Whether or not Rand Paul is a Freemason is not necessarily the issue so much as whether the Freemasons are people to be feared or not, and whether a politician who is a Freemason is a threat.
Hell, I don't even know who Rand Paul is. Who is he anyway? Let's google it. *insert a space of time for Googling Rand Paul* OH, that Rand Paul. Right.
I think most of the fear-mongering about the Free Masons and the Masonic Lodge has to do with Jack Chick cartoons and what I call Fundie-Think. It also has to do with people who are paranoid and need a mysterious group of people to point a finger at as being "suspicious."
About Point A: Fundie-Think. Religion is not the debate here. Religion is good for some people, and if they want to embrace a religion, that's all well and good. But letting religion blind you to the point where you believe absolutely everything your church (synagogue, temple, etc.) tells you, every piece of religious literature published, every pamphlet and magazine, without questioning it, without wondering if their interpretation is the only interpretation, and allowing the Church (temple, etc.) think for you entirely... that's Fundie-Think. I can think of countless examples, but let's not get into that. The point is that a lot of misinformation is perpetuated by Fundie-Think, and accepted unquestioningly, and allowed to transform large amounts of people into bigots. Jack Chick is one big example of a religious cartoon that is prevalent in certain parts of Christiandom right now, that is taken by that community as a Shining Example of Truth, but is in fact little more than fear-mongering. Among others (RPG roleplaying games, the Catholic Church, Jesuits), these cartoons have been known to target Free Masons, labeling them as some sort of demonic cult that's bent on taking control of the world's leadership positions and ushering in an era of rulership by Satan. Really?
About Point B. The world is the way it is because Group X of people is stirring the pot, and we, Group Y, need to stop them, in whatever way possible. Therefore, we need to warn everyone about the threat that Group X consistutes, and do everything we can to limit and persecute Group X, to keep them from achieving their goal, whatever it might be. Insert any group into Group X, such as Catholics, Jews (remember Nazi Germany folks), Muslims, Free Masons, Republicans, Democrats, the Russians, Communists, etc.
No one in the world really wants to take responsibility: the world is the way it is because WE ALL MADE IT SO, by the little and big decisions that we make, as a whole, EVERY DAY. Every time you go to the grocery store and choose a product because it costs less, you encourage whatever process made that product cheaper than the rest. Every time you go the grocery store and choose a product that's more pricey because the ads on TV were so darn clever, you support that system. Every time you walk into the office, and don't feel like doing the work today, and find a way to shuffle the work or the responsibility onto somebody else, you support that way of thinking. Every time you go to the bathroom and do not wash your hands, thinking it can't possibly be as important as everyone tells you it is, and you can't be bothered to spend a moment of time doing it, you perpetuate the disease. It's that simple.
And yes, every time you spread a piece of hate and fear, be it paranoid suspicions about the Free Masons or gossip about one of your coworkers/friends/neighbors/schoolmates, you contribute to the worldwide Fear and Hate Disease. If it's justified, great, but if it's just a Fear-Hate Meme, then you're a viral contagion.
Granted, I'm not a Free Mason, and I'm not familiar with anyone currently in the Masonic Lodge. Are you? Hearing rumors about your roommate's best friends aunt's ex-boyfriend's cousin is hardly valid.
My step-grandfather was a Mason, he died before I had a chance to make any memory of him. My grandmother was a good Christian woman, very devout, who married him after a failed relationship with a drunken bastard. My grandmother and father both described him as a good man, who attended church every Sunday, who was a pillar in the community, a quiet man, not particularly exciting, with a good heart. When he died, my grandmother inherited his Masonic Bible. It's... like a regular Bible, actually, with a Masonic Lodge symbol on it. It has a few extra sections that describe "If you encounter this situation in life, refer to these passages for advice and comfort." For all those weirdos out there who claim that the Free Masons are evil devil worshippers, I find no evidence of it in the book I have. My father once told me that his step-father told him that one of the purposes of the Masonic Lodge is to retain the knowledge and skills necessary to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem if and when it becomes necessary. I'm inclined to believe there may be some truth in that, but what do I know? All I know is, when my grandmother died, she wanted to be buried with her husband, and when we visited the grave site, he had the Masonic Symbol right on his tombstone.
As far as that goes though, are the Free Masons even remotely as active as they used to be? Every so often, I see the Masonic Symbol here and there. When I was over at San Jacinto, visiting the Battleship Texas and the monument, I noticed a statue there, don't know who it was, didn't read the plaque, but I noticed the Masonic Symbol on the statue. How curious. Yet, I know of two Masonic Lodges, and neither of them seem occupied. When I was on campus in Baylor in Waco, I saw a building there, with the symbol on the window, but it hadn't seem occupied for many years, I never saw anyone enter or leave, nor anyone inside. And yeah, being the stoopid college kid I was, I did roam the campus during the day, and often times at night too with my stoopid nerdy friends. Similarly, in Houston, I saw a Masonic Lodge, with the symbol outside near the street (like a street sign), but the building itself was empty, no cars, the grass looks as if it hadn't been mowed for many years, the building desperately needs a paint job. Where have the Masons gone I wonder?
Though, it should be noted, for the curious: The Shriners are Masons!
And yeah, I was a Shriner's kid. I had scoliosis that needed fixing, and my parents didn't have money. And they did the surgeries I needed, twice, for free. And all the follow-up appointments, braces, etc. I don't know where I'd be, what kind of terrible health and growth problems, I'd have RIGHT NOW if it weren't for them.
Tell me folks, if the Masons do charity surgeries, burn treatments, and other types of healthcare for children, by donation, without asking anything at all from their patients in return, how is it that they are such terrible people?
The really funny thing is that my sister is one of those Fundie-Think types, who had the balls to try to tell me about how the Free Masons are conspiring to take over the world, institute martial law in the US, install their own leaders into the UN and other top world government roles, etc. It's kinda like Sit Down Girl, let me tell you how your mindless hate-mongering insults the memory of your dead grandfather and the people who helped me LIVE. Perhaps she'd prefer I was some gross monstrosity that's barely able to move, and has all sorts of pulmonary problems, barely able to breathe? But then again, she's the kind of person who isn't really aware of anything besides herself, so expecting her to know these things is kinda absurd.