Some have suggested that Freemasonry is a religion or a cult. This isn’t true based on close examination of the craft of Freemasonry. Freemasonry is an inference of ancient wisdom ( mostly ancient astrotheology ) and not a religion or cult. It does have religious aspects and concepts but the craft itself isn’t religious nor does it ask or demand any specific forms of worship.
The allegories of Freemasonry are mostly veiled inferences about the ancient astrotheology that was embedded within various religions of the ancient world and even masonry. It cannot, therefore, be a literal belief in any theological aspects or concepts that it depicts outside of the moral or philosophical realm. That is why Freemasonry claims not to be a religion but why it also accepts all religions.
It would be quite ironic if it were a religion since that would mean it’s a religion that accepts all religions, which is contradictory given the conflicting messages of various religions.
The craft has long stood in opposition to superstition and unscientific thought. In fact, a fundamental aspect of the craft expressed since the Old Charges ( oldest documentation of Freemasonry ) emphasized studying the seven liberal arts and sciences. It clearly had no intent of promoting superstition, although many have attempted to create a connection between Freemasonry and the pseudoscience of occult thought.
Historically, Freemasonry was an advocate of scientific thought and was intimately connected to the Royal Society, which is the oldest learned society for the study of the sciences. The order even asserts within the Blue Lodge that it is a “progressive and moral science”. It was, therefore, never plausible that Freemasonry could have been or is a religious organization or cult. The fundamental doctrines of the craft completely contradict that notion.
It’s just as irrational to assert that the study of astronomy is a cult or religion as it to assert the same of Freemasonry. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense. The only exception to that notion is the requirement of a belief in a supreme being but that’s a general ideological requirement based on the moral implications of faithlessness, which is spoken of in many Masonic works. Furthermore, there is no religious worship or devotion to a particular figure or object. Instead, it’s more accurately described as an inference of a historical, scientific, and philosophical nature.
Sammy R. LaPoint © 2015