Host Ira Glass talks about the way most political apologies go, and chats with a man named Derek Jones about similar sorts of apologies among preteen girls and King David, in the Old Testament.
Producer Jane Feltes spends a day with two young Mormons, on mission to possibly the least receptive environment they could find...the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Sam Slaven is an Iraq War veteran who came home from the War plagued by feelings of hate and anger toward Muslims. TAL producer Lisa Pollak tells the story of the unusual action Sam took to change himself, and the Muslim students who helped him do it.
Some people battle inner demons, but contributor David Ellis Dickerson went one step further. David tells the story of the time he took on an actual demon in his college classroom.
Host Ira Glass reads from the Ten Commandments. Not the original Ten Commandments, but some of the newer, lesser-known ones.
As a boy in religious school, Shalom Auslander is informed that his name, Shalom, is one of the names of God, and so he must be very careful not to take his own name in vain.
Six houses of worship in six different cities, each with its own way of honoring the Sabbath.
Alex Blumberg talks to Lt. Col.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus says that looking lustfully at a woman is like committing adultery in your heart. Contributor David Dickerson was raised as an evangelical Christian, and for many years tried not to have a single lustful thought.
In the 1930s, the designer of the U.S. Supreme Court made a frieze to adorn the courtroom walls.
Serry and her husband's love story began in a place not usually associated with romance: The West Bank. That was where the couple met, fell in love and decided to get married.
Jonathan Goldstein retells the original sink-or-swim story, the one about Noah and the flood. Jonathan is host of the CBC radio show WireTap.
When you're powerless, you think a lot about the powerful figures above you. Especially when their actions just make no sense.
Reporter Brett Martin tries to use the tools of modern marketing to invent a new religion...one that would serve all the Americans who don't associate with any particular organized religion. It's a lot of people: Forty-three percent of the country says they don't consider themselves religious (according to a 2002 USA Today/Gallup poll).
Yeah, Mary Magdalene knew Jesus. She knew him before anybody else had ever even heard of him.
Carlton Pearson's church, Higher Dimensions, was once one of the biggest in the city, drawing crowds of 5,000 people every Sunday. But several years ago, scandal engulfed the reverend.
Reporter Russell Cobb takes us through the remarkable and meteoric rise of Carlton Pearson from a young man to a Pentecostal Bishop: From the moment he first cast the devil out of his 17-year-old girlfriend, to the days when he had a close, personal relationship with Oral Roberts and had appearances on TV and at the White House. Just as Reverend Pearson's career peaked, with more than 5,000 members of his congregation coming every week, he started to think about hell, wondering if a loving God would really condemn most of the human race to burn and writhe in the fire of hell for eternity.
Two stories about people who suddenly realize they're the only ones around who value the separation of church and state. Paul Williams, a city councilman in Janesville, Wisconsin, wants to make sure a Salvation Army built with public money doesn't proselytize.
We hear a quick rundown of all the ways that Christian conservatives are making headway in advancing their values as public policy, why they think total separation of church and state is not what the founding fathers intended. And why they're wrong.
Julia Sweeney, a Catholic, tells the story of how her faith began to crack after reading a most alarming book...called the Bible. Her story is excerpted from her play, "Letting Go of God," which ran in Los Angeles.
Shalom Auslander reads his true story, "The Blessing Bee." It's about the time when, as a third-grader at an Orthodox Jewish school, Shalom saw his chance to both make his mom proud, and push his drunken father out of the picture. Part of his scheme involved winning the school's bee on the complicated Hebrew blessings you say before eating certain foods.
Patrick Wall was a special kind of monk. He was a fixer.
Chaim and Billy both lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, just blocks away from each other, in worlds that almost never collided. Chaim was a Hasidic Jew—he'd never heard pop music or watched MTV.
This American Life contributor Davy Rothbart goes to Brazil with his deaf mother to try and get her hearing back from a miracle healer called Joao de Deus, or John of God. They had trouble agreeing whether the things they witnessed down there were miracles or not.