Monday, September 14, 2009

When Everyone's Wrong on the Internet

One of these days, I'm going to learn that it is ultimately useless to get drawn into an argument about Freemasonry on the internet. As Jeff Eaton said, the crazy guy always has more time than you.

From time to time a post related to Freemasonry appears on BoingBoing, a site that features links to all sorts of interesting stuff, often with a pop-culture bent. I read these threads with particular interest, because Boing Boing's readership strikes me as generally intelligent and considerate when it comes to commenting. As such, most posts about the Masons turn into jokes about old guys wearing funny hats and driving little cars, as opposed to raves about shape-shifting lizard people.

But inevitably, someone cries "Hypocrisy! You Masons talk about acceptance but I can't join because I'm an atheist or a woman! You think you're sooooo much better than me because I don't believe in fairy tales!" with undertones of "I wouldn't want to join your stupid little boys' club anyway! How can you take that stuff seriously?" and suddenly you're arguing about whether or not the Masons (and other private organizations) have the right to exist because they exclude members based on certain criteria... and it's all the more frustrating because most of the people who get so indignant about the no atheists/no women aspect of regular Freemasonry don't even want to join! It's just something else to argue and snark about online.

So, all I can do is try to make a cogent, well-written post and leave before things get ugly - and try to keep myself from going back, because it's just going to get my blood up.


Tom Accuosti said...

Then you're smarter than I am. I go back. If you could take all of my responses and replies to the crazy people, you could probably fill a small book.

I must have missed the latest Boing Boing references - I don't read every post every day. Probably just as well, though.

A.C. said...

It's hard, so hard, to just leave it alone. There doesn't seem to be any explaining to atheists that "No, the fact that you can't join is not a commentary by Freemasons on your personal belief system. It just means you need to believe in a supreme being to join." Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Guys, I am not a mason, but I am a person with an inclination to better myself, to be a better person, someone who believes in brotherhood, equality, justice, etc. But when I went to a lodge, with the desire, the truly desire to join, I was profoundly dissapointed. They told me to be there at 6pm, the masons got there about 7:30pm, Yes, I was waiting for an hour an half on a tuesday night. Later on, I was invited to have a meeting in a room outside the lodge where the masons started to play funny games asking me questions. And I, trying to make serious questions about the craft. Finally, the meeting finished and the masons there told me to come back every tuesday to try to be part of them, they even told me I could be trying for 20 years!. What the hell!. I have a wife, resposibilities, and a moral obligation to my self not to let anyone to treat me like shit, so sorry, maybe I do not need to become a mason. But events like this one, probably get a lot of people againts masonry.

A.C. said...

I'm very sorry to hear that a group of men who call themselves Masons treated you like that, Lino. Are there any other lodges near you that you could contact?