Missouri council member chooses Dr. Seuss book over the bible for swearing-in ceremony

Since there’s no law requiring St. Louis City Council members to use a Christian bible while being sworn into their positions, newly elected Democrat Kelli Dunaway chose to put her hand on a book by Dr. Seuss during her swearing-in ceremony.

As the St. Louis Post Dispatch points out, Dunaway chose the book “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” and photos of the moment show her children holding the book for her as raises her right hand for the oath.

The book has an inspirational message of hope for anyone entering a new phase in life.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

In a post to Facebook, Dunaway explained why she chose be sworn in with the book.


“The 1990 book offers a message of inspiration to anyone embarking on a new phase of life, whether it’s a high-school graduation, the jump from kindergarten to first grade, or even the next stage of a political career,” Dunaway wrote. “Alas, Dr. Seuss was not immune to a male-centric narrative as he sought to inspire. But the message is the same whether the reader is a ‘guy’ or not.”

Speaking to DeadState, Dunaway said that she chose the book because she thinks “it’s really empowering to know that we are the directors of our destiny.”

“And because it is something that’s special to my kiddos and me,” she added.

[Friendly Atheist]

Featured image courtesy of Kelli Dunaway

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.