On a news segment about a study that shows praying can lead to mental relief during tough times regular FOX News contributor Father John manages to push unintentional irony to new heights. Apparently the study suggests that even us nonbelievers can achieve similar peace of mind by “praying” to an imaginary friend of some sort. Father John is naturally very enthused to have some positive press for talking with his sky fairy, but he can’t abide the idea that it’s just as effective if you just make up your own pretend entity to talk to. In the following video clip he makes the stunning claim that “if you have an imaginary friend then there’s something wrong with you.”
Dammit. Looks like I’m going to have to replace yet another irony meter as that segment just blew my current one sky high.
There is something very amusing about watching the good Father insist that his imaginary friend is actually real and thus of greater benefit for spilling your guts to. The truth is that venting your frustrations with just about anything is often psychologically beneficial — be it a God, an imaginary friend (but I repeat myself), a pet, a plant, etc. — whether it can understand you or not. Hell, blogging is a great way to ease the mind if you don’t mind venting in public. At least it works for me.
The placebo effect can be very strong even when you know it’s just a placebo. There’s no harm in taking advantage of it, but that doesn’t validate that your God is real. No matter how much you wish it was.