Quirky Books: A Pilgrim's Path by John J. Robinson

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Pilgrim's Path by John J. Robinson

Even though the title has "Pilgrim" in the title it has nothing to do with Plymouth Rock or Thanksgiving. The usage of "Pilgrim" refers to a person journeying to a sacred place. The full title is, "a Pilgrim's Path: Freemasonry and the Religious Right."

John Robinson, author born in 1948, shares his name with the Pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers (1575 - 1625). Pilgrim Fathers were the religious denomination of the Mayflower. John J. Robinson is a historian who wrote "Born in Blood" a book theorizing Masons are descendents of the Knights Templar.

A couple interesting points is an author's reference to how Mason's keep secrets; you can find information on the religion in a public library, which is exactly where I found this book. Robinson claims he was only studying the Masons for the past twenty years and now he is ready to join.

As a defense of Masonry it provides nonreligious information. They are a group of men engaged in charitable acts to better the world. Automatically, it appears suspicious. The information is an observer's look into the club. Interesting points, include, a similar history to other elitist clubs filtering memberships by race and religion; however, it is an issue of the past. Women were still banned from the club when the novel was written. In fact, he has a superior attitude in relation to women attending meetings to learn the history of the Masons even though they cannot become members.

Other interesting points revolve around the belief they are making progress in transforming the world, citing George Washington as a Mason, implying the Masons are responsible for Democracy and not Prince John of England who is responsible for creating the House of Commons and Magna Charta after years of excessive taxes and brutal tyranny.

Then there is the issue of "secular humanism." Secular Humanism and intelligent design are the coined phrases of being ethical and moral without threat from an omnipotent being. Perhaps they did have a hand in forming the scientific approach to decency; however, I pondered which came first in history. Whether they are better at redefining and promoting ideals or are brethren encouraging these concepts?

Regardless, the writing supplies various supporting facts, yet Robinson does not offer footnotes or works cited page. Frequently difficult to follow, any direct statements about the Masons are made in closing. There are several people interested in Masons and Freemasons. It could be an enlightening book to read for many people. I have heard many tales of their activities, yet it seems farcical or bigoted. This book provides sensible explanations without premises similar to conspiracy fiction.