Arrowman, Boy Scout, Catholic, Ad Alteri Dei counselor: Perfect
Well anyway, within my family there is someone who is long-time member of the local Masonic Lodge (I won’t disclose who in my family), and knowing this person, I am basically familiar with the outerworkings of Freemasonry if not the innerworkings. The local Freemasonry Lodge does charity work and helps the local community, and to be honest, I never even perceived it as evil until I came to the forums.
Now, from what I’ve heard, the Church condemns it for its religion-like characteristics and secretiveness, along with taking oaths for things compromising one’s belief in the Catholic Church. Now, if you ask anyone who is *really *a Freemason, they’ll tell you that it is nothing like that. It’s not a religion, it’s not satanic, and nothing sworn about compromises one’s faith at all.
Similarly, I have scout friends who accuse the Order of the Arrow of being a cult. After all, *we *have secret ceremonies, words (the admonition), rituals, handshakes, and other characteristics of “cults”. Not to mention the whole spiritual aspect of the ordeal and the “Spirit of the Arrow” booklets. If your lodge is anything like mine (and all lodges follow the same basic model), you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. At the same time though, you recognize that the spiritual aspects of the OA are interpreted however you want them to be, and in no way are to be a religion themselves. I hate to break the news to you, but the same policy applies with Freemasonry. On a few occasions I’ve even had to explain to scouts who aren’t in the OA that we aren’t a cult and we don’t worship Satan.
Of course, there are even more important parallels between Freemasonry and the OA. The freemason member of my family – while not a member of the OA himself – has talked with other freemasons who are the OA about the ceremonial aspect. The next time I talked to this relative, he said how the freemason and OA rituals are strikingly similar, and how he was even invited to observe it for himself! What’s more? Dr. E. Urner Goodman wasn’t just a member of Unami Lodge 1, he was a member of Lamberton Masonic 487!
So the question becomes: So long as the Church finds freemasonry disagreeable, how could possibly have a clear conscience being in the oddly-similar Order of the Arrow?
Keep in my mind that I waited until I saw a credible Arrowman to pose this question to. In light of all this, had I asked anyone else, they might’ve just dismissed the OA as being as “vile” as freemasonry, but because you are a brother, you understand the truth that it is not. Now, I have long been exposed to the merits of both, and can’t in good conscience decrie *either *as being wicked or compromising of faith. What say you?