I RECEIVED WORD OF Philip Burnham’s article on Freemasonry and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial (Artifacts, 9/8) from one of my lodge brothers. My first thought was, “great, here we go, another slam piece attacking the Fraternity.” After having read it many times, however, trying to discern typical Washington City Paper negative bias, I concluded that this was indeed a fair piece, if a bit patronizing, for which Burnham is to be thanked.
Aside from some factual errors, my only concern is that readers will assume that the brother interviewed speaks for Freemasonry as a whole. The beauty of the craft is that we are made up of millions of diverse men of all races around the world, each with his own understanding of Masonic teachings. There are many of us in this city, of various ages, races, orientations, and confessions, who would be willing to offer their interpretation of Freemasonry.
Public exposure of Freemasonry is usually done with the intent to be critical or mocking, and appreciably this piece did neither. It did highlight some of its shortcomings which are being addressed. Some lodges have realized that Freemasonry in this country needs to be polished up in order to appeal to a younger generation of men, and are taking courageous steps to do so.
Senior Steward, Lafayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19, F.A.A.M. Dupont Circle, via the Internet