The conflict in the United States Congress ended with a dramatic and bizarre outburst on the part of the House stenographer. Dianne Reidy mounted the dias and began to talk into the microphone. Since the microphone was off, not everything she said was understood. However, this much was recorded (from Salon):
Just moments after the deal was struck, Reidy serenely walked into the middle of the room, stepped up to the podium and started yelling. “Do not be deceived,” she said. “God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand.” As the Sergeant-at-Arms moved to eject her, she continued to shout, “He will not be mocked, He will not be mocked, (don’t touch me). He will not be mocked. The greatest deception here is that this is not one nation under God. It never was. Had it been, it would not have been … No. It would not have been. The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons … and go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”
So yesterday I headed over to the Musee de Francmaconnerie, or the Freemason Museum, to see if there was anything interesting to write about.
Reidy, however, is perhaps less crazy than the people who read fanciful histories by people like the Christian Educator David Barton. Many of the founders of the U.S. and influential patriots were indeed Masons. Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Lafayette and Pulaski, George Washington, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Elbridge Gerry, Josiah Bartlett, and George Clinton. Others were believed to be Masons. A painting of George Washington laying the cornerstone for the capitol building shows him wearing a Masonic apron.
While most of my skeptical friends will be aware of the Christian Nationalist or Dominionist story that is sometimes passed off as the history of the founding of the United States, a quick search on the internet will reveal that conspiracy theories linking Freemasonry to the founding of the U.S. abound. (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4) Of course skeptics, ie. those of us who don’t believe in the supernatural, will find their sleep little disturbed by the possibility that some form of occultism lies at the foundation of the Unites States since we don’t believe that such occult rituals would have any tangible effect. Furthermore, exactly what sort of occult beliefs, if any, Freemasons maintain is in itself debatable.
French Freemasonry differs from Freemasonry in the U.S. and U.K. in several important respects. In France, both women and atheists are permitted to be Freemasons. In the U.S., a man can be of any religion, but he cannot be an atheist or an agnostic.
Sorry, folks, about the anti-climax.