Sheila Jackson Lee is Fasting for a Budget Deal

You probably didn't know that people are fasting as a call for a fair budget deal in Congress.

Among them: our own Sheila Jackson Lee. (We didn't know of the fast until we read about it in the Houston Chronicle's religion blog.)

We cannot begin to imagine what some of our regular commenters will say about this. We have no idea what card they will play.

The fast is not a total one; participants trade off days. Kinda like Bobby Sands did, but with a whole lot more food involved.

Jim Wallis, one of the promoters of the fast idea, says it has gone viral. "The fast has energized the faith community, poverty and hunger organizations, and secular social change groups, and has helped to spark a broad and united movement for a moral budget," he says.

My favorite thing about these first 10 days of the fast has been the stories. For example, a doctor friend, calling with concerns about my health, said, "Well, I walked into church today and our youth group announced a 30-hour fast for the poor and a moral budget, and said they were inspired by your fast." Also, a Jewish activist joining our water fast told me he was re-reading the biblical story of Esther, who called the people to a public fast to change the king's mind. He spoke about the emotions he felt when he imagined his 2-year-old daughter having the hunger pangs he was now experiencing. Low-income workers from my hometown of Detroit, Michigan came to one of our Congressional events to thank us for fasting, and to say they were joining us.

Up next: Republicans fast for more capital-gains tax cuts.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly