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. Johnny 5

    "Healing after the election" face the outcome and quit being a pu#@y. There's the cure for not liking reality.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  2. Nomorecrap

    Honestly, we could do without the GOP and the teabaggers brand of hatred. I've never seen such division, hatred and ill will in government. Failure to compromise is being a traitor. Compromise is not a dirty word and no way to govern. GOP listen up, YOU LOST! Maybe if you would have been less radical and trying compromise a little, you would have had a chance. It wasn't Romney, it was the GOP and teabagger policies that did you all in. I doubt it will sink in until you get real moderates in control again and dump the radical fringe.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Thomas Gahagan

      Honestly, I have never seen the level of hate from the liberal Democrats as I have in this election. To limit the hate speech as only coming from the GOP is a total distortion of the truth and THEREIN lies our problem.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • You are the problem

      clearly you are part of the problem with your ignorant and arrogant post.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tylor

      Likewise I'm sure. Those who are conservative could do with out the vilification and hatred the Left is so noted for yet never called out on. Personally I don't see this nation managing to heal the fissure this administration has opened for many years if at all. How about a leave me be and I'll leave you be approach?

      November 13, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Adam

      And what amazes me is that this post has just eminated with such hate and hostility that you so dislike in the Republican party. Hate + hate = HATE. Compromise is not one side falling down and being a subserviant to one side. It is meeting in the middle. To say "Nah, nah! Your side lost. Get over it." is not compromise. It is just more hate wrapped in a different package. And no doubt, someone will misconstrue this as a pro-Republican rant. And one would be wrong as one is so blinded by their on agenda and hate.....

      November 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  3. JimRied

    Allah Akbar! KABOOOOOOOOM

    November 13, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • betterdays

      Yep, all it's going to take is one more successful large-scale terror attack to complete the collapse. Except whoever is in the White House will still have someone shining his shoes for him, while people all over the country club their neighbors over the head and take their food (I mean more often than they already do). Yep, just one more attack.

      November 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  4. Oakspar77777

    We are a country founded on two ideas – the economic expansion and promise of Jamestown and the Virginia Company and the "city on a hill" religious utopianism of Plymoth and the subsequent Puritans.

    For years, we have balanced back and forth between these two philosophies – economic freedom and public moral norms.

    These days, however, a new philosophy is rising, strong and damaging enough that it has combined economic liberty with the religious moralist.

    It is a philosophy where nothing was built or made, but everything was taken. The British Colonist stole all they had from the Native Americans, the States stole it from the NA in westward expansion and the slave in southern development, the rich used the markets to steal it from the poor.

    This narrative is false, but it instill the belief that anyone who has is a theif and what they have is stolen wealth. Stolen from whom? Whoever does not have.

    Thus, the masses of the havenots have believed the lies of the liberal – the lies that once the liberals are in chrage, that those who have will have their wealth taken and returned to the have nots who are the victims of theft.

    This is a lie, because the liberal elites have no intention of giving their wealth to the masses (otherwise they would already be doing so). Rather, it is the hope that the masses can be used to take the wealth from the wealthy conservative and redistribute it among the wealthy liberal.

    Healing will come when the common enemies of man are again put down, and the powers of the world can go back to bickering about esoteric issues of small concern. (Churches that once were divided to violence over baptizing infants are now bound together to stop the slaughtering of infants).

    Until then, we are as we have often been, strangers in a strange land.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Roderick

      @Oakspar...not a false narrative...by your own premise in the first paragraph...its a reality...we have been an economically predatory nation since forever, whether it be mistreatment of Original Americans (indians), Slavery (kidnapping people to use them as an economic engine), child labor (usually poor immigrant children of Irish, Italian, or other European ethnic, or black children even), from the Know Nothing Party fervor against Irish workers, to Conservative (especially southern) crafting a message to poor and middle class whites that blacks (and anyone not white evangelical) is a threat to the "American" (or white) way of life (which for the Conservative leadership means their financial bottom line)...

      It's no fallacy...it's our history! I'm not a liberal because they have their extremes as well...but there is a huge swath of conservatives that refuse to acknowledge ACTUAL history. You can't call yourself a proud american and not acknowledge ALL our history because it makes what you stand for look bad...

      November 13, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  5. taxedmore

    How to heal? Let's see – I get taxed to pay more people's bills. Yea – that's healing.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Nomorecrap

      How about following what Jesus said: Love God and Treat others well. For GOP and teabaggers is so hard to do. A little compassion would not hurt either. Like helping people in need. Save your soul kind of stuff. Save the fetus but condemn the baby, Treat gays like not humans...Jesus NEVER said a thing about abortion or gays. That is a republican religion thing.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Roderick

      @ Taxmore and Nomorecrap...don't forget how conservatives also ignore the lesson in Mark 10:17-25...don't call yourself a christian and then get upset when you are asked to use wealth (which we all have abundantly compared to the rest of the world) to take care of the poor...we are supposed to view EVERY opportunity to give (either charity, tax, or whatever) as a chance to glorify God's name and demonstrate his grace...but nooooo....conservatives want to get upset over a few more tax dollars (which actually would be a restoration to Clinton era tax levels...hmmm...wonder why they weren't fussing as much when Clinton did it?)...

      November 13, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  6. wolfpackbob

    It would be hopeful if the media, after supporting Obama to win re-election, actually did their job and investigated the needless murders of four Americans and followed the story to whomever it leads. Not a whiff anywhere today of the cancelled Petraeus congressional testimony scheduled for tomorrow. Journalism is dead in America.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Oz in OK

      Sure... as soon as we investigate the 54 Americans killed at embassies all over the world during the Bush years... odd we never hear about them, do we?

      November 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  7. DavidB

    I have no interest in healing. I see the country move coloser to a European like State and I am not interested in that happening. I want the Federal Government let Americans live the way they want and quit telling us that we all have to live the way the people in the BIG CITIES live. When this country was founded it was put together with people with many different ways of life and the Federal Government kept out of the everyday lives of the people. States had the right to do things differently. The current conflict in our socioty is a result of a more powerful and centralized government who is shoving rules down our throats... If I wanted to live like a Californian then I would live there... I do not so I live in Virginia and North Carolina. I want to be able to afford a home and have my taxes low. If the people of my community decide to limit Abortion I think that is fine... Why Because a community should get to decide somethings for it's self.

    November 13, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • someone

      First you say you want people to be able to live as they see fit without government interference, then you say the "community" (i.e. government) has the right to decide how a woman lives. Which is it?

      November 13, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  8. tallulah13

    I do wonder why people who claim to represent a man who advocated humility - and that the wealthy sell their earthly goods to give to the poor - feel the need to dress in shiny robes and hats, while expecting to be treated like they are princes.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Robert

      The Bible advocates charity, not welfare. Charity is the feewill giving of one person to another. Welfare is the government stealing from one person to give to another person. The "takers" essentially use the government as a gun to steal from the "makers" in welfare.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  9. Sakura2000

    Healing? I don't see it happening. Wherever a group of people gather, they will form cliques. People seem programed to embrace political, religious, scientific, environmental, racial etc. ideoloogy. No matter what banner people gather under the result is the same: people are sure their cause is good and right so therefore anyone who doesn't agree with them must be evil–hate follows.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:58 am |
  10. 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."

    November 13, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  11. Nathan

    Deepak Chopra not a businessman? Ha!
    Dude's worth an estimated $80 mil. And it ain't from a lack of business sense. He knows how to market and peddle more BS to more people than anyone else on that list.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  12. MacInBlac1970

    HEY DOC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BOTH sides need to " COMPROMISE " ! Please stop insisting the President needs to compromise, he has no problem with that! It's the rest of congress that needs to make compromise. The " Job creators " have had their BUSH Boy Tax cuts for 11 + years! It's time they learned to deal with the dirty little word they hate so much!

    Oh and guess what? FILIBUSTER REFORM IS COMING SOON! So guess what? If teapublicans wanna still play the stand on the sidelines of partisanship and say " NO!" up and down the board like the last 3.5 years then they can do that and we don't need to wait for them to line up. We're done playin childish gridlock games. Line up behind the President and let's get er' done!

    November 13, 2012 at 10:47 am |
    • setnommarih

      I supported Hillary Clinton, never liked Obama and dislike him more now. I have no intention of supporting him in any way.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  13. bakum

    Oh great, just what the world needs. Moral guidance from people who get their own moral structure from a book written in the Iron Age.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • DavidB

      Morals and philosophy are an intellectual exercise that is not dependent on technology; Since you don't know this you cannot present a logical argument. Man has long struggled with how to live and developed philosophies to live by. I would guess you do not know what a philosophy is. Probably have not educated yourselves about the different philosophies that have been developed over the last couple thousand years or so. I am not religious but note that the Ten Commandments are a pretty good place to start if you need rules for a society.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  14. e320dq

    After dragging Romney through the dirt, CNN post something like this – incredible

    November 13, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Scott

      This is the type of condescending self-indulgence I've come to expect from state media sources. I'll apologize for not being so simple that this type of messaging resonates for me. The country is divided for a reason. Just because a liberal president won reelection does not mean that increased government power is an answer for everything. Some of us are capable of original thought. I think we are done here CNN. Good luck with your flock.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      Romney dove head first into the dirt when his campaign tried to scare voters with blatant LIES and Mythconceptions! The media merely pointed out the obvious LIES! Romney has NO ONE to blame but himself!

      November 13, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  15. griff griff

    None of the leaders that were quoted answered the question as to how do we heal from all of the hatred toward this president that has been evident from the day he announced his run initial run for the presidency to this present day. Why is it that the hate mongers such as Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Carl Rove, Sean Hannity, Bill O'reilley, and many, many others; Why is it their message is the only one heard from the Right?? No white minister that I have heard has even attempted to address this issue. Somehow, I feel, they think it will just go away with time. History tells us that it is just not that simple. What this last election showed us is that the people who were the object of hate, banned together against the people who did the hateful things, and they won the election. Scripture tells us that "If God is for us, who can be against us?" If their hearts do not change, it will be another 20-30 years before you see a Republican president..

    November 13, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • nolimits33333

      That is a scary future. Twenty years of democrat presidents. I could see anarchy in the street with that.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • setnommarih

      I assume you never heard any comments from the liberal media. You are blind, deaf and domb.

      November 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  16. Sheila

    How to heal? Sit down in a quiet spot, and repeat the following "I give thanks that I live in a country where I can express my political views, speak them aloud, put them on bumper stickers, shout them from rooftops; where I can call the President a thief and a liar, and where I can go to my voting place in peace without worry of being kidnapped, tortured or shot because of it." Repeat it until you get over yourself. Done.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Nathan


      People really need to get over themselves.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • DavidB

      You hit the nail on the head. I am loosing my ability to live my life as I choose and "I live in a country where I can express my political views," My income is being taken to pay offf the Unions, Green Energy scammers, and the unproductive. Every time my tax dollars is redirected by the LEFT I lose a bt of freedom... Obamacare is a perfect example of that where I will lose thousands of dollars because of it...

      November 13, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • griff griff

      Sheila, it didn't happen that way for Black folk. We had to die for the right we had to vote, just to vote..

      November 13, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  17. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Was this article supposed to be a post in the jesus is a joke article?

    November 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  18. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    Yet another silly hat to go along with yet another silly cult.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:27 am |
  19. doc

    If Obama wants to unite the country he needs to sit down and compromise with Congress, without comromise the country will remain divided...Most comments that I viewed on here and on other news web sites, showed a deep division along party lines...One thing I noticed from one side was the common reference to Obamas race, and I found it wrong...One can disagree with his policies which I found most people did, but some how one side would bring up the fact that Obama is 1/2 Black and 1/2 White...but one should look beyond race and view a persons ideas, polices, and what one has done or not done..If both sides would do that there would be a better chance to accomplish something, rather than trying to set ones extreme views upon others....

    November 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • tallulah13

      President Obama spent much of his first four years seeking compromise with the republicans, and it cost him a lot of support from those who voted for him. Sadly, the republicans currently in office believe that the definition of compromise is "do everything MY way." Our President was not elected promote and protect republican special interest groups. That was former President Bush's job, and the job that Mr. Romney wanted.

      Our President was elected to promote and protect the best interests of EVERY citizen of this country, rich or poor, no matter their race or religion and including democrats, libertarians, green party members, every other small party - and even the republican party.

      Republican bully tactics have led us to this national divide. So if you are a republican, tell your leaders that it's time to start thinking about the country before their party, that is if they still have the simple human decency to put ANYTHING before themselves.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • geeky

      Why should the WINNER of the last 2 presidential elections have to do all the compromising? This makes no sense to me. The Boehn(er)-heads in the House have failed in their efforts to obstruct this President's accomplishments and make him a one-term president. It is now their turn to compromise. The President has won, and the House can no longer afford to play the same obstructionist games. The American people have let them know whom they blame for the gridlock in Washington, and it's not the President.

      November 13, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Religion is Not Heathly for children or ANY living things

      I Strongly disagree! Obama has spent the last 4 years bending over backwards to compromise with the GOP, but was met with filibusters and obstruction of Congress! It is the GOP'ers who NEEDS to learn how to COMPROMISE!!!!!!!!

      November 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  20. goodthinker

    This is a very important issue for democracies everywhere, Even the USA, which I believe to be one of the best democracies, suffers much more from bitterness and hatred than should be. Some of this is long-time prejudice associated with race. Some of it is constant friction between our two largest political parties. Some people forgive and heal. Others hold grudges and carry deep, festering wounds. I pray for moderation, compassion, tolerance, more effective political dialog, and better problem-solving among people of differing views and interests.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • Sheila

      The US is NOT a democracy. In a democracy, every single person votes on every single issue. We are a republic, where we elect representatives to vote on every single issue. Any time you get confused, start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands..."

      November 13, 2012 at 10:32 am |
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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.