“The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons and daughters — unto the third and fourth generation. – Exodus 20:5. –

But, the Bible does say in Deuteronomy 24:16 that “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers,” there are generational consequences of our sin that affect those close to us. Although we are not responsible for the sins of our fathers or children we must ensure we are not influenced by them to sin likewise and learn from their mistakes.

Below is the best historical example of how this can happen.

September 6, 1888 – Massachusetts – A child is born. His name is Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr.
Because of family wealth, intelligence, a cunning nature, and a gregarious personality, his future is bright. He will become a leading member of the Democrat Party and the Irish Catholic community. President Franklin Roosevelt will appoint Kennedy to be the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which he will lead from 1934 to 1935. Kennedy will later be appointed as the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom from 1938 to late 1940. His net worth will become 3.2 billion dollars in today’s economy.

He has every material possession that a man could want.

He would eventually marry Rose Fitzgerald and father nine children. He would also look over the military and political careers of his four sons. Three of Kennedy’s sons attained distinguished political positions:

His first two sons were strong. Joe’s first born son, Joseph Jr. would never live long enough to partake in politics. He would be killed while serving our country during World War II. The second born, John, served our country as well, would be a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, and the 35th president of the United States.

The last two were weak. Robert served as the U.S. attorney general and as a U.S. senator from New York, but was never able to accomplish anything significant. Ted also served as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. He was a Soviet sympathizer and caused the death of a young woman in the 1970’s.

Joe Sr. was not exactly a choir boy.

With the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Joe Kennedy Sr. was pessimistic about Britain’s ability to survive attacks from Nazi Germany. During the Battle of Britain in November 1940, Kennedy publicly suggested, “Democracy is finished in England. It may be here in the United States.” Not only was he incorrect about America being a democracy (it is a constitutional republic), he was allegedly a bootlegger, conspired with powerful organized crime figures in the U.S. and Cuba, habitually referred to Jews as “kikes or sheenies”, looked upon Adolf Hitler as a welcome solution to the “Jew problem”, rejected the belief of Sir Winston Churchill that any compromise with the Third German Reich was impossible, and had a lobotomy performed on his own daughter.


Joe Sr. would see his son, John F. Kennedy, be elected in a tight race with Vice-President Richard Nixon. President Kennedy would be the first and only Catholic president in history.

December 19, 1961 – Soon after his son’s election, Joe Sr. suffers a massive stroke. He survives, but is left paralyzed on his right side. Speaking, which he loves to do, is almost impossible. Kennedy begins to experience excessive muscular weakness, which eventually confines him to a wheelchair.

A speechless and helpless Joe Kennedy Sr., who now has three sons, experiences the death of John in 1963 by an assassin’s bullet. In 1968, he sees Robert killed by another assassin.

November 18, 1969 – Hyannis Port – Joseph Kennedy Patrick Kennedy Sr. dies in his home. He would outlive four of his nine children and die a broken man.

There are many theories regarding the assassinations of John and Robert. The most plausible explanation is that Joe Sr. got involved with some of the most dangerous mafia families in the United States. These people were not to be tangled with.

When Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, organized crime lost millions of dollars from the nationalization of casinos, hotels, and other investments. John’s desperate attempt to invade the island with Cuban exiles was an embarrassing disaster. It did not impress the bosses who gave millions to his presidential campaign.

As his brother’s attorney general, Robert clumsily and arrogantly issued congressional subpoenas to leading members of the underworld; including Jimmy Hoffa. This did not sit well in New York, New Jersey, Kansas City, or Las Vegas either.

Organized crime felt that they had been stabbed in the back. It all makes perfect sense.

So, are the sins of the father visited upon the sons?


Here, the Kennedy boys were not responsible for Joe Sr.’s actions. But, they were influenced by him to sin and never learned from their father’s mistakes. That is how a generational curse continues from one generation to the next.