THE ROLE of Freemasonry and individual Masons prior to and through the American Revolution was that of the destruction of the traditional social and political order based on an authoritarian philosophy and characterized by inequality and privilege. Speaking generally, in the ancient regime the church and state mutually supported each other in maintaining their respective places of predominance and privilege. Liberalism and liberals, which included Freemasonry and Masons, were declared to be traitorous by the state, and heretical and atheistic by the church.
With the victorious end of the American Revolution, Masonic philosophy had, for the first time in history, an opportunity to play a constructive role in the erection of a political and social order. The experience of Masonic organizations before the Modern Age had taught Masons that liberty for the individual has never been handed down by the government that liberty is gained through the limitation of powers of government, not the increase of them. Masons had also discovered that freedoms are learned—the individual has freedom of thought only as he learns to move within the limits established by a rational intelligence; he has freedom to form opinions only after he has learned to distinguish the true from the false; he has social freedom only after he has learned to live according to accepted standards of social intercourse; he has political freedom to the extent to which the law protects his political rights; and he has freedom to extend his liberties only when he has learned to fulfill obligations and conditions of those liberties. Masons have long recognized that; “the discovery of power to aim at ideals ends freely chosen by his own will and intelligence is the supreme achievement of man, and in that, more than any other in any other single fact, lies hope of the future”.

Taken in part from: Masonry in US History – through 1846, BACKGROUND, HISTORY, AND INFLUENCE TO 1846–By James Davis Carter

Roger D. Bohn Sr.
Worshipful Master