As a school teacher, I commend Hannah Thomason [letter Dec. 19] for getting involved in politics at such an early age. I, like Hannah, am also heavily involved in politics. However, I would like to address some issues with her argument.
Let's take a look at the purpose of an oath. The only thing that matters in an oath is a man's or woman's word. An oath has nothing to do with respect. It has everything to do with duty and a promise to tell the truth. In the past, the Bible was used to represent a kind of cosmic surveillance only because those particular oath-takers agreed to use the Christian God as the enforcer.
Hannah feels that Rep. Keith Ellison demonstrates disrespect by placing his personal "preferences over the beliefs of the country." Unfortunately for Hannah's argument, the U.S., by law, does not have any beliefs. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" (First Amendment).
If I want to say my oath over a "Where's Waldo" book, that's my prerogative. My beliefs, and Rep. Ellison's beliefs, are no one else's business. That's what makes this country wonderful.