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It seems that many of us have experienced a bit of a lull in our political passion since the tumultuous and climactic election.  In trying to analyze my own lethargy, I have concluded it has been partly due to post-election fatigue and partly akin to what the avid baseball fan drifts into after a long and successful season that ends with their favorite team finally winning the World Series.  I sensed a global sigh of relief as the reality of this historic moment dawned on a suffering planet.  For whatever reasons, many of us have subsequently kicked back, basking in the afterglow as the days between November and January have passed. 

Now, with the inauguration approaching, I feel rested and ready to jump back into the fray for the sake of justice and mercy.  Think about it, there's someone coming into the most powerful position of human authority on Earth who seems to understand what words like justice and mercy mean.  Now is the time to raise a powerful lobby for public policy that is derived from compassion rather than greed.  Policies that address the acute problems of the many have an opportunity to be prioritized above those that only serve to benefit the few.   Obama's platform reflected these values, but will his policies?  That remains to be seen. 

Opportunity to engage in something more than futile protesting is before us.  Humanity stands in desperate need for a virile movement to arise that will seek, discover and advocate for compassionate and creative solutions to the most pressing problems on our troubled Earth.  People of both moral conscience and faith know that justice driven principles demand that human suffering must be alleviated where it can be and this historically involves the collective efforts of Church and State. 

Probably not since World War II has there been such a need for our nation and the Church to assemble itself in unity. Speaking with a strong collective voice, passionate activism must now arise even as the fires of dissent driven resistance fades. It's time to build rather than oppose. However, we must not let the fire of dissent go completely out as we maintain vigilance in monitoring the new government. We must insist on righteous governance that measures up to justice and be willing to protest anything less.

The new Congress must be challenged to assemble in a cooperative spirit as they partner with a President who brings an earnest and hopeful vision for rebuilding our nation. The quote below was taken from a recent Obama media statement and fittingly serves to encourage the kind of hope, selfless sacrifice, innovation and unity that is essential for our nation's recovery. When I say recovery, I don't mean a continuation or restoration of international military or economic hegemony, but recovery of the guiding principles of the founding fathers that valued dignity, freedom and fair play.

Obama quote...."I am optimistic that if we come together to seek solutions that advance not the interests of any party, or the agenda of any one group, but the aspirations of all Americans, then we will meet the challenges of our time just as previous generations have met the challenges of theirs."

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Gary Vance is an evangelical pastor/writer living in rural Tennessee. He is the author of "Wasn't Jesus a Liberal?" and other published essays.

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