The French Freemasons against the far-right!

Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0 fr Author: Rama
Masonic Marianne, by Paul Lecreux (aka Jacques France), now in the Musée de la Franc-Maçonnerie in Paris.

The risk of a far-right government in France after President Emmanuel Macron called for snap elections mobilised progressive France. The French Freemasons of five organisations, under the initiative of the Grand Orient of France (GODF), issued a statement calling brothers and sisters to engage against the rise of Marine Le Pen‘s party.

The Grand Masters of GODF, the French Federation of the International Mixed Masonic Order Droit Humaine, Universal Mixed Grand Lodge, Grand Mixed Lodge of France and Mixed Grand Lodge of Memphis-Misraïm warn the French society that “the most reactionary forces seek to come to an understanding, with the sole ambition of calling into question all the fundamentals of the philosophy of the Enlightenment, sources of progress”.

The 250-year-old GODF is the oldest and largest of several Freemasonic organisations in France, and it is considered the “mother lodge” of Continental Freemasonry, with 52 472 members (of which 6 147 are women). GODF has a notable engagement in all progressive battles in the country, including promoting the republican idea, secularism, fight against the far-right, defence of immigrant and refugee rights and support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage. GODF is the progressive version of freemasonry opposing the conservative and formally non-political Anglosaxon tradition.

The Droit Humaine was founded in 1893 by Georges Martin, a Republican politician, and Maria Deraismes, a feminist activist and theoretician. Since its creation, it has promoted gender rights and inclusion.

Defence of the universalist and fraternal Republic

On June 9, after President Macron called for shock elections, the Grand Orient of France immediately reacted. Guillaume Trichard, Grand Master of the GODF, issued a statement assuring that the organisation was at the front of the fight against the far-right and for the defence of the universalist and fraternal Republic.

“This evening, France has entered a very worrying phase in its history, with the imminent return of the far right to power. More than ever, the humanist principles of liberty, equality, fraternity, principles that Freemasons have always served and defended, are in danger,” stated Trichard.

“The Grand Orient of France will take, in the days to come, all the initiatives it deems useful, in consultation with friendly Masonic Obediences, to defend the universalist and fraternal Republic that we cherish,” he concluded.

On June 13, the five organisations gathered at the GODF headquarters to launch “a solemn appeal for the mobilisation of all Freemasons, brothers and sisters, to say no to the inevitability of the victory of the extreme right and its ideology of hatred.”

Their “Call for a Start for the Fraternal Republic” noted that “in three weeks, on the occasion of the early legislative elections, the risk of seeing France join the ranks of the dark cohort of far-right populist and nationalist governments will have never been so high”.

“In this year, when we commemorate the memory of those who fell for our freedom in the face of the Nazi yoke and the collaborationist regime, the Freemasons cannot remain silent in the face of the return of the sound of boots, of chin effects and the militia gesture.

“Faithful and viscerally attached to their humanist and universalist tradition, the Freemasons will be more than ever involved in this essential fight, that of the defence of the fraternal Republic. We must no longer just sound the alarm but act.

“Act on the ground, in our lodges, outside the temples. Acting also means hearing the anger of those who, out of weariness or despair, were able to vote on the gravediggers of the Republic on June 9 in order to convince them that the far right is a dead end.

“The Freemasons who have always resisted the hateful hydra of the extreme right, faithful to the ideals of liberty, equality, fraternity, secularism are rising, determined to take part in the reconstruction of republican hope for everyone”.

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