Age 18?

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by jonesvilletexas, Dec 1, 2008.

?

How many believe the age 18 is good for the fraternity if so why?

  1. Age 18

    45.0%
  2. Age 21

    43.3%
  3. No opinion.

    11.7%
  1. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    While I don't have anything personal against the Masons that are under 21, I do think that the age requirement needs to be 21 and not 18. This fraternity is a group for "men". Just because the law of the land pretty much labels a person as an adult at the age of 18, I don't think necessarily that is the case for all persons. An 18 year old is just barely out of high school and for the most part, not all of them are even taking care of things on their own yet. They are still basically late teenagers and have a few years to go of taking care of adult things and learning about the real world.

    However, on the other hand I do think that 18 is a good age for someone to be eligible to become a Mason. I know that there are some very mature 18 year olds out there, and bigger than that, some 18 year olds have completed a lot of Masonic things that the older cats haven't done yet. There are also some guys that are over 21 that aren't as mature as some 18 year olds. I also have a son and can't wait for him to turn 18 and to join the fraternity if he so chooses...lol

    But, overall and what is best for the fraternity, I think that the age requirement should be 21 to join the fraternity. Maybe go back to some of the old times where there were waiting times for each degree. Wait one year for the EA, then wait a whole year for the FC, and then another year for the MM. That way the young Mason can be monitored a bit and he can prove that he is a good candidate for the craft and will stick around and take Masonry seriously. But that is just my seven cents.
     
  2. Tony Siciliano

    Tony Siciliano Premium Member

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    As was mentioned: 18 y/o's can fight and die for country, vote, get married, etc., etc. That's what the investigative committee is for.
     
  3. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    I do think that if the age limit was raised to 21, I do think that service members that are under 21 should still be eligible. And good point on the investigative committe, Bro. Tony.
     
  4. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Not sure I would want to increase waiting periods for the 18-20 year olds. We have a lot of 21-40 year olds that don't stick with it. And really, in Texas, the only real difference between and EA and a MM is who can vote. 18 year olds can vote for President. Why shouldn't they vote to pay the bills?
     
  5. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I definitely agree. As I've said before, some of the under 21 brothers I know are far more committed than the older than 21 brothers. Age is only a cursory indicator of maturity, and rarely an indicator of dedication. Let's judge the man, not his calendar age.
     
  6. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I couldn't agree more.When I was in my early 20's I managed a wholesale plumbing store and the one thing that bothered me most was people seeing I was young would write me off as not knowing what I was doing or talking about. The sad thing is that I knew as much if not more than most of my customers. I don't judge based on an age because it is just a number. Only when you get to know a person can you really tell how "old" his is.

    Age doesn't necessarily mean mature. I have friends that I would swear are still in the 9th grade. I will never judge a person for their age, I might joke about it, but I will not judge.
     
  7. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I picked 21 as a general rule but I really think it should be on a case by case basis. If the investigating committee thinks the petitioner is mature enough and will have time to devote the the fraternity then I don't see any harm in it.
     
  8. jw21

    jw21 Registered User

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    Wisdom comes with age, no one develops at the same rate...there is no correct answer.
     
  9. Ol Kev

    Ol Kev Registered User

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    I think this post nails it.

    The problem here is, how do brothers determine if sufficient wisdom exists to vote a man in?
     
  10. jw21

    jw21 Registered User

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    Thank you, I appreciate your response to my theory of wisdom. The question in hand , I am also looking for the answer.
     
  11. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    Brother,
    I was very proud to be the top line signer of my nephew's petition to my hometown lodge before he turned 20. He bugged me about it since he was in HS. He was initiated in the same lodge where I was initiated some 16 years ago. I acted as his Senior Deacon in the EA and as the Master in the FC and MM degrees. I was able to teach him his work on odd weekends when he came home from college. It took a while, but he learned it very thoroughly. While he was at college, I drove down one night and took him to a Lodge that we found in Austin. He attends Lodge every chance he gets and shows up for coffees and informal practices. I worked with him so that he could be SD for his best friend's initiation into the University Lodge in Austin.

    Both are enrolled in college and are members of the ROTC program.

    My son, on the other hand, is over 21, but really shows no sign of interest in Masonry. Maybe in his case, it was too close to home.

    I think that 18 is an adequate age, but that we should be guardians of the West Gate. It is easy to spot those 18 year olds who are not ready. The investigating team can run interference before a petitioner is rejected by the Lodge and let a young man know that he "should wait a while." In that time period, the young man can show his real interest by showing up for open events and getting to know the men of the lodge and to let the men of the lodge get to know him, as well.
     
  12. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    The ages of 18-21 are impressionable years. I would think that at 18, they can have what it takes to be a Mason but could also be swayed by peer pressure toward the dark side so to speak. If they have become Masons at 18, they have surrounded themselves with some of the finest men around and what role models we can become to them. After all, they are the future of the craft as well as the country. I vote for 18
     
  13. dreamer

    dreamer Registered User

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    Amen Brother. Hear you on that one!
     
  14. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    My opinion also.
     
  15. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Perhaps in yesteryear I would say 18, but nowadays 21. I feel as though we as a society do not mature as quickly as we used to. An 18 year old a century ago, might have a family, work a farm, go to war, etc. Now though, I just don't see the same level of growing up, even in my own generation.
     

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