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TV Confessions : An All-American Ritual, Gun Control, and More
January 24, 2013
Summary: Lance Armstrong confesses his sins to 'Pope-rah,' a history of the Catholic confessional booth, and how views on gun control line up with religious beliefs.
Credit: flickr | Quinn Dombrowski
Begging for Forgiveness, With an Audience of Millions January 24, 2013
Americans can’t seem to resist the ritual of TV confessions. There’s something deeply satisfying about watching politicians, preachers, and celebrities admit they’re sinners. And it doesn’t hurt if the wrong-doers produce a few tears, too. In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s doping confession to Oprah Winfrey, we explore how our demand for public confession is rooted in America’s religious heritage.

Susan Wise Bauer, author of The Art of the Public Grovel: Sexual Sin and Public Confession in America
Mark Pinksy, religion journalist and author

Credit: Wikimedia Commons | Adam Smith
Behind the Confessional Screen January 24, 2013
Father Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest who has heard confessions for nearly 40 years, takes us inside the confessional booth, the sacred space where Catholics can repent for their sins and vow to do better. It’s one of the seven sacraments, now called the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Priests are bound to never reveal what their penitents say—but they can give us an inside look at the meaning this sacred rite carries.
Father Thomas Reese, Senior Fellow at Georgetown University's Woodstock Theological Center
Credit: flickr | Mike Saechang
Catholics, Evangelicals and Gun Control January 24, 2013
Your views on gun control could have a lot to do with what religion you practice, according to a new poll. Our favorite religion number-cruncher explains why the most interesting split is between Catholics and Evangelicals.

Robert Jones, founder and CEO of The Public Religion Research Institute

Read the poll on gun control and religious affiliation