The Rite Corner: The Albert Pike Statue
Illustrious David L. Nielsen, 33°, S.G.I.G. in Montana
With the demonstrations for Black Lives Matter throughout the United States, statues honoring Confederate military leaders have been targeted for removal. I am not expressing any opinion on the appropriateness of removal of Confederate monuments. Either way I risk offending those with opposite views and that is not important now.
One statue that was pulled down as considered to be honoring a Confederate General was the one of Albert Pike, located in Washington, D.C. The Grand Commander has issued an Official Statement Concerning Pike Statue, which I am attaching to share. I applaud the Official Statement and agree with its message. Our fraternity is more than a public display of a statue of one of our early Grand Commanders.
The first time I saw the Pike statue in D.C., I cringed that one of Pike's accomplishments noted publicly was him serving as a Brigadier General in the Confederate Forces during the Civil War. Realizing that people change, as did John Newton, who was a slave trader and after a conversion wrote "Amazing Grace," I reserved my judgment of Pike because I did not know how his life changed after the Civil War.
In short, the Masonic philosophy and teachings of Scottish Rite are still valuable to Masons. Scottish Rite is bigger than any one person and we need to look to its lessons as apply to our lives and not be distracted because a monument to a former Grand Commander is removed. It is important that we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Albert Pike by understanding the facts of his life and not being distracted by rumors and innuendo.
In my mind Pike was not perfect, but I believe he tried to live by the Masonic truths that we have learned. Ill. Brother Arturo de Hoyos, Grand Archivist and Grand Historian, for Scottish Rite, SJ, USA, has done extensive research on Albert Pike. He has sent me several articles that he has written, which I will share in the coming months through The Rite Corner. What I appreciate about the articles is that Brother de Hoyos tells it as he finds it. His research is thorough and presented candidly. Stay well and stay tuned.
Here is the Official Statement Concerning Pike Statue: