April 17, 2009

This I Used to Believe

Stories of people forced to let go of their firmly held beliefs. When the daughter of a pro-choice activist concludes that abortion is murder, her mother goes to extraordinary lengths to persuade her daughter to switch sides. And after a woman loses her faith, a football coach—whom she's never met—tries to restore it.


Host Ira Glass talks to Jay Allison, who is in charge of the team at This I Believe, an essay series. Jay wonders why Ira's never contributed an essay about what he believes. (9 minutes)

Act One

Scrambled Nest Egg

One day in January Alex French got a call from his mom, saying that she'd been laid off. A few hours later she called to say that so had his dad. Alex takes a trip to Massachusetts to see how his parents are getting by since entering unemployment for the first time, in his father's case, in 30 years. (9 minutes)

Act Two

Team Spirit In The Sky

This past Christmas a story swept the internet about a football coach at a Christian high school in Texas who inspired his team's fans to root for the opposition: A team from the local juvenile correctional facility. Among the thousands of emails that the coach received in response to his actions, one stood out to him. Trisha Sebastian mentioned her loss of faith, and coach Hogan got a message from God that he was meant to bring her back. We eavesdrop on their phone calls. (19 minutes)
Act Three

Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

When Molly Antopol was in 7th grade she learned what abortion was—and it sounded to her like murder. Her mom, a pro-choice activist made it her mission to change her daughter's mind. And went to extraordinary lengths to do so. Molly tells the story. (8 minutes)
Act Four

Pants Pants Revelation

Joel and Kate were both working in a psychiatric hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. They both like each other, and she tries to impress him by always wearing her favorite pair of jeans. Little did she know, the jeans were maybe the only thing about her that he didn't like. (8 minutes)