PIONEER FILE PHOTO - Rep. Vic GilliamThe campaign season is finally over. Or is it?

Do both sides continue campaign discord ad nauseam? It’s no surprise that extremists & media coverage continue to rile us with the repeat vitriol from the Presidential contest, thus starting battles all over again. Do we fall for their bait or do we instead take a collective deep breath and let the campaign atmosphere dissipate and welcome the fresh air of cooperation into our conversations and communities?

No matter who won or lost, how do we...

...stay true to our heartfelt convictions while respecting our constitution, traditions and fellow Americans?

...accept the reality of Oregon’s and our Nation’s differing political climates? together for a better state, nation and the world?

My mentor years ago was “Oregon’s Greatest Statesman,” Senator Mark O. Hatfield. The Senator knew that Scripture could often turn hearts far above political campaigns or government activity.

I offer this passage because I believe it can inspire “statesmanship behavior” resulting in fruitful relationships - even in the tempest of politics.

“God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?”

— Galatians 5: 13-15, The Message Version

May God bless all Americans.

— Rep. Vic Gilliam represents House District 18, which includes Molalla.

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