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 firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @wnprcolin.