Facts about Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a fraternity, not a religion
As a fraternal association dedicated to making good men better, Freemasonry respects the religions beliefs of all its members. Freemasonry has no theology and does not teach any method of salvation. In particular it does not claim that good works gain or guarantee salvation.
Freemasonry is an open, not secretive, society
Masonic meetings are announced publicly, Masonic buildings are marked clearly and are listed in phone directories and Masons proudly wear jewelry identifying their membership. Freemasonry inherited a tradition of trade secrets from the cathedral-building guilds of medieval Europe. The only "secrets" still belonging to modern Masonry are traditional passwords, signs of recognition, and dramatic presentations of moral lessons.
Freemasonry is open to all men of good character who believe in God
Freemasonry does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion or social class
The Masonic family of organizations is open to all
Freemasonry admits only men, but many Masonic-related organizations, such as the Eastern Star, Amaranth, Job's Daughters, Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay for Boys, offer ample opportunities for women and youth.
Freemasonry does not require improper oaths
The solemn promises taken in Freemasonry are no different than the oaths taken in court or on entering the armed services. The much-discussed "penalties", judicial remnants from an earlier age, are symbolic, not literal. They refer only to the pain any honest man should feel at the thought of violating his word.
Freemasonry teaches individual improvement through study
Freemasonry encourages study, including literature by the great writers of ancient times. Freemasonry does not sanction the views of these authors but offers them for each individual's reflection and evaluation
Freemasonry teaches in steps
Masons learn through a series of lessons. These "degrees" of insight move from basic to more complex concepts. This no more hides the nature of Freemasonry from novice members than does having a student understand fractions before calculus.
Freemasonry has no single spokesperson
Freemasonry is made up of many individuals in numerous organizations, all subordinate to the Grand Lodge within their jurisdiction (i.e. state). None of these members or organizations can speak for Freemasonry; that is the responsibility of each Grand Lodge within its jurisdiction. No Masonic body nor author, however respected, can usurp the authority of a Grand Lodge