July 8th, 2010
02:07 PM ET

Most Intriguing People: A bioethicist goes to Washington

On CNN's Thursday list of Most Intriguing People:

Paul Root Wolpe. Because the director of the Emory University Center for Ethics is part of an all-star lineup of panelists as the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bio-Ethical Issues meets for the first time Thursday and Friday in Washington, D.C.

President Obama in May asked the newly formed commission to study of "the emerging field of cellular and genetic research known as synthetic biology. . . consider the potential medical, environmental, security, and other benefits of this field of research, as well as any potential health, security or other risks."

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ethics • Politics

July 8th, 2010
01:58 PM ET

What the largest American Muslim conference meant to attendees

Editor's Note: CNN's Soraya Salam attended this year's Islamic Society of North America Convention in Rosemont, Illinois and sent this report:

Clusters of radiantly vibrant tunics and headscarves, skullcaps and flowing robes and smiling children holding anxious hands filled a major street in Chicago last weekend as over 30,000 Muslim Americans made their way towards the Rosemont Convention Center for the 47th annual Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) convention.

The four-day event included lectures, art, entertainment, networking events, a film festival, and sessions with leaders from the Islamic community and beyond. The theme this year was “Nurturing Compassionate Communities: Connecting Faith and Service.”

“Our convention is one of the most recognizable aspects of American Muslim culture… it has become a kind of institution in American Islam,” said ISNA President Ingrid Mattson.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Muslim

July 8th, 2010
01:25 PM ET

Do smart phones produce dumb worshippers?

If this hasn’t happened already, I’m betting it will.

A pastor delivering a sermon will look up from the prepared text one Sunday morning to see rows of parishioners burying their heads into their smart phones as they check their e-mails.

The pervasive use of mobile devices has changed the way people interact with one another. Who hasn’t seen someone pull out a smart phone on a dinner date or ignore the checkout person at the supermarket counter as they yack away?

Are these same devices causing people to ignore God as well?


- CNN Writer

Filed under: Culture & Science • Houses of worship • Science

July 8th, 2010
10:33 AM ET

On the frontlines of faith

Editor's note: CNN All-Platform Journalist Jim Spellman filed this post on one of the people he interviewed for his recent report on Denver's homeless youth.

Drop by "Sox Place" in downtown Denver most days and you'll find several dozen young homeless people eating lunch, working on computers or relaxing while watching a movie. What you won't find is any outward signs that the non-profit drop-in center is run by an ordained minister of deep personal faith.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Culture & Science • Faith

July 8th, 2010
07:46 AM ET

An armada of faith leaders tours the Gulf spill zone

Editor's Note: CNN Senior Producer Tristan Smith and CNN Correspondent Brooke Baldwin went out with faith leaders to tour the damage from the oil spill. Smith filed this report. You can also see their TV piece below. 

There were only five small boats, 20 to 25 feet long, quietly moving through the water, barely making a ripple in the area designated as a “No Wake Zone." 

It was part show and tell, part media circus, part holy pilgrimage. On board the boats were a dozen high-profile American religious leaders, representing the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths. Their mission: to see first hand the devastation wrought by the spilled BP oil to the marshlands of Barataria Bay, just west of Port Sulphur, Louisiana. 

[cnn-video url = http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/07/07/baldwin.faith.and.oil.cnn%5D


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • Christianity • Islam • Judaism • Leaders

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.