I told myself several months ago I was done writing about Knights Templar and the Grand Encampment. Given all the news the last couple months to come out of the Grand Encampment, and the effort to hold a special conclave, I’d like to commend myself for holding my tongue so long...
...now that I’m done patting myself on the back though, I happened to receive my February edition of the Knight Templar magazine...and boy is it a doozie. In the grand master’s article, it only took three sentences before we got to the topic of “cancelled culture” (I think its cancel culture actually). It took another sentence to get to “woke”. These "terms of endearment" have officially made it to Freemasonry! For those of you interested in reading, you can find it here. The article in question is on page 4. As usual, thank you for reading. These thoughts are my own, and in no way represent the official thoughts and statements of my employer, my automotive and Masonic membership affiliations. We are not even a full year into the grand master’s three year term, and on March 22 Sir Knights from around the Country will meet in Fort Wayne Indiana to decide if he will carry on as our grand master. He greets us in this month’s Knight Templar magazine with invective, disrespect and unfounded claims of our thoughts on the Grand Encampment Constitution. If you need to get caught up on how we got here, you can do so via both the Call to Conclave website and blog. Quite frankly, after reading the words of the Grand Master, I am embarrassed and ashamed to be a Masonic Knight Templar...frankly we all should be.
After pointing out (baselessly mind you) that “cancelled culture and the “woke crowd” are going to bring Communism down upon all of us, the grand master brings up that crime, lawlessness and general lack of respect are rife in our nation right now, and he’s not wrong in that statement. Instead however of following that up with how we as Knights Templar can be the solution to that worldly problem, he jumps head-first into how “cancelled culture” is taking over Freemasonry. Sir Knight Johnson begins his last paragraph with the following statement;
"There are brothers who do not agree with the Constitution of the Grand Encampment of powers of the grand master."
This is a statement that is both true, and untrue. We don’t HAVE to agree with every aspect of the Constitution, what we must do however is follow it. A proposal was put up at this past years Triennial, and it was defeated by vote of the Sir Knights. In this proposal, an updated attestation of Christian faith was proposed for the membership to vote on. This vote was not successful, in fact the language of the proposal created such backlash before the Triennial that a revision was made before a vote was even held. It was defeated not because the Sir Knights believe Templary should include faiths other than Christianity. Rather, it was defeated because the resolution itself was poorly written and Sir Knights felt that the existing attestation met the needs of the Grand Encampment. I for one personally feel that this requirement holds back Masonic Templary and should be removed. That said, the requirement of attesting to the Christian faith is still a requirement, a requirement I will abide by because I can disagree with something but still follow it.
This however does not apply to Sir Knight Johnson, who is all too quick to call out those who disagree with certain aspects of our Constitution, while ignoring his own instances of not following the same. In September of 2021, Sir Knight Johnson unilaterally, and without cause removed the Deputy Grand Master, Sir Knight David Kussman without any sort of hearing. The reason eventually given for his removal? Sir Knight Johnson felt Sir Knight Kussman was not loyal enough to HIM. I would be remiss in not pointing out, the Grand Officers support at the will and pleasure of the Sir Knights who duly elected them, their loyalty is to the Grand Encampment and Sir Knights, not to one man.
"Some of the “Cancelled culture” think they can be loud enough or disruptive enough at other Grand Encampment meetings to get their way on certain matters concerning our Constitution or decisions of the grand master."
I’m not exactly sure what Sir Knight Johnson is referring to here, but I will take a guess. At the triennial, the voting members voted to throw out a decision of a previous Grand Master that a particular body, the CBCS was clandestine and off limits to Sir Knights. Shortly after, Sir Knight Johnson issued a unilateral decision overturning a legitimate vote of the Grand Encampment, a vote mind you that 77% of Sir Knights in attendance voted for. Sir Knight Johnson’s assertion that “cancelled culture is being loud and disruptive” is a distraction from the simple fact that the Grand Encampment spoke, and he refuses to listen. The fact is not lost on Sir Knights who have been paying attention, that shortly after the ninth Grand Commandery signed on for the special conclave, Sir Knight Johnson walked back his earlier decision and “decided” that CBCS is in fact a regular, non-Templar Body.
The Orders of the Grand Encampment, and Masonic Templary reveal to its Candidates absolutely beautiful moral truths and lessons, this makes it all the greater a shame that our organization mirrors the strife, discontentment and divisiveness in the United States. The grand master and grand line as a whole has a magnificent platform not only to unite Sir Knights and work towards a common cause, but to extend that cause outward and unite the Country in the name of Masonic Templarism. Instead of acting to unite the Sir Knights under a common banner, the grand master has decided to throw gas on a lit fire and further fan the flames of dissension and strife. In a time when Masonry is struggling to bring in men, Templary more so, the last thing we need is inflammatory and divisive words from our leaders. I don’t blame those Brethren who look at this mess and say they’ll never join, I don’t blame those Sir Knights currently thinking about leaving Masonic Templary...I’m certainly one of them.
As usual, thank you for reading. These thoughts are my own, and in no way represent the official thoughts and statements of my employer, my automotive and Masonic membership affiliations.