From the Master of Kadosh (July 2018)

posted Jul 9, 2018, 7:14 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Fraternal greetings!  On June 2nd the Consistory joined with the Knights of St. Andrew, Sciots, and Grotto to host a Masonic time of fellowship at the Sunnyvale Art & Wine Festival.  Fourteen Brothers, family, and friends attended the event and a great time of fellowship with libations was had by all!

The United States Independence Day occurs this month on the 4th of July, and as such I would like all of us to reflect on the great freedoms we have in the United States and be reminded of those in less fortunate situations.  As Soldiers of Liberty, we have taken oaths in the 32nd degree to protect and promote freedom and resist despotism. 

In the past I had the great opportunity to spend time in the early nineties in Turkmenistan.  Turkmenistan is a former state within the USSR and is located in Central Asia next to Iran and above Afghanistan.  It is a country of great natural resources.  The people I met there were wonderful.  They were very nice and caring.  However, the government was ruled by a dictator, Turkmenbashi.  Freedom of religion, speech, and the press, to name a few, were not rights the citizens enjoyed.  The government decided what music could be played at public dances, tightly controlled all forms of media, and citizens were not allowed to criticise the government and especially Turkmenbashi without fear of imprisonment or even worse.  A Physics professor at the local university earned the equivalent of $10 a month, and the people lived in austere conditions.  When elections were held, the dictator was always voted for by 99% of the citizens, and opposition candidates were often imprisoned.

I mention Turkmenistan, not to put the wonderful people, who are the citizens there, in a bad light, but rather to illustrate that even in today’s world, we still have regimes around the world with despotic leadership who profit off the work of their citizens to serve their own needs and repress many of the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States.  Having experienced life in Turkmenistan I know my already present appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in the United States were deepend even more.

Therefore, as you enjoy the various festivities this Fourth of July, please take a moment and reflect on how truly blessed we are to live in a country that promotes, defends, and practices liberty, and send kind prayers and thoughts of love to those in less fortunate situations.

 

Happy 4th of July!

 

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