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. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Moving past a divisive election

    Nancy Pelosi:
    "Get over your conscience."
    "You have ONE year."

    Their brains vacuumed out; their arms and legs pulled off; their skulls crushed.
    The premeditated, cold blooded murder, of innocent and defenseless pre-born babies with unique DNA;
    murdered for simply being inconvenient; only 3,600 times every day in america.

    FORWARD -> -> -> -> ->
    “Get over your conscience !!!”

    November 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  2. PTNY

    How to heal? Put a Gag-Ball in Mitt Romney's mouth!

    November 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Mike

      Put a gag ball in mouths of racist CNN journalists and correspondents such as Roland Martin and Ruben Navarrette ... and their racist talking heads like Soledad O'Brien.

      November 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  3. Nietodarwin

    Feeling sorry for all those "normal" Republicans out there, (some of whom voted for Obama this time around) It's your party people, you have to fix it. You let the Talibangelicals take over, fielded one of the absolute worst candidates in history, (who is also turning out to be the one of the biggest pouting sore losers in history) and just got destroyed. The only thing that I didn't like about this election is nut job Michelle Bachman is back, (but hey, if you are a "normal" GOPer you agree.

    November 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  4. Who Invited Me?


    November 16, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Byrd

    A Final Day in the Political Life: Why Mitt, FOX and the Republican’s Billions Lost the Election

    Romney began his last campaign day with a brilliant of display of his omniscient multi-taking skills by announcing that through a supreme act of will, and by firing 47% of his Mormon faith and consolidating it into the remaining 53%, he'd simultaneously found the eternal wisdom of a substantial 24% savings in labor rates alone by following the Eight-fold Path, through Lao Tzu’s Art of War, to the Buddhist and Taoist vote. Two hours later he was seen riding on an elephant through Chinatown, holding pictures of Gandhi, Krishna and Mao while chanting "Harry Krenshaw(?)" in hopes of attracting Hopi Indians (because all Indian guys can ride elephants), Chinese and those bald guys wearing robes in the airports.

    Now in full Mitt mode, he next enraged practically all Latino, Hispanic and Yaqui voters at a brunch with both Mescalero and the Virgin Mary, after which Mescalero was arrested for possession of peyote in hope of securing the votes of the DEA, ATF, FBI, CIA, NSA, NRA, FOP and that wacko sheriff in Arizona.

    His next stop was Denver, where he had a good laugh about tax evasion and off-shore shelters while watching the Daily Show and Colbert Report with a promising group of now taxpaying entrepreneur investors in marijuana clinics in Colorado, California, Washington, and Washington, DC, etc., who mistakenly believed that a tax-exempt stash contribution (easy mistake for anyone) might help change the tax laws in their favor and even stop a war (they were stoned, you know) if he'd only try a bit more of the Afghani bud rolled up with the Nepalese Temple Balls to see the boundless business opportunities in their now properly illuminated light. Mitt later claimed to have had yet another religious experience/revelation which he subsequently forgot while playing with the straws at a local Wendy's. Now we’ll never know. Our loss. Oh, darn.

    (Late Update): Mescalero somehow managed to slip the handcuffs and his whereabouts remain unknown. He was last reported breezin' through town on his white horse, Mescalito.

    In yet another last ditch effort for votes, the Romney's announced over the family breakfast table and an upside down box of Wheaties that four of their five sons would marry women of different races and ethnicities, while a fifth son as yet to be identified would become gay and attempt to enlist in the Marines because Ann likes the snazzy uniforms. The Navy issued an open invitation in case he was rejected by the Marines, who after first declining, have now said that they were simply too busy at the moment to respond to hypotheticals, but to call back after the damn war was over. Or more colorful words to that effect – they are Marines.

    The last straw breaking news, at least for the afternoon, came when the Mormon Tabernacle in Washington DC announced at 3:47pm that they were replacing the wizard currently atop their temple with a statue of Mitt who was then reportedly "ascended" into heaven in an secret Mormon ceremony closed to the public, for private consultation with Joseph Smith and Jesus, where Smith reportedly refused to hand over the golden tablets which might have swayed the election in Mitt's favor. As usual, Jesus refused to appear before the cameras for comment, but a spokesman, again as usual, said he promised to get right back to us faster than Mitt can say, "I like (insert favorite cause, food, ethnicity or whatever else you can think of, and/or its antonym, here).

    It was all over by nightfall and the final nail in the Romney campaign coffin was set when he was asked in a live interview by an obviously in full-blown conniption, Megan Kelly, if he was even remotely concerned about the painfully conflicting and twisted dichotomy of duplicity he constantly and erratically displayed, to which Mitt confidently replied, "No, I'm not concerned at all. My proctologist is very gentle and Ann's behind me 100%." Kelly was momentarily restrained during the break by police after garroting a now permanently comatose Karl Rove under the anchor desk with her panty hose and Karl’s own string of pearls, but was released when everyone, including the police, paramedics, even Nancy Grace and that Greta lady agreed that no jury in this or any alternate universe would ever convict and besides, the ceaseless replays of the heinous act had sent their ratings through the roof. Judge Judy pronounced Rove’s intellectual demise an act of god and Kelly innocent of all charges, but stipulated that she would have to continue lithium and electroshock therapy for life.

    Mitt's final comment of the day was captured on a pizza delivery guy's iPhone at the airport and broadcast to the entire world for almost ten minutes before Ted Nugent could take him down with a bow shot to the leg. All he meant to say was, "It rests with the angels now...” which was just fine until he then added while slipping into a vacant stare, "...or maybe with those whirling guys with the dervish-looking things..." Someone on the staff thankfully slipped him a mickey and the cabin door was sealed while the cops hauled Nugent away. The pizza guy was immediately hired by msnbc.

    The angels and Sufis in an emphatic joint statement said, "Leave us the hell out of this."


    Maybe they’ll someday all figure out for themselves why they lost the race, but in the meantime the RNC brain-trust (meaning: trust us, we have a brain) has announced that they are going to enhance their approval ratings with Hispanic voters by presenting just the right combination of empty, non-substantive words, combined with images of Jeb Bush with his hand up the back of a Marco Rubio puppet whenever Marco’s unavailable, in an ad infinitum media loop which will begin airing next week when FOX announces the debut of the 2016 assault against reason election season.

    It would appear that duplicity, at least for a most important day in America, realized its fate as its own worst enemy. And I’m hip to that. A huge segment of our society has been lied to in a very big way, and not by us. So perhaps you might put personal animosities aside for awhile, try putting just one-tenth of your hatred into really constructive problem solving, and let’s see where we get. And then maybe you’ll contribute a twenty percent effort the next time around instead of simply obstructing everything, which is a stone-cold, guaranteed path to accomplishing absolutely nothing.

    So the best way to start the healing is by conservatives doing yourselves and all of us a favor: Turn off FOX now. And forever.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Abraham

      Hmm...try some meds Byrd....

      November 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • niknak

      Too long and boring.

      November 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  6. hawaiiguest

    I'm actually surprised that CNN hasn't moved over to December 21 doomsday and other 2012 doomsday bullshit.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Prophet

      And it shall come to pass, in the latter days of November and early-to-mid December, doomsday blogs shall aboundeth. And the deluge of wild-eyed fanatics shall nearly inundate (and entertain) us. It is written.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  7. Rev. Rick

    It's interesting reading comments both here, and on other sections of the CNN website. For many in the GOP, the election hasn't ended yet! Well, wake up and smell the coffee! As a former Republican, it is embarassing to read and hear what's being said here. The GOP lost. End of story. Better luck in 2016. Let's move along....

    November 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Clinton 2016!

      November 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  8. J. Barrett Lee

    Reblogged this on The Theological Wanderings of a Street Pastor and commented:
    Add your thoughts here... (optional)

    November 15, 2012 at 9:28 am |
  9. TeaPatriot

    I have an idea. force all ciizens to vote, at the penalty of say 5K dollars, in each election. Failing that, let the governor or state house assign a 'default candidate' to whom all unvoted votes go to. This will solve the problem of 60% turnout.

    November 14, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
    • Say it ain't so

      Are you crazy? Force people into doing something is communism oh wait this country's already going there with forcing health care or pay up.

      November 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm |

      Well as long as they can label it a tax like the healthcare penalty then you could have it.

      November 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  10. Say it ain't so

    The best way to solve things now which nobody will do is to get rid of the democratic & republican parties & start looking at average regular joes for the job. I think it would be best if we thought outside the box for now since neither the dems nor the reps are equipped with the ability to run a nation fairly.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  11. godFreeNow

    It's amazing how all of the religious leaders were positive except for the Christian and mormon ones. Curious how the mormon "so-called" prophet mentioned we are going through "difficult and turbulent times." Of course he's only saying that because his romney butt-buddy lost. Yes ladies and gentlemen, the current prophet of the LDS church is gay. He's had a huge retinue of gay boys in the last 20 years...I can tell you all about it.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  12. TeaPatriot

    Had enuff of the liberal socialist masses deciding the future for all of us. VA used to be a solid red state till all these moochers flooded northern VA.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • Awwww

      @ TeaPat Riot – awwww, the poor widdle baby doesn't like having to share, wa waa waaaa! Now da scowy brown people are living in his community and they get treated as if they were just the same as him! Wheres the outrage?!? How can these 'colored' folk get the same rights to American freedoms as a good ol' Virginy white boy? Dey Took Arr Jaaaabbbbssss!!

      November 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Sitting Bull

      Yes, VA used to be a solid red state till all these moochers flooded northern VA... too bad we had only arrows and they had guns...

      November 14, 2012 at 11:51 am |


    November 14, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • FIYA

      Wow; some of the comments here!!! I can see how a Romney/Ryant that lied all the way to the election got as far as they did; we have a terrible lot of unsophisticated voters who can be misled so easily- and the comments proves that, lets try being a lot more pratical please

      November 14, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Say it ain't so

      @fiya: you're right, we have unsophisticated voters who can be misled so easily & this latest election & the man they re-elected prove it. Btw before you go judging me i'm a democrat.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  14. Chase

    Our nation is the most divided we have been since the Civil War. Even our members of Congress don't speak to the other side. Bill Moyers did a nice piece on each side calling the other "evil". We have certainly lost our moral footings. I am not optimistic about the future.

    November 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      Our religion-free future looks bright to me.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Mike

      If the world truly wants to be without God, I suppose it would be fair and right for God to withdraw all involvement in the human race. People say they want this, but they don't realize what they are asking for. If left unchecked, human beings as a whole (not everyone), will become very lawless and very evil. The product will not be the kind of world anyone would want to live in. It would be just for God to give humanity (if all were in agreement) what they are asking for, but would He really ever allow this except to put an end to the world as we know it? I think the only reason that He doesn't completely withdraw all influence is that not everyone is asking for this...yet.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • EvolvedDNA

      Mike..such nonsense ..there has never been, and never will be a god . The universe is unfolding the way it will , like it or not.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest


      Just because you like to devalue humans so much doesn't mean it's true.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb


      It's a small mind that sees only but 'one' universe when the Cosmos abounds with immeasurable amounts of universes.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • End Religion

      "...God to withdraw all involvement in the human race. People say they want this, but they don't realize what they are asking for."

      So you know better than we what we want? Wow, thanks dad but I can make my own decisions. God doesn't have any involvement in the human race. He's imaginary.

      "If left unchecked, human beings as a whole (not everyone), will become very lawless and very evil."

      Sweden, Denmark, Norway seem to do OK with most as atheists. Can you post the documentation proving atheism will result in lawless evil?

      "The product will not be the kind of world anyone would want to live in."

      Me, me, me! Ooh, ooh, ooh, Mr. Kotter!

      "It would be just for God to give humanity (if all were in agreement) what they are asking for, but would He really ever allow this except to put an end to the world as we know it?"

      God doesn't have any say in what we do. He is imaginary. He'd have no part in allowing or disallowing anything.

      "I think the only reason that He doesn't completely withdraw all influence is that not everyone is asking for this...yet."

      If dude is all powerful why would he ever withdraw influence no matter what we want? I swear, the crazy machinations you people go through in your mind to try to rationalize an imaginary being is amazing.

      November 16, 2012 at 1:05 am |
  15. Free Man in the Republic of Texas

    Moving past divisive election ???

    "Get over your conscience" ???

    Obey ObamaCare or God ???

    November 13, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • I looked for the Free Man in Texas

      I looked all over that piss ass Republic. I found only lickspittles of just about anyone with conservative pretensions.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Al

      Texas: where a 3rd grade mind can be governor.

      November 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • End Religion

      Back in your bunker and prep for a loooooong line of Democratic Presidents. You'll be tired of pork n' beans by the time we ever see a Republican there again.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  16. tspokc

    Ineptomaniac-in-chief has successfully created the ineptocracy.

    Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy)

    A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

    Translation for the genetically mutant "having thoughts" liberal mind, simplified for certain understanding: It is a certainty that it is all going to crash.

    November 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • MattL

      So the funny thing with that is I'm a liberal that voted Obama and I see the same thing but with a complete role reversal.

      I mean we had the whole conservative movement predicting Romney had this in the bag, they completely misread people, they thought 2008 voter turnout was a fluke, and they thought all of the polls that showed there were more democrats than republicans were a fluke (a second time fluke since it happened in 2008).

      Not only did they completely miss the obvious massive amount of information that all others *didn't* miss they then have this delusional view of the world, that the wealthy businesses owners and investors are the producers... In what bizarro world is that lol... the business owners and investors are at *best* those who help to enable (and sometimes disable) the producers. They don't actually make anything. Do you think they make any of the keyboards, monitors, or computers that we are using to post these comments? Do you think they were even the ones who did the bulk of design work and technical design work to accomplish this? No, they are the money lenders or managers of those people... by *definition* they are *not* the producers, they are not the makers as conservatives like to call them... they are the takers, they take a disproportionate share of the reward from the makers, the people who actually make and accomplish things.

      Yes they have a roll, but let me give you two extreme options:

      A) the Execs, business owners, and investors are instantly removed
      B) The workers, the true makers and producers are removed

      Want to bet which one would accomplish more 😉 Group A might in fact enable a lot of group B but without B group A is literally nothing... American capitalism is a pyramid scheme and the delusional people who take advantage of everyone else have a distorted view that it's something different, all I have to say is grow up.

      November 13, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • dustymack

      I'm failing to see how spending 4 years fighting gay rights and abortions is helping our country out!

      TEAbaging!diot= Some one who calls out another party for wrong doing when their party has done far worse. This term is closely related to hypocrisy!

      November 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • annie

      MattL: I think business owners are aware that they need workers to keep their businesses running. However, I think the workers far outweigh the entrepreneurs – those who have ideas, are willing to take a risk – the time and money to start a business. And saying the business owners are hard workers does not mean that the employees are not also hard workers. You need both. But you need the risk takers first. The future employees will always be there, ready to accept jobs. Takers? I hardly think so. They provide the opportunity for the rest of us to do what we are hired to do – and yes, that means producing. Can't have one without the other.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:25 am |
    • RandelFlag

      You won't have ole Mitt to kick around anymore. 🙁

      November 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  17. On StreetWise

    In that first picture... is that Karl Rove in drag?

    November 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  18. Reality

    Dear Bishop Dolan,

    For your next sermon-


    Joe Smith had his Moroni. (As does M. Romney)

    "Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As does BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan)

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

    November 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  19. george

    One comment....Mr O get rid of your Dictatorial, "My way or the Highway Approach" and Congress might be willing to go along with some of your policies.....( Maybe?)

    November 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • sam stone

      dictatorial? perhaps an example....

      November 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Nathan

      Yeah...example? You can say a lot of things about Obama, but "dictatorial" when dealing with Congress is definitely a new one on me!

      November 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • End Religion

      Another poster from Bizarro World, where everything is opposite.

      November 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      One example:

      Why go through Congress when the President can use his powers and the unelected fourth branch of government (our labyrinthine bureaucracy) to simply will it into being?

      I’m sure Congress is asking itself a similar question after President Obama’s executive order asked DHS to stop enforcing deportations of younger illegals (no vote pandering there!), while encouraging those youngsters to get work permits. Some estimate that this will impact about 800,000 people.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • Doug

      "while encouraging those youngsters to get work permits. Some estimate that this will impact about 800,000 people."

      Bill are you really that stupid? It's a great plan, you get these people to register and then you can actually track them, allow them to work for a year, then deport them. Do you really think DHS would have found all those people that came out of the wood work otherwise? Get real.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Doug, the discussion isn't how effective INS would or would not have been. The discussion is whether or not there is an example of the President dictating his own views that contravene the law of the nation, passed by Congress. I suspect that if a conservative President were to contravene one of your favorite laws, you would be willing to see the infringement on the balance of power but since you support Obama you are willing to give him a pass. Nonetheless, he did, in fact, order the Justice Department to stand down on enforcing the law. I am certain there are other examples that support the allegation of executive fiat. Finally, I think when one does not understand the argument and resorts to calling his opponent stupid is called "projection"

      November 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Observer

      Bill Deacon,

      "an example of the President dictating his own views that contravene the law of the nation".

      Oh! Like when Bush ignored all the laws on torture?

      November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Or Bush's completely bullshit faith based initiatives, although Obama has completely failed to address those crap laws and either fix or get rid of them.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • End Religion


      November 16, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So your defense is "He did it first."?

      November 16, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    November 13, 2012 at 4:06 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 4:08 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 4:09 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      November 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Al


      November 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • Freethinker

      If only you had prayed more, none of this would have happened. It's your fault for not praying more!

      November 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • fblove

      @Freethinker If only I had free thoughts like you, only people who reject the commandments to not steal, lie, murder, covet, who reject forgiving your enemies, doing as you would have others do to you, and loving the God who commanded that with all your heart can have free thoughts. Blind being lead by the blind, they will both fall into the pit.

      November 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
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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.