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Stephen Crane - "And the sins of the fathers shall be"

"And the sins of the fathers shall be
visited upon the heads of the children,
even unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate me."

Well, then I hate thee, unrighteous picture;
Wicked image, I hate thee;
So, strike with thy vengeance
The heads of those little men
Who come blindly.
It will be a brave thing.

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Added: Jan 31 2004 | Viewed: 13570 times | Comments and analysis of Comments (8)

"And the sins of the fathers shall be" - Comments and Information

Poet: Stephen Crane
Poem: 12. "And the sins of the fathers shall be"
Volume: The Black Riders & Other Lines
Year: Published/Written in 1905
Poem of the Day: Aug 9 2003

Comment 8 of 8, added on May 21st, 2008 at 9:40 AM.

jill w really makes a good point. Hey casey, you probabley dont know this, but the bible clearly states that God is a being who loves everyone, even those who dont love him. "how much one worships and pays
tribute" has nothing to do with God's love for us. Jesus was actually one of the first voices that spoke against that mindset. The pharisees (sp?) were the sanctimonious religious hot shots of cerca 0 A.D. Jesus, who's common image is extremely inaccurate, was the one who called them hypocrites. Crane used the passage totally out of context, but present an idea that Jesus advocated himself. He wasn't bashing God or even organized religion. He was stating a profound theological concept and theme found throughout the Bible.

thinker from United States
Comment 7 of 8, added on February 19th, 2008 at 6:34 PM.

crane is telling the clergy of christendom, who teach that Jehovah is a God of retribution only, that they can go jump in a lake. I don't blame him. But the scripture mustn't be misunderstood. It is quoted from Deuteronomy 5:9. The context is a restating of the 10 commandments and the fact that we should not serve any gods except for Jehovah himself. The Mosaic Law itself is clear that only the guilty should be punished, and no one else, including the children of the accused. However, in this is talking about worship, and the Bible is clear, that after reaching an age of responsibility, each individual Israelite was judged on the basis of his own conduct and attitude. But when the nation of Israel turned to idolatry, it suffered the consequences of this for generations thereafter. Even the faithful Israelites felt its effects in that the nationís religious delinquency made staying on a course of integrity difficult for them.
But as I said before, Cristendom's clergy teach lies about God, and thinking people like Crane here are moved to speak out against their hypocracy. But be sure to note that it is these so called Teachers and Leaders who are to blame for attitudes like Cranes, and not Jehovah or his Word.


karen from United States
Comment 6 of 8, added on August 26th, 2005 at 6:10 AM.

Is God stating a psychic law like a physical one such as: "if you leave your hand in a hot fire it will burn your skin and flesh through to the very bone "
Or, is God announcing His intension in an egotistical way; this is what Stephen Crane is referring to.
See also the other poem "Think as I think," said a man " ...better be a toad than a toady for such an unrighteous God!

Nimal from Australia

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