Dr. Phil is annoying

This video is courtesy of the Examiner’s Paul Fidalgo; it’s from a recent episode of Dr. Phil, the pedantic windbag who likes to think his predictable and facile advice is tantamount to revelation. In this episode, he’s counseling a couple experiencing theological conflict. The husband, who seems to enjoy reading, has lost his faith in God, and the wife is worried he might poison their children’s minds.

I’ll give Dr. Phil credit for not taking the Steve Harvey approach to dealing with atheists in couples. He suggests to the wife she has to be patient, and accept the fact her husband may permanently believe there is no god. Of course, I can’t shake the feeling of general hostility this poor man was experiencing onstage. All eyes were upon him, and even the somewhat sympathetic Dr.Phil seemed to think if the husband continues with an open mind, he’ll convert back to Christianity. He didn’t seem interesting in probing the wife’s level of open mindedness. Why would he? She seems like your stereotypical poorly educated housewife who worries about her children’s eternal soul. She sounds like a real delight, Nick.

As Paul mentions in his article, the hubris of religious people is their belief we are somehow missing or broken, and atheists reject God because of some terrible religious trauma. They cannot possibly understand the delusion is theirs because our entire society is built around supporting a false premise. How condescending and frustrating would it be for Christians if they were the minority being scrutinized by an all atheist crowd? How would they feel if the advice given to their spouse was the same?

The truth is this couple probably won’t last very long. In his book¬†The Third Chimpanzee¬†“, Jared Diamond showed the biggest similarity with couples was religiosity. Although beliefs can often be private, when children become involved, their education on the subject of God can become a powerful contentious issue. I wouldn’t want to rain on their parade, but it’s not looking too good for Nick and Mandy. Well, at least they got on television, that’s the important thing…

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