X-Oriente
The New Voice of Brotherhood

OK, I know we said we were not going to talk about this any more, but no sooner was last episode posted, than The Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia came out with a statement of Masonic principles designed to distance themselves from the Grand Lodges like Georgia and Tennessee that are actively discriminating against men based on sexual orientation. In this episode, a quick one, I share with you what I found and comment on some reader comments made to Chris Hodapp's Freemasons for Dummies blog.

The comments can be found here.

The original text from the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia can be found at www.xoriente.com.

Remember: my words are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the GL of DC (or any Grand Lodge, Lodge or Masonic body). What do you think about the GL of DC's statement?

Direct download: 059.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm CST

I originally placed this episode into the vault, never to be published, but recent events in Georgia have made it necessary to dust it off and publish it. 

I realize it is controversial, but it has to be said. What do you think? Share your thoughts for me after you listen to the episode.

Direct download: 058b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:54pm CST

A critique of an article that appeared in The Northern Light, the monthly magazine of the Scottish Rite, NMJ.

You can read the article here.

As always, my opinions are my own and do not represent those of any Masonic Grand Lodge, Appendant Body or Lodge.

Direct download: 058.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50pm CST

057: Sexual Orientation, the Craft and a Lot of Disclaimers

This is a controversial topic, but it doesn't mean we should shy away from subjects that are difficult to talk about. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that homosexual couples can be legally married in all 50 states. In other news, the recent change in gender of Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner to female (now called Caitlyn) has pushed questions of sexual and gender orientation into the sphere of public debate.

In this episode, I explore some of the difficult questions and implications these issues have for the craft:

  • Is homosexuality a moral issue as far as Masonry is concerned?
  • In an age of same-sex marriage, how does gender now define what it is to be a Masonic Widow?
  • What would happen if a Mason changed his gender to that of a woman? Would that person be obligated to resign from the Craft?

I'll weigh in with my perspective on these issues. My opinions are always my own and I do not speak for Masonry as a whole, nor for any official Masonic Grand Lodge or Appendant body.

I welcome all opinions and responses, provided they are on-topic and repectful. It is a discussion worth having in good faith. 

 

Direct download: 057.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm CST

What would our esteemed Brother George Washington think of social media today? Back when Washington was a kid he copied a book which was to prove influential in how he conducted his affairs. Called The Rules of Civility, the book was a series of rules on how gentleman should behave in the presence of others. I was curious how many of those rules could be applied to social media. Quite a few as it turns out!

Direct download: 056.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:02pm CST

 

This is Part 2 of our discussion with Prof. Sandy Goldberg, Chairman of the Philosophy Department at Northwestern University. In this episode we focus on the Age of Enlightenment and the legacy it has left us.

Direct download: 055.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm CST

When Freemasonry emerged from the mists of history in 1713, it emerged into a world that was still suspicious and mistrustful of science, had just finished a decades long war fought over religion and had a stagnant social mobility with a growing distance between the aristocracy and the rest of us.

It occurs to me that this is the world we find ourselves in today. Back then, our forebrothers helped to establish an Age of Enlightenment. Do we need another one? In Part 1 of a 2 part series, I discuss philosophy and Enlightenment Values with Dr. Sandy Goldberg, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Northwestern University. In Part 1 we discuss the qualifications and values one must have to be called a "philosopher," and in Part II we'll talk specifically about the Age of Enlightenment and its values.

Direct download: 054.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:33pm CST

Sure we've read our share of Masonic Manifestos. Down with drive-through Masonry! Up with Standards! Better degrees! Festive Boards! And there is nothing to disagree with in them. But what if we're missing something? What if a decline in standards is only a part of the picture? What if we've declined in social relevance and we can't articulate the value we bring to society enough to attract the kind of man that wants what we have and has what we need?

In this episode we'll begin to explore the problem and in future episode we'll look at solutions. The world needs Freemasonry more than it ever did. Are we up to the challenge to make ourselves the cutting edge of society once again?

Also special thanks and welcome to our newest Xecutive Producers!

Direct download: 053b2.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:19pm CST

052: Housekeeping

Just a short episode to fill you in on some details about the show, and to announce a new program to help support the show: X-Oriente Xecutive Producers! Become an Xecutive Producer, get cool X-Oriente schwag, and exclusive content. To support the show, go to www.patreon.com/xoriente and sign up. For $5 a month you'll be helping create thought-provoking Masonic content for Freemasons everywhere.

We'll be back in a week or so with a new series on Freemasonry and Social relevancy. You won't want to miss it!

Direct download: 052.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:51pm CST

Ritual is more than just a nice way to spend a meeting. It actually changes your brain, and how you perceive the world. In this episode, we'll explore what role ritual plays in creating bonds between brothers. We'll also look at how ritual works to effect change and why it is important not to mess with it, even if we don't understand its meaning right away. In fact, a candidate who doesn't immediately "get" the degree is essential to the transformation process from profane to brother. This is the real secret psychology of Freemasonry.

Direct download: 051.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:07pm CST