Today it seems that too often our society is less tolerant of other’s opinions and that people with different views are not willing to work together as we have done in the past. A look at our early history as a country reveals much about tolerance and cooperation.
In colonial times, settlers came to America in search of religious freedom. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was established by Puritans or Congregationalists, Pennsylvania by Quakers, Maryland by Catholics, and Virginia by Anglicans. Although differences in their religious beliefs existed, these diverse regions (and religions) found common ground to unite to fight for freedom in response to English oppression.
Brother George Washington assembled militiamen from each of the 13 colonies and forged them into an army that worked together for the common good of our infant nation.
Our forefathers’ respect for, and tolerance of, diverse beliefs and points of view and their willingness to listen and integrate them was key to the success of our Revolution. Without a clear understanding of our mutual goals, and setting aside our differences, we would not have defeated the British and enjoy the freedoms we take for granted today.
My Brother, as Masons we need to continue to appreciate, recognize and respect the beliefs and practices of others. “Peace and harmony being the strength and support of all institutions, especially this of ours.”
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Ted J. Parry