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As We See It

Why I Am a Christian Democrat

A few years ago one of my granddaughters was told by her Christian school teacher that Christians voted Republican. Walking out of the classroom, one of my granddaughter’s friends said to her, “I’m sure glad my parents and grandparents are Republicans.” “But my grandpa is a Democrat,” she replied. “And he’s a Christian.” Most Reformed Christians in this part of the country hold views similar to those of my granddaughter’s teacher. To be a Christian and a Democrat hardly seems…
David Schelhaas
September 1, 2016
Essays

When Singing Is Like Breathing

Twice in my reading life I have come upon descriptions of communal singing that have aroused in me a deep longing to join with the singers, descriptions of a kind of choiring so spontaneous and natural, so full of the joy or pain of the moment, that I thought, “Only this singing, nothing else, could so completely feed the bodies and souls of the singers.” I wish I could have lived in such a community, for singing, like nothing else…
David Schelhaas
October 31, 2015
Poetry

It Was Happy Hour

in our Florida retirement village we were on the patio ice cubes clinking in our gin and tonics conversations rising sinking from a tree next door a shriek and a flurry and down on the ground a hawk with a dove in its talons red-shouldered hawk we decided the hawk stood still the dove soft beneath him wrestled and rested wrestled and rested but the hawk calmly waited “ooh, poor dove” someone said “soon be dead” someone else said still…
David Schelhaas
February 28, 2015
Poetry

Tongues that Dance

Smidt’s burning bush has tongues of flame that dance and leap in autumn’s winds. The oaks that shed their dull brown leaves seem to look askance as this tall bush so boldly flaunts her red. I do not take my shoes off as I pass – though Moses did when “I Am” told him to – but stop before I hurry on to class. “Perhaps a voice will tell me what to do,” I muse, not for a moment thinking…
David Schelhaas
February 4, 2015
Uncategorized

Three Stories about Climate Change

MAY 2012: AS WE SEE IT by David Schelhaas I spent February of this year in Florida, hanging around with old folks most of the time—after all, I am an official member of AARP. One of the things I was told by an elderly acquaintance in Florida was that the whole idea of global warming had come from an eighth grader's term paper. And he believed it. I asked him if he ever watched NASA launch spacecraft to go to…
David Schelhaas
May 1, 2012
Uncategorized

Tree Hugger!

Here's a statement I hear rather frequently where I live and work: "Well, of course, I'm no 'tree hugger,' but..." and then follows a mild expression of concern about some part of the creation. For many people in my part of the country, being known as a "tree hugger" is a shameful thing. I'm not sure why they feel this way, but I suspect it grows out of a fear of being identified with people--"radicals"--who have chained themselves to old…
David Schelhaas
December 1, 2010
Uncategorized

William Jennings Bryan and the Christian Left

William Jennings Bryan, if he is known at all these days, is remembered as a buffoon, the fundamentalist opponent of Clarence Darrow in the famous Scopes trial as depicted by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee in their (screen)play, Inherit the Wind. But that picture of Bryan is dreadfully inaccurate, and Michael Kazin has written this fine biography "to gain a measure of respect for Bryan and his people." Quoting historian E. P. Thompson, he would "rescue from the enormous…
David Schelhaas
August 1, 2009
Uncategorized

Springs of Water

One of the joys of reading fiction--especially good fiction--is that in the midst of the narrative which keeps you turning pages, turning, turning to find out what happened next, you are suddenly stopped short by something you read, turned away from the narrative and into your own life. This can happen in a deep and profound way as the novel helps you see or understand something really significant about your own existence. But this sudden stop can also be caused…
David Schelhaas
January 1, 2008
Uncategorized

Mother and Father

David Schelhaas The words father and mother come from similar roots, and the roots most likely come from the sounds an infant child makes before the child can talk. Papa, daddy, mama, ma, mom, and the variations in many different languages all seem to have been derived from the sounds that infant children make. The word mother, as far as we know, is derived from the sound a child makes while nursing or suckling at the mother's breast. To mother…
David Schelhaas
February 15, 2007