Monday, April 23, 2012

'Re-enactment relocation'

The first announcement said Federal Hall. A follow-up notice said St. Paul's Chapel, although I think that was an accident. Now comes word that the Grand Lodge of New York's annual re-enactment of the first presidential inauguration of Bro. George Washington will take place at Masonic Hall.

Bronze likeness of George Washington
taking the presidential oath of office.
Same day: Monday, April 30.
Same time: High Twelve.
Location: Renaissance Room, Sixth Floor, Masonic Hall.

This change was decided due to the lawlessness in the streets (my words, not Grand Lodge's) on and around Wall Street. In the interests of safety and preserving the historic George Washington Inaugural Bible, this very enjoyable celebration will take place under a Masonic roof.

It's a shame decent people cannot use public spaces, but that is where we are today as a society. And no, I do not believe Washington and the other Founders waged the Revolution and founded our free society so that there can be anarchy and filth in the streets. They created a land governed by laws, not a mobocracy. The French Revolution was mob-friendly. The American Revolution was very different. End of lecture. Sorry.

There will be a collation after the ceremony. Details, like cost, menu, etc., are yet to be determined.

If you can get there, please do so. You'll enjoy a singular occurance in Masonic culture.

Masonic Hall is located at 71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan.


E C Ballard ஃ said...

My dear Brother,

You are presenting a very selective knowledge of the US Revolution. There were more than a few mobs which tarred and feathered those they disliked. That is far more rabble-like that the "Occupy" folks, whatever you think of their positions. Agreed, they may have (mostly) been less deadly than some of the French mobs, but not always. During the very weeks in 1787 that fifty-five statesmen convened in Philadelphia to draft the United States Constitution, records reveal that a mob hunted down and eventually killed a woman accused of being a witch. This occurred within a mile of what today we call Independence Hall. (I'm a Philadelphian, I know my local history)

Frat. Eoghan ஃ

Magpie Mason said...

Now Bro. Eoghan, is not zeroing in on one act of witch-hunting the better example of presenting selective knowledge of the Revolution?

My point simply was the American Revolution was won on battlefields, and not the barricades. In the case of the former, the battles were followed by discussion over a peace treaty. In the case of the latter, the fighting was followed by the Terror.

I can't imagine what the celebrants of May Day would have in mind for us.

I'm not trying to offend, but there are lessons to be learned.


E C Ballard ஃ said...

No, not at all, Bro. Jay. Because I am not attempting to present that as typical of the American Revolution. However, tarring and feathering and hanging people for suspected witchcraft did occur and they were not only left out of your account of the American Revolution but they are systematically left out of most contemporary presentations of the Revolution, just as the presence of slaves in the Presidential residence was until recently.

I did not suggest that the American Revolution was somehow suspect, but that we should not attempt to discredit legitimate expressions of civil concern, even when they do square with our views. And as for misrepresenting the American Revolution, leaving out the negative events is as disrespectful of the intent of the Revolution as would be emphasizing those alone. I merely attempted to provide a broader set of events to provide a more nuanced picture. You see, Bro Jay, I believe that mythologizing our past is as bad as demonizing our enemies. The truth will remind us that our ancestors were merely human. And that, my brother, makes the accomplishment all the more impressive.