FLOWER MOUND, Texas — The mayor of a small Texas town has declared 2014 ‘The Year of the Bible.’
Mayor Tom Hayden of Flower Mound made the announcement last month at a city council meeting, explaining that he wants to encourage residents to read the entire Bible through in a year.
“There’s so much benevolence on helping your fellow person,” he told local television station KDFW. “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 was reportedly inspired in part by a similar proclamation issued in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, who likewise declared a “Year of the Bible.”
“Many of our greatest national leaders—among them Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, and Wilson—have recognized the influence of the Bible on our country’s development,” Reagan stated. “The plainspoken Andrew Jackson referred to the Bible as no less than ‘the rock on which our Republic rests.'”
“Today our beloved America and, indeed, the world, is facing a decade of enormous challenge,” he continued. “There could be no more fitting moment than now to reflect with gratitude, humility, and urgency upon the wisdom revealed to us in the writing that Abraham Lincoln called ‘the best gift God has ever given to man . . . But for [without] it we could not know right from wrong.”’
Hayden quoted Reagan during his announcement, and also pointed to other presidents who have noted the biblical foundations of the nation.
“I ask that you join with me … in proclaiming 2014 to be the year of the Bible in Flower Mound, Texas, and to encourage all residents in their own way to examine the principles and teachings found in the Bible,” he told those gathered.
The mayor then introduced Pastor Jon Bell of Calvary Chapel Flower Mound, who thanked Hayden for his “boldness” and explained that the church had created the site thebible2014.com “as a connecting point to fulfill the mayor’s vision.” The site provides a number of resources, including daily readings that help residents to study the Bible through in a year.
“The way it’s set up is that people would have the same Scripture each day,” Bell told reporters. “[S]o that at the end of the year, they’d have gone through the whole Bible in a year.”
As previously reported, lawmakers in Pennsylvania unanimously passed a resolution in January 2012 that likewise declared a “Year of the Bible.” The resolution stated that not only has the Bible been an important part of America’s history, but that in difficult times such as the present, there is a “national need to study and apply the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”
“[A]ny year or every year would be a good choice to recognize the value of the Bible,” remarked Representative Jerry Stern of Holidaysburg.