I’m always fascinated by the inability of people to do something simple but very important: Look at a situation through the eyes of other folks with different opinions and life experiences. Doing this obviously never occurred to Tom Hayden, mayor of Flower Mound, when recently he declared 2014 would be “The Year of the Bible” in his fair city. Hayden later clarified his statements as not being part of an official city proclamation.
Flower Mound has a healthy quotient of non-Christian residents, including Jews, Muslims, and Zoroastrians, the quasi-pantheistic Iranian faith that was established seven centuries before the presumed birth of Jesus. What would Mayor Hayden think if one of his Zoroastrian neighbors had been elected the city’s top official and, drunk on enthusiasm over his Middle Eastern faith, declared “2014 is the year of the Avesta, ya’ll!” (That’s the collection of writings sacred to Z’s.):
“There’s no better time than the new year to acquaint yourself with divine creator Ahura Mazda, who is forever in conflict with the destructive spirit Angra Mainyu. We here in Flower Mound are really excited about Ahura’s final defeat of Mainyu, which will usher in a new end time where all of creation is united with the Holy One. Next on the city council agenda: Rezoning all the Golden Corral locations…”
Sound like a bunch of silly gobbledy-gook? Well, so does an uncreated creator who splits himself into three parts –– father, son, and holy spirit –– and sends the son down to earth to save humanity. The whole point of religious tolerance in America is that we proudly put up with other people’s spiritual gobbledy-gook so they will put up with ours (if we have any). End of civic lesson. (It’s not rocket science, people.)