Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Sins of the Child, Part 1

Contrary to what a "jealous" God says in Deuteronomy, it is wrong to "visit the sins of the father upon the son" - or in other words, children should not be blamed for the actions of their parents.  How can you blame a child for being borne to a particular parent?  That's just ridiculous.  We all know really wonderful people who have succeeded despite their parents.  But what about the sins of the children?  Are parents responsible to some degree for the transgressions of their children?  We all know really wonderful parents who have "troubled" children, or at least children who have been in trouble.  Are these wonderful parents really not so wonderful when they're out of the public eye?  Or are some children just born incorrigible?  And if parents are responsible to some degree for the misdeeds of their children, should they be held jointly liable for acts of vandalism, theft, etc. committed by their little darlings?  (I remember hearing several years ago of municipalities that proposed fining parents of young punks convicted of property crimes.)  But if parents are responsible for their offspring's misdeeds to some extent, then shouldn't they also get some credit for their achievements?  Hmmm ... seems to me parents can't have it both ways; taking credit for the good but remaining blameless for the bad.