When JoAnna Caldwell and a few others recently braved freezing temperatures to gather in Central Park Plaza for a brief Christian prayer for jobs, they actually accomplished something. Regardless of the fact that prayer has been repeatedly discredited in scientific studies, Caldwell and friends managed to do some good. Through their action and the publicity they received from the Journal-Courier (Jacksonville, IL), they brought attention to an important social and economic issue: unemployment. I suspect that their action will spark at least some discussion in their community about unemployment, and it is hard to imagine how that is a bad thing.
In this sense, we can agree that Ms. Caldwell's prayer worked. Of course, no sane person expects supernatural intervention on her behalf. And yes, it does sound like she is hearing voices and might benefit from antipsychotic medication to help her manage these hallucinations. But none of this necessarily detracts from her success in calling attention to unemployment in her community.
Could Ms. Caldwell have accomplished the same thing without any god talk? Absolutely. Would her efforts be better spent doing something else instead of promoting superstition? Probably. But I suggest that what she did was still probably better than doing nothing at all.
H/T to Stupid Evil Bastard
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