Can I be Green on the green?
Sinner: Harold Shuster, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Secret Indulgence: The major contradiction in my life can be traced back to a gift I received for my bar mitzvah: a set of golf clubs. I love to golf!
Moral Gymnastics: In most ways my lifestyle mirrors my environmental beliefs. I have lived for five years without a car. We unplug what we are not using and replace our light bulbs with compact fluorescents. I always take cloth bags to the grocery store and refill our plastic containers when purchasing bulk items. We compost and our blue recycling bin fills faster than our garbage can. I pick up garbage while waiting for the bus. We eat as much organic food as we can and buy local whenever possible. We drink only fairly traded coffee and tea, and eat only fairly traded chocolate. Much of my wardrobe is made from organic cotton. Because golfing is not a sport conducive to a lifestyle that shuns the automobile, I justify my golfing by organizing games with friends. I am building community when I get others together for a game. I am creating new friendships by bringing people from different parts of life together for a game. I even supported a local golf club manufacturer by buying a Jazz golf bag and clubs. Can you save me from double-bogey hell? Can I be green on the green?
Penance: First of all, Harold, I like the way you lead – in implicating the Almighty – by bringing up the whole bar mitzvah debacle. It’s almost as if God is to blame, isn’t it? It’s entirely clear, to me and the greater Geez community, that you’ve done your part to practice a just and sustainable lifestyle.
Since you have found yourself tangled up in the Lord’s inscrutable madness, though, we want to help you get unstuck. Specifically, we always want to help sinners move towards a more responsible stewardship of time and resources. By dragging friends down the well-manicured path to hell – “community building” – you actually are making pretty good use of your time. It’s the resource consumption that concerns me.
You say that golfing isn’t conducive to a lifestyle that shuns the automobile. Although technically true, I don’t really care. In fact, this is where the proverbial shoe rubber is going to hit the road between your home and the golf course. The next time you get the urge to swing a metal rod at a teeny tiny ball, strap a bag of clubs on your back and walk to the course. You don’t mention the distance. Five kilometres? That’s still shorter than a round of golf. Forty kilometres? No one said repentance would be easy.
Go and sin no more,
Margot Starbuck, Confessions Editor
Send your confession to Margot at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whether you Twitter in church, covet your neighbour’s high-powered lawnmower or have a dozen too many pairs of shoes, absolution is at hand.