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By Lynn Dumenil

Because the usa moved from Victorian values to these of contemporary consumerism, the non secular part of Freemasonry used to be more and more displaced by means of a mundane ideology of provider (like that of commercial clubs), and the Freemasons' psychology of asylum from the aggressive global gave solution to the purpose of excellent fellowship" inside it. This research not just illuminates this strategy yet clarifies the missed subject of fraternal orders and enriches our realizing of key aspects of yankee cultural swap.

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Masonic spokesmen repeatedly reaffirmed the Mason's belief in God and his hope for immortality. 29 As a prominent Masonic writer, Albert G. 30 Although it was evident that Masonry was a religious insti­ tution, the nature of its religious content was much debated. In the 1880s and 1890s especially, spokesmen grappled with the problem of whether Masonry merely contained religious elements or actually functioned as a religious system. Must a Mason believe in the inerrancy of the Bible? What was the nature of a Mason's God?

31 The Oakland temple, obviously a source of pride to Ma­ sons, was also a community landmark. " Similarly, other publications put out by the Tribune and Oakland's Board of Trade, designed to extol the virtues of Oakland, frequently noted the Masonic Temple and included drawings of it. The temple was classed with such MASONRY REVEALED major public buildings as the courthouse, a bank building, and schools. Similarly, the Chicago Masonic Temple was con­ sidered an important community structure (Figure 6).

While some lodges may have discriminated against workers, it is also possible that few working-class men sought Masonry out. Many blue-collar workers would have found the cost of Masonry prohibitive. The Live Oak initia­ tion fee in this period varied from $50 to $100, with dues ranging from $6 to $12 annually—a typical sum for Califor­ nia's urban lodges. Small-town lodge fees were generally lower, averaging about $30. 16 These Live Oak figures provide a good sense of the com­ position of an urban lodge, but generalizations about Ma­ sonry as a whole should be made carefully.

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