The mayor of a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb has made a New Year's resolution of his own, officially declaring 2014 the "Year of the Bible."
Tom Hayden, the mayor of Flower Mound, Texas told MYFoxDFW that he had been wanting to make his declaration for two years now and finally decided this was the year "to encourage people"
to embrace the values the Bible teaches.
"There's so much benevolence on helping your fellow person," he said. "And the morality that helped build our country is based on the values that are found in the Bible. And as we look at problems, maybe we're getting away from those values. And in my little small way, I want to encourage people to get back into those values. "
Hayden wants all of Flower Mound's residents to read the Bible online this year. Daily passages will be posted at thebible2014.com
, a website created by the Calvary Chapel of Flower Mound.
Not everyone in town agrees with the move, however.
"He was elected mayor, not as spiritual leader of Flower Mound," Curt Orton told Fox.
Hayden made his declaration at a city council meeting
on December 16, reports the Dallas Observer, which quoted him as saying, "Tonight I'm going to do something that's a special proclamation, and the idea of this is to encourage our community to discuss the Bible — to discuss it with your kids, to discuss it as a family — I ask that you join with me, Tom Hayden, mayor of the town of Flower Mound, Texas, in proclaiming 2014 to be the year of the Bible . . . and to encourage all residents in their own way to examine the principles and teachings found in the Bible."
"Mayor Hayden is clearly using his elected office to promote devotional Christian activity, and that clearly violates the spirit, if not the letter of the First Amendment," Zach Moore, former president of the DFW Coalition of Reason, told the Observer.
"If he were a Muslim who decreed 2014 to be the 'Year of the Quran,' I don't think it would be quite as popular," he added.
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