Can Fasting Bring You Closer To God?

A conversation on what fasting does to the body and the spirit.

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Reza Mansoor is a cardiologist and president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Dawn Karlson is Pastor for Youth and Family Ministry at the First Congregational Church of Southington.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Can Fasting Bring You Closer To God?
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Can Fasting Bring You Closer To God?

In researching this show, I found one claim that some of the writers of the Constitution fasted to enhance inspiration and mental clarity. I couldn't confirm that, but in 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed July 20 as a day of "fasting and humiliation."  

The notion was that a day of fasting would shake the cobwebs out of some people and wake their senses up to the necessity of independence. Thomas Jefferson and the Lees, Richard Henry and Patrick Henry, had been pushing the fasting concept in the Virginia House of Burgesses, and Benjamin Franklin was known advocate of fasting.

I guess I'm saying that, instead of pigging out at cookouts and shooting off firecrackers, we'd be staying truer to our roots if we fasted on July 4.  

The idea came back in 1798 when John Adams proclaimed May 9, 1798 as a day of fasting. 

We'll talk about the spiritual legacy of fasting in American religions on today's show with an interfaith panel of experts. 

You can join the convesation. Do you fast? Email or tweet us @wnprcolin.