Brethren Who Built This Babylon

St. Johns Lodge 321 in Tullamore
St. Johns Lodge 321 in Tullamore

Brethren they who built our Babylon
Which through folly of fools if falling down
Charlatans thought the walls did not need all the stones
So they pulled them out, selling them to another town.
Then, some of the people they panicked when the walls crumbled…
Shouted to the masses blame those men who by these walls new built
See they crumble, those walls that never should have crumbled
Constructed by cheats on foundations of silt.

brethren, living within the strife of this Babylon,
Wished to see it being the best for all
Stood against kings, despots and law makers
As they saw their city fall.
Then some of the people who saw the city burn
Blamed brethren for a torch they bore…
“See from where came the flames bar from their torches
The city blazes that never burned before!”

Brethren, whose home is near the place of power of our Babylon,
Both being townhouses of the former Anglo – Irish class
Look out often on protests that condemn them
When an justly angry people amass.
Folk know not, or care little of ’98
When the Masons apron by rebels was wore
Who faced their own brethren for a better Ireland
Gave their lives as did many since and before.

For men are free to think as the world they see,
According to conscience support who they see fit,
Be loyal to their land should they deem it worthy
Not through mere passion of the moment rebel against it.
But when injustice against the laws of man and God,
As men, as masons, each must make thier stand…
For the state as a state as an entity is fleeting,
Republics and Kings will pass, but eternal is the land!

Each to his own faith worships God as they see Him
Or Them is they see more than one!
Who build this world as a home for men,
A worthy place for mankind to be upon.
From all faiths, they assemble as the Lodge
Direction seekers, with long standing brethren, come before the light,
Imperfect all, mere sinners, to though brethren, become men better…
Perfect in imperfection… the joy of the sight!

In the current crises, scapegoats are found, and a common one from the hard right and the conspiracy theorists are the Freemasons. Being among the founding fathers of America – when it was a good country! – and being captains of innovation and industry, when it goes wrong they are blamed as the system failed they are credited with it. Its strange when things were going good, no one credited the Masons with it!

Seen as a conservative movement – not tolerated still even by Pope Francis who can tolerate the gays. and about time too for the latter! – it in fact is radical, challenging its brethren to be the best that a man can be, be fair to all, and doubly fair to fellow brethren. Cross faith, and cross the political spectrum, masons have been at the heart of the building of the world to being a better place, fighting against the despotism of the Nazis and Soviet dictatorships, and here at home being the heart of the 1798 movement, among others.

Of course, as a movement it has no political or religious position, it just asks members according to their conscience, to act not without just cause, and so they have often faced each other in the fields of conflict, from Ireland, to the battlefields of Europe, and most notably during the American Civil War.

* “Pulling the stones from the walls” – altering laws to suit the moment of the economy or the national interest
* “selling them to another town” – mortgaging the present generation on the potential of the future to entities other than the state.
* “This Babylon” – Babylon is seen as the world in this poem, this Babylon is seen as our country, Ireland
* “Torch” – whatever business or association the Masons were involved in
* “Blazes” – economic and political strife.
* “brethren”, whose home – AF&M Grand Lodge on Molesworth Street in Dublin, donated by former Grand Master The Earl of Rosse, from Birr in Offaly.
* “Place of power of our Babylon” – Dáil Éireann, the former townhouse of the Fitzgeralds, another former Anglo Irish family.
* “should they deem it worthy” – all men have their political opinion, which they must keep to themselves in the Lodge. To act on the spur of the moment as in a pogrom is judged wrong as the actions of a just citizen who should be loyal to the land and sovereign of which he is part, but according to the individuals conscience that is respected if their actions is deemed in accordance of same. So two brethren can have totally different political and religious take on the world, but they respect each other as brethren and neither politics, economics or faiths are allowed to be discussed or debated while in Lodge.

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