Greedy monk

Bangkok Post - - OPINION -

Yes­ter­day, hav­ing passed a tem­ple, re­plete with glit­ter­ing neon signs and a monk at the microphone ex­tolling peo­ple to do­nate for Songkran and re­ceive a bless­ing, I thought I’d stop by. The monk was telling peo­ple that the greater the do­na­tion, the more ef­fec­tive the bless­ing and bet­ter luck for the New Year. I got in line wait­ing my turn. Those in front of me held 100-baht and 1,000-baht ban­knotes. My hand held only a twenty. When it came my turn to be blessed and sprin­kled with holy wa­ter, the monk looked at me with con­tempt and went on to the next per­son as if I did not ex­ist. It re­minded me of the popes in the Mid­dle Ages who sold in­dul­gences, the greater the sum paid, the less fear­ful one was of de­scend­ing to Hell. Then I won­dered, how much of this col­lected money was go­ing to be used to help those in my area in need, feed the poor, help ed­u­cate kids or help pay for school uni­forms, help the el­derly, and be put to other use­ful pur­poses. Prob­a­bly lit­tle to noth­ing. The monks in this tem­ple live very well in­deed. Then I read the let­ter on moral­ity. I could not stop laugh­ing. It is an amus­ing way to end Songkran.


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