The Sins Of The Fathers
Those like me who, now slowly getting old(ish), see around them a world much different from the one they grew up in can also, in a way, observe epochal changes and their roots.
When I was a child, the expression that the sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons wasn’t very easy to grasp. Forty and more years later, things begins to make a lot of sense.
Where shall I start? Let us see: divorce. One generation decides that divorce can be barely tolerated in extreme cases, but thinks it “unchristian” to withheld it from all those women victims of drunken bastards and violent psychopaths now suddenly roaming around (and, apparently, just not there in Jesus’ time…).
The following generation sees a more generalised use of divorce, and many children begin to grow with huge emotional scars, and already predisposed to that absence of serious commitment they can clearly observe in their quarreling, self-centred parents. Their generation, the third, will be largely rotten.
Or do you want casual Catholicism? The generation of those who found V II somewhat “cool” but still believed in God raised up a generation of people who believe, if we are lucky, in a mixture of New Age and Nelson Mandela. Their offspring will believe, if anything, in the X-factor and often will be not even baptised, because such a “rigidity” was obviously inconceivable to their enlightened parents. The consequences of this are as tragic as they are predictable.
If you, however, prefer a more tragic example, think of abortion. Again, at the beginning it is always the “extreme cases” used as “justification” for the legislative novelty; then the taboo is broken and the murder of a child becomes a matter of convenience or, as a satanic generation will not be ashamed to say, ” reproductive health”.
Let us conclude, of course, with sodomy, with the usual geniuses of the Sixties thinking that the sodomy laws were too “harsh”, and their children and grandchildren now confronted with a gigantic Sodom, spreading almost all over the West.
Now, let us take a closer look at your typical new-age aunt (plenty of those around in Anglo-Saxon countries). Her children are caught in destructive legal fight with their ex spouses, and their daughters went around the world sleeping with many men, and still liking none. She does not have grandchildren because they were aborted; if they weren’t , they’ll soon be fatherless. Drugs aren’t really an issue (the old aunt did marijuana herself without any problem), so when the daughter takes to heroin or the son to vodka she will, in a non-judgmental way, speak of “poor choices” as if they were insisting in buying the wrong chocolate brand. She might also be “blessed” with a pervert nephew or niece, and whilst she is obviously disgusted (because she grew up in a world which still knew what is normal and what is pervert) she will have to play the non-judgmental game and “celebrate” this other piece of evidence of what a rotten family she has.
The old lady will, of course, not see the causal links. She will not see the drugs, or the vodka, or the divorces, or the abortions, or the perverted offspring all mean the same: you reap what you sow. We will.
Of course, our marijuana-aunt is symbolic of a generation, and here and there there might be individual disgraces: the good mother tested with the perverted son, the good father whose son insisted in taking the road to drunkenness, and so on. These tragedies happen, and as no parent will ever be able to influence his child more than a certain (pretty good) amount, the risk of things going wrong is never to be completely excluded.
But in general, it’s fair to say parents who believe in commitment will tend to have children who believe in commitment, pro-life parents will tend to have pro-life children, and so on. The merits of the fathers do tend to transmit themselves to the children, too, though at times this will become more evident as the children leave the rebellious adolescence and begin, with slowly thinning hair, to look like their fathers.
The marijuana aunt will never know why her family is so rotten. But we do, we do!