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Trump Soars As Francis Wanes: Evangelicals And Rednecks Are Still Impressed By Bombast And Ostentation

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'No, Francis, Louis XIV did not throw up in Donald Trump's apartment - he had much better taste.'
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The Donald's "Sun King" style rules over Francis' compassion for humanity and the earth.

Note: For a full effect while reading, click on the below audio - it's really Trump's campaign theme song.)

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Donald Trump has come out in recent months as the virtual king of ostentation and bombast. And to his credit, the strategy is working: he now tops the Republican polls over the 15 candidates who show less propensity for gilt and bloviation. But exactly who are the 25% of Republican voters who envision him as President of the United States?

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Poor Louis XIV! Always gilded to the max.
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These people might actually envision Trump as the 21st Century "Sun King", the billionaire businessman willing to spend his precious time to rule the country with the iron fist of the job creator and illegal immigrant enforcer...

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...and fierce moral "leadership":

"Trump is tapping into deep-seated anger in America, a nation founded by Christians 'for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith,'" said David Lane, a prominent national evangelical political organizer. "He's tapping into something at the grassroots, precinct level of America. America is starving for moral, principled leadership. I hope that Donald Trump brings that."

What Donald Trump may be bringing, however, is a voice to the 4R Club: Religious Right, Rednecks and Rubes.

As David Brody of [Pat Robertson's] Christian Broadcasting Network and The Daily Signal noted, "Trump's ability to cut through the clutter and paint the world in 'absolutes' attracts quite a few evangelical voters." Brody added, "Remember, evangelicals hold true to their 'biblical absolutes,' so to see a person like Trump let it rip and tell it like it is becomes a somewhat endearing quality to some evangelicals. Trump takes hits for his boldness, and evangelicals take hits from society for their biblical boldness, too."

The Sacred And The Profane
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"Biblical Absolutes" have always been the keys to CONTROL in religion. Donald Trump knows that and plays his control game up to the hilt with more gilt than any baroque cathedral.

Francis, the Anti-Trump

If any cleric were to conduct the Dump Trump train, Francis would come to mind, especially if he were more political: his ousting of the "Bishop of Bling" could be taken as a sign that Francis abhors ostentation. But a tasteless lifestyle is not the main reason evangelicals have come to abhor Francis: his stances on social issues and the environment (read: climate change) run counter to their Fundamentalist agendas. He is not as virulently homophobic as they would want. He is not for the ostentation of "megachurches" of the Joel Osteen kind. He eschews literal biblical interpretations. His agenda, in other words, is one of concern than control.

Dump Trump Train
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Of course, Francis' cooling off period with the Christian Right began with his statement on "unfettered capitalism." His decline in favorability continued with his position on climate change. In between those two major stances, he managed to squeeze in compassion for the poor via taking in Central American migrant children.

"I would also like to draw attention to the tens of thousands of children who migrate alone, unaccompanied, to escape poverty and violence: This is a category of migrants from Central America and Mexico itself who cross the border with the United States under extreme conditions and in pursuit of a hope that in most cases turns out to be vain," he said. "They are increasing day by day. This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected."

But as far as some people were concerned, Francis was waay too much of a bleeding heart:

They [busloads of young refugees] were met by screaming protesters waving and wearing American flags and bearing signs that read such things as "Return to Sender."

Offensive Man, Offensive Taste, Offensive Campaign

The voices of support for Trump - currently at 25% of Republican voters - routinely say that he "tells it like it is." They think his candor is refreshing. They also think that his lifestyle is nothing short of awe-inspiring. And while the country certainly needs someone who is more intelligent, more diplomatic, more attuned to the everyone's needs than the average American, what they really get is just more money, more offensive bombast

... and less taste.

The Creflo Dollar Style

And shade your eyes!
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Of all the evangelicals, surely prosperity preachers will vote for Trump. He embodies the greed they preach. Creflo Dollar, "Bishop" Eddie Long, "Bishop" T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, all over-the-top spenders (remember Dollar's request for a $65 Million Jet?) who tell their flocks that God loves "unfettered capitalism."

Yep, that's Creflo!
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And gold... lots and lots of gold.

Taste. Refinement. Class. All require some restraint and consideration. They are not meant to bludgeon people into a stupor of awe. Rednecks fall for it. Evangelicals use it. After all, gilt cathedrals mastered it.

Foxworthy was so wise!
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Talk about a gilded cage!
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Serious Implications

"Let's get serious." But it's so hard when dealing with someone like Trump. Rachel Maddow calls him "gaffe-proof" simply because his hardcore Republican base accepts all his insults:

Dan Rather tells us not to discount Trump because he is "cunning." He is both "cunning" and conning those who rely on glitz, bombast and disingenuous morality.

How far will his campaign go? Some voters are clamoring for him to be included in the debates, thinking that his hollow, bellicose manner will triumph over reason with such issues as immigration, the Supreme Court, and Iran. We can only hope that the 4R Club doesn't recruit any new members.


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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)

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