American Masonic History

What Are America's True Roots?*

There is much speculation on the religious nature of the United States of America as it was founded. Many Christians assert that the United States was founded as a Christian nation and, therefore, it is not only our right but our duty to reclaim it for God. But is America a Christian nation in the true sense of the word?

To call anyone or anything "Christian," whether an individual or a nation, certain criteria must be met. If we are speaking of an individual, the biblical requirements are that he must be born again by the Spirit of God, understanding all that this entails.

If we are speaking of a nation, its purpose must be that of ministry in the name of Jesus Christ alone, without regard to any other gods. Its primary charter must be the Bible, and all who hold positions of authority must be individuals who meet the criteria necessary to call themselves Christians. A true Christian nation would be a theocracy governed by God through His prophets. His law would reign supreme in the hearts and minds of that nation's founders, and all who founded the nation would have to meet the criteria necessary to call themselves Christians. Just as important, the nation would have to have been created in response to a covenant initiated by God with those who founded it.

As a point of information, the Pilgrims did not found the United States; they founded a small colony that eventually got swallowed up by the states and the newly formed federal government.

The belief that the Mayflower Compact was the basis for a Christian nation has caused many to attempt to reestablish what never existed: a Christian nation based upon biblical precepts and founded upon a covenant relationship with God. What is overlooked is that the Mayflower Compact reaffirmed loyalty to the King of England; its framers never intended to found an independent state.

Ignoring, and even twisting the facts of history, Christian dominionists quote some of the founding fathers whose words seem to indicate faith in Jesus Christ. But many quoted were Freemasons who highly regarded Jesus as a man who attained the highest degree of moral enlightenment.

The words of many Freemasons might lead the uninformed to believe that they are true brethren in Christ. An example is this statement from a Masonic publication:

God may have other words for other worlds, but His supreme Word for this world, yesterday, today, forever, is Christ! He is the central Figure of the Bible, its crown, its glory, its glow-point of vision and revelation. Take Him away and its light grows dim. He fulfilled the whole Book, its history, its poetry, its prophecy, its ritual, even as He fulfills our deepest yearning and our highest hope. Ages have come and gone, but He abides -- abides because He is real, because he is unexhausted, because He is needed. Little is left today save Christ -- Himself smitten and afflicted, bruised of God and wounded -- but He is all we need. If we hear Him, follow Him, obey Him, we shall walk together in a new world wherein dwelleth righteousness and love -- He is the Word of God (Joseph Fort Newton, "The Great Light in Masonry," Little Masonic Library, Vol. 3, p. 177).

Unless we recognize that the theosophical philosophy of Freemasonry attributes its own definitions to biblical language, we won't understand the author's meaning. We might welcome him as one of our own.

Only the most naive would not know that many who claim to be Christians do not meet the required criteria. Such is the case with Freemasons. While Freemasonry has an outward show of religious faith, the tenets of Freemasonry preclude any truly born-again believer from belonging.

Space doesn't allow for a full treatise on Freemasonry's religious philosophy, but true Christians will recognize from another statement in the same publication that the Faith is not compatible with Freemasonry:

Into Freemasonry have been poured the irradiations of the mystical schools of antiquity. Particularly is this so in the higher degrees of the Order, such as the Scottish Rite, where undeniable traces of Cabalism, neo-Platonism, Rosicrucianism, and other mystical cults are plainly discernible. I do personally contend that Freemasonry is the direct descendent of the Mysteries, but that our ritual makers of the higher degrees have copied the ancient ceremonies of initiation so far as the knowledge of those ceremonies exists (Henry R. Evans, "A History of the York and Scottish Rites of Freemasonry, p. 8).

Because most Christians today are unaware of the manner in which Christianity was melded with the esoteric philosophies of theosophy and Jewish Cabalism to produce a hybrid mystery religion known as Freemasonry, they offer quotes from many of our founding fathers as evidence that they were Christians. Indeed, some were even clerics. But just as one of today's most famous clerics, Norman Vincent Peale, is a Freemason (prelate of the Grand Encampment of the Knights Templar of the United States), many of the nation's founding fathers were also Freemasons who used peculiar definitions of biblical language in asserting their beliefs.

This is not to say that they were not noble men. Freemasons pride themselves in their noble attitudes and adherence to strict moral codes. These are not "evil" men in the classical sense. But they are blinded to the true revelation of God's Word, and their religious philosophy embraces all religions as valid. To be a Freemason, one must believe in a supreme being, but he need not be a Christian.

Based upon the evidence of Masonic influences in the establishment of this nation, there is no doubt that the criteria necessary to classify the United States as a Christian nation were not met. An objective study of the Masonic affiliations of the founding fathers must cause Christians to reevaluate their own political philosophy. For if the United States is not a Christian nation then we must choose to whom we will commit "our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor" -- our Lord or our country.


John Adams - (Spoke favorably of Freemasonry -- never joined)

Samuel Adams - (Close and principle associate of Hancock, Revere & other Masons)

Ethan Allen - Mason

Edmund Burke - Mason

John Claypoole - Mason

William Daws - Mason

Benjamin Franklin - Mason

Nathan Hale - No evidence of Masonic connections

John Hancock - Mason

Benjamin Harrison - No evidence of Masonic connections

Patrick Henry - No evidence of Masonic connections

Thomas Jefferson - (Deist with some evidence of Masonic connections)

John Paul Jones - Mason

Francis Scott Key - No evidence of Masonic connections

Robert Livingston - Mason

James Madison - (Some evidence of Masonic membership)

Thomas Paine - Humanist

Paul Revere - Mason

Colonel Benjamin Tupper - Mason

George Washington - Mason

Daniel Webster - (Some evidence of Masonic connections)

Summary: 10 Masons, 3 probable Masons, 1 Humanist, 2 Advocates of Freemasonry, 4 no record of connections.


Known Masons (8): Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Robert Treat Payne, Richard Stockton, George Walton, William Whipple

Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations (7): Elbridge Berry, Lyman Hall, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Nelson Jr., John Penn, George Read, Roger Sherman

Summary: 15 of 56 Signers were Freemasons or probable Freemasons.

It's true that this represents only 27% of the total signers. But this 27% included the principle movers of the Revolution, most notably Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, the primary authors of the Declaration. The former was a Freemason, the latter a deist and possible Freemason. If one were to analyze the Declaration, he would see their humanistic influences.

In any event, there is no evidence that even 27% of the signers were true Christians. In considering whether or not this is a Christian nation, it isn't the number of Masons that is as important as the number of founders overall who were non-believers.


Known Masons (9): Gunning Bedford, Jr., John Blair, David Brearly, Jacob Broom, Daniel Carrol, John Dickinson, Benjamin Franklin, Rufus King, George Washington

Evidence of Membership And/or Affiliations (13): Abraham Baldwin, William Blount, Elbridge Gerry, Nicholas Gilman, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John Lansing, Jr., James Madison, George Mason, George Read, Robert Morris, Roger Sherman, George Wythe

Those Who Later Became Masons (6): William Richardson Davie, Jr., Jonathan Dayton, Dr. James McHenry, John Francis Mercer, William Patterson, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

Summary: 28 of 40 signers were Freemasons or possible Freemasons based on evidence other than lodge records.


-- Lafayette, French liaison to the Colonies, without whose aid the war could not have been won, was a Freemason.

-- The majority of the commanders of the Continental Army were Freemasons and members of "Army Lodges."

-- Most of Washington's Generals were Freemasons.

-- The Boston Tea Party was planned at the Green Dragon Tavern, also known as the Freemasons' Arms, and "the Headquarters of the Revolution."

-- George Washington was sworn in as the first President of the United States by Robert Livingston, Grand Master of New York's Masonic lodge. The Bible on which he took his oath was from his own Masonic lodge.

-- The Cornerstone of the Capital building was laid by the Grand Lodge of Maryland.

Even if the initiators of the Revolution had been Christians, the fact remains that the Revolutionary War and the nation's government were structured by the tenets of Freemasonry, not God's Word. It was an unholy alliance at best.

Scripture tells us that God has made one nation of all: the Church. It is the Church that is our "Christian nation," not the social and political institutions of the world.

We can thank our heavenly Father that we enjoy the freedoms that this republic grants us. But as citizens of Heaven, our allegiance is first to our brethren in foreign countries. Otherwise we may find ourselves killing Christians for political causes.

We must be vigilant to the dangers of becoming embroiled in political and social causes in the name of Christ. Else we will find ourselves unequally yoked, storing up for ourselves wood, hay, and stubble for the day of judgment.

* This material has been excerpted from a 6/90 Media Spotlight Special Report -- "A Masonic History of America" (Albert James Dager, P.O. Box 290, Redmond, WA 98073).

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