Quick! What’s A Fast?

I HAVE therefore thought it fit to recommend, that Wednesday, the 9th day of May next be observed throughout the United States, as a day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; 

Recent days have, needless to say, been interesting around The Family Foundation, what with so many people contacting us encouraging our starvation during our upcoming “hunger strike.”  At first we were a bit taken aback at the complete ignorance about what the term “fast” actually means or how it’s defined in evangelical circles.  But then we realized it isn’t just “the church” that has participating in fasts over the years. It has been our entire nation, as urged by Presidents. But what with so many people in our culture who have never been taught anything at all about our actual history, one can’t really blame them for their utter ignorance.  So, in case you were wondering, corporate fasting isn’t new.  And no one, apparently, starved. The statement above comes from none other than United States President John Adams in 1798.  Now yea, I know, that was way before anyone actually understood what was meant by the First Amendment, you know, the whole “separation of church and state” thing.  But you can’t blame Adams, he was there when it was written.  He didn’t have the benefit of reading Supreme Court decisions 150 years later explaining to him what he and his colleagues of the day actually meant by the First Amendment. But I digress. The point here is, calling for fasts has been as much a part of America as baseball and apple pie (Ouch!  Sorry if you’re fasting pie.  My bad.).   Sometimes for a day, sometimes for much longer, but always defined as something similar to Adam’s words, “abstaining on that day from their customary worldly occupations.” Like eating candy bars.  Or going on Facebook.  Or tweeting. Yes, for some, not participating in social media for 40 days might actually kill them quicker than not eating, but the idea is sacrifice.  Not death.