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Healing after the election
November 13th, 2012
09:29 AM ET

Religious and spiritual leaders on moving past a divisive election

(CNN)–As the nation winds down after a hard-fought and divisive election season, what needs to happen to heal our country? What have we learned? What can we hope for as we move forward?

We reached out to religious leaders and spiritual thinkers to get their perspectives. Here are excerpts of what they wrote in response.

- CNN Writer/Producer

Filed under: 2012 Election • Leaders • United States

soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. bam

    for the gop there is no healing until we waste billions of dollars on benghazi idiocy.....
    impeach! get that symbolic useless process going cuz the economy is not #1 for the gop....
    maybe JEB should stand up and tell them to sit down if he wants to win in 2016

    November 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  2. satguy08

    Unless you work for the government, or yourself, you work for a least one rich guy. Get it now? Obama wanting to tax the "$250,000 rich" is not a tax on the rich; it is a tax on wages. Most of the mom and pop stores file taxes as individuals. I have a friend named Jim, he owns a small connivance store that is open 24 hours, and it has been that way for 25 years. No one would call him rich, he lives a modest life style, employs 6 people and works a shift himself, pays the homeless to do odd jobs around the place. He is your average great rich guy. With what is coming down from Obama, he is done with that, on 12/31, 4 people will lose their job, the other two will go from full time to part time, and he will no longer be open 24 hrs. which will hurt the area he services. This is what is going to happen all over this country because of Obama, you wanted it, you voted for it, Obama is going to own it, and he will not be able to blame anyone else. Unless Obama gets wise overnight, we are in deep, deep trouble. The problem with this country is not Obama, but the people who reelected someone such as him to another four years, but you don’t see it that way.

    November 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • strgzer585

      The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!! If your friend makes above $250,000 running one small convenience store then first of all, he is doing something on the side. Second, how did he ever manage to keep that business open for 25 years, you know back when tax rates were over twice what they are now. Third, the increase is only for income above $250,000. Not all of the income but just the portion of it that is over $250,000. Maybe all of you people on the right should stop scaring hard working business owners with your ridiculous, unfounded doomsday crap.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  3. Over and Done

    I think we have already jumped in - following the military soap opera scandal – which should take us through Thanksgiving anyway ...

    November 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  4. QS

    One of my favorite spectacles to behold – conservatives, who would like nothing more than to control through legislation other people's lives, railing against President Obama for being "divisive" and for "dividing the nation"!

    Pure comedy!

    November 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Mike

    As much as anyone else, our media is responsible for the divisiveness of this election.....

    November 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    November 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Leo

      Neither is Christianity.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Robert Brown" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" is the degenerate.

      This troll is not a christian.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

      See prayer heal my dig at saladandchips.com

      November 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.`. .

      November 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Henry

      Trolling changes nothing.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Loathstheright

      Prayer changes nothing.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • bam

      sticking your nose where it doesnt belong isnt healthy for u and your children

      November 13, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  7. NorCalMojo

    What's to heal? It is what it is. There have always been two parties in conflict. When one has the power to pass their laws, they do. When they don't, they're blocked. That's the way it's supposed to work.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  8. MartinL

    This country will never heal. Obama is a racist sob who knows nothing about the economy or how to lead us forward. I hope we can survive without a depression over these next four years. Obama will never get my support or respect. He hates 48% of the people, and believe me we ALL HATE HIM.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Angela

      It's people like you that make this country look bad. You have the racist spirit and the hatred. So what you don't trust him or respect him he'll be the POTUS and will run this country with the support of others.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • bobn

      Were you standing infront of a mirror when you wrote this?

      November 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Thaddius

      Must be hell to have to live your life in such fear and hatred.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Turnaway

      MartinL, you are a funny dude! Bordering on insanity. You are the most angriest amongst us so you get the "Most Racist Award" (Giving MartinL the white hood trophy)

      November 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • gatecrasher1

      It is not racist to question or even oppose the President. Oh wait...right...cause he's half black? Uh...no. Not racist to criticize an individual who was ill-prepared to take office and has made a number of major mis-steps. This network has tried to under-report the gravity of them. It's serious.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam stone

      So, who is this "we all" you speak of?

      November 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  9. Concerned in Cleveland

    As a moderate American, who lives a conservative life, but is fairly liberal towards others, and as a believer in one Just God, I have spent the last years of my life constantly being insulted, and berated, by "liberal thinkers" who have come to behave more like fascist thugs.

    I'm willing to give my support to Obama even though I voted against him, but to do that, he needs to openly rebuke and muzzle the "liberal" attack dogs, that spew hate and step on 48% of the American population with more confidence and hate than the Nazis used against their small Jewish population.

    Until Obama rebukes these people, and puts them in their place, I, and the rest of the 48% that voted against him will remain quietly, but relentlessly in opposition.

    I wish it were otherwise, but it has to start with Obama.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Daniel

      There certainly are bigoted and hateful people on both sides of the aisle. Both parties have a responsibility to rebuke the hatred that comes from within their party.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • asm_ith

      It would also help if some of the vitriol against Obama from people like Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, Trump, etc. stopped. There is only so much healing that Obama can do. You talk about the 48% who voted against him. When the rest of the country hears the hatred coming from the relatively small but vociferous people among the 48%, it stirs up everyone else against them, making it difficult to heal. Instead of shouting down the hateful speech, too many say nothing or nod their head in tacit agreement. How many times have people apologized to Limbaugh for disagreeing with him? Romney wouldn't criticize Limbaugh's outrageous comments about Sandra Fluke, other than to say he would have used different words. So there's plenty that needs to be done on both sides.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Layla7729

      Conservative in Cleaveland, if you are truly a moderate, you would have and should have seen the same hate on both sides unless you aren't even reading the comments within this post. There have always been extremists on both sides and the important thing to be thankful for is that the majority of people don't feel or act that way. The truly hateful on both sides just happen to be the loudest voice right now. When they realize that life goes on, their rhetoric will settle down.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Turnaway

      Another one, conditionally accepting President Obama presidency. He was successful in spite of and with out the help of the Obstructionist republican party of loom, doom, gloom and "No". And Concerned in Cleveland, he will do it with or with out you. A rude awakening greets you with open arms.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • JustListen

      I just had to post after reading some of the responses to your message which I whole heartily agree with. The main point here is that Obama is not Rush, Glen Beck or Trump....he is the President of The United States of America and to that regard he should be shouting down hateful speech from both sides of the aisle. I for one am continue to be dissapointed......he was supposed to be a different kind of politician....perhaps that is unattainable.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • bam

      no it starts with the 48% stop crying and blaming others...
      The 48% need to each call Dr Phil and get their closet anger of bush out... then they can begin to heal and come back to normalcy

      November 13, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      1) Freedom of Speech. All American citizens have the right to speak freely, without interference.
      2) Personal Responsibility: It is not President Obama's job to police the speech of those who support him, any more than it is Mitt Romney's job to police the speech of those who support him.
      3) Personal Responsibility, Part 2: Each of us is responsible for our words and actions. The vitriol and acidic diatribe from both sides this election season has been vicious and disgusting. Neither Romney nor Obama is responsible for that. Each and every one of us who spoke out in anger, fear and hatred is.
      4) Media Involvement: None of the news outlets/networks are free of blame. They feed the American public a steady stream of sensationalized headlines and sound bites, crafting the conflict every step of the way.

      The result is a country that can not find the middle any more. Everything is extremes, or at least that's the way it seems.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  10. Petercha

    The fact that a liberal won the election does not bother me anywhere near as much as the gloating that I am reading from some liberals.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Turnaway

      Gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat, gloat and . . . . . GLOAT!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  11. John

    How to heal after a bad erection?

    November 13, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  12. holspark

    Its only an election, you have a 50% chance of being right and wrong. Why would you get upset over the result?? I understand if you ran and lost, but voting and your candidate loses is no reason for anger.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Allen

      I have a right to be mad when my insurance has gone up $2500.00 a year since Obamacare was enacted. It has never gone up so fast or so high since I have been working (25 years). Now we also get to deal with sequestration and taxes going up in January. So my vote was purely financial. I could have paid for 6 classes plus books for my daughter to go to the local community college, but now I have to think of other ways to cover that. I been thinking of getting a second job to cover the taxes and insurance costs. Thanks for everything Obama and Democrats. I am not happy with Republicans either, but I will never vote for another Democrat as long as I live. I just won't vote if I don't like the Republican candidate anymore.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • asm_ith

      You make it sound as though Obama and the Democrats are solely responsible for the sequestration and for the expiration of tax cuts. Remember that it was a Republican House that passed the bill. And remember that it was the failure of the bipartisan "supercommittee" to compromise with each other to reach an agreement which would have stopped it from occurring. There's plenty of blame to go around.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Chopped

    LOL @ Chopra not being a businessman. "WELLBEING"?? I know exactly whose well being he is worried about. Write another book soon! :P

    November 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
  14. CrazieNation

    Fear not, heal not Good Romney-ians... For your God who gave is only Son Pat predicted that you Meeks will inherit the earth... Now move forth, eat peanut butter, and multiply in Utah.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  15. Eliminate hinduism, illegality of religions to have, Skinah peace of heart , Islam among humanity

    Bishop is a new label for a hindu sanatan, filthy fortune teller of the past, hat of hindu denier of truth absolute GOD bares witness to his hinduism, denial of truth absolute, picture identical to god of hindu pagans of Egypt and Persia , a eagle, as on flag of Germany and Egypt. to learn hinduism, illegality of hindu's, criminal please visit limitisthetruth.com.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Hayden71

      Hey pal...the men with the white suits and padded van want you to know that they are on their way over

      November 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  16. PrimeNumber

    The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were times of great scientific and technological acheivement. Many hoped, going into the twentieth century, that that century would be the Great Age of Humaniism, supported by reason and science, and with religion shoved into a corner. The twentieth century began with the Turkish genocide of over a million Armenians, and ended with the tribal genocide in Rwanda. In between, science and technology had been burned into the meat grinder of WW1. Later, Hitler put Social Darwinism into effect to horror of the world. Stalin produced more corpses that Hitler, Idi Amin, and Pol Pot. In WW2, the allies dehumanized the civilians of Germany and such places as Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki. This cleared the way for fire bombing and A-bombing of innocent cavilians. A policy of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) prevailed during the forty Cold War years.

    This was all secular stuff. The Great Age of Humanism did arrive. Unfortunately, it was still born around 1900. Many still believe in the First Coming of this Age. All we can do is try.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
  17. Thomas

    KUMBAYA MY LORD, KUMBAYA, KUNBAYA...........COME ON EVERYONE HOLD HANDS AND JOIN IN.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Hayden71

      LOL

      November 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • gatecrasher1

      I'll build the campfire; you bring the guitar. Haha.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  18. nolimits33333

    A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a

    permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the

    time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the

    public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the

    candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the

    result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy,

    (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

    "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of

    history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always

    progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;

    From spiritual faith to great courage;

    From courage to liberty;

    From liberty to abundance;

    From abundance to complacency;

    From complacency to apathy;

    From apathy to dependence;

    ( Close to 50% of the people are here already)

    From dependence back into bondage."

    Obama is heading us down that road more and more every day.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Akira

      So...your answer is what...a theocracy?

      November 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • 1965

      the answer is to admit this historical truth and not allow it to happen.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Except that Ja/panese culture doesnt' follow that pattern.
      They are, and always have been, mostly atheistic.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Shinto, meaning "the way of the gods", is Ja pan's indigenous religion and is practiced by about 83% of the population. Though I'm not sure how this relates to the post on the shelf life of democracies since Ja pan was a feudal empire until the 1920's.

      November 13, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  19. Hayden71

    "Of course not.

    Because you know that engaging me in a debate regarding religion versus morality you would get crushed like the intellectually challenged insignificant insect that you are."

    Seeing you don't know a thing about me or even if I'm religious in the slightest degree shows your total ignorance and inability to have any ground to stand on.

    Also, I don't engage with hateful clowns and cowards who hide behind their computers and cast personal insults with people they don't know.

    November 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • derp

      I in now way ever inferred anything about your religious status.

      I asked if you were christian.

      You called it a silly question.

      I then suggested that based on you failure to even address a basic question with regards to you religion or lack thereof, that I would utterly clobber you in a debate about religion versus morality.

      Based on your complete lack of a response it s pretty clear that I was right.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Hayden71

      Derp...even if I were, I'd be none of your business.

      November 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  20. smko

    Suck it up and move on.....

    November 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
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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.