TEXT OF STORY
LISA NAPOLI: An ethical debate’s brewing online in China. It has to do with the nation’s most famous kung fu monk and cash. Marketplace’s Jocelyn Ford reports.
JOCELYN FORD: Monks from Shaolin Temple are known for their austere lifestyle and hard training.
So, should the abbot of the Shaolin Temple accept a luxury sports car valued at $125,000 dollars? The local government gave him the car as a reward for boosting tourism.
A majority of Netizens say the gift is not appropriate for a spiritual leader.
Other religious figures are also under fire. Monk Tenzin is a Tibetan Buddhist from China’s far west. He says tourism and donations from ethnic Chinese believers have brought riches to many Tibetan monasteries.
MONK TENZIN: Monks will spend their time on enjoyment, like nice house and fancy life, like a car, maybe cell phone maybe . . .”
He believes many monks fail to find a balance between spirituality and worldliness, but he says some monasteries are also using the extra income for good deeds, like building schools and orphanages.
In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.