Have you ever had freemason with brain disorders or disease or handicaps? What i mean by brain disorders : Trisomy 21, Autism, asperger. And by handicaps i mean freemasons with missing limbs?
It’s already been answered by somebody with a similar question but i had an experiance with a trisomy 21 patient and even if he has this brain disorder he looked like he would like to be part of something bigger.
I’ve seen wheelchair bound, missing limbs, limited mobility and autistic. I know of and have seen the Masonic ritual be “adjusted” to accommodate brethren who were unable for what ever reason to physically do things.
I believe I know of a couple of brothers who are “on the spectrum” so to speak. Certainly it can be challenging especially if they are socially challenged, but they benefit from the friendship and brotherhood that is so often hard to find for such men, and the fraternity benefits by raising awareness in its members.
I also know several Masons who are missing limbs. This seems to be more of a jurisdictional thing as times change. Historically, there has always been a “landmark” of the fraternity stating that a man must be “whole”, but not every Grand Lodge recognizes all of these landmarks, and certainly in my jurisdiction, physical handicaps are not a concern for membership.
When it comes to mental disorders, provided that they have the mental capacity to understand their obligation (otherwise they can’t be bound by it), as long as they wouldn’t be a disruptive force in the lodge due to wild and unpredictable behavior it shouldn’t be an issue.
As for physical disabilities, it depends on the jurisdiction. In some Grand Lodges, there are rules prohibiting anyone with a physical deformity from joining. This is a holdover from the workers’ guilds that Freemasonry evolved from: if someone had a disability that interfered with their ability to perform the physical labor required of a stonemason, they couldn’t be admitted. Of course, now that Freemasonry is a fraternity and not a workers’ guild, such rules are archaic and pointless. But if a jurisdiction has such a rule on their books, it has to be changed before someone with a physical deformity can be admitted.
Fortunately, many jurisdictions have done away with such rules or never had them to begin with. In the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, as long as one’s disability does not prevent them from participating in the relevant degree ritual as a candidate, it’s not considered a problem. And whether or not it does prevent them from participating is left open to interpretation by the Master of the lodge, allowing for a lot of latitude.