We Confess

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Sin in the Wild Outdoors, June 1997

We Confess

Pride goeth before a fall, as any climber knows. But what about the other deadly sins that flesh is heir to?

Gee, there’s nothing like fresh air and sunshine, vigorous exercise, working up a healthy sweat, doing your share, aiding children and small animals, and hitting the trail to enjoy friendship, teamwork, camaraderie, and all that jazz. Nothing puffs a person full of virtue better than doing honest deeds amid the splendors of God’s great world. And
everyone knows the sweet sense of contentment that steals over us when we indulge — always in moderation — in the good clean pleasures of nature.

Indeed, we could have asked seven wonderful writers to inspire us with the high-minded visions that send their hearts soaring on angel’s wings. But we did a bad thing. It occurred to us that even in the great outdoors, temptation lurks. Why fight it? And so we hiked over to the crossroads and rounded up Lucifer, Mammon, Asmodeus, Satan, Beelzebub, Leviathan, and Belphegor
— otherwise known as Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Anger, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth — and introduced them to our team of upright scribes. It turned out they’d already met. Abandon hope all ye who enter here: We’re going on a tour of the dark side of outside.

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