(excerpts from speech by Norman Buecker, PGM, Illinois)

“There are many definitions of Freemasonry. Perhaps the one most often quoted is that it is an association of men believing in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It impresses on the minds of its members the cardinal virtues of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth which they should apply in their everyday activities. Freemasonry does not deal with the mass media. It works with and through the individual. Before an individual enters a Lodge, he is asked “Do you believe in the existence of God?” to which he must give an affirmative answer. In many places God is forgotten, even denied. Many of the “isms” consider God and religion as old-fashioned, “out-of-date” superstition, an opiate of the mind. Freemasons consider God as the very foundation of Freemasonry. It does not concern itself with doctrines or the theology of any church or form of worship.

A member can feel pride in belonging to the oldest, largest and greatest Fraternity in the world; he can serve a vital function by serving as an officer; he can do charitable work; he can visit the sick and shut-ins, all of which gives a member a feeling of knowing that he is important to others and to Freemasonry. But here again, we stress the importance of the individual, not the group.”

To sum up Brother Buecker’s understanding of Freemasonry we would stress that this fraternity does not accept, nor teach, partisan politics or religion. Neither is it acceptable for its members to use Masonry to further their business or political ambitions. The purpose of Freemasonry is to improve an individual by teaching him and other individuals, the moral lessons of life.