For nearly 20 years I attempted to rid myself of my desires for other men. Christian ministers from multiple backgrounds each tried their hand at providing me with the miracle cure I wanted. They could not accept that one could be a happy, holy, healthy homosexual; instead they felt that these man-on-man desires sprung from a poisoned well.
A popular source of gay desire and gender non-conforming behavior was demon possession. Demons were like a virus or sexually transmitted disease that one catches and then infects the soul. I endured at least three different exorcisms, one so wild that the neighbors, fearful that someone was being murdered, called the police.
Gay Conversion “therapists” routinely blamed my parents for my gayness;
You must have had an overbearing mother and an absent dad, and that sent you down on this sinful homosexual path.
This sort of Re-Fried Freud slammed both strong women and their gay sons. My dad, a former US Marine who ran a business from our home with my mom and therefore always around, exasperated with one ex-gay counselor rooting around for familial causes to my same-sex attractions blurted out, “My son is gay; you can’t change a zebra’s stripes.”
When all else failed, and ministers could find no obvious origin of gayness, some then travelled back in time and asked me about my ancestors.
Did you have anyone in your family who was ever involved in sorcery, bestiality, or Free Masonry? You see, you might be suffering from a generational curse that has been passed onto you form one of your parents.
Particularly in the Pentecostal Holiness and Charismatic Churches I attended throughout the mid-1980s to late-1990s the concept of Generational Curses was BIG. We would have whole prayer sessions to try and unearth our families’ naughty DNA with hopes of finding the strand that led to our current sin struggles. Ministers based this teaching upon the following Bible verse:
Exodus 34:6,7 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Don’t think that mothers were off the hook; later translations replaced “iniquity of the fathers” with “sins of the parents.” (And who said church folk didn’t believe in equal rights for women?)
When it came to being gay, the Generational Curse Theory was yet another extreme stretch to discount the reality that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people exist in the world as part of the delicious diversity of life.
Lately though I have been thinking about Generational Curses in regards to the environment. How do our ancestors’ former actions affect us today? Seeing that CO2 is a stock fuel that remains in the atmosphere for up to 100 years, how do our policies and practices regarding greenhouse warming fossil fuels affect future generations?
Over at the Facebook some of us started a rich conversation about this concept of Generational Curses. We raised questions about areas in society where such a concept might make sense–addiction, economic injustice, etc. and where they most certainty do not.
What about you? What are some of your thoughts, insights, and experiences about Generational Curses?