Freemasonry, Civil War, and “Civil War”

Square & Compass Promotions
3 min readApr 27, 2024
Freemasonry and Civil War
Freemasonry, Civil War, and “Civil War”

The idea of a modern American civil war is now a very common talking point both in social and traditional media.

Alex Garland’s “Civil War” explores what a modern American civil war could look like, through the (literal) lens of journalists travelling through a civil war-ravaged United States of America.

Much has been written and said about the politics (or lack thereof) contained within the movie; the director’s (purposeful) vagueness as to the cause of the movies central conflict.

Many people (on all sides of the political spectrum) seem to almost desire a civil war…

Alex Garland’s movie acts as a warning to those professing such a desire; a warning that should a civil war begin the cause for which any side is fighting will quickly be subsumed under the most basic desire of all…the desire to survive.

As is often the case, while watching Civil War, my thoughts turned to Freemasonry.

Square & Compass Promotions has already discussed the benefits of Freemasonry to individual health; but Freemasonry also benefits community health.

Freemasonry heals community division by creating (in its ideal form) a space free from religious or political discussion, as well as class separation, and the subsequent divisions resulting therefrom.

In Civil War, as mentioned above, the causes of the conflict are left vague.

The audience is told the American president is in his “third-term” and has engaged in air-strikes against American citizens, but whether these actions caused of the conflict or were a response to provocative actions is unknown.

For the purposes of the Civil War, the causes are irrelevant.

For the purposes of Freemasonry, the causes are also irrelevant.

Often, in an attempt to solve or ease social division, people emphasis conversation: conversation between different religions; different political persuasions; different social groups; different beliefs; etc.

While a laudable emphasis, Freemasonry seeks to solve or ease social division not through conversation but through (in honour of our operative Brethren) building or creating.

For the purposes of a Masonic Lodge, the political beliefs of the Brethren therein are irrelevant to the goal of building.

So too are the religious beliefs.

So too are the class strata from which the members originate.

What matters, more than anything else, is a genuine desire of each member to work with the love and harmony that should, at all times, characterise Freemasonry; to build a metaphorical community for its membership, their families, and the community.

In Civil War, and in a civil war, the emphasis is on surviving the chaos and destruction of armed conflict. In the lead-up to civil war, the emphasis is on division and distrust.

In Freemasonry, the emphasis is on cooperation, mutual-respect, and brotherly love. By creating a shared goal or vision separate from politics, religion, or class struggles, Freemasonry eases social divisions amongst its membership and the communities. We focus on common goals instead of individual beliefs.

Exploring the reasons for societal divisions likely exacerbates those divisions…but providing goals and objectives that make the reasons for societal divisions irrelevant could mitigate those divisions.

In either scenario, the reasons for societal divisions become irrelevant.

As Civil War points out, in the former scenario, the reason for this irrelevance is a need for survival. In the latter scenario the reason for this irrelevance is the building of something greater than oneself. Building community.

Every Mason is, metaphorically, a builder. As every builder should know, war is not a conducive environment in which to build.

All opinions expressed are those of Square & Compass Promotions and the guest(s), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Windsor Masonic Temple and/or any Masonic group.

Freemasonry has a unique connection to the American Civil War. It’s fascinating to study, if our readers are interested…



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