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News » Private Eye

Fasting for Romney

Watch out: John Saltas is hungry



Dear God, I’m hungry. I can’t even remember the last time I ate—not counting breakfast of ham & eggs, a peanut-butter sandwich for lunch and some leftover Halloween candy, that is. I became hungry back in September, like fellow Mitt Romney worshipers, when it became widely believed that without godly intervention, Mr. Romney had no chance of winning the U.S. presidency. So, a fast was organized: Fasting for Romney, it was called. People all over the map, and especially Mormons (who fast nearly as much as the Greek Orthodox), began starving themselves in the hopes that God would put some coinage into the intelligence meters of the masses. Once those others became smart, the Fasting for Romney people thought, Mitt would be blessed with the apocalyptic victory that has always been his destiny. And theirs.

As I sit here typing—with FAGE brand Greek yogurt at my elbow—I can’t reasonably predict that Romney will win the Nov. 6 election. He’ll win Utah, that’s a given. And Montana. And Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. He would have won those states without the residents skipping meals. And no one living in the Bible Belt states of the Deep South need have passed on a plate of grits, either—once the evangelicals did their black & white calculus, they embraced Romney as if he were always a member of their choir, despite the fact it wasn’t so long ago those same evangelicals regarded Mormons as non-Christian pond scum. It is indeed true that politics makes strange bedfellows.

Personally, if I were Romney, I’d have told those folks to stick it. Who needs friends like them? But then again, I don’t have Romney’s crass ambition, nor have I ever held any official position in my own church, so I pale on the moral and forgiveness scale when compared to Romney, who was once a “pastor” in the LDS Church. I’m just a regular Joe when it comes to church attendance and matters of faith. It’s all way over my head, but I do like that our priests serve hot coffee at the end of every Greek Orthodox church service. And cookies.

Which is the dilemma of being a Greek Orthodox and wanting to fast for Romney. Our fasting is different. Unless a Greek Orthodox parishioner is preparing to take a sacrament, or finds himself in the midst of a long, mysterious fast period, fasting doesn’t always equate to not eating. We eat—just not anything good. A fasting Greek might skip the meat, the cheese, the olive oil and the wine, and it’s considered fasting—but they won’t skip the lima beans. No way. They don’t skip the spinach, either, and octopus is fair game. Up to the very end of the day they might take communion, a Greek doesn’t miss many meals. Yet, we get hungry.

I’ve been “Fasting for Romney” for over a month now. I haven’t eaten kimchi since who knows when, nor have I had even a square of Hershey’s dark chocolate. I can’t wait until tomorrow, when I can have the one thing I’ve missed the most—hen’s feet. I did my deed and I did it for a worthy and just man, a man so near to God, he might as well be one: Mitt Romney. And now, if I’m reading my social-media channels right, that makes me closer to God. Gee, that was easy, come to think about it.

I know Mitt’s almost God because that’s what many of my Facebook friends keep posting. They also post that if Mitt loses, they will lose their businesses, their kids will suffer C grades and America will begin a swift dive into debt and deprivation—a place like Greece, according to Mitt Romney. We will not enjoy our former glory. Our jobs will stay overseas. Our military will shrink to the size of happy campers’ gonads in a cold mountain lake. Our self-esteem will suffer, and the price of a manicure will double. That’s right. America, according to Facebook, is a place where, if Mitt Romney loses, you might find yourself having to clip and polish your own nails.

It must be true because my friends say it’s true. They post about it all the time. Obama is the devil. Romney is God. Those people on Facebook are scared to death, basically, of Mexicans, Muslims and blacks. And I wonder why, if they are so scared, they resorted to not eating to make things better. So, I fasted with them. And guess what? Nothing happened. I gained weight, even.

But, I wasn’t Fasting for Romney like they were. I’m not a Romney supporter, and I think there’d be hell to pay with him as president (I voted for Jon Huntsman Jr.). No, I was Fasting for Romney just to have something to do. I honestly don’t understand—and I’m no atheist—why people pray to any God or deity for things to get better for them by passing off the responsibility to someone else, especially a politician, no less. In that regard, the passing of the responsibility buck to God is no different than passing it to big government.

If I fast or pray tomorrow, it will not be because Romney or Obama promised me a better future. It will be because I’ve already had, like all of you, a better go in life than probably 95 percent of all persons ever born. And I’ll say thanks for that—not for the promise of no health care for my employees or a tax loophole that buys me another hubcap. Be grateful and move forward, people. And start eating—the next apocalypse is only four years away. 

Twitter: @JohnSaltas