|A Pilgrim's Path. John J. Robinson. Freemasonry and the Religious Right|
"A Pilgrim's Path" by John J. Robinson is a good read. This one had been sitting on my shelf for a long while. It is an interesting look at various anti-Masonic arguments and misconceptions.
An excellent, excellent easy read that's hard to put down, a must have for all Mason's libraries and those who are considering joining the craft. Mr. John Robinson wrote this book as a Non-Mason, he asked Masons what they would like him to write about, being a writer and historian of Medieval Britain and the Crusades he knew how to perform research, and not just believe what he was being told, but to find the truth. He researched the origins of Freemasonry and how it made its way into the new colonies. He has spoken to Masonic groups all across the country on the history on Masonry. In his research he asked the man on the street what he or she thought of Freemasons? He took questions on radio talk shows from the curious and from Anti-Masons with the knowledge he had gained from his research, not just what Masons said. The Anti-Mason who called to make their point quickly found out they were incorrect in their assumptions, but always in a civil and pleasant manner. He critiqued fundamentalists' religious leaders like Pat Robertson and John Ankerberg, both who have attacked Masonry. He speaks of Dr. James Holly who has made numerous attempts to have the Southern Baptist Leadership condemn Freemasonry and to have all Baptist Pastors removed who are Masons. Fortunately, Holly and his small radical group have not been able to accomplish this. The fundamentalists like Pat Robertson, James Holly and others like them take a document credited to Albert Pike which makes it look like Pike and all Masons worship Lucifer. This was not written by Albert Pike, but in fact written by a man named Leo Taxil who would later freely admit he made the whole thing up and that Pike had nothing to do with it. Taxil, who suffered convictions of financial fraud in France and later ejection from Switzerland for the same was always looking for an easy money scam. He wrote anti-Catholic publications, such as satires, poking fun at church leaders, but realized little money doing so, turned his attention to Freemasonry. Seeing the conflict between the Roman Catholic Church and the Masonic order Taxil saw his opportunity. After making his fortune, Taxil on 1897 used his celebrity status to attract a large audience to a meeting in Paris along with the Catholic hierarchy and took great delight in telling people how he had pulled the wool over their eyes and had made a fortune in so doing. Pat Robertson in his book "A New World Order" attributes this document to Pike. It's quite evident he didn't research his work too well (or maybe his staff didn't) or was not concerned about the truth. Mr. John Robinson also speaks of how a Mason should share with his family about masonry and not exclude them. They should know Masonry is not a "Secret" organization and introduce them to fellow members. He speak of ways Lodges can go about retaining their membership and gives examples. The book is perfect read for any man about to join the Brotherhood and how he should share it with his wife as soon as he is finished.