Gil Student said:
I assume the intention of this new practice [Parshas Haman] is to strengthen people's faith in God, not to discourage effort.
Well aren't we optimistic.
Actually, the purpose here is neither to strengthen people's faith in God, nor to discourage effort; rather people believe it works. That's all there is to it. They're not trying to keep you out of college; they're not trying to increase your faith in God. They just think it works.
And, ironically, God has nothing to do with it!! (Not the real God, anyway; just the make believe God, ie: the one who has no choice but to act whenever someone reads parshas haman. That's right the Parshas Haman people are worshiping a God so very powerful he jumps at the command of human beings!)
Sigh. And the detrioration of Judaism into rediculous spells and charms continues....