A couple years ago when Trump won several of my “friends” at the time went legitimately insane. My masonic lodge is full of people of all religions and creeds, and very diverse politics.
It started with brothers gathering around separate tables. Then talking behind our backs. Politics were injected into philosophical discussions. A year later my friends were getting physical threats of attack, from brothers. And I got some harsh blowback myself, at the worst possible time.
A year before I swallowed my self-conscious fat shame and marched in the local Pride Parade with my lodge in protest to some very power-hungry and archaic southern grand lodges banning gays. A year later some brothers considered me a Nazi because I wanted a president who focused on good trade deals and protectionism.
It wasn’t just me, I saw a lot of my brothers feel isolated and I wanted to help. I ran into the Proud Boys on some random site, and it was funny as hell. A fraternal group that promoted liberal Western values, and punched each other until they could name five breakfast cereals. I mentioned it and a couple guys were interested. Because their brothers and friends had gone batshit insane.
We didn’t know any Proud Boys. We met once for beers. And it was good.
Eventually I did meet some Proud Boys and they were cool. I remember the first time or two we met for beers at the American Legion (which by the way has the exact same values as the Proud Boys), there were one or two weirdos there, who you could tell were not the fun type of rowdy. They were shunned and didn’t show up the next time. Who did show up were veterans, and young entrepreneurs. One (probably more) was a great guy getting his life together after several years of addiction (he drank Coke). They were never violent. They never started fights, not even arguments. In fact, I stopped going to the monthly drinks-meeting because I thought it was boring to be surrounded by people who all agreed with me. Someone mentions a news article. Yeah, we all read it, already.
I left after a few months because I had to attend to my marriage (because my wife had gone batshit insane after the election) and because all the positive things about the Proud Boys was already in Freemasonry, and I just thought I was too old and fat.
But I keep tabs on them because they’re a fraternity, and probably the only fraternity in the world that’s actually growing. They’re not well organized, they have a smattering of rules, no governing bodies. In fact, my big criticism of the group is there’s no formal process to weed out people who don’t belong, though they do a good job on their own.
Fraternity is important to men. And young men especially need direction. Freemasonry doesn’t have the reach. I wish it did, because most of the Proud Boys I’ve met would be right at home in a masonic lodge. In fact, many of them were also masons.
Anyway, now this. The city of New York is harassing some good guys. Family men. Men with children. Men in interracial relationships. People of color who were rejected by batshit crazy leftists. And this guy is quitting the group in a probably vein attempt to keep them out of jail.
In the 1980s a bunch of deranged moralists attacked Freemasonry and other fraternal organizations, and Masonry made some very bad changes to appease them. This appeasement didn’t work, by the way. What eventually did work was people stopped giving the Christian Coalition and their ilk the attention they wanted, but fraternity was almost irradiated.
And today some busybody batshit moralists are attacking fraternity. And you think “oh, didn’t I hear those guys are nazis? Don’t they start fights? Good riddance.” But that’s not why they’re being attacked. They’re being attacked because busybody moralists don’t like private clubs, because they’re rarely invited. And this is an attempt to appease them, but it won’t work. The batshit crazies think the Proud Boys are bad because they think they’re racist and sexist. Well guess what? They think Freemasons are racist and sexist too.
We’re not high on the Social Justice Moralist Kill List, but they’ll get to us. Because some southern brothers are still icked out by teh gheys. Because there’ll be a long, complicated internal squabble about how to handle trans-people. Because we just don’t want women to join.
If you’re a Mason, and you’ve heard of the Proud Boys but knew nothing about them I want you to watch this video.
If you heard of them and thought they were bad guys, I want you to watch this video.
The Proud Boys aren’t your brothers. But they are brothers. They’re our cousins, like the Elks and the Moose and the Odd Fellows. They drink like a Shriner, they defend the innocent like a Templar, and they circumspect like a Mason…. they’re not too silent though.
And they’re taking all the punches from the new moralist church ladies that, I guarantee, would otherwise be lobbed at us.