The topic of generational curses has come up in conversation recently with various non-Orthodox family members.
While I've already explained in detail why, from an classically Christian point of view, this teaching is heretical and dangerous to the development of a healthy spiritual life, I thought I'd also use an example from pop culture as well.
The following is a direct quote from the script of one of the best episodes of one of the best shows on television in the last 15 years (IMHO!) The title of the episode is "The Intervention"--#20 from the third season of "Party of Five.". Listen to Bailey try to explain his alcoholism and resultant bad behavior to his siblings:
"I'm my father's son, right? Which is...which explains a lot of things. I mean, I can finally stop looking at myself and thinking, what is going on here? What am I turning into? Who am I turning into? Because it's him. I'm turning into him. And it's not my fault. It's not my fault. It's his fault. So...so I'm gonna stop beating myself up and I'm gonna stop letting all of you guys beat up on me. Because this is just who I am, and this is what I do..."
When you boil it all down, this is the train of thought that logically proceeds from the anthropology of generational curse theology (GCT).
While GCT does highlight a few truths such as the reality of the demonic forces and the importance of understanding one's psychological makeup/family history, it does it in a way that cheapens free will and ignores the commandment not to judge one's neighbor.
Bailey was wrong. He may have been predisposed to alcoholism because of family genetics or environmental triggers--but he was the one who drank to excess. And he is the only one who can repent of that sin.
"Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin." Deuteronomy 24:16