Do you have to believe in God to be a Freemason?

(...) A widely accepted assumption regarding Freemasons, revealed clearly in Masonic websites, literature, and membership petition forms, is that one must believe in God or a Supreme Being in order to be initiated into the fraternity. Certainly, despite the appeal to Judeo-Christian Masons, and in sincere interest in the brotherhood, good will, charity, liberty, equality, and other honorable humanitarian virtues, this requirement has discouraged many atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers from pursuing an interest in the fraternity. No doubt, once they start searching the web, they may ultimately decide that Freemasony is only for "God fearing" Christians or mystics. There are varying instantiations of this “God requirement" in Masonic literature, but the following passages from various Masonic sources (lodge websites and Masonic literature) convey the gist (...)

So the question that comes to mind for those who do not believe in the traditional Judeo-Christian or Islamic concept of God is: How can a new candidate of Freemasonry honestly reject the belief in a Supreme Being, yet still satisfy the "God requirement"? After all, the Masonic literature states clearly that no atheist can become a Mason. One of the most authoritative documents in Masonry is Anderson's Constitutions of 1723, in which he goes as far to say:
“A Mason is Oblig'd, by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid ATHEIST…" (4)

The basis for the freethinker to address the "God requirement" has to do with semantics and is also hidden in the second point above, namely that Freemasons do not require new candidates to explain what they mean by “Supreme Being”. There are many different meanings of this phrase, aligned to radically diverse worldviews. Certainly, some have defined "God" or "Supreme Being" as the forces of nature, the energy of the universe, or even the universe itself, which is pantheism and arguably atheism in disguise. Einstein used to use the term "God" in his writings, yet he also said in one letter that he was an atheist, relative to the Christian doctrine (Albert Einstein, letter to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism; quoted by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2), and in another letter that he believed in the god of Spinoza, which is a form of pantheism. (...)
The never-ending-discussion about the "god" issue in the masonic doctrine makes the way, namely in the American context, where the issue has a more divisional ground than in Europe or in any other part of the world where is restricted. It is, basically, the disposition to a more spiritualized dimension of Man that is required from any candidate that approaches the Craft and knocks at the door. A perception about the limitations of Human endeavour and its power to create and transform and fix the rules. That is the reason why, the AASR is so open and free-minded, making it a good appeal for young generations to approach our Craft and assume our values. Pursuing the Anderson argument and applying into a 21st century context, I may argue that is so "stupid" an atheist that denies any sense of spirituality in humankind reducing it to rationalism and materialism, than an ortodox-sort religious person that structures its life, the forming of its family and the type of relationship with its neighbors in a literal interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures. I don´t find someone that thinks like this, possible to become a freemason really. Because he lacks the freemind spirit, the tolerance, the sense of self-criticism over which freemasonry, as a Craft andsystem of believing, is constituted and developed.
Nevertheless, I don´t know how may "true" atheists we may find, today, in modern societies. The bestiality of some of Man´s worst nightmares advise us to be prudent on regard of Man´s capacity to distinguish thegood from the evil, the right from the wrong, and not take the forest by the front-trees. Even in the most stubborn people concerning religion I find the doubteness to interrogate the unknown, the other-side of life, the impressive chain of sprituality that connect people from all parts of the world.

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