Multiculturism and the Culture of Freemasonry

Freemasonry, with its deep roots in universal principles such as individual freedoms, education, and the pursuit of science, stands as a beacon of unity in a world divided by conflicting ideologies.

By embracing the tenets of Freemasonry, including respect, peace, and mutual understanding, we can navigate societal challenges and foster a more harmonious world.

Contained within the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Alberta: Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons are seven “Charges of a Freemason” of which Article 23, Appendix B, VI.2. of ”Behaviour After the Lodge is Over and the Brethren Not Gone” [1], states this:

You may enjoy yourself with innocent mirth treating one another according to ability, but avoiding excess, or forcing any Brother to eat or drink beyond his inclination, or hinder him from going when the occasion calls him or doing or saying anything offensive, or that may forbid an easy and free conversation, for that would blast our harmony and defeat our laudable purpose.

Therefore, no private piques or quarrels must be bought within the door of the Lodge, far less any quarrels about religion or nations, or state policy, we being only as Masons of the universal religion above mentioned; we are also of all nations, tongues, kindreds and languages, and are resolved against all politics, as what never yet conduces to the welfare of the Lodge, nor ever will.

With multiculturalism as national policy [2], there will always be conflicting ideas from divergent ideologies, with varying attitudes towards merit and ability, and opposing ideas on race equality and affirmative action.

There are also those who wish to re-write history to fit their own narrative, and change people’s perception of what is fact and what is real. Such conflicting and divergent ideas will inevitably and eventually result in pain and sorrow for many.

We, as Freemasons, must endeavor to model calm by not being drawn into taking sides on these divergent views.

However, Freemasonry is largely based on the Regius Manuscript of 1390 [3] that sets out the basic tenets of Freemasonry, the King James version of the Holy Bible of 1611 [4], the original VSL or HB, and previous versions of the Bible. From these, the roots of Freemasonry include the following:

1. Judaeo-Christian philosophy;

2. Individual freedoms, or civil liberties;

3. The Ten Commandments;

4. Property rights;

5. Education and the scientific process; and

6. Private enterprise.

We can examine each one of these in turn:

Judaeo-Christian Philosophy

Judaism [5], which dates from the 6th century BCE, has, as its core text, the Torah, the first five books of the Tanakh, a collection of ancient Hebrew scriptures. The Tanakh, known more commonly as the “Hebrew Bible”, is also referred to as the Old Testament of the Holy Bible in Christianity.

Christianity [6] stems from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus of Nazareth in the First Century CE, which are contained in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

There are numerous references or examples of Judaeo-Christian philosophy in our Masonic rituals and ceremonies. For example, in the Entered Apprentice Degree (EA) we open the Holy Bible or Volume of the Sacred Law (VSL) to Ruth IV: 7, which is indicative of a contract made in Israel in those days.

This passage reminds us of the contract that we as EAs have just made with our Lodge. In fact, each of the degrees in Freemasonry are contracts between the candidate and his Lodge.

In particular, the EA pledge has all five of the elements of a legal contract:

1. Mutual agreement
2. Capacity of parties
3. Legal consideration
4. Lawful object
5. Genuine intention

Further, we find in Judges XII: 6 the word Shibboleth, and it means [7]: any custom or tradition, usually a choice of phrasing or even a single word, that distinguishes one group of people from another.

And it is frequently used as an indicator that one belongs to a group or culture.

Individual Freedoms or Civil Liberties

The largest Masonic symbol in a Freemasons’ Lodge is the presence of two great pillars. Jointly, these two pillars represent those that led the children of Israel out of Egypt by day and by night, as explained in Exodus.

The two great pillars are referenced in Exodus 13:21 and 1 Kings 7:15-21 and symbolize the desire of an individual, and society as a whole, to be free, and represent the responsibilities that go with that freedom.

This freedom is clearly referenced in the Fellow Craft Degree (FC). The responsibilities that go with freedom are to feed, clothe, house, and educate those who wish to be free. These responsibilities were no longer those of the Pharaoh.

In Canada, individual freedoms or civil liberties are largely defined by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [8].

The Charter includes freedoms of religion (or not), thought, and speech; freedom of the press and media; the right to vote to maintain the democratic process; mobility rights; the rule of law that includes due process and the requirement to prove guilt; protection against cruel and unusual punishment; equality rights; and language rights.

The Ten Commandments

While the Ten Commandments are not actually contained in our rituals, they are fundamental to Canadian society.

The sixth through ninth Commandments (Exodus  20:  13–16) are specific to laws of Canada; and each Master of a Lodge promises to abide by these Commandments in preparation for his being Installed, by responding in the affirmative to these Ancient Charges to the Master-elect, as follows:

· You agree to be a peaceful subject, and cheerfully to conform to all laws of the country in which you reside.

· You promise not to be concerned in plots or conspiracies against government, but patiently to submit to the decisions of the supreme legislature.

· You agree to pay proper respect to the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honourably by all men.


The sixth to ninth Commandments from the Holy Bible, (Exodus 20: 13–16) are:

6: Thou shalt not kill.

7: Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8: Thou shalt not steal.

9: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Property Rights

Property rights are not specifically referenced in our Masonic rituals, but they are directly or obliquely referenced in the VSL:

· Deuteronomy 19: 14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to posses it.

· Deuteronomy 27: 17 Cursed be he that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Further references can be found in Proverbs 22: 28, and Proverbs 23: 10, as well as in many other locations.

The Alberta Bill of Rights [9], protects the right of every property owner to the enjoyment of their property, and the right to due process of law when being deprived of that right.

Education, and Scientific Method or Process

In Fellowcraft degree the candidate is instructed [10] that as a Craftsman he is to make the liberal arts and sciences his future study. In addition, many Freemasons were supporters of the Age of Enlightenment and members of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest independent scientific academy.

The process of learning the alphabet and its sounds so as to be able to read and write is the basis of education. When combined with elementary numeracy, it is the path to knowledge that paves to the way to learning about the arts and humanities, and the hard sciences.

We learn about arts and humanities so that we can communicate more effectively; we learn about the hard sciences so that we can improve our lives and the world around us. The scientific method [11] or process, when appropriately applied, permits us to establish truth, and facts that are necessary for humanity to improve the world to make it a more habitable place in which to live, work, and grow.

And as we grow in knowledge, as we are instructed to do as Freemasons, we become more useful and valuable to the society in which we live.

Private Enterprise

The kingdoms of King David and King Solomon were founded upon peace and international trade, which led to prosperity. Essentially, they controlled the north-south trade routes from Egypt and Elate to Damascus, as well as access to the Mediterranean Sea ports such as Joppa (Jaffa), Acco (Acre), and, indirectly, Tyre.

Camel trade caravans used these trade routes or roads to convey such goods as frankincense from Sheba, (Yemen), and spices from India via Elate and Al Aqaba, as well as overland from Petra.

These camel-trade caravans were all private enterprises.

The four basic components of private enterprise [12] are freedom of choice, individual property rights, profit motive, and owner control.

The first, freedom of choice, is contained in Canada in the individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter, while property rights and the right of an owner to enjoy that property—owner control—are contained in Alberta’s Bill of Rights.

Profit motive is the driving force that has permitted societies to rise up out of the quagmire of mundane existence, and shed the cycle of poverty and destitution.

With Canada’s continuing national policy of multiculturalism, and with various conflicting cultures that may present tumultuous disagreements associated with the imposition of divergent views both nationally and world-wide, we, as Freemasons, must keep our roots in mind and act according to those original purposes, tenets, and principles laid out in the original documents of Freemasonry: the Regius Manuscript and the Holy Bible, We must do this so that we do not lose our way.



1. Constitution, Grand Lodge of Alberta, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, 2011, Article 23, Appendix “B”, The Charges of a Freemason: VI. 2. and VII.

2.,the%20social%20importance%20of%20immigration. Multiculturalism is reflected with the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988 and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

3. The Regius Manuscript, Fredrick M. Hunter, Research Lodge of Oregon No, 198, A.F.& A.M. Middle English Translation by Mr. John J. Church University of Oregon, 1952.

4. Holy Bible, Authorized King James Version, Oxford Reference Bible, Masonic Edition M2691y






10. The Work, Canadian Rite, Grand Lodge of Alberta Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.



Article by: Chris E. Batty

Chris E. Batty was born in the spring of 1945 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK.

He immigrated to Canada early in 1965 with just $45 in his pocket and very little education.

Chris’s interest in Freemasonry stems from his father, who was a member of Bostall Heath Lodge No. 4492, English Constitution.

He has been a Freemason since 1975, served as Worshipful Master of Saskatchewan Lodge No. 92 GRA for the Masonic Year 1982; appointed the Grand Pursivant for the Masonic Year 2001 – 2002; elected as the District Deputy Grand Master for the Northern Lights District for the year 2005 – 2006.

Elected to the Masonic Higher Education Bursary Committee in 2006 and served as the Chairman from 2007 to 2014.

Elected Junior Grand Warden in 2012, and served as SGW, DGM, and the Grand Master for the year 2015 – 2016.

He was appointed as an Honorary Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan in 2015.

And subsequently, an Honorary Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba in 2017.

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