Sworn Into Office — with Dr. Seuss

The Bible or a Dr. Seuss book? Taking the oath of office is just as legitimate using either.

Swearing to God – is up to you

In American politics, taking the oath on the Bible, or any religious text, is customary — but not required. St. Louis County Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway was sworn in on the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! in August 2019. There is no law in Missouri that requires council members be sworn in on a Bible. Historically, Dunaway isn’t alone in not being sworn in on a religious text.

In 1901, Theodore Roosevelt had to take the oath in a hurry after President William McKinley’s assassination. As he had no Bible around, he was sworn without one. In 2014, U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein Suzi LeVine took the oath on an Amazon Kindle — and she swore on the Constitution rather than on the Bible. But even the American Constitution states that no religious texts are required as a qualification to any office. “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious text shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Source: Article VI, Clause 3 - U.S. Constitution.

Oaths of office can be taken on a Hebrew Bible, or on a Quran, as Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota demonstrated in 2007 when he used one once owned by Thomas Jefferson to be sworn in as the first Muslim member of Congress. Mr. Ellison, or anyone else, could have also used a comic book, a lesser Shakespeare play or nothing at all. This issue comes up every now and then. Some people are convinced that Bibles must be used.


09/23/2019 7:58 PM


  • Johnnie L.
    08/23/2020 05:16

    Why would you not want to use one? It sounds like you just do not believe in God, and are reaching for any justification to back you up. Our country was built on God's graces. It is implied so why does it have to be in black in white? You call it thinking outside the box. I call it as you are leading our country away from what made it so great. I am ashamed of you.

  • Johnnie L.
    08/23/2020 05:07


  • Scott A.
    10/30/2019 03:02

    These comments are classic. “ oh , you don’t believe in the Bible? Well let me tell you why the bible says you’re wrong “

  • Ryan C.
    10/30/2019 00:43

    Man, it's almost like we're not a Christian nation or something 🤔 (spoiler alert, we're not!)

  • Ben B.
    10/29/2019 22:07

    Its not about you its about the people you serve.

  • Matt G.
    10/29/2019 03:55

    Ignorance at it's highest level...

  • Robby G.
    10/28/2019 11:10

    It’s not right but I’d rather see this than the quarn

  • David R.
    10/27/2019 15:01

    I would have guessed Yertle the Turtle was the book, this was my second guess.

  • AC S.
    10/27/2019 07:27

    About time this was posted.

  • El G.
    10/24/2019 01:36

    Let’s use a Tom and jerry book too

  • Ashley A.
    10/23/2019 21:15

    I love all the bible thumpers 😂 y'all crack me up!!!!!! Bruhhhhh

  • Rick P.
    10/22/2019 15:40

    ..In most courts, when one swears to tell the truth, and in a lot of swearing in ceremonies I've witnessed, simply raising the right hand is all that's needed..When George Washington was sworn in as our first president, that ceremony may have been tempered by some degree of somberness, as there were ramifications, as far as the British were concerned at the birth of this new nation..After taking the oath of office, Washington, in an emotional moment was said to have slammed his hand on his Masonic bible, said quite emphatically , "..So help me God!"..

  • Arthur U.
    10/22/2019 02:51

    Its always sad when people forget what gave them liberty! Its so weird when people forget that it was Christian values that taught that all people are equal and sacred and deserving to be treated with value, its so funny when atheists talk about human rights, that doesnt make sense, if you evolved, its about the survival of the fittest! You have the right to defeat and destroy your enemies and crush those who oppose you

  • Mario E.
    10/22/2019 02:32

    Someone get me some Advil cause I have a headache from all the times I’ve rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness (to say it lightly) of some of these comments.

  • Aaron T.
    10/22/2019 00:25

    makes sense that dems would act like clowns while at work. I expect nothing else.

  • James L.
    10/21/2019 15:17

    This is what a mental patient being sworn in looks like.

  • Joshua G.
    10/21/2019 14:39

    We are all done as a country getting bad.

  • Matthew G.
    10/21/2019 05:08

    Stating the Constitution doesn’t require religious affiliation and assuming that’s not a non-sequitur is like forgetting that the Declaration of Independence does use religious concepts to establish our cause for liberty and later a nation or to literally ignore that plenty of elected officials in very historical addresses have pleaded their case acknowledging the power of an almighty God. As great as Dr. Seuss is imagine the conversation the children will have when they are older.... “My mom swore on Dr. Seuss that she was gonna be awesome in office”. This statement above simply doesn’t not have any proof of sincerity compared to “I swore an oath in congruence with my religious convictions that I will uphold my office.”

  • Manuel N.
    10/21/2019 04:21

    No wonder why some of our youth are the way they are. In Dr. Seuss we trust huh? Trump 2020

  • Melinda W.
    10/20/2019 18:31

    They are to take an oath, to be truthful, supportive, honest in upholding their actions convictions ,and what used to be a wholesome barometer of Truth,and still is for those who know that our country was founded on Judeo, Christain ethics, not on our wonderful author Dr.Suess...She dilutes the seriousness of her opportunity to be a postive,proactive player in the cesspool we call politics and the America we are losing to naysayers and nerdowells.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

Stay informed and entertained, for free with myBrut.

By continuing, you agree to receive emails from Brut.