Shannon Craig Straw

Shannon Craig Straw is a Washington, D.C.-based communications strategist working primarily with social justice and religious advocacy organizations. She is a lay leader and Sunday school teacher at Mount Olivet United Methodist in Arlington, Va. You can follow her on Twitter: @ShannonStraw

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Lent Isn't Just a Second Chance at New Year's Resolutions

by Shannon Craig Straw 03-10-2014

Shannon Craig Straw photo courtesy of Shannon Craig Straw/RNS

So here we go again. It’s that time of year — Lent, when many Christians give something up. Often it’s food, although my mom told me when I was a kid that giving up vegetables doesn’t count.

A few years ago, as we approached Lent, a few of my friends (who during the rest of the year rejected religion), announced they, too, were giving something up. What, exactly, they were relinquishing, I don’t remember — and it doesn’t matter.

At the time, it was a joke — “Don’t want to upset Baby Jesus …”

While I still chuckle at the memory, it has lost some of the humor. As the Facebook statuses appeared in my newsfeed leading up to Lent, with my friends announcing what people are giving up or crowd-sourcing ideas, I found myself getting frustrated.