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Flower Mound, Texas Mayor Tom Hayden proclaimed 2014 the “Year of the Bible” at the December 16 City Council meeting and the depths with which this government official is using his title and office to promote Christianity is unbelievable.

Mayor Tom Hayden

Check out his official announcement at the meeting:

While most of it is boring to watch, pay special attention to the 2:10 mark, when he dedicates the proclamation to his father, whose goal in life is to die:

… I’m very fortunate that I have a father who’s a great example. And his entire life, he’s had one goal in life: That’s to go to Heaven. And he’s 81 years old and when he dies, everything he’s ever wanted in life will be a reality. And that is a great inheritance as a son to have of a father…

That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.
Anyway, afterwards, Hayden explains why he wants to promote the Bible and get his community to discuss it, making this a city-sponsored Bible Study. While his proclamation is similar to the one made by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, what makes Hayden’s decision even worse is that he goes a step further and endorses a website — — that is run by a local church but works in conjunction with the city and holds nothing back about how the Bible is the Word of God:

We are so excited to support this project with the belief that God is going to work though it and bless our community with the hope that is contained in the scriptures. May we be in constant prayer for one another and unite around each other as fellow Flower Mound residents in love knowing that in the end our love for our neighbor is at the heart of God… as Jesus said “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Calvary Chapel Flower Mound

This is *so* far beyond a simple proclamation honoring the Bible — something that’s been done in many places before. This is a straight-up “Fuck You” to the Muslims, Hindus, Jews, atheists, and all other non-Christians in the community. With the Mayor proclaiming the Bible as God’s Word and the Truth, he’s acting as if he’s the town minister and not an elected government official.
In addition to the Bible readings, the website also features a number of quotations from prominent Americans talking about how freakin’ awesome the Bible is, though some of them are dubious:

“The Bible is the best gift God has given to man” – Abraham Lincoln

“A studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands” – Thomas Jefferson

It’s very doubtful that Lincoln ever actually said that and no citation is offered. The Jefferson quotation is an interesting addition since it’s well-known that the “Jefferson Bible” excluded the supernatural aspects of the story of Jesus. I haven’t had time to run through the other quotations.
To be clear, no one is stopping the church from hosting a Bible study like this. The problem is the Mayor supporting the project with his title and office; he’s completely overstepped his bounds:

On December 16, 2013, Mayor Tom Hayden of Flower Mound made a proclamation declaring 2014 “The Year of the Bible” for the Town of Flower Mound. His desire was bring our town back to a Biblical foundation which our country was founded and built upon. His vision is that as a Town, as many as wanted to participate, would as a community read through the entire Bible in a year together. With much prayer going into this endeavor we are excited to launch this website as a connecting point to fulfill the Mayor’s vision.

It’s worth pointing out that there’s no mention of the proclamation on the city’s official website or, weirdly enough, in the minutes of the city council meeting. There’s also no link back to the city’s website on the Bible study site, even though mentions of the mayor and a link back to a local Fox affiliate’s report on the proclamation are easily found.
It’s like they know what they’re doing is wrong, so they want to hide the connection between the two things, even though the video and news report point to a very clear connection.
You can bet church/state separation groups will be on this case ASAP. Popular or not, the government should never be promoting one religion over another but that’s precisely what Hayden has done here.
The taxpayers in his town can thank him when they have to pay the penalty for his irresponsibility.
(Thanks to @senorbuckwheat for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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