First, I understand that the initial oath is to a supreme being and that the primary purpose here is that masons won't trust a man's word until and unless he believes in one. I'm not going to bother to ask why a "good man"'s word isn't sufficient because I can't imagine any possible rationalization that would make sense. But I understand that the rule is "no atheists". So my question... is a monotheistic belief system a prerequisite for joining freemasonry, (blue lodge)? Or are polytheistic or animist belief systems sufficient?
Second, the only masons I've met or known have all been pretty square. Given the emphasis on family values, I'm wondering... Are there gay masons and/or gay lodges?
Also, it would seem to be a glaring hypocracy that freemasons claim to treat all people equally while simultaneously denying membership on the basis of gender. So third question... how do masons determine gender for the purpose of membership?
And fourth, how do masons reconcile the apparent contradiction between treating people equally while abitrarily denying membership to half of them?