"It's time to call in God," former Ambassador Tony Hall said last week. "It's time to unleash God."
Hall made those comments at a press conference last week announcing the beginning of "HungerFast.org" -- "a campaign of those committed to fasting and prayer to protect vulnerable people from budget cuts that lack conscience."
According to a press release, the group says that while the House's proposed budget cuts represent a 2.6% cut in total spending, it represents a 26% cut in spending on poverty-focused foreign aid.
Hall, who fasted for 22 days in 1993 to protest the abolishment of the House Select Committee on Hunger, was joined by Obama spiritual adviser Jim Wallis, the liberal religious figure who trumpets "social justice" as the leader of the group Sojouners. Wallis is taking part in the fast, too.
"Ultimately this is a fast before God," Wallis said at the press conference, "to whom we turn when we don't know what else to do."
But Wallis's fast seems to be open to a subjective interpretation: "We will pray and fast, each of us in our own way, for mercy, compassion, wisdom, strength, and courage, as we make the critical budget choices about who and what are most important." Hall's previous fast was reportedly water-only.
On the campaign's website, participants can take part in a variety of ways:
Either way, Wallis sees this as a "spiritual escalation" -- "A spiritual escalation to bring those critical moral choices to the attention of the nation, and seek God's help in doing so:"
The campaign is sponsored by a variety of groups, including: World Vision, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Jewish Council on Foreign Affairs, as well as the Islamic Society of North America and Islamic Relief.
Despite Wallis and his ilk's biblical assertions, critics may accuse them of missing the point by going public with their fasting plan. In Matthew 6:16-18, Jesus seems to say that those who fast should do so in private:
When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Still, Hall believes the move will get the Almighty's attention: "It’s how we tell God we mean business.”