December 15, 1995

Anger and Forgiveness

Stories that reveal the societal "trend" toward anger and away from genuine forgiveness.


Host Ira Glass reads a list of words that former U.S. Representative Newt Gingrich had recommended Republican candidates use when referring to their Democratic opponents. (7 minutes)

Act One

Former Harpers magazine editor and TAL contributor Jack Hitt wrote an editorial about Susan Smith, who murdered her two children in South Carolina. The editorial redirected the rage from Smith toward Hitt. One of the countless angered readers of Hitt's piece gets a chance to confront him about his plea for forgiveness for Susan Smith. (15 minutes)

Act Two

Performance artists Iris Moore and Larry Steeger provide monologues on forgiveness. Larry's was based on the testimony of serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer.


“I Blame God” by Artist unknown (written by Jo Carol Pierce)

Act Three

In the last few years, laws and sentencing guidelines have become much harsher. Sociologically this has had some good effects. Chicago attorney Darron Bowden presents a more negative effect to such inflexibility in the case of the sentencing of one 13-year-old boy. (6 minutes)

Act Five

A story by Cheryl Trykv, read by the author in front of a live audience at The Hothouse, illustrates what it means when the sinner makes no attempt to seek forgiveness. (14 minutes)