Aims and Relations of the Craft in British Columbia
At the Grand Lodge communication held at Vernon in 1992 the following statement concerning the aims and relations of the Craft in British Columbia were adopted:
From time to time the Grand Lodge of British Columbia has deemed it desirable to set forth in precise form the Aims of Freemasonry as consistently practised under its jurisdiction since it came into being as an organized body in 1871, and also to define the principles governing its relations with those other Grand Lodges with which it is in fraternal accord.
In view of representatives which have been received, and statements recently issued which have distorted or obscured the true objects of Freemasonry, it is once again considered necessary to emphasize certain fundamental principles of the Order.
- The first condition of admission into, and membership of, the Order is a belief in the Supreme Being. This is essential and admits of no compromise.
- The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as The Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open in the lodges. Every Candidate is required to take his Obligation on that book , or on the volume which is held by his particular creed to impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon it.
- Everyone who enters Freemasonry is, at the outset, strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; he must pay due obedience to the law of any province in which he resides or which may afford him protection, and he must never be remiss in allegiance due to the Sovereign of his native land.
- While British Columbia Freemasonry thus includes in each of its members the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it reserves to the individual the right to hold his own opinion with regard to public affairs. But neither in any lodge, nor at any time in his capacity as a Freemason, is he permitted to discuss or to advance his views on theological or political questions.
- The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to express any opinion on questions of foreign or domestic state policy, wither at home or abroad, and it will not allow its name to be associated with any action, however humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question affecting the relations between one government and another, or between political parties, or questions as to rival theories of government.
- The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist bodies, styling themselves as Freemasons, which do not adhere to these principles, and while that attitude exists the Grand Lodge of British Columbia refuses absolutely to have any relations with such bodies, or to regard them as Freemasons.
- The Grand Lodge of British Columbia is a Sovereign and Independent body practising Freemasonry only within the three degrees and only within the limits defined in its constitution as “pure Ancient Masonry”. It does not recognize or admit the existence of any superior Masonic authority, however styled.
- The Grand Lodge of British Columbia will refuse to participate in conferences with so-called International Associations claiming to represent Freemasonry, which admit to membership bodies failing to conform strictly to the principles upon which the Grand Lodge of British Columbia is founded, nor can its views be represented by any such Association.
- There is no secret with regard to any of the basic principles of Freemasonry, some of which have been stated above. The Grand Lodge of British Columbia will always consider the recognition of these Grand Lodges which profess and practise, and can show that they have consistently professed and practised, those established and unaltered principles, but in no circumstances will it enter into discussion with a view to any new or varied interpretation of them. They must be accepted and practised wholeheartedly and in their entirety by those who desire to be recognized as Freemasons by the Grand Loge of British Columbia.
The Grand Lodge of British Columbia, like the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland, is convinced that by a rigid adherence to these Aims and Relationships that Freemasonry has survived the constantly changing doctrines of the outside world, and is further compelled to place on record its complete disapproval of any action which may tend to permit the slightest departure from the basic principles of Freemasonry. It is strongly of the opinion that if any Grand Lodge does so it cannot maintain a claim to be following the Ancient Landmarks of the Order.