Saturday, July 15, 2023

The sins of the fathers

Lionel Shriver quotes a passage in Ezekiel:
The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
Ezekiel 18:20 (KJV)
 From "Heritable guilt is in vogue":
.... The handing down of grudges generation after generation inculcates a dismaying moral helplessness in so-called culprits who were supposedly born into sin but never themselves did anything wrong, while stoking an unappeasable resentment in the descendants of long-dead ancestors whose injuries can never be healed. Sound like a world you recognise? The left increasingly embraces the highly un-Christian principle of heritable guilt. ....

The news agency [Reuters] also commissioned a poll asking Americans whether learning that candidates had slave-holding ancestors would influence their vote. An appalling 23 per cent – nearly a quarter – asserted they would indeed be less likely to vote for a candidate with such a stained genetic background, a figure that rose to an astonishing 31 per cent among Democrats and 35 per cent among black people. This is what I’m talking about. Heritable guilt is in fashion. ....

...[F]or a fifth of Congress to have at least one distant slave-holding relative is statistically unsurprising. For white Americans with southern roots, that proportion would likely be even higher. .... After all, slavery was endemic in the region; that’s why they call it an ‘institution’. It wouldn’t be surprising, either, if these same politicians have adulterers, murderers, thieves, rapists, wife-beaters and fraudsters dangling from the dead branches of their family trees. ....
Lionel Shriver, "Heritable guilt is in vogue," The Spectator (UK), July 15, 2023.

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