I attempted to make my own Freemasonry.SE however it wasn't popular enough to proceed. There are two generations in Freemasonry which are not contiguous. There are Freemasons who are over 70 (generally over 80 and WWII vets) and there are 35 and younger members. The older and majority are generally not computer literate and have no use for social networking via the internet. So, starting a SE or even a Facebook page has an added level of challenge to gain members.
Do questions regarding Freemasonry fit Christianity.SE?
On the surface, no. Freemasonry is not a religion and even more so, it is not a Christian religion. The majority of members (especially in the US) are Christian and there are specific "side bodies" which require you to be Christian - but as a whole, it is not Christian.
With that said, some Christians are very anti-freemasonry and slanderous towards the fraternity. So then, IMHO, there should be a vehicle for Christians to ask about the relationship between Christianity and Freemasonry. Especially when Christians can be aggressive against Freemasonry - and many of them do not know why. From my experience it's been like this:
- Oh, you're a Freemason?
- Aren't Freemasons devil worshipers?
- WTH? No. There could be devil worshipers who are Freemasons, but
Freemasons are not devil worshipers.
- Yes they are.
- What makes you say that?
- Because you are.
Quite often the Christians who are against Freemasonry are Catholic or Christian Fundamentalists. I'm very open about the fraternity and more than willing to explain what I see as conflicts between the orthodox Christian religion and the Fraternity. Specifically
2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness
and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with
Freemasonry as a fraternity promises to aid, support, and defend fellow members as far as truth, honor, and justice will allow. That is irregardless of their religion, race, or social class. If a Christian cannot belong to a group that non-Christians belong to, then Christians have no reason to be a police officer, in the military, or a doctor.
What does Freemasonry teach about religion?
Our lodge opens with the Holy Bible (as seen on the CBS clip). Our prayers during are meedings end with "in Jesus' name we pray" because our lodge is full of Christians. Should there be a Muslim visitor, we may end the prayer slightly differently as to not offend. Imagine if you wanted to pray in public. If you were at the nativity scene, you may end with "in Jesus' name we pray". If you were elsewhere and attempting to be non-confrontational, you may end in "in God we trust" or something similar.
Freemasonry allows people to become friends with those of other faiths. I would have never known how similar Islam is to Christianity w/o becoming friends with Muslims who are Freemasons (link to a question about them from me on Islam.SE). They are just like us. There are extremists who are Christian just like there are extremists who are Muslim, but the majority are in the middle (sometimes literally). The Qur'an is violent, so is the Bible. Both religions have been known to do evil things in the name of their religion to please (as they believe) God.
Freemasonry does however allow you to build your relationship with God in your own way, without dogma and without direction. Your denomination becomes less important as you learn that we're all worshiping the same God differently. This scares the crap out of pastors who are struggling to maintain membership for their salary. Imagine if we all (as I believe Jesus taught) were to pray away from the temples and priests but instead pray and communicate with friends and alone. Jesus himself prayed on a rock, I believe it is good enough for me too. However, I help out at 3 different churches of different denominations. Why? Because I believe that the naive need a place to start and I support them where I can.
Who are Freemasons today?
I won't talk about past presidents or owners of large automobile companies. However I will tell you who are members of my specific lodge. We have a Protestant Pastor, an Episcopal Rector, a speaker of the house of representatives, a former superintendent of the local school system, an architect, a contractor, and computer programmers (me). I have not met more pastors, fathers, etc on a personal level since I joined. When I ask them why they joined, mostly they give me the same response. It is a vehicle for them to be one of the guys. As you can imagine, a pastor has to always be on church mode when he's out in public. If he's at the supermarket, he may be stopped by a member of his church to pray for their sick cat or something. They really are never off the clock. However when they are in the lodge. Their voice is just as important as everyone else. They screw up their lines (parts we memorize and recite to each other in allegories / plays) just like everyone else and are humbled by it. Sometimes, we humans need that as to not become too proud or full of ourselves.
Why would anyone join?
"If you guys just dress up, socialize, and raise money for charities, why can't I just do that w/o paying for a membership?" The answer to that is simple, you can. Freemasonry takes a special type of geek to enjoy it. Generally we are introverts, intelligent, and free thinkers. Freemasonry is away that we can come out of our shell a bit and be social. You can join a small group session at church and get many of the same benefits w/o having annual dues. However, just like the pastor example, people generally have their "church faces" on. In the small group, you may have an itching question about something but you suppress it because you don't want to look stupid or go against / question the doctrine of your denomination. Whereas in Freemasonry these questions may be asked - as long as it's not within the lodge session but at a social event afterwards. During meetings, politics and religion are off topic and down voted worse that a bad SE post.
I am always willing to answer any questions that anyone may have. If I feel uncomfortable with answering a specific question, I may defer you to somewhere else. For example, you may ask me, "Do you guys do this for your EA ritual?" I would say that there are things online that probably shouldn't be online. I prefer to not talk about them, not because they're a secret but because I believe that when a person joins, he should have as little knowledge about the ritual as possible as to entertain and excite him. If you knew everything about it, why would you join?
I will tell you that there are several things that are not known which should be before you join. You should know in whom you place your trust because you will be asked ("Jesus Christ" is a perfectly good answer). You should know what the heel and hollow of your feet are.