This week, Brother Jason Liversidge in England posted this video on Youtube concerning his initiation into a lodge within the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire and East Ridings of the United Grand Lodge of England. He is truly a unique individual.
And he is now counted among the largest and greatest fraternity in the world.
Different jurisdictions throughout the Masonic world have varying requirements concerning petitioners for the degrees. Up until about 50 years ago, it was commonplace for grand lodges to have a so-called 'doctrine of physical perfection.' Indiana actually had a rule until the 1970s that any man wearing a hernia truss was ineligible for the degrees of Masonry. Others forbade men with missing limbs - even veterans - for a variety of reasons. But with the passage of time and modern day awareness of people with disabilities, numerous grand lodges have relaxed this requirement. Some have removed restrictive rules, while others have granted dispensations for extraordinary circumstances. It seems tragic to turn away an excited and dedicated man, or one who has a family history with the fraternity, because he is blind, is missing fingers, or can't kneel or walk a floor with squared corners.
After the American Civil War there was a flurry of discussions about whether returning soldiers who had lost limbs were eligible for raising. This was sometimes handled by dispensations. The issue is related to the debates over what constitute the ancient landmarks.ReplyDelete
At last....the caring face of Masonry..long may it prosper.ReplyDelete
David Mason, Albert Edward Lodge, Hexham, UGLE
My Lodge in California initiated, passed and raised a paraplegic man about 10 years ago. We took extra care to give him the most dignified and meaningful degrees possible without taking excessive liberties with the ritual. Since he couldn't use his powered wheelchair during the degrees, his top-line recommender pushed him around the room in a standard wheelchair so he got the full effect of the ritual.ReplyDelete
-Al Turek, PM
International City Lodge #389, Long Beach, Ca
Why not just allowed it to be done by proxy, you know, with a stand in?ReplyDelete