Taking Steps: Did someone whistle? I couldn't hear it.
It's amazing how many layers of meaning you can pack into a little sermon if you know what you're doing. I know: sermons are my stock in trade. And they're also the primary arsenal for aw-shucks just-plain-folks evangelical Republican Mike Huckabee, who stumped for John McCain at the Republican National Convention with a speech that made my jaw drop.
Let me explain why. Excerpts of Huckabee's homily follow, in fine sermon style; toward the end of his speech, he pulled out a seemingly-unrelated story, then called forth a moral and a theme, and then wove that theme back into his prior subject matter, the imperative to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. The first parts of his oration are basically irrelevant boilerplate about how Barack Obama hugs terrorists and blushingly gives them boxes of candy. And then he gets into the oft-told tale of McCain's capture and torture, following with remarks about McCain's efforts to lift his arms and how he gave for us, so we should all be grateful. That's when Huckabee slides smoothly into Sermontown:Allow me to tell you about someone who understands this type of sacrifice better than anyone.McCain? No, not yet: a schoolteacher who is in no way a stand-in for Sarah Palin, a young woman who overcomes doubt and skepticism to teach people about how we ought to be more grateful to veterans like a certain J.M.