Idol Chatter

Were your weekend’s activities planned around exciting (and some ho-hum) World Cup soccer elimination matches? Mine were, and happily, here in the U.S. I had the benefit of daytime broadcasts from Germany. And though my biggest problem was fighting for television rights with my almost three-year-old daughter, I realize there are much worse problems that can come from a World Cup obsession.

Like the threat of being defrocked.

Seems World Cup soccer is cramping the religious style of some Buddhist monks in Thailand. IBN Live reports that monks who have been staying up past midnight to catch the soccer matches have missed collecting morning alms the next day.

So is it really that big a deal? I admit to rushing through prayers on a commercial break during a crucial match! But I guess rushing through individual prayer and sleeping through religious obligations to the public have different consequences. Nearly 40,000 Cambodian monks, next door to Thailand, have been threatened with defrocking if they become too excited while watch ing the games.

Phnom Penh patriarch Non Nget told Reuters that if the monks “make noise or cheer as they watch, they will lose their monkhood.”

Not make noise or cheer as they watch World Cup soccer? Not being able to join in “God Save the Queen” along with rabid English fans? Not being able to sing “Ole, ole, ole!” when Brazil’s Ronaldinho makes his incredible moves? Not being able to scream “Goooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal!” any time any team scores a goal?

I’m praying that these monks are made of strong stuff. I’m sure they must be. Perhaps they know a way to internalize boisterous soccer enthusiasm. And if they do, I’d sure like to learn how. Then I won’t have to hear my daughter say, “No Mamma, no soccer. You’re too loud!”

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