221; Tresner said the "G” stands for geometry and God. The square stands for virtue and morality and dealing with people in a forthright manner; think President Theodore Roosevelt’s Square Deal domestic program that promised to be fair to all. Roosevelt was a Mason. The compass symbolizes the importance of controlling oneself and keeping oneself "in due bounds.”
You cannot be a Mason and an atheist since a belief in God or a "deity of some kind” is one of the membership requirements, Tresner said. Thus people of different faiths can be Masons. Tresner said his lodge group includes two Muslims and a Buddhist.
"Freemasons deal with this life, and we tell people to go to their church to deal with the afterlife,” Tresner said.
"We do believe a person’s spiritual growth is important, and a lot of symbolism in Masonry deals with a person’s spiritual quest for enlightenment.”
Meanwhile, he said men are beginning to join masonic groups at a younger age, a phenomenon that has puzzled leaders, although they are happy with the additions.
Tresner said he is from a family of Masons — his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather were all Masons. He became a Mason when he was 21. However, he said, most Masons join at a later age; 10 years ago, men joined the group at age 45 on average. Today’s average is 28.
"We asked many petitioners why they want to become Masons, and they say they want some fraternalism. They want some time with men, and they like the fact that this is a group of men who will support them no matter what,” Tresner said.
"This is a fraternity, after all.”