Patting the Scapegoat
The Teacher said, "Let me tell you the story of Adam's confession:
One day after he had left home in Eden's garden, Adam knelt and looked heavenward and confessed to God. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned," he said, tears running down his cheeks. "I realize now that after Eve and I ate the apple, I passed the buck. Not only did I disobey you, but I made excuses for my sin and blamed Eve."
For a long time the response from heaven was silence. Then, a solitary cloud drifted across the blue sky, and from it came a voice, "You passed the buck? Don't you mean you patted the goat?" asked God. "You put your sin on the nearest scapegoat you could find. The sin that wearies me the most is when my children refuse to be responsible for their lives and behavior. You will never grow up, Adam, you will never become mature, unless you stop patting the goat. Stand up, my son, your sins are forgiven. Now, go in peace and do not pat the scapegoat again."
In American slang, to evade responsibility is “To pass the buck.” It may have originated from 18th century American business terminology for the trading of skins. Larger animal skins were called “bucks” and smaller ones “does.” It more likely comes from the 19th century card game of Poker for a silver dollar that was the marker—or “buck”—passed to the next player responsible to deal. President Harry Truman, an avid poker player, kept a sign on his desk: “The buck stops here.” The spiritual master would suggest each of us keep one on ours.