A Wisconsin pastor promised to abstain from eating until the bill is passed or he reaches 6% body fat.
“I have to confess that I have been avoiding this fast. God has been trying to get my attention, but I’ve kept making excuses,” said Rev. Jonathan Barker, a pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha. The church where he is pastoring is affiliated with the liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
His last meal was stir fry vegetables and rice last September 26. He felt compelled by God to begin a period of fasting and prayer in response to climate change. He said, “Like Jonah, I feel like I was running in the exact opposite way God wanted as I put off this fast. But this morning, like Jeremiah, when I woke up, God put a fire in my bones I could no longer ignore. So this afternoon as I made lunch, I told Rae what God was calling me to do, and she encouraged me to follow my heart.”
“I would appreciate your prayers for miraculous strength for this fast and quick action in passing this climate bill,” Barker said. He also stated that he would assess how he felt each week before deciding whether or not to continue fasting.
In his Facebook post, he called the $3.5 trillion budget bill a once-in-a-species moment that can avoid catastrophic warming of the earth.
On Monday, September 28, the proposed legislation did not pass the Senate after the Republican Senators voted against it. After the fiscal year ends on September 30, Senate Democrats will try to pass a bill funding government operations.
This isn’t the first time Barker has gone without food to protest climate change. In support of the Green New Deal, the Lutheran pastor went on a 12-day fast in 2019.