Apr 27, 2012
Religion makes it pretty clear what differentiates mortal sins from venial ones. Mortal are the really bad sins and venial the lesser ones. But in our everyday lives, it can be really difficult to determine just how bad we've been. This week we have stories of people trying to figure out that question.
Note: The audio has been modified from the original broadcast. We added language to make clear the extent of the coordination between Jeff Smith, his staff and Skip Ohlsen.
- Producer Alex Blumberg tells the story of Jeff Smith, a former Missouri State Senator who spent last year in federal prison. The story of how Jeff ended up there includes large sins, but begins with a relatively small one. In other words, it's the story of a venial sin turning into a mortal one. Alex can regularly be heard on Planet Money, which is a collaboration between NPR News and This American Life. (33 1/2 minutes)