What Is Freemasonary?
For more
information,
Grand Lodge site
by clicking on the
above link:
What is Freemasonry, what does it offer and where can I get more
information about it?  

The Formal Answer:

Whenever we are asked “What is Freemasonry?” the formal answer
includes much of the following:

Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies.  The
essential qualification for admission is a belief in a Supreme Being and
to be of good repute.
Masonic meetings have a set structure and consistent content and
although their organization and ceremonies have been shrouded in
secrecy in the past, they are now largely open to public scrutiny one way
or another.  
A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to God (by whatever
name He is known) and then, without detriment to his work or family, to
his neighbor (in the broadest sense) through charity and service. None
of these ideas are exclusively Masonic, but the setting in which they are
practiced, the spirit of friendship which is prevalent among its members
surely are.
The More Casual Answer

The more casual answer would add that Freemasonry is a body of
like-minded, responsible men, who in their own way, wish to progress as
individuals and share a journey of personal development towards self
enlightenment i.e. to make good men better.

Each and every Freemason is a builder. But instead of using the tools of
architecture to erect a physical structure out of stone and mortar, he
uses these same tools symbolically for intellectual, moral, and spiritual
development. "Thereby fitting our minds, as living stones, for that
spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens."

Freemason's will also enjoy the customs and theatrics and within the
Lodge room which, in an appropriate context, are used to explain
symbolic meaning. There is also good humour, spirit of friendship and
refreshments afterwards (which is known as the Festive Board) and the
potential to visit other Lodges in the United States as well as abroad
which all adds to the enjoyment.
In between Lodge meetings, many Freemason's will try to find
opportunities to put something back into the community at large.  They
will also appreciate that humility and the conduct by which they run their
lives outside the Lodge room is important. Finally, they do not regard
Freemasonry as a secret society, merely one that is private that would
lose some of its special significance and meaning to newcomers should
every aspect of Lodge business become widely known or be taken out of
context.

These days, any quick search on the internet will reveal all sorts of signs,
signals or so called secrets and secret practices with rolled pant legs
ascribed to Freemasonry. While some might reveal a germ of truth, none
of them warrant the wild rantings from the conspiracy theorist or cult
lobby in our society. However, if you happen to hold those views, or got
carried away with Dan Brown’s fascinating book “T
he Da Vinci Code” or
"
The Lost Symbol", then email us and we will be happy to separate
masonic fact from media fiction.
By Brother Dan Weatherington, from the Masonic e-mail journal CINOSAM
Not one person ever joined Freemasonry because George Washington,
Walt Disney, Winston Churchill, or John Wayne were Masons. Nobody
ever joined Freemasonry because of our great Masonic heroes: Joining
Freemasonry doesn't make you any of those people.
Not one person ever joined so that they could give money to charity: You
don't have to be a Freemason to give money to worthy causes.

Not one person ever joined because of our attention to Lodge rules,
regulations, or ritual.  The uninitiated don't know about all of our
procedures.

They joined because someone they knew and admired was a Mason. It
could miles away. Who it was didn't matter. They admired him and
wanted to do the things he did and they did it by the millions.

If you want to help promote Freemasonry, try to be the kind of man that
other people admire. Someone will notice.
Learn more about Freemasonry as
seen on CNN.
"Because Masonry Matters"
Freemasonry is open to men of many religions and it expects them to
continue to follow their own faith. Freemasonry is a system of morality,
not a system of faith or salvation and is complimentary to the belief of
the individual. Indeed, Lodge meetings, in order to ensure harmony,
expressly forbid the discussion of either religion or politics.

Freemasonry asks that each of its members show tolerance and respect
in regards to the opinions of others and behave with kindness and
understanding to his fellow man.  Its members, in varying degrees, are
involved with numerous local, national, and international charitable
works, both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and works.
Freemasonry does not override the individuals duty to one's self, one's
family, one's country, or one's God.
On the other hand, if you still have a question about Freemasonry's
compatibility with religion and fitness within society, click on the
link to
the Michigan Grand Lodge website for thorough and considered responses.