Fasting To Protest 2012 Budget: One Man Doesn’t Eat So Others Won’t Starve

The final budget that was passed for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year began the process of attempting to balance needs of the country on the backs of America’s poorest and most vulnerable.  And the Ryan budget for 2012 that was proposed in the midst of the battle over a government shutdown simply proved that Republicans were looking for even more sacrifice from those who could least afford it.  Proposed cuts to medicaid, medicare and social security got the biggest play, but also in the bugest were continued decreases in funding for programs like WIC and food stamps.

Many people argued.  Many rallied.  Many started calling their representatives or speaking out at campaign events.

But one man stopped eating.

Jim Wallis, an author and Christian who blogs at “God’s Politics” decided that he would fast the entire four weeks leading up to Easter to serve as a reminder that a budget needs to be a “moral document.”  He joined with other religious leaders to fast as a reminder that Jesus believed in caring for the poor.  And now, with Easter around the corner, he is preparing to finally break his fast.

Via his blog:

The past four weeks of fasting have been personally transformative for me. Fasting has reminded me of the pain that so many in our country and world experience when they go hungry every day. They don’t get to end their “fast” at Easter. Most of all, I have been encouraged by all of those who have participated. Too often, injustice is perpetuated because good people just stand on the side lines or feel disempowered to act. The tens of thousands of people who joined in the Hunger Fast for a Moral Budget and added their own passion, creativity, and energy to the movement have confirmed for me that these cuts will not stand. While sometimes the way seems long, this Lent has been spiritual preparation for a sustained political fight. Next week, Sojourners will announce a new coalition of leaders and organizations who will work to grow a movement of Christians and other allies of faith and conscience who oppose unjust and immoral budgets.

Wallis’s religious call of “What Would Jesus Cut” and his budget fast brought in “more than 36,000 people and 28 members of Congress joined the fast in their own ways.”  Now, with Easter here they can ease back on their fast, but still remember that without their vigilance, the poor may not have as much choice in whether or not they get to eat.


Photo by Gisela Francisco from Paris, France (Set Uploaded by fetchcomms) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


William Ford
William Ford6 years ago

My mind thinks good idea but my stomach doesn't buy it. Dang

April Thompson
April Thompson6 years ago

Thank you for doing a good intention for others!

Lynn Mitchell
Lynn Mitchell6 years ago

Its so good to read something good

Carol Smith
Carol Smith6 years ago

Jim, bless you for caring about us poor folks. When you have recovered from your fast, may I suggest that you try to circulate petitions among the poor? Get their voices heard, if they can sign their names or someone will witness an X. If the politicians have never heard from us, this needs done. I sit crying alone myself, nobody will back me yet, help me get the petitions going. My lone letters and so forth get swept under the rug as only being ONE person bad off. Well, if they hear from a horde that are honestly bad off, somehow it should help.

Deborah Weinischke
Deborah H6 years ago

Some of the most nutritious, healing, and abundant foods on Earth are FREE, but most people call them weeds and go to great lengths to poison and eradicate them.

Sound Mind
Ronald E6 years ago

Most of us could take a cue from this. Four weeks is only 28 days, many of us (at least ME) could handle the full forty days without any ill effect.

Michael R.
Michael R.6 years ago

He's making a point and that's ok, but it really is an empty gester unless he had given his meals to someone who had nothing to eat.

Charles Temm JR
Charles Temm JR6 years ago

So many people are whining over non existent budget cuts...even if the Repubs got their vaunted cuts in entirety we'd have only cut 25% of last months deficit spending!

Wake up people. When the debt crisis finally comes, sooner rather then later-entitlements will be gone. Gone. Even contractual ones like pensions will disappear because the dollar will be so much paper. The Repubs for all the fanfare have only attempted to rein in the rate of increase, not really cut deficits or pay back debt. The Dems aren't even doing that but are banging the drums for more taxes and playing accountant games with savings claims that don't even exist.

If the tiny cuts that did happen hurt your feelings, what are you going to do when the money is longer there for anything but paying bureaucrats? You know they won't lose their jobs...

Patricia S.
Pat S6 years ago

Interesting that Robin has one article that people are getting fat in the US, and this article where people are starving in the US!!!

William R.
William R6 years ago

@ James J There are people in this country starving to death. And thanks to politics we don't hear about it because the media finds it does not sell papers or attract veiwers to tv news. There are seniors who eat once a day so they can afford their meds and then take only half a dose. You need to read something besides the headlines in the paper. Homeless children go without everyday because they can only afford to eat once a day.