As spiritual servants of vibrant and diverse faith communities that have thrived in the open and accepting community of Flower Mound, TX, we are saddened that our mayor has used the high public profile afforded by his office to issue a divisive proclamation which does not honor the inclusion of our varied faith traditions.
Moreover, the manner in which this mayoral proclamation has been executed did little to foster community wholeness or invite goodwill and equal participation among the many faith communities present in Flower Mound. Only Christian clergy were invited to hear the mayor’s formal proposal in November. When it was suggested that other religious leaders be approached and at least informed of the initiative, the mayor insisted he felt no obligation to do so.
Equally troubling is the fact that this proclamation has tied the name of our fair city to a narrow, sectarian “Bible study” website that fails to acknowledge, much less respect, the different ways faith communities (even within the Christian tradition), read and understand the Bible. The site is exclusionary and does not do proper honor to the Bible.
The Bible is, we believe, a powerful example of how diverse people have heard, discerned, and responded to the presence of the Holy One in their lives. As is evidenced by his refusal to consider and address concerns brought to him by both Jewish and Christian leaders in Flower Mound, the mayor’s initiative, by contrast, dismisses diverse interpretation and understanding of this sacred text.
Knowing all expressions of faith have value and deserve a place in our community, we invite citizens of Flower Mound to join in an open dialogue on our interfaith Facebook page. Flower Mound Faith Matters is an interfaith initiative that seeks to celebrate the diverse faith lives of our citizens by fostering relationship, discussion, and engagement among our different religious communities.
The religious diversity of our town affords us a holy and humbling opportunity to consider the magnitude and mystery of the divine as it manifests distinctively within our different religious traditions.
Rabbi Geoffrey Dennis, Congregation Kol Ami
Imam Rashid Farah, Islamic Association of Flower Mound and Lewisville
Reverend Dr. Jeffrey Howell, Creekwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Shaheed Luqman, Islamic Association of Flower Mound and Lewisville
Reverend Whitney Waller, Creekwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)