August 29th, 2013
01:24 PM ET
By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor
(CNN) - When Amy Arden joined Eagle Mountain International Church in 1997, her 11-month-old daughter had received all the recommended vaccinations, Arden says.
Her child didn’t get another shot until Arden left the church in 2003.
“There was a belief permeating throughout the church that there is only faith and fear,” Arden said. “If you were afraid of the illness enough to get vaccinated, it showed a lack of faith that God would protect and heal you.”
Members of Eagle Mountain International Church also believed that childhood vaccinations could lead to autism, said Arden, who is 35.
Arden said she was taught by a supervisor at the church's nursery how to opt out of a Texas law that requires most children to be immunized. She now regrets passing the same lesson on to other parents.
“I didn’t know a single mother who was vaccinating her children,” she said.
July 1st, 2013
12:26 PM ET
By Jeffrey Weiss, special to CNN
(CNN) – Nelson Mandela belongs to the ages whether he lives another hour, day or decade.
But in what may well be his final days, he’s focusing attention on a modern and yet very old question: When medical treatment can extend life interminably, what's the right thing to ask of doctors – or of the Almighty?
Few outside Mandela’s inner circle know the South African icon’s exact condition and treatment. Family members said last week that he had stopped speaking but was responding to voices. Officials have said he’s battling a lung infection, but they haven’t released much information beyond that.
What we do know is how Mandela’s countrymen have responded to what could be his last illness. More often than not, that response has included public prayer, vigils and hymns.
May 22nd, 2010
08:40 PM ET
Rome, Italy (CNN) - The Vatican had praise Saturday for this week's announcement that scientists had created the world's first synthetic cell, calling it an "interesting result" that could help cure disease.
In an article Saturday, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano called it "important research" and "the work of high-quality genetic engineering." But it said the scientists who created the cell - led by Craig Venter, pictured - had not created life, just "replaced one of its motors."
The response may appear to mark a turn for the Vatican, but in fact the church does not officially oppose genetic engineering as long as the science avoids embryonic stem cells, cloning or anything else that fiddles too much with the re-creation of human life.
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.