Lots of charlatans spend lots of money advertising diets and health products that don't work. We have a National Institutes of Health that, among other things, funds studies that make more-objective pronouncements on diet and health.
Argue pro or con: It would be a good investment (payback would exceed opportunity cost) for the US government to create a National Institute of Theology, that would fund research into theological questions. For instance:
- How effective is prayer?
- Which religions are the most effective (at healing the sick, making their adherents rich, or other metrics)?
- What is the probability that someone will become happier, more productive, less violent, or commit acts of terrorism as a result of joining different religions (or not joining any)?
Everyone, religious and atheist, should be motivated to want the answers to these questions to become widely known.
(Yes, I know this would be politically impractical. Pointing that out is not interesting. What is interesting, is whether such a NIT would be beneficial, supposing it could be made.)