January 2009 | Episode 1804

This month IN THE LIFE looks at the power of religion to shape our lives, our worldview and our political convictions. The Bible, the Koran, and the Torah are tools for spiritual guidance, comfort, and direction, but those same texts are often used to promote intolerance and hatred of LGBT people. In this episode, we look at the intersection of religion and sexuality, to see how gays and lesbians reconcile their faith within their religious communities: In God We Trusted explores the tragic consequences of the ex-gay ministries of fundamentalist Christianity; In A Conversation With….Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Bishop Gene Robinson discuss their spiritual journeys; and a Real to Reel encounter with Muslim director, Parvez Sharma’s ground-breaking film, A Jihad For Love, and the struggle of gay and lesbian Muslims to stay true to their Faith and themselves.


Believing that homosexuals have no place in the Christian church, evangelical ex-gay ministries, such as EXODUS, have been established around the country to re-program LGBT people to make them heterosexuals…often with tragic consequences.

A Conversation With… Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and Bishop Gene Robinson
Sharon Kleinbaum, rabbi of New York’s largest LGBT synagogue, leads Judaism’s national dialogue on the issues of gay rights and social justice. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop in the Episcopal Church, has been at the center of the Church’s heated debate on homosexuality. The rabbi and the bishop discuss their spiritual journeys, faith, religion, and politics.

Real to Reel: “A JIHAD FOR LOVE”
In the world of Islam, “Jihad” translates as a “struggle in the way of God.” For gay Muslims, reconciling one’s homosexuality is a struggle against oppression, against tradition, and fear. In our final story, Director Parvez Sharma’s ground-breaking film, A JIHAD FOR LOVE, looks at gay and lesbian Muslims who strive to be true to their Faith and themselves.