through the lens of our nothing Cannon camera, we made these two majestic elk look like they were only a few feet away. But they were actually about roughly 75 to 80 feet away from the road. The bad thing is this being Spring, they have shed their antlers. So the many times that we did see elk, sadly, none had their antlers.
    But, there was more before we made it to our lodging destination.
    Remember I wrote of bison?
    Well, let me inform you now, yes there are a lot of bison. And yes, they DO own the park and most definitely the road. Here is an example.

    Now this bison is trying to get on the road. But see the horse off to the right? These are mounted park rangers and one of their duties is to try, operative word is trying, to keep the bison off the road. Actually, they were successful. It is was nothing more than riding behind them at a good distance and gently leading the bison back to the grazing land that they love.
    Eventually, we made it to West Yellowstone, Montana.
    Now here is an observation.
    As you are driving through Yellowstone and looking at the map, you realize that a sliver of the park actually lies in Montana. If you move your eye a certain way, you will miss the fact that you actually enter Montana and it is roughly about two miles and then you get the real sign that you are in Montana.

    We proceeded to our hotel, the Kelly Inn. Now look at this photo:
    Now I made this photo large to show the quaintness of this hotel.
    If you look at the left roof, it looks like there is an animal walking on it. It is not a real animal but faux bears. There are the faux bears all over the hotel. Some right outside the upper third floor. Very cool.
    And the room had a truly rustic theme.
    Hey, there is that Cashew fellow in the photo! What a handsome young gentleman!
    And I will not get in trouble putting this photo on this post. I have not done the in 15 minutes or less given the room the Right View From The Left Coast lived in look. I will let you figure that out.
    And all this was just on our first day!
    The travelogue does not end here. There is a lot more to share and photos.

    Next on the Yellowstone Experience: Day two at Yellowstone!

    Saturday, June 01, 2013

    I Am A Christian And A Mason

    One thing that I have had to deal with since being made a Freemason back on September 19, 2009, is not just the ignorance many have with the Craft, but the downright hostility as well.
    I have been engaged in a Facebook dialogue with people on the Anglican Church in North America group page regarding the Craft over the past couple of days.
    It was an eye opener.
    For some inexplicable reason, I am still an Episcopalian but strongly support the new ACNA. I think that God wants me to remain for a reason I do not know yet.
    What I did not realize is that there is a strong anti-Masonic tilt in ACNA circles.
    Oh, as you read this keep going back to my headline for it is important.
    Many of those that commented and dialogue were clergy. Clearly, with all due respect, rather uninformed, about Freemasonry.
    See, Masons are thought to be some kind of religion.
    We are nothing of a religion, yet recognize that there is a Great Architect of the Universe. To me as a Christian it is God. There are three good reasons we are not a religion as it was explained by a wise longer in the Craft brother.
    I call it the ABC of why we are not a religion.

    A) Affirmation.
    B) Belief of a theology.
    C) Conversion.

    Let me start with A first. We do not affirm anything relating to a specific religion. Because members are from different religions, as I noted we do note that there is a deity. But we do not affirm a Christian one. Nor a Jewish one. Or an Islamic one. One thing that one must have is a belief in God, as they know and understand it. An atheist can not be made a Mason.
    B is very important for a religion needs a theology and we have neither.
    And C, conversion, is one of the least things a Mason does. We do not actively seek members. There is a sort of saying as follows:


    translated it is To Be One, Ask One. For most of us are not secretive that we are Masons.
    Ahh, there is something that people get a little freaked out about. And I will admit, we kind of sort of bring it on ourselves.
    See when one is raised to the first degree, or Entered Apprentice, passed to the second or Fellowcraft, and raised to the third degree, or Master Mason, it is a ceremony that yes, is done in secret. It is part of the allegory of each degree.
    As S. Brent Morris wrote in a good guide for anyone interested The Complete Idiot's Guide To Freemasonry, we are not a secret society, rather a group with secrets.
    The other thing is they are the world's WORST kept secrets. One can pretty much find out everything and anything on something called the internets. Now, if you did the work and were to ask me, "Is THAT what you do?!" I would be, well something I have used many times on this blog.
    A cricket chirping.
    Because one of the aspects of our obligation is not reveal what our ceremonies of this nature are all about.
    Again, it is all out there. But I am a cricket chirping as to whether they are or not correct.
    Until people suggest that there is something called Satanic Ritual Abuse, or SAR.
    I kid you not.
    A couple of the people in this endless Facebook thread indicated that there are people who claim to be former Masons and victims of SAR. As I tried to explain, there is NOTHING Satanic in our ceremonies. Nothing at all. I did not get where this SAR occurred but get the idea that they think during our degree ceremonies. Who knows.
    There is a lot of anti-Masonic hatred in diverse strains of Christianity.
    Roman Catholics are under the illusion that Freemasonry is a religion. And in an effort to keep RC men from staying into the Craft, they formed the Knights Of Columbus. I have no problem with that. It is more why the KOC was formed, not that it was formed.
    Apparently, strains of Anglicanism are pretty anti-Masonic, as evidenced in the Facebook thread. Because Anglicanism is the middle ground between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, I think that it the more Catholic strain that harbors such views.
    Then fundamentalist Protestants are strongly anti-Masonic.
    And lets note that Radical Islamics are very anti-Masonic.
    And it is all so misplaced and harmful to all.
    I want to emphasize that family and church are first obligations to Masons. As an active member of my church and an active Mason, when the two conflict, church comes first. Ditto for family.
    Yet it is as if once one is made a Mason, why that is it. We are part of some blood brotherhood.
    The only blood brotherhood I am part of is the community of Christ and HIS blood.
    What I have discovered in trying to discuss this with hostile people to Masonry, all reason flies out the window. Blinders are on extend. Defense is king. The people that have hate for Masonry and Masons are very narrow and choose not to learn about the craft.
    But all I can tell my fellow Christians is this.
    I wrote the headline the way I did because first and foremost, I am a Christian. My total identity is with Christ. One of my favorite hymns is an affirmation of the Trinity, I Bind Myself Unto Thee. Warning about the link is that the organ starts playing once you click on the link. The hymn, written by St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is absolute in what in means to be a Christian. That Jesus Christ is everywhere. And yes, even in a non-sectarian Masonic Lodge.