Anglo-Israel and the Orange Order
By Professor E. Odlum, MA, BSc.
Let us look at this article attributing the beliefs and practices of the Orange Order to that of Anglo Israelism (British Israelism). Anglo Israelism has held a tremendous influence within the Orange family throughout the globe. As you will see in this article, Anglo Israelism is refuted by the wild and fanciful claims of its own advocates. This article is written by Orange Spokesman Professor E. Odlum. It reveals the degree of Anglo Israelism permeating through Orangeism.
Many years before I joined the Orange Order I was a confirmed believer in and a devoted propagandist of British Israelism. Imagine my surprise, even consternation, when, during my several initiatory steps, I found myself faced with a most important presentation. At every turn as I passed through the degrees, I was intensifyingly forced to the belief that I was and am an Israelite.
Further yet. The ceremonies and vows are of such character that it was impossible for me to advance through the several steps unless I accepted the irresistible conclusion that I was and am a blood-descended child of Abraham and the other patriarchs. Perhaps, I took in the full significance the more readily and joyfully because I had given much previous study to British-Israelism. No man of thought and perception on earth could go through the degrees of the Orange Order, as I have done, without being a pronounced believer in our descendent from the House of Israel.
In a paper, like this, it is rather unfortunate that I am not permitted to specify more in detail that which all advanced Orangemen know and understand as the result of initiation (view Orange degrees in full). Doubtless many Orangemen, of less thought and study, have not put a name to their belief coming from their ceremonies of introduction to the various degrees. A child knows pain when it has no word for pain. A rose gives out sweet perfume to man and animals alike, though they may or may not have words to express their sensations. In like manner, tens of thousands of Orangemen have become undoubted believers in our much-loved teaching, long before they heard of British Israelism. But as with the child and pain, so with the hundreds of thousands of Canadian Orangemen who have taken only a few of the degrees; they are permanent believers. I have had the pleasure, privilege and great responsibility of speaking to many hundreds of Orangemen in Canada on this subject. In every case I have found that it required but little explanation and no argument to discover that as soon as the language was given and the terms explained my audiences would rise practically to a man and manifest appreciation of the belief and facts.
I now affirm, as a matter of knowledge, that practically every strongly intelligent Orangeman in the British Empire is a believer in Anglo Israel teaching, in general terms. He cannot be otherwise, or he has not understood or grasped the significance of his vows. Is not this statement of prime importance? I think this is the first time this affirmation has been given to the public for perusal.
Before closing, let me emphasise a few points. I do not hesitate to state that there is no important historic event in connection with the children of Israel from the days of Jacob and Joseph in Egypt, on through the wilderness journey, the entrance to the Promised Land, the great events in connection with Joshua, the Judges, Kings, Prophets, that is not outlined and detailed to the initiated. With this ever before Orangemen, there is necessarily a desire and tendency to be a better and truer man than if he had never joined the Order. In fact, the Orangeman has practically only two great outstanding lessons brought to his attention and to which he is bound. The one is the obligation he solemnly takes to stand for Protestantism and the other involves the avowance of his being an Israelite of the House of Joseph. By the first he binds himself to support with his life the throne of Great Britain, it being Protestant, and to stand for equal rights to all, and religious favours to no religio-political organisation. He stands for freedom of speech, of intellect, of conscience, and insists in no interference with his private or public worship. He stands for a national system of education so that the children of the entire nation and empire may grow into manhood as one body of men and women with similar views, ideals and patriotisms.
Thus, then, we have some three hundred thousand Orangemen in Canada who stand for the integrity of the Empire and therefore against annexation to the United States, and against every kind of trade relations that would tend towards annexation. And the loyal hundreds of thousands are in effect Anglo-Israelites in avowance and belief.
As Anglo-Israelites, the Orangemen of Greater Britain are a power of the highest efficiency in supporting Protestant England, a Protestant throne, and our Ten tribed Israelitish identity. Therefore, it would be well and of great value to Orangeism, Protestantism, Anglo-Israelism, and to British Royalty, if the ten thousands of British Israelites could manage in some definite and effective way to relate themselves to the Orange Order. As a matter of fact, here in Canada most of the Anglo-Israel Intelligent support comes from the Orange Order.
I have a suggestion to make to the British public, and especially to Identity believers. It is this: Let some of the very strongest and wisest Anglo-Israelites in Great Britain join the Orange Association, and pass through the whole of the degrees. In doing so they need not be turned aside by what most fraternal societies indulge in on the side; I mean in a certain sort of amusement which the younger members of all these societies engage in as a pastime and a sort of boyish side-play. These are only harmless incidentals along the journey from one degree to another. They form no part of the serious and historical initiation, and can be passed over without too much magnification. Now, if such men as the above do as I say they will find my words true, and find an avenue to the heart, sympathy and ready help of scores of thousands who are not in an effective manner related to the propagation and spread of British Israel truth.
Such splendid men as are writing to the BANNER, Covenant People and other important periodicals and who are lecturing on our identity up and down the British Islands would, if connected with the Orange Order, find the less thoughtful and studious of the Orangemen to see more clearly their true position and the priceless inheritance given us. God’s Israel, by the Almighty for the purpose of making good his promises to our fathers the patriarchs. Ours is a glorious, a marvellous heritage, and we should adopt every wise and workable method of forcing our views and beliefs before the whole Anglo-Saxon world. Our God gave unconditional promises long ago and “he who keeps Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” I most seriously gave out the above suggestion and am hopeful; that it will be a seed sown in good ground, to spring forth into a part of the most glorious fruitage of 3000 years’ growth.
The Orange Order and British Israelism