"Without the slightest opposition to the Christian religion, as such, it can readily be shown that a sectarian bias of any kind is an innovation, wholly unwarranted, and entirely contrary to the genius of Masonry. Masonry, on the broad principle of toleration and brotherhood, can exclude neither Jew nor Gentile, Parsee nor Buddhist from its ample fold. [There is] a universal character which recognizes the fraternity of all religions, and finds fellowship with all men, as brothers of one common humanity. No genuine Mason, imbued with the spirit of liberality, will treat any religion with derision or contempt, or exclude from fellowship any Brother who believes in the existence of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Immortality of the Soul."
-- Bro:. J. D. Buck, "Mystic Masonry"
In my Masonic career, there have been a few times where I was unintentionally embarrassed by Brethren who do not realize that my faith is different from theirs. I have been carelessly and harshly reminded of my ineligibility for eternal life in heaven because I do not believe in the divinity of Jesus, even though I believe I understand what Jesus said and meant in a much more visceral and practical way than some of the more narrow-minded Masons who claim the mantle of 'Christian'.
In my mind, Masonry is in no way a religious institution, despite the claims of its detractors, but a deeply and profoundly spiritual one. I consider spirituality, not religion, to be a landmark of Masonry because it represents the connection to the universality of true light. We do not tolerate religious disputes in the lodge for the same reason we do not in our public secular lives - we cannot presume that a plurality of religion within a Masonic body represents a consensus of belief. Masonic prayers are not directed to Christ, or the God of Abraham, or Allah, or the Great Spirit because these characterizations detract from the ubiquity of the spiritual nature of the Craft. We ask for blessings from the G:.A:.O:.T:.U:., not the specific deity of any religion.
In the work of the Masonic Craft, we are collaborating on a spiritual, not a religious temple. It is a temple of contemplation, not of doctrine. It is a temple made without stones, without mortar, without columns, without pilasters, without jewels, without fine linen - erected to celebrate our discovery of the spiritual light that binds all of mankind in general, and all Brother Masons in particular.