Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden Is Alienating Residents One Facebook Post at a Time

Categories: News, The 'Burbs

TomHaydenMug.jpg
Tom Hayden
The Year of the Bible in Flower Mound is at its midpoint, and Mayor Tom Hayden says it's been more successful than he could have imagined. Since he delivered the proclamation at a Town Council meeting last December, more than a million people from 80 different countries have visited the Year of the Bible website (which, for the record, is operated by Calvalry Chapel Flower Mound using no taxpayer dollars). Thousands more have sent Hayden emails and, while a few were angry, even threatening, they've been about 80 percent positive. If he had to do it over again he would. No hesitation.

Flower Mound residents, though, are learning that the Year-of-the-Bible speech wasn't a one-off thing. Hayden is a man whose political and religious opinions are stitched large on his sleeve and on his Facebook page.

"Just because I'm an elected official doesn't mean I don't have freedom of speech," he tells Unfair Park. "I haven't checked my First Amendment Rights at the door."

True enough, but some Flower Mound residents who don't subscribe to Hayden's particular brand of movement conservatism feel they are being alienated for no good reason. The mayor is supposed to make sure citizens have safe neighborhoods, drivable roads, and timely garbage collection. When he floods his Facebook page with commentary on hot-button political topics, it's distracting and unnecessarily divisive.

See also: The Mayor of Flower Mound Has Declared 2014 the "Year of the Bible"

"Nobody would expect him to change his conservative stripes," says Mike Ogulnick, a 12-year Flower Mound resident and self-described "token Jew," who has become involved in helping plan regular gatherings of the town's relatively small community of liberals. "But I think that once you take office, common sense dictates" that you moderate your tone.

Hayden hasn't done that. One example cited by Olgunick and a couple of emailers was his response to a recent post on the Flower Mound Republican Forum on Facebook. Hayden, quoting a post on a nonpolitical Flower Mound community Facebook page announcing the existence of "a great group of Democrats who are having tons of fun getting to know each other by meeting up at local restaurants" and starting a book club, warned of a coming invasion:

I share this as a reminder that Texas is seeing much immigration from North of the Red River and the far West (Toyota for example) and many of these folks are bringing with them different values and philosophies. I've heard the saying that "Texas being the conservative bastion" can help retake the country ... I think we need to be on guard that the opposite doesn't happen, because I can feel the shift happening right under our noses. While we have different wings of conservative principles disagreeing amongst ourselves, it feels we are slipping. Remember the saying, all politics are local, locally we need to be strong, and overlook minor disagreements. We need to keep pushing a simple but positive message.

Another example came on Sunday when he linked to a inflammatory right-wing YouTube video from 2009 entitled "Obama Admits He Is a Muslim". He stopped short of endorsing the video but wrote that parts were "interesting."

Well some of the quotes in the video are interesting, such as "we are no longer are a Christian nation". ... Which must mean we were once a nation of Christian principles. I hope laws are not passed that force Christians to violate their beliefs. It's interest (sic) how our country is evolving, we as a nation are being lectured that we must be tolerant of everyone's beliefs, everyone that is except the beliefs of Christians. As I was watching the video I was thinking, could you ever image (sic) a leader of a Muslim country speaking so inclusively about the state of Israel or Christians.

See also: Flower Mound's Big "Year of the Bible" Fight Was Nauseatingly Civil

That post now appears to be gone from his Facebook page, but Hayden doesn't regret posting it. "I think (it) had interesting quotes," he says. He says his critics should understand is that the message was his personal opinion posted on his personal (albeit public) Facebook page. He says he is careful to segregate the actions and statements of Tom Hayden, Mayor of Flower Mound from those of Tom Hayden, private citizen.

For Ogulnick, the distinction isn't so neat. Hayden doesn't just stop being mayor when he logs onto Facebook.

He says the posts are "indicative of somebody who hasn't come to grips with (the distinction between) being a public servant and having political views."

Don't expect Hayden to experience that revelation any time soon. He stands by his right to express himself however he chooses and insists that it doesn't impede the performance of his mayoral duties.

"I represent everyone, and I think if you ask, I've treated everybody fairly and equally since I've been mayor of Flower Mound."

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

My Voice Nation Help
95 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter

est | Top Comments

markie1918 hours ago


Kerry Goad6 minutes ago via YouTubeOnly Me
  • READ THEME MY LIFE MARKERRY SOLL GOAD -MARKIE MC NIGHT SISTER TO DARROW K SOLL KILLED NO SUICIDE -I AM A MEDIUM PROPHET DANGEROUS HERE CAN NOT CALL PEOPLE THEY HAVE TRIED TO DRUG AND KILL ME MANY TIMES I CALL POLICE AND THEY WILL AGAIN CHILD STOLEN BY CPS HUGE RING THEY SELL CHILDREN SEX AND MORE -I GREW UP IN IT-FAMILY-GOVERNOR AND SHERIFF DIRTY CAREFUL VERY -MANY COPS DEAD I GET THEM SEAN DRENTH AND LARRY DEVER -MYRON CHISEM-A FEW DIED I THINK BECAUSE OF ME -READ MARKIE MC NIGHT WATCH SKULLS MOST LAYERS IN THIS TOWN ROGER MORRIS-ED NOVAK MOST PUBLIC DEFENDERS CPS-NEED NON DIRTY FBI JOHN SANDWEG FUCKED ME AND HIS DAD IS IN THE FBI READ MARKERRY SOLL CHILD KENNEDY KORY I NEED HER ASAP-SHE IS LIKE ME THEY WANT HER DOWN NAMED AFTER DARROW READPelican Brief Trailerwww.youtube.comFirst-rate legal thriller based on John Grisham's #1 bestseller. http://www.johngrishamonline.com
LikeLike · · Subscribe on YouTube · SharePelican Brief Trailer

TinaMeyers
TinaMeyers

I just moved to lovely Flower Mound from ugly {liberal} Tucson! And I read about this "Commie Shrew," "Leslie Harris" that want's Flower Mound to open up it's doors to those dirty, diseased vile illegals! I sure hope not, because not only are they illegals but they will bring in their: TB, Scabies, & other diseases! Leslie Harris is the type of female liberal hack that gives us normal women a bad name-----& by the way move to Tucson, Leslie, as you would fit in well there!

bobweir777
bobweir777

Mayor Hayden has the courage to stand up for Christianity, while Christians are being murdered for their beliefs in many areas of the world. As has been said before, if someone publicly supported the Muslim religion, there'd be a deafening silence in this absurdly politically correct country. 

bobweir777
bobweir777

Correct! You also get the government you vote for. In this case Flower Mound residents voted for whom they want to represent them. In fact, they are so satisfied with the current mayor and town council that, for the first time in its history, the town cancelled the election because no one was unhappy enough to run against them. They must be doing something right. 

agstockstill
agstockstill

Mr. Nicholson,


I live in Flower Mound for a reason. Believe it or not, my son actually receives an education from a public school (rare these days). I’m sure your cynicism is a requirement for your job and I wish you the best. Could you please go report on a severe color-clash in Oak Lawn and leave us alone?


HaydenWatcher
HaydenWatcher

The man is truly a marvel to behold.  It had been a whole week since Hayden ran yelling into the town square to warn about the ongoing invasion of democrats from the far reaches of the northern reaches - like Oklahoma.  Now he is blessing us with his musings about muslim leaders.  Sinking into oblivion after Proclaiming the Year of the Bible would have been a terrible waste of the heavy handed buffooness that is the Honorable Mayor Hayden.  I'm sure the next Republican Presidential candidate will want to tap into his foreign policy prowess.  

I mean why should America strive to be a shining example for other nations's?  Why on earth should the USA seek to unite the world when we can much more easily insult and ridicule?  Hayden's plan seems to be to have our country sink to the lowest common denominator and begin issuing proclamations against anyone he decides is has been disrespectful.  Of course it might take use a while to get through Hayden's enemy list. It is long and includes atheists, non-Christians, anyone other than far right republicans, and many leaders of foreign nations.  Isn't that what true leaders do - draw the lines between us and them so there is no doubt who the enemy is?  

Lindy_Hop
Lindy_Hop

If Hayden declared 2014 as "Year Of Secular Humanism" this article would've had a positive slant.

c.huxtable85
c.huxtable85

obviously the people of Flowermound don't care because they voted for him. So why should us Dallasites care about this? they made their bed, let them lie in it. That's the beauty of democracy.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

You get the government you deserve.

xdarkridex
xdarkridex

Shorter version of this story:  liberal who didn't vote for a mayor of a heavily conservative suburb writes the Obs bitching about stuff he posted on Facebook. The Obs agrees this is worthy of print.  


Those of us with common sense realize that this isn't even worthy of a Facebook post. Butthurt political opponents complaining about Facebook posts?  This is journalism?  Really?

tvlscat
tvlscat

...and the whole time I thought this was about Jane Fonda's ex-husband.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

Year of the Bible, indeed. Might as well make it the "Year of Those Who Believe Iron Age Fairy Tales Without Question, Because ... the Bible".

suburbiatexas
suburbiatexas

"Just because I'm an elected official doesn't mean I don't have freedom of speech," he tells Unfair Park. "I haven't checked my First Amendment Rights at the door."  good god, people LOVE posting that statement....yes tom, you ARE allowed freedom of speech, but as any kid knows in FM schools, there may very well be consequences!   Which is what this is about.....DOH!


Did not one catch the video he posted titled "Obama admits to being a Muslim"  which has been reported over and over and over again to be fake?  two seconds searching and snopes comes up....but by all means, mr smartypants mayor....please post it as fact and drone on about how there is a war on Christianity and everyone is tolerant of everyone but Christians! GIve it a rest already!  That is nuts and like the nutso chain emails you get from crazy Aunt Linda from smallmind USA....and he wants to be taken seriously as the mayor? 


And, No for those of you asking...he did not make his faith known in such details until his 'proclamation' as the mayor.  What many see as free speech and him asserting it, I see pandering....trying to get to a higher level....grab some popcorn and sit back and watch....

dvaught
dvaught

Oh good God. The Mayor posted a link to a video and said a few of the quotes were interesting and asked if his friends thought a Muslim leader would be so accepting of Israel or Christianity. The key here is that he posted this on his PERSONAL Facebook page and asked for responses from HIS friends.


We live in a scary time when so many will give our President a pass on Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the uncontrolled border crossing, DOD spying on Americans, trading 5 known terrorist for a POW without congressional approval... the list keeps going, but they will criticize and demand the Mayor is not re-elected for what? Asking a question? Professing his faith?


Look around people. Our nation is failing. Time to get back to our roots as Americans. Conservatism, fiscal responsibility and honoring the constitution.


What next? Are you going to demand that the Mayor give up any other constitutional rights or do you stop with the 1st?

melanie240
melanie240

I think the Mayor has done a fine job and does work very hard to represent all residents of the Town of Flower Mound in leading the Town's efforts to be successful and provide a wonderful environment for our families to thrive.  While some may take offense at remarks he has made about or towards various groups, I will be surprised if there is evidence that any of those "opinions" have been evident in his leadership of the Town of Flower Mound.  And since he is entitled to his opinions and free speech, as all U.S. citizens are, it is fine for us to agree or disagree, and it is fine for him to have his say, as long as it does not affect negatively the decisions made in Town governance.  

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@bobweir777 Riiiiight, it's super courageous to "stand up" for the dominant religion in the nation. Your persecution complex is showing. Also, your assertion that Muslims have it great in this country is asinine. Case in point: that mosque at Ground Zero. They sure got a warm welcome, thanks to all this political correctness you imagine, didn't they?


Bob Weir would be ashamed to know you're using his name to defend your Christian privilege.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@bobweir777 

It's weird how whenever a bunch of Christians go on one of their violent crusades against and some poor Muslim shoots BACK at them  - the Christians whine that they were "attacked".

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@agstockstill Well then, I hope your son's stellar education instills in him the knowledge that a city official who trumpets his religious beliefs gives the clear impression that the city government favors those of a specific religion. This behavior is implicitly exclusionary. Most would agree this is not how city government should use its position. The test should be whether, say next year, he proclaims it the Year of the Koran/Bhagavad Gita/Book of Mormon/The Scientology Handbook/Tao-Te-Ching, any residents object. I think it's fair to assume they will because many believe this is a "Christan Nation." In fact, it is a nation of Christian overprivilege.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@Lindy_Hop That's not a religion based on silly, Iron Age fairy tales. It's a philosophy that sees the innate good in all human life and seeks to unite, rather than divide people based on who is praying to the correct mythic deity.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@c.huxtable85 Why should we care? Good question. Those who do not share his faith are being marginalized by his/council's de facto endorsement of Christianity as the town's officially recognized religion. The Establishment clause of the First Amendment has been interpreted by courts, via the Lemon Test, to mean that any government action that advances the practice of one religion over another or does not have an expressly secular purpose, is unconstitutional. I think we can agree that, whether we live there or not, if Americans' constitutionally protected freedoms are being violated, we should care.


Not that it matters, but last I checked, there was a sizable Asian population in Flower Mound (around 9%), which includes Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. How might you feel, as a tax-paying resident, if your town seemed to advocate a religion that wasn't yours? 

bobweir777
bobweir777

@Sotiredofitall Correct! You also get the government you vote for. In this case Flower Mound residents voted for whom they want to represent them. In fact, they are so satisfied with the current mayor and town council that, for the first time in its history, the town cancelled the election because no one was unhappy enough to run against them. They must be doing something right. 

auntiecairo
auntiecairo

@dvaught the fiscal conservatism of whom? It was Bush who ran up our deficit to its highest point in history.  The Obama administration has sent back more illegal immigrants than any other.  The problem has existed for decades -- it's republicans who continue to whine and do nothing - because it is businesses who profit from the cheap labor.  Perry has been running for President the last 4 years - when he isn't giving away billions in tax breaks to bring companies here - who in turn bring low paying jobs that don't equal the bribe from Perry.  As for this story - I'd like to know how this good "Christian" mayor has helped others -- has he obtained healthcare for uninsured in his city (you know Texas has more than any state thanks to our great "Christian" politicians); has he improved education?  Reading the Bible doesn't make you a good Christian -- and I've found as with most things - the more people talk - the less they are actually doing. .

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@dvaught 

re: "Look around people. Our nation is failing"

Actually, your nation failed a long time ago - when Lee surrendered to Grant.  You're just having a hard time accepting it.

tharanda
tharanda

@dvaught How has his 1st Amendment right been restricted - by the government?   Because the 1st Amendment restricts the GOVERNMENT on what what it is or is not allowed to do. We are guaranteed that the govt. won't impinge or impede our rights. However, that doesn't mean that anyone can go without consequences if they make statements. 


The 1st Amendment also states that the government will not pass laws establishing a religion. Then, the Establishment Clause further stated that state and federal govt could not pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another.  I believe that this passes to local governments and to making proclamation in preference of Christianity when the constituents of Flower Mound are not homogenous.  Our mayor enjoys walking on slippery slopes and then looking at the media and saying, "I had NO IDEA!"


At least a year before he made his proclamation, he went to religious leaders of our town and told them of his intent. When they told him it was a bad idea, he ignored them. He even stopped inviting some of them to monthly meetings. When people said they didn't appreciate his proclamation, he was so very innocent and aghast in front of the media.  BS. He had been told exactly how people would take his proclamation.

wcvemail
wcvemail

It's within our rights to demand to know if he wears boxers or briefs.

tharanda
tharanda

@melanie240 So, can I summarize that as long as he makes "good" decisions for the town, he can say anything he wants? Even when it makes national news in an unpleasant light? 

wcvemail
wcvemail

@melanie240

The next time you copy-n-paste, you should un-capitalize "town" when not used as part of the full, official title of "Town of Flower Mound." Also, there's no reason to put quotes around the word "opinions," since that's a standard word that's entirely fitting. I know that you're just an HR/PR drone and don't understand why, and that you're only copying-n-pasting somebody else's words, but these changes will result in correct English usage.

bobweir777
bobweir777

@CogitoErgoSum @bobweir777 The only way to cure you from the political correctness that has you crawling on your hands and knees to your Muslim masters is when they get their chance to cut off your head with a serrated knife as you plead for mercy by telling them how you defended them. They used to say a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. In your case I'd say you won't learn until the knife draws blood, but, by that time it will be too late. 

bobweir777
bobweir777

@bvckvs @bobweir777 - VIolent crusades?? Christians aren't cutting off the heads of Muslims and videotaping it for distribution around the world. Your political correctness will put you in front of the line to be the next victim of decapitation. Don't forget to smile benevolently at your beheaders when the knife begins its movement across your throat. 

agstockstill
agstockstill

@CogitoErgoSum So “Most would agree”, “many believe” and “Christian overprivilege”. I’m sorry, I didn't see you on the ballot when I voted for the Flower Mound Director of Political Correctness. How about this…I’ll vote for the candidate I want to vote for, I’ll pray the way Christ told me to pray, and I’d like to reiterate that the Dallas Observer doesn't need to worry about what my mayor is doing.


Do you spend your entire day speaking in terms of what “the vague everyone else thinks,” or have you every simply stood up for what you believe in?


As of this moment, my freedom of religion is still guaranteed. I’m talking about my town. If you don’t live in Flower Mound, don’t fret about how I live.


Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@auntiecairo It's worse than you think: Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 1998 - look it up    


Democrats were complicit in enacting this disaster.

dvaught
dvaught

@bvckvs @dvaught Considering I am from New Hampshire, I think your assumption is a bit off. I served OUR country, what have you done for it other than make snide comments to those you disagree with? You see, I understand that you and I don't need to always agree on things which is what makes OUR nation so unique and great. Perhaps you feel differently. Would you prefer that everyone just agree with your views? Is that YOUR vision of what YOUR country should look like?

dvaught
dvaught

@tharanda Tess, incase you missed the focus of this article and my post... we are talking about HIS POSTING A VIDEO ON HIS PERSONAL PAGE AND ASKING FRIENDS SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT IT, not the proclamation.


Read the article.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@tharanda @melanie240

She has ducked, rabbit-like, back into her hole. She will not return to these foul, snark-heavy fields of unbelievers and scoffers. Besides, she's done her assignment of copying and pasting, now you're asking her for original thought? Pshaw.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@melanie240


Also, "mayor" is not capitalized unless it's used as a title immediately followed by the name, as in "Mayor Tom Hayden." Ask the person who emailed you the words to fix these errors.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@bobweir777 @CogitoErgoSum Wow, I thought the last crusader died centuries ago. What are you, Knights Templar? Here's your favorite ditty, ya nitwit.


Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the (Muslim) foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@agstockstill By all means, please pray yourself silly to your Iron Age, blood-sacrifice god.


Here's your rationale: because the majority of a town is Christian (you being comfortably part of this majority) the town is well within its rights to apparently endorse Christianity as the official religion of the town. Just one problem here: the Bill of Rights and associated constitutional case law doesn't just protect the majority; it protects all. This means that if, for example, a state or local government passes something like California's anti-immigrant Prop 187, it can be ruled unconstitutional, which it was.


There are obviously people of other faiths (and some with no faith at all) who live in Flower Mound. One of them is quoted in this article. The fact that only a relative few of them are speaking out may mean either they don't care or they are intimidated by the majority. Either way, the Constitution is on their side -- it protects the marginalized people, too.


So that's why we should all fret about your backwards-ass, bible-thumping town -- because "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." To that end, I hope the Freedom From Religion Foundation comes in with a cease and desist letter soon and sets your idiot mayor straight.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Yes Phil and Wendy Gramm need to be in jail for their spawning of Enron by diddling the securities Act.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@dvaught @bvckvs 

re:  "Our nation is failing" and "I served OUR country".

I sense a connection.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@dvaught @bvckvs I'm not one to come to bucky's defense... uh BUUUUUUUT.... I believe he also served this country.

As one who also served for quite some time, it irritates me to no end when vets try to stand on service as somehow making them more American than those who didn't serve in the military.  Military service is honorable, to be certain, and worthy of respect and gratitude, but it is not the be-all, end-all of American citizenship.  Dissenting speech is also one of the things that makes this country great, along with opposing ideologies, challenges to the status quo and questioning authority.

tharanda
tharanda

@dvaught @tharanda I know exactly what the article is about. And I know a lot more about the controversy because I've been a part of it...spoke to the man, emailed the man. I even know the people who are in the article. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

bobweir777
bobweir777

@CogitoErgoSum @bobweir777 Here's another one for you: There are none so blind as those who can only learn the truth when their heads are being sawed off. Continue living on your knees; that makes it easier to get at your neck. 

agstockstill
agstockstill

@CogitoErgoSum Goodness, you seem quite worked up. I’m concerned for you. I believe Saint Thomas Aquinas would have suggested a warm bath and a large glass of wine.


I’m fine following the laws of this land that do not contradict the laws of our God. Jesus was quite clear about that in Luke 20:25. You however are insisting I betray our mandate given by Christ himself in the Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20. I won’t be able to do this.


Please know that you are in my prayers.


God Bless!


Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

@ozonelarryb Along with many others.   


How many bankers have gone to jail for laundering drug cartel money - ZERO   

How many bankers have gone to jail for crashing the economy  - ZERO    

How many ex- Wallstreeters have government appointed jobs - COUNTLESS 

wcvemail
wcvemail

@RTGolden1

? RT, who's your audience on your wondering? Do you know Melanie?

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

@bobweir777 @CogitoErgoSum Sure. Keep collecting those firearms, stroking them lovingly and jerking off to the thought of some sort of doomsday scenario. Paranoid wingnuts are fun to play with.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum topcommenter

Your imagined "mandate" conflicts with the law of the land. The inexorable march of secularism and reason are gaining ground year after year, and your dying breed is scared to death of it, as it should be.

Your type is losing on gay rights/same sex marriage and anti-science educational policy, and you'll eventually lose on church-state separation issues like this. I'm encouraged when I see the polls showing Millennials are less religious than any previous generation in this country's history. Your cultural irrelevancy is visible on the horizon, thank Odin.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@wcvemail @RTGolden1 nah, was supposed to fall under your comment.  I've just never seen you pounce before.  Exquisitely done, by the way.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...