In biblical times this was most certainly believed to be true.
The Old Testament is replete with stories of the offspring bearing the responsibility of their parents and parents' parents.
In the New Testament in Matthew 27:24-5 it is written:
When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it." And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us and on our children.'When I read moments ago that a British veteran, William Foxton, had committed suicide after losing his retirement of $1.45 million in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, I was reminded of the scripture above.
The Daily Telegraph quotes his son, Willard Foxton, as saying,
I want Madoff and others involved to know that they have my father's blood on their hands.Is there any truth to the transgressions of others being upon another? Even if we are not directly involved, are we unwilling participants through association? Is guilt the modus operandi here?
Madoff's wife and children may not have been participants in the scheme, but they most surely have directly benefited. Although, it is hard to believe that in a family business in which the sons worked that they did not know of the scheme. I fully believe they knew.
What should be done in such cases? Are the actions of familial retributions unjust? After all, the notorious undoubtedly certifiably insane, Charles Manson, remains in jail after his "family members" murdered Sharon Tate and others. Others committed the crimes that Manson was charged with having master minded.
These are just random thoughts after reading the above article that saddened and angered me. As always, I'm open to comments, correction, and criticism.